ALI Staff

Brenda Gunn, ALI Director

Brenda (she/her) is a certified archivist and holds a MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin with an emphasis in archival enterprise. She is a member of the 2010 ALI cohort, and served as a steering committee member of the ALI at Luther and ALI at Berea Institutes from 2013-2018. At the University of Virginia, Brenda is a cohort member of the executive program, Leadership in Academic Matters, a semester-long leadership capacity building program. She served on the Society of American Archivists’ council from 2017-2019, is a SAA Distinguished Fellow, and is currently the SAA liaison to the International Council of Archivists, Forum of Professional Associations. She’s a co-PI for “On These Grounds” project, funded by the Mellon Foundation, and a co-PI on the Archival Revolutions Project, along with steering committee member Steven Booth, funded by the Society of American Archivists Foundation. She and Steven will be publishing their Archival Revolutions research in 2024 as part of the CLIR Pocket Burgundy series.  

As Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Preservation, Brenda serves on the University Library’s Senior Leadership Team, and heads the Albert and Small Special Collections Library. She co-chaired the Library’s Inclusive Excellence study, which established a roadmap for IDEA activities and accountability for systemic changes in library practices and culture. As director of special collections and preservation, Brenda leads a staff of 40 archivists, librarians, curators, and preservationists all of whom contribute in significant ways to the teaching and research mission of the University. Beginning in the Spring of 2023, Brenda will teach a course on Archives and Society in the Historic Preservation program at the University of Mary Washington. 

Steering Committee

Steven D. Booth

Steven (he/him) is an archivist, researcher, and member of the Blackivists, a collective of trained Black memory workers in the Chicagoland area. He is currently Archive Manager of the Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) Archive, which is co-owned by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. His previous experience includes working with presidential records at the US National Archives and Records Administration for 11 years and the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Boston University and The King Center. ​Steven is an alumnus of Simmons University with a concentration in Archives Management and participated in the 2015 ALI cohort. He is an active member of the SAA having served on Council from 2017-2020 and in 2022 was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow.  

Petrina Jackson

Petrina is currently the Lia Gelin Poorvu Executive Director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and Librarian for the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. She was the director of the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries where she oversaw the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, University Archives, and all curated collections. Before Syracuse, she served at Iowa State University as the head of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). Prior to that, she served as the head of instruction and outreach at the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, and senior assistant archivist for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University.  

As a leader/manager of special collections and archives, Petrina advocates for resources needed to responsibly steward collection materials and create updated and effective infrastructures for staff. As SCRC Director at Syracuse University, she led an advocacy campaign and collaborated with faculty and staff to build a much-delayed specialized facility (Mod2) for deteriorating audio-visual materials. Because of this powerful collaboration with faculty stakeholders, in May 2021, the SU Board of Trustees approved the building of Mod2, and it is now completed. When she arrived at SCUA at Iowa State University, the instruction program consisted of conducting collection highlights tours in the closed stacks. To better assist our users in attaining research skills, Petrina created and implemented an instruction program, based on active learning activities and methods. To achieve this, the outreach archivist attended Librarians Active Learning Institute for special collections librarians and archivists, while the rare books and manuscripts archivist attended the IFLA Satellite Preconference: Information and Artifactual Literacies. The opportunity for staff to learn and apply active learning methods to our instruction program transformed our approach from one that depended solely on conducting closed stacks tours to that of teaching in primary source learning interactive spaces.  

Jackson is active in the Society of American Archivists, where she served as a Council Member from 2018-2020 and in other committees and sections. She led the American Library Association’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) as Chair from 2020-2021. Prior to that, Jackson served as Chair of the RBMS 2018 Conference, Convergence, held in New Orleans in 2018. For the past four years, Jackson has been RBMS liaison to the Society of American Archivists (SAA). 

Jackson currently serves in advisory positions on several boards and projects, including the Archival Education Advisory Board for Exploring New Frontiers in 21st Century Archival Education National Forum, 2022; Flowerings Advisory Board for Furious Flower’s Digital Archives and Infrastructure at James Madison University, 2021-present; and the LIS Guiding Council for Library and Information Science at the Syracuse University iSchool, 2020-present. 

Jackson received a B.A. in English from the University of Toledo, an M.A. in English from Iowa State University, and a master of library and information science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Audra Eagle Yun

Audra (she/her) is Head of Special Collections & Archives and University Archivist at the University of California, Irvine, where she provides leadership and vision for a team of nine librarians and staff. She has a demonstrated history of organizational leadership, inclusive facilitation, and team building. Her research areas include archival technical services, community-centered archives, and feminist leadership. Audra earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in archival studies (with a portfolio thesis on community archives) from UCLA and a BA in Literature and Critical Theory as well as a certificate in Information Science & Information Studies from Duke University. Audra was recognized as an Emerging Leader by the American Library Association in 2009 and participated in the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute. She has been a member of the Society of American Archivists since 2008 and was elected to serve on the SAA Council from 2017 to 2020, including a year on the Executive Committee. She is a coauthor of “Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries” (2012; 2020) as well as a contributor to the 2019 Statement of Principles for Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS). Audra is the editor of Archival Accessioning (SAA, 2021) and is part of a working group to develop national best practices for archival accessioning in the United States. She was the Principal Investigator for “Transforming Knowledge, Transforming Libraries,” a $500,000 research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with quantitative and qualitative findings that articulated how participatory, student-centered approaches in building community-centered archives can transform engagement between ethnic studies, community-based archives, and libraries. She is the Principal Investigator for “Community-Centered Archives Practice: Transforming Education, Archives, and Community History,” a $800,000 Public Knowledge grant from the Mellon Foundation to cultivate commitment among higher education institutions to community-centered archives approaches, solidifying the ability and responsibility of academic libraries to engage critically and contribute to social justice-focused scholarship, training, pedagogy, and partnerships in their communities.

ALI Assistants

Audrey Cruey

Audrey (she/her) is a fourth-year English and Religious Studies double major at the University of Virginia. Besides writing a Distinguished Majors’ thesis on witchcraft in African and African diaspora literature, she serves as the President of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at UVA and the American Sign Language (ASL) Assistant at Shea House. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, trying new coffee/tea shops, and reading. After graduation in May, she will join the Peace Corps as a Deaf Educator in Kenya. Audrey is beyond excited to help out with the 2024 Archives Leadership Institute, and she cannot wait to meet the cohort!

Amy Zapata

Amy (she/they) is a current fourth-year History major at the University of Virginia, writing a Distinguished Majors’ thesis under the History program. Outside of her studies, she is the Chapter President for the Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. on Grounds. Also, she loves to read, take Polaroid photos with friends, try new places to eat around Charlottesville, and play with her dogs (Zeus and Zuko, two frenchies!). She is from Yonkers, New York, and hopes to attend a graduate program to obtain her master’s degree in Museum Studies. Amy is over the moon to have this opportunity to help out with the 2024 Archives Leadership Institute!