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Catheryne Popovitch to Receive CoSA Rising Star Award

By CoSA News posted 06-08-2021 12:00 AM


Catheryne PopovitchCatheryne Popovitch of the Illinois State Archives is the 2021 recipient of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) CoSA Rising Star Award, designed to acknowledge outstanding contributions by individual staff members or teams to their state archives and constituencies. Cathy has made outstanding contributions to the Illinois State Archives, to archivists and archival institutions in the state of Illinois, and to CoSA.

After receiving a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Illinois and working as an archivist in the private sector for a brief period, Cathy joined the Illinois State Archives as an intern in 2014. As an intern, she worked in every section of the State Archives, including accessions and control, operations, records management, conservation, and publications. After that year-long internship, Cathy was hired full-time and began working in the publications unit, where she played a major role in the Archives' switch to using Archon as its location guide and on-line finding aid. In 2018, she was promoted supervisor of the State Archives reference section, managing a staff of eight and overseeing more than 75,000 cubic feet of records within the Archives.

One of Cathy’s roles at the State Archives is Deputy Coordinator for the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB). In that role, she oversees the ISHRAB's Historical Records Grant Program, which provides monetary grants and professional assistance to smaller archival institutions throughout the state. This program received the 2020 CoSA-NHPRC Award of Merit. She also oversees the ISHRAB's Archival Professional Development Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to Illinois archivists for professional training. Her work on these two programs, that have a lasting impact on the archival profession in Illinois have positioned her to be a trusted leader for archival institutions in Illinois for the next 20 plus years.

Cathy performs many duties for the State Archives, much of which involves outreach to the state's diverse archival community. Cathy writes, edits, and distributes a newsletter, Archives Month posters, and teaching packets. She also gives presentations to groups ranging from libraries and genealogical societies to college classes and the Illinois Association of Museums.

Cathy has assisted in advocacy efforts to get Congress to fully fund the National Archives and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), including meeting with the staffs of members of the Illinois Congressional delegation and with members of the Illinois state legislature, their staffs and with the staffs of state agencies.

Cathy is a contributing member to many organizations, including the Council of State Archivists (CoSA), the Society of American Archivists, the Midwest Archives Conference, the Chicago Area Archivists, the Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois Digital Heritage. CoSA Immediate Past-President and CoSA Awards Committee chair, recently retired Montana State Archivist Jodie Foley, “Cathy is such a dedicated volunteer for CoSA. She serves as co-chair of CoSA’s Education and Training Committee and provides guidance and coordination for CoSA’s member programming. She has also been a webinar presenter for CoSA and assists the CoSA staff with the monthly “Chatting with CoSA” meetings for state archives staff. She also represented CoSA on the program committee for the 2019 joint annual meeting with the SAA.”

As a member of the 2019 cohort for the very select Archival Leadership Institute and in her relatively short professional career, Cathy has already made outstanding contributions to the Illinois State Archives and its constituencies and to CoSA. She is a deserving recipient of CoSA’s 2021 Rising Star Award.