Grace Moore, Research Assistant Intern
This internship and Wayne State changed the course of my career.
Grace Moore is a student in Wayne State’s joint master of library and information science and master of arts in public history (MLIS/MAPH) program.
Q. What was your path to Wayne State’s School of Information Sciences?
“I received a bachelor’s degree in history from Northern Michigan University and while there, I worked for the Northern Michigan University and Central Upper Peninsula Archives for two years. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do upon graduation, but I knew I wanted to go to graduate school and I wanted to live where I’d grown up (southeast Michigan). When I looked into local programs, I realized that Wayne State not only had an amazing library science and archives program, but they also offered the joint degree program that allowed me to earn dual master’s degrees along with a graduate certificate in archival administration in significantly less time than it would take elsewhere. For someone who had no idea what I wanted to do with my undergraduate degree, this program was a godsend. Completing this program would make me certified to work in museums, libraries and archives. Wayne State was able to combine three things I love. Regardless of where my career path will take me, I know that I will be certified and qualified.”
While Moore knew the joint MAPH/MLIS program would prepare her for any number of career options, falling in love with political science came as a surprise.
Moore was referred to a job at Wayne State Law School’s Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy by her history advisor and was hired because of the skills she was learning at the School of Information Sciences.
The research student assistant internship at the Levin Center was originally created as a six-month assignment in which Moore was to develop a database containing all congressional oversight reports issued during the last 20 years. The project, known as the Congressional Oversight Records Database (CORD), seeks to provide scholars and the public a curated collection of records and analysis that will shed light on how Congress has carried out its oversight responsibilities over the last two decades.
“This work would not be where it is if not for Grace’s tireless efforts,” said Levin Center Director Jim Townsend. “CORD, which we expect to unveil in spring of 2023, will be important to the Levin Center’s mission to deepen our understanding of congressional oversight and investigations and their role in ensuring government accountability and fact-based discourse in our democracy. We are fortunate to have team members like Grace who combine such talent for research and database development with a passion for oversight and democracy.”
Moore, now more than a year and a half into the internship, oversees and manages nine students from the University of Texas and one Wayne Law student on the project. She will continue her work on the project until she graduates in August 2023.
Moore wrote about CORD in an article entitled “A New Database for Congressional Oversight Reports,” which was published in a 2022 issue of the Wayne Law Review, the Law School’s primary scholarly journal.
A second article entitled “Keeping Tabs on the Executive,” co-written by Moore and Jen Selin, co-director of the Levin Center’s Washington office, was presented at the Women in Legislative studies conference in October 2022. Moore and Selin have been selected to present at the Midwest Political Science Conference in April 2023 and the article is set to be published in Presidential Studies Quarterly.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for my internship. It has given me direction and passion in my studies that I lacked before,” Moore said. “It’s all very exciting because there has been so little written about congressional oversight as a whole, and especially from an information processing standpoint. This internship and Wayne State changed the course of my career.”
Q. Have you participated in other SIS programs or organizations?
A. “I am a member of the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA) and the WSU student chapters of the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). I am the HGSA liaison for the WSU student chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the social media manager for Future Librarians for Inclusivity and Diversity. I previously was the social media manager for SAA and HGSA and secretary for ALA.”
Q. What do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A. “How diverse of a field it is. It’s not just public libraries, its academic, school, corporate, government, archives and more. There are medical libraries and corporate archives and all sorts of subfields. Finally, there’s the subfield I’m interested in: information processing/science in the government. I found my passion in databased and controlled vocabularies and how people use information. When I came into this program, I thought it would only teach me how to be a public librarian. How wrong I was, and how glad I am to be wrong.”
Q. What has been a highlight of your time in the program?
A. “The people. Maybe it’s cliché, but my advisor (Kim Schroeder), my classmates and my fellow student organization members—everyone has been so amazing this entire time. I should mention that I started the program in Fall 2020, so I have never and will never take an in-person class at WSU. Yet I have still managed to find such a supportive network of people always willing to help out with a difficult project, give advice for picking classes, and build each other up by highlighting our achievements. I don’t think I’d be where I am without them!”
Q. What advice would you give current students?
A. “Join clubs and student organizations. They will be your best resource going through the program and joining doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. It is often just showing up to one hour-long zoom meeting a month during the school year, often in the evening. Further, the meetings are usually full of really helpful content, like information about conferences, how to do a presentation, how to write scholarly articles and get published. Make those connections. There’s not a lot of effort involved, but you get a huge return.
I really can’t emphasize enough how much my experience in the program would be different if I hadn’t put myself out there and joined student organizations. It’s what led me to my other most important piece of advice—present at conferences if you’re able to.
Not a lot of people take the opportunity to present, but I would encourage anyone to do it. It absolutely changed the course of my education for the better. I’ve presented at least five times so far, and it’s always been a helpful experience. The best advice I got from my mentor was that I can just present a paper I wrote in class. I found a conference in the WSU listserv for which my paper fit the criteria and submitted it. They really want people to present. Then you can take the feedback and possibly even submit for publication.”
Upon graduation, Moore plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in American politics and information processing in congress. She will graduate in August and has already started applying to schools including Yale, Cornell, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas.
She hopes to eventually work for a government agency, possibly the U.S. Government Accountability Office which provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies and the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Learn more about the Levin Center at levin-center.org.