Welcome to our New Staff!

Lauren Katz News and Events

Over the past few months, the Utah State Archives staff have been sifting through resumes and conducting interviews in order to grow our team! After a competitive and insightful process, we are happy to introduce our new USHRAB (Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board) Executive Secretary and Local Government Archivist and new Reformatting Specialist. Let’s get to know them….

Genesie Miller, USHRAB Executive Secretary and Local Government Archivist

Portrait of Genesie Miller

What will you be working on in your new role with the State Archives?

“As the new USHRAB Executive Secretary and Local Government archivist, I’m part of the team that manages our federal grants from the National Historic Publications and Record Commission. We use these funds to support programming such as October’s Archives Month, the Archivist Circuit Rider Program, and our own grant programs that support local cultural heritage institutions in preserving documents in their collections. I’m also learning the ropes of archiving records in our collection to help the Local Government Team accession and preserve Utah’s historical records.”

What is your background and how did you end up working at the State Archives?

“My background comes from my research experience as a Ph.D candidate in Japanese Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my work as a fact-checker, reference editor, and illustrations assistant at the History of Cartography Project at UW-Madison. As I neared completion of my degree, I was searching for a career that would combine my skills as a researcher and editor, but also allow me to do public outreach. When I saw the job post for the position of USHRAB Executive Secretary, it had that magical combination of research, writing, and public outreach that I had been looking for. Also, I could tell from the interviews that the Archives and Records Service is staffed with kind people and has the positive “vibe” I was looking for in a post-Ph.D career!”

What are you most excited for?

“In general, I am excited to help facilitate projects that get the public involved in thinking about and preserving history. In particular, I want to expand our outreach to BIPOC cultural heritage institutions even further and highlight projects that preserve Utah’s diverse history. I intend to work with the Utah Division of Indian Affairs to make sure our grant program is accessible to the many indigenous groups that have cultural heritage in Utah.”

Any special hobbies/talents that you want to share? 

Well, I know modern and classical Japanese, which I think is pretty cool. I use those skills to translate comic books and comic poetry from the 1600s to the 1860s. I also have a knack for trivia, and prior to COVID I used to compete in team trivia contests.

Leif Johnson, Reformatting Specialist

Portrait of Leif Johnson

What will you be working on in your new role with the State Archives?

With the job title of Archivist I, I help the Reformatting Team with reformatting requests and projects. I process, scan, photograph and digitize records from mediums such as microfilm, microfiche, audograph, paper record, etc.

What is your background and how did you end up working at the State Archives?

I was the A/V Coordinator at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library. I created Digital Operations’ A/V transfer procedures for 16mm film, audiocassette, reel to reel, U-matic tape, betacam and many other formats. I also developed a 360 degree photography system to capture historical artifacts.

Additionally, I was the Editor of the Digital Archive for the American Film Institute. I curated their massive archive of filmmaker histories and helped locate and edit video to be used in all of their yearly events from AFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award to AFI Fest and AFI Docs.

What are you most excited about your new job?

I love learning about old analog formats I am unfamiliar with. As such, I am most excited to work more with the audographs in our archive.

Any special hobbies/talents that you want to share? 

I have a broad list of talents and experiences that including Screenwriting (I have won over 15 writing awards), filmmaking (I briefly worked with Sam Raimi and the producer of Disney’s Enchanted and Disenchanted) and drawing comic book art. I also produce a podcast called The Popcorn Isn’t Real. We dive deep into strange fan theories from various movies (much like the documentary Room 237). Sometimes we even interview one of the filmmakers to hear their reaction to the theories that surround their movies. We have interviewed filmmakers such as Joseph Kosinski (Director of Top Gun: Maverick), Michael Miner (creator of Robocop), Michael Ferris (writer of Terminator 3 and 4), Jack Epps Jr (writer of Top Gun) and many more. We’re on all podcast platforms and our website is thepopcornisntreal.com.