The Cline Library and Special Collections and Archives would like to introduce the 2015 Elizabeth M. and PT Reilly Summer Intern, Ofelia Zepeda. Ofelia is an NAU graduate (class of 2000) and brings a wealth of experience and insight to the Special Collections and Archives (she taught middle school for 10 years!). She’s excited to return to Flagstaff and NAU for the summer and to start working on the Fred Harvey exhibit. Ofelia is a SIRLS graduate student at the University of Arizona and a Knowledge River Scholar (cohort 13). Ofelia will be joining us on Monday, June 8; the week prior, she will be at the University of Montana to attend a Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute (TCLI). Wow, Ofelia knows how to fill her summers with fun and interesting projects. By way of introduction, she volunteered to answer a few question we posed her that we thought might introduce her to NAU…
Tell us a little bit about your background?
S-keg sialig! Hello! My name is Ofelia Zepeda. I am a proud member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. I am originally from a tiny town called Stanfield in Central Arizona, but I currently reside in Tucson, Arizona with my husband of 15 years and two daughters, Elizabeth and Veronica, ages 12 and 8. I received my undergraduate degree in Extended English, Secondary Education from NAU after which I moved to Tucson and taught for the better part of 10 years between taking time off for our children. I just recently made the monumental decision to quit teaching in order to pursue a master’s degree in library science. I was fortunate to gain admission into the University of Arizona’s School of Information and Library Sciences (soon to become the School of Information) and best of all, the Knowledge River Program.
Why did you apply for this internship and what do you hope to get from it?
When I saw the posting for the internship, I knew that I HAD to apply. Cline Library has a wonderful reputation. I have heard so much wonderful praise of Cline Library’s Special Collections and staff consistently that it would have been ridiculous not to apply. Just recently, I happened to be at the Arizona State Museum volunteering for an event and ended up speaking with their photo archivist who said when she runs into an issue, she thinks, “What would Cline Library do?” I hope to gain a wealth of experience from the internship and I am fairly confident that hope will be exceeded.
You’re from Tucson, so what aspect of Flagstaff will you be looking forward to this summer?
Strangely enough, I will miss the heat of Tucson and all of the wonder of the desert, but I know Flagstaff is beautiful in the summer also. My children are especially excited about seeing the sights of Flagstaff and the surrounding areas. Even though I am from Arizona and attended NAU for 4 years, I have never been to the Grand Canyon. We have promised our younger daughter that is where she will be going for her birthday.
Dog or cat?
Both, we have 1 dog and 4 cats. Yes, I know that’s a lot, but my husband and children are soft-hearted when it comes to cats.
How will your skill set/experience make this internship special?
I have been employed as a graduate assistant at the University of Arizona’s Special Collections for both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. Working at Special Collections has provided me with a wonderful background in archives, especially in a variety of fields. We maintain our own blog as well (archivistapprenticehip.com – check it out!). So far this year, I have worked on the papers of a retired English teacher/poet, a Lunar Planetary Laboratory astronomer, a lawyer/photographer, and the Black Sparrow Press Collection. Additionally, I was fortunate to curate an exhibit highlighting the life and career of our late governor, Raul H. Castro. The variety of material and degree of work I have been exposed to will have most definitely prepared me to work with the Fred Harvey Collection which has so many different facets to it.
What aspect of Fred Harvey most interests you?
I have always wondered how the tourist trade began in Arizona and the Southwest. Also, I have wondered what has helped to shape how the Southwest was perceived and traveled. The Fred Harvey Collection is epic on so many levels. It contains so much variety: architecture, jewelry, business, marketing, travel, dining, trains. . .I could go on and on, but I will not. I appreciate the fact that there is always something new to discover and the potential is there. I will not have to worry about running out of work to complete.
Thank you, Ofelia, for the wonderful introduction and we’re looking forward to having you join us this summer!