Blog Viewer

Introducing the 2023 CoSA Awards Program Walch Emerging Leader and Rising Star Recipients

By Anne Ackerson posted 07-05-2023 10:15 AM

Victoria Irons Walch Emerging Leader Award
Joshua Hackel, Electronic Records Archivist, Illinois State Archives
Joshua Hackel serves as the Archives’ technology subject matter expert, assisting state and local agencies with their records-related technology questions and manages the Archives’ digital preservation efforts. He is currently providing the technical expertise for two ongoing major projects: a shared digital preservation platform and an archive management platform. Both projects require extensive planning, researching potential vendors, liaising with both internal and external stakeholders, and ensuring a smooth transition and integration of the platforms into existing Archives’ workflows.
Josh is also involved with CoSA as the SERI Tools and Resources Subcommittee chair, a member of the SERI Steering Committee, and as a member of the CoSA Development Committee. In SERI, Joshua is spearheading a deep dive into how Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing can be used for archival applications -- be on the lookout for future programming and resources on these important topics!!
Amy Moran, Records Services Supervisor, Louisiana State Archives 
Amy Moran oversees the records management practices of the over 4,000 state, parish, and municipal government agencies in Louisiana. Her efforts ensure that the records these agencies produce are preserved and remain accessible and usable by governments and citizens. Her duties include drafting records management policies, directing the scheduling and disposition of government records, and delivering presentations regarding records management and state law.
Amy leads by example in her work ethic, attitude, and drive. She is kind, but direct, and she is respected by her peers, subordinates, management, and customers. She spearheaded and overhaul of the archives’ records management training program for Louisiana agencies; implemented new software programs for retention schedule programs and the records center; worked with statewide associations and boards to draft the state’s first general retention schedules increasing retention compliance; and helped draft a legislative bill that clarified many aspects of the Louisiana Public Records Law. Amy has transformed a broken records management program into something the State of Louisiana can be proud of.
Ali Rahmaan, Supervisory Records and Information Specialist, DC Office of Public Records 
Since beginning his career at the Office of Public Records in 2004, Ali Rahmaan has contributed greatly to developing processes to improve the management of records and public access to archival records. By developing policies for records access and methods to track records borrowed from the Office, he has ensured that records could be located and returned to their proper locations. Because the Office’s most popular collections are genealogy records, Ali developed a process for requesting, documenting, and refiling marriage records and historic wills. He served as interim director from 2020-2022, and led the effort to continue Office activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a trusted colleague and advisor, Ali has actively support new initiatives to process collections, build a digitization program, and build a digital preservation program. Motivated to learn, Ali regularly attends webinars and trainings to continue to strengthen his archival skills and stay updated on the latest trends.
Rising Stars
Matthew Storey, Archives Historian, State Archives of Florida
Matthew Storey, a Mississippi native, made Tallahassee, Florida his home while enrolled in the graduate Historical Administration and Public History (HAPH) program at Florida State University. Matthew took archives management coursework and completed an internship at the State Archives of Florida while enrolled in that program and, upon graduating in 2017, he was offered and accepted part time work at the State Archives conducting online redaction of confidential/exempt information in Governor’s Office email records. Matthew was quickly promoted to a full-time Archivist position, serving researchers at the State Archives Reference Desk for several years. In 2022, Matthew was able to leverage his understanding of history, of the State Archives’ collections, and of how researchers request and use those collections to secure his current position as Archives Historian.
Matthew’s quick rise at the State Archives of Florida has been bolstered by his many accomplishments, including a Florida Department of State Exceptional Public Service Award in 2020. He has developed and conducted numerous public presentations on everything from “Terrors of the Archives” (conservation and preservation nightmares) to land documents for family history to Florida’s prime meridian. He has selected and cataloged web content for the State Archives’ award-winning Florida Memory web page and revitalized the Archives’ digital volunteers program through a significantly expanded presence on FromThePage (Florida Memory Program | FromThePage).
Joseph Sullivan, Information Resources Specialist II, Delaware Public Archives
Joseph Sullivan’s duties at the Delaware Public Archives include providing reference services to patrons in need of research assistance, supporting the work of the Delaware Heritage Commission, maintaining inventory and disbursement of books published by the Delaware Heritage Commission, and giving presentations to various groups about a wide range of research materials available at the Archives.
Joe regularly pursues training to further is professional growth and is currently enrolled in the State of Delaware Leadership Program for front line staff. Business-like and unassuming, Joseph’s work has been consistently outstanding. Wrote one supporter of Joe’s nomination, “Joe displays every day the skills he has learned in researching complex research questions. Is customer service is remarkable. The way that he connects with each researcher [ensures] they are getting what they need.”
The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Awards Program acknowledges individuals, institutions, and programs that enrich and strengthen our nation's state and territorial archives. The Awards Program rewards innovative efforts and provides encouragement for the development of new and remarkable projects. By recognizing exemplary achievements, CoSA hopes to inspire others to make similar contributions to the field of government archives. The awards will be presented at the CoSA annual meeting in Washington, DC this July. The program is made possible with generous support from FamilySearch.