"You never really understand the complexities of archives until you're in an archive working with materials."
Alexandrea "Allie" Penn received her MA in History, MLIS and Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration in May 2019. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in History at Wayne State and is a Librarian/Information Specialist for the Butzel Long law firm.
Originally from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, she moved to Detroit from Bay City to pursue graduate studies in history and archival administration. She has previously worked at the Michigan History Center at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum and volunteered for the Marquette Regional History Center.
As a student, Allie received the winter 2017 Raven Award and was president of Wayne State’s student chapter of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). She participated in an internship with CNN and completed her practicum at Carhartt.
Q. What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Northern Michigan University.
Q. What area did you specialize in? Why?
A. I specialized in Archival Administration. I was able to transcribe part of a lighthouse log while working for the Michigan Iron Industry Museum for the past two summers. This opportunity pushed me towards preserving historical documents and history for future generations.
Q. How did your involvement in student organizations impacted your SIS experience?
A. Being a member of student groups allows for additional networking opportunities, but also for other informational opportunities that may not be provided within classes.
Q. What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SIS?
A. I am most proud of the oral history I was able to complete as part of the Oral History course here on campus.
Q. Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey?
A. I have been very fortunate in not only just one professor or professional aiding me but have had numerous advisers and mentors guiding me along my journey.
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering SIS?
A. I would say don't be afraid to take this chance. There are so many opportunities that are available to you when you complete this program.
Q. Would you recommend a practicum/internship experience to students?
A. Absolutely! You never really understand the complexities of archives until you're in an archive working with materials. I think that internships are key to truly having trained and educated information professionals.