Past SEIs

Thinking about SEI, but not sure?
Read about the experience from past participants!

Feedback from Students


“Through the generous support of a Kress Foundation scholarship, I had the privilege of attending SEI while I was pursuing my MLS. SEI provided me with a supportive and accessible environment to ask questions, connect with new colleagues from around the country, and learn about the many career possibilities in visual resource management as well as within the greater LIS field. I gained a lot of clarity around my own interests, and was able to hone in on the areas of specialization that I further wanted to pursue.”

“It was great! Well-organized, information-packed, with amazing instructors. Well worth my time and money.”

“I thought SEI was an extremely valuable experience for me. I had been fretting about going digital for a long time. This really helped to put things in context. It also made me realize that I actually knew more than I thought I did, which was a confidence builder. I am now working with my ITS on a small-scale digital project and applying what I’ve learned. Many thanks to everyone involved.”

“Since I am new to the profession, this was an exceptional way to get acquainted with the issues facing the profession. I would look forward to an advanced program with more detailed programs (advanced cataloging, etc.).”

“I want to thank you for the great SEI. I am grateful that the VRA/ARLIS makes this opportunity available. The speakers were awesome and the JMU campus is lovely. Thanks for organizing the material in the binder. As a current student, though much of it was over my head, I learned a lot… It is also helpful just to hear the questions and problems that “those in the know” are dealing with. I hope to attend again in the future when I have something to apply this information to.”

Testimonials from Alums

“I attended SEI as a student in 2005 and ten years later I am an instructor. I think that speaks volumes about the program. Back then Digital Preservation was not part of the curriculum. Today it is the foundation of so much of what we do. I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the evolution of our field and look forward to sharing my experiences with students.”

Nicole Finzer, SEI 2005 Participant
Visual Resources Librarian, Digital Collections, Northwestern University Library

“SEI was a very rewarding experience, even for a “seasoned” librarian like myself. The comprehensive curriculum and knowledgeable instructors recharged my professional battery while providing me with a renewed sense of confidence in a work environment of ever-evolving challenges and responsibilities. I recommend SEI to anyone seeking a thorough and up-to-date understanding of visual resource management. Best wishes for another successful SEI!”

Steven Kowalik, SEI 2013 Participant
Art and Visual Resources Librarian
Hunter College

moloneysmall“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the inaugural SEI class of 2004 at Duke University.  My position in the museum was to chart unknown territory and create best practices for the increasingly important work of the museum; creating and managing digital surrogates of art from our permanent collection.  SEI gave me the tools to do that and so much more.  From that week countless conversations and meetings have come about, thousands of digital images have been shared, and a better understanding of our institutional strategy has been established. My former supervisor, a long-time member of ARLIS, insisted that I attend this session because of the professional respect he had for the planning and implementation team. He felt that they would hand me the tools I needed to get the job done and establish a career-long network of mentors and helpers that would guide me and he was absolutely right! If you need help with project management, SEI is the place for you.”

Katherine Moloney, SEI 2004 Participant
Teaching Resources Coordinator
Amon Carter Museum of American Art

“SEI was an amazing experience that has influenced my work jenKnieschin the present and will continue to do so in the future. I learned from specialists that understood participants’ technological, managerial, and institutional issues. Instructors incorporated hands-on training that was usable and authoritative. The entire institute went swiftly, smoothly and was jam-packed with events that included trips to local cultural institutions, which made networking fun and easy. I am looking forward to attending SEI again, in order to refresh my knowledge with the most up-to-date information about all the subjects covered by SEI: cataloguing, image editing, transitioning skills, project planning, strategic planning, new social media platforms and applications, and intellectual property concerns.”

Jennifer Kniesch, SEI 2011 Participant
Visual Resources Librarian
Art and Art History Department
Dickinson College

“I attended SEI soon after starting in my first VR position. It provided an incredible opportunity to refresh and update my skills, hearing about current best practices from respected professionals and doing hands-on activities with peers. I returned with a long list of things I could put in place right away and an even longer list to keep in mind for the future.”

Bridget Madden, SEI 2013 Participant
Associate Director
Visual Resources Center
University of Chicago

AdrianaStephenson“I cannot reiterate how important the Summer Educational Institute (SEI) was to my career during my first year as a visual resources curator.  Transitioning from a traditional art history background into the world of visual resources was both demanding and challenging as I found myself required to build an entirely new foundation of specialized knowledge and training.  The SEI coursework proved to be exactly what I needed: the perfect balance of theoretical framework, practical application, and open communication between like-minded individuals.  A year later I realize that the benefits of SEI are more than just building solid technical skills and increasing professional development, it’s about forging relationships with other professionals who are generous, thoughtful, and motivating.  I took so much away from my first SEI experience its no wonder that I’m thrilled to be attending again this year.”

Adrianna Stephenson, SEI 2011 Participant
Head, Visual Resources Library
Southern Methodist University