Interview with SALALM Scholarship Awardee: Lisa Cruces

Elizabeth "Lisa" Cruces was the second awardee...

Elizabeth "Lisa" Cruces

Elizabeth "Lisa" Cruces was the second awardee of the SALALM scholarship! Alison Hicks caught up with Lisa to ask her about her experiences since then.
Lisa earned her MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin (Hook'em Horns!) in May 2012, specializing in Archives and Academic Librarianship. She has dual bachelors degrees in History and International Studies, focusing on Latin America and is thinking about starting an MA. Lisa is currently the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame.
What drew you to the field of librarianship/archival studies?
I initially started out only specializing in archives because of my interest in museum studies and public history but quickly became interested in connecting users with information and decided to add a concentration in Librarianship too.
How did you become interested in Latin America/Iberia? Describe your language abilities and experiences studying and/or traveling in Latin America.
I have been interested in Latin American Studies since I was very young. My heritage is Mexican and I earned dual bachelors degrees in History and International Studies, focusing on the Latin American sphere respectively. Spanish was my first language and thanks to my family and profession, I have been able to maintain near native fluency. I have experience traveling to Mexico and Panama, both for leisure and research.
Have you worked with a Latin American/Iberian archival or library collection? In what capacity?
During my first year of graduate school, I traveled to Panama to visit the National Archives. My visit and interviews with the archivists and public service officials explored archival enterprise and its significance to Panamanian society. The end result of the project was a poster,“A Case Study of Archives in Central America: El Archivo Nacional de Panamá.”, presented at national and regional conferences.
Were you able to attend the annual SALALM conference?

No, due to limited professional funding I was unable to attend the annual meeting.
(NB: Since Lisa was awarded the scholarship, the committee has established a further travel scholarship so awardees can attend the SALALM meeting)
Was the SALALM scholarship helpful in the development of your career?
Yes, immensely! SALALM helped promote my archival specialization: Latin American collections and increase my professional network. Also, being introduced to the SALALM community helped me expand my career path options and encouraged me to continue my focus on Spanish language collections.
Did the SALALM scholarship allow you to do something you might not otherwise have been able to do?

Yes, the additional funding from the SALALM award helped fill a financial gap during my last semester of graduate school. With the funds I was able to register for an additional course and gain a second specialization in Academic Librarianship before exiting my graduate program.
Thanks, Lisa, and all the best for the future!