Sarah Haldeman '99
Major(s) and Minor(s): History and German Studies dual major
Thesis title and/or topic/description: "History and Memory: The Buchenwald Concentration Camp and Memorialization Politics"
What have you done since graduation?
After graduating from Scripps in 1999, I went on to study history (with a specialization in public history) at Arizona State University. I intended to go into curatorship at a history museum, but I kept falling into opportunities in archival work that were difficult to pass up. During graduate school, I worked on archival projects at the Arizona State Historical Museum and at the Arizona State Library and Archives. I also worked in the education department at the Tempe Historical Museum. My Master's thesis was a founding history of Scripps College, which was a great opportunity for me to visit Scripps in graduate school.
After graduating from ASU, and moving to Portland, Oregon, I found it difficult to find work in archives at that time, so I worked as a human capital manager for a small non-profit organization. I began my first archives position after graduate school as an archivist at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, in January 2004. This was a federal position with the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Presidential Libraries System. After working at the Johnson Library for a little over seven years, I transferred to the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, in July 2011 (again, a NARA institution). In April, 2013, I had the honor to appear in an article about my work in Texas Monthly magazine.
How do you think majoring in history or taking history classes has mattered to you?
Majoring in history was the single best thing I could have done for myself in school, because I chose to do something I loved, with no expectation of what I would do with the degree once I finished. It may have appeared foolhardy, but for me, it paid off in the end. I entered Scripps intending to be a biology/pre-med major, but I fell in love with the German language and with the history classes I was taking. It enriched my Scripps experience in that I loved the classes I took, and led me to the work I'm doing now, which is incredibly fulfilling. In addition to working with researchers, and processing archival material, I've also had the opportunity to deliver presentations to students of all ages about archival work.
Are you available to speak to current students or alumnae?
I’m very open to speaking with students about anything, including what it’s like to apply for government jobs and work for the federal government. I’m also a member of the OUT alumnae group for LGBT alums.
Please contact Julie Liss if you would like to connect with this alumna.
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