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CCI Student Alexandra M. Wilder Wins the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship

May 23, 2017

Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) graduate student Alexandra M. Wilder was recently awarded Society of American Archivist’s (SAA) highly coveted F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship, which is given to students in the archival studies field based on academic merit. 

Wilder, a student in the MS in library and information science (MSLIS) program, will win a $10,000 scholarship and complimentary registration to the Society of American Archivists (SAA) meeting as part of her award. 

As part of her submission for the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship, Wilder submitted an essay titled, "Crowdsourcing Archival Description via Flickr: Reining in Grand Expectations," which analyzes the use of crowdsourcing as it relates to archival description and access.

Since 2008, the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship is awarded to provide financial support to graduate students in a professional archival studies program. The award was established by SAA member F. Gerald Ham and his wife Elsie. Students are chosen based on academic merit and by the recommendation of faculty.

Wilder will graduate in June 2017 from the MSLIS program with a concentration in archival studies. She also holds a master of fine arts in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and a bachelor of arts in English literature from the University of Toronto. 

Transitioning to a library and information science career from a 10+ year career in public programming, Alexandra has programmed events and classes with an arts and literature focus for a variety of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Philadelphia, New York City, San Francisco and Toronto (her hometown). 

She served as managing director of the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City, where she headed the writing program and worked on their literary reading series. She has held positions at the San Francisco Arts Commission, working on the WritersCorps youth outreach program, as well as at the Toronto Public Library as communications officer. Most recently, she served as manager of public programs for the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia.

Wilder is an archival processing intern at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, where she is currently processing the Common Press collection of letterpress posters, broadsides, pamphlets and chapbooks. 

She says she looks forward to continued scholarship in the archives field and will be in attendance at the Society of American Archivists' annual conference this summer in Portland, OR, to accept the scholarship.