Sunday, February 7, 2021

UGA Distinguished Service Award to Kelly Summers

The UGA Distinguished service award “is granted for outstanding service to the Association.” At the SLIG 2021 banquet, this award was presented to UGA’s current president: Kelly Summers.

Kelly has been a stalwart leader and advocate for UGA. In her role she has sought to participate in, enhance, and bring forward new UGA programs and educational opportunities. Kelly has championed better compensation to our webinar presenters and Crossroad’s magazine contributors. She envisioned and developed a new webinar series for aspiring professional genealogists, the Genealogy ProTalk webinar is now one of UGA’s month offerings. Under her leadership the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy has continued to grow and offer more expansive advanced education opportunities, including Kelly’s recent coordination of the Chinese Ancestry course.

Kelly has served on the executive committee for the past 5 years and has been president of UGA for the past 4 years. During her time, we have seen immense growth in membership and offerings. She has also demonstrated quality leadership and sound judgement. She has counseled with and guided the UGA board through tough discussions and challenging decisions and helped us to enhance the goal of offering premier genealogical education.

Beyond UGA, Kelly is an Accredited Genealogist through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists in the US Midwestern, US Pacific, Mexico, and Spain regions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Family and Community History from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from the University of Utah. Kelly designs curriculum and teaches university courses at Brigham Young University and Salt Lake Community College. Kelly continues to support genealogy education inside and out of UGA, and the board of directors is honored to grant her this distinguished award.


UGA Awards FUGA to Angela Packer McGhie

The UGA Fellow recognizes one “whose distinguished contributions and on-going commitment to the field of Genealogy are of national or international scope, this award may be evidenced by any combination of publications, teaching, and speaking, or the leadership of major genealogical organizations over a significant period of time.”In addition to these strictly outlined qualifications, the UGA Board of Directors felt strongly about this year’s Fellow for another reason. The slogan, “Premier Genealogical Education,” utilized by UGA, demonstrates our core values and goals as a society. Many of you have been recipients of these efforts, none more clearly than the students who have attended SLIG these past few weeks. Our Fellow this year is someone who has been an ally in these goals and contributed tirelessly in her career to uphold and promote the ideals of “Premier Genealogical Education” in her every effort. The UGA Board of Directors is pleased to award the UGA Fellow to Angela Packer McGhie.

Angela has a passion for teaching genealogy. She has been a continued partner with UGA in these efforts for many years, having presented for UGA Webinars, coordinated and instructed for SLIG, and served on the advisory committee. In 2011, Angela changed the SLIG experience by pioneering and coordinating the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum which will run for its tenth consecutive year this fall. In 2018, the Practicum became the first virtual SLIG course, again steering a new path for both SLIG and UGA to bring quality education to genealogists everywhere. Angela also coordinates The Art of Writing Research Reports course for SLIG Academy.

Beyond UGA, Angela’s efforts to support genealogical education have reached across our community. She coordinates additional courses for the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, instructs at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, and speaks numerous national and regional conferences.

Angela is known for her leadership in educational programs. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Group from 2010 to 2016 and continues to serve on the board of directors. She is now the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society, the vice president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, trustee for the BCG Education Fund, and is past President of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Angela has truly dedicated herself to the cause of genealogical education and her years of effort and service have changed the face of education in our community. Her actions and energy in promoting these goals reflect not only excellent genealogical work but have been done with a sense of service, deep humility, and a kindness of spirit. She has been a champion of quality, obtainable programs that have enhanced the skills, lives, and research of myriads of genealogists. We are proud to award her the Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association.


UGA Awards Silver Tray to Elizabeth Shown Mills


The Silver Tray honors “Scholarly Contributions to the field of Genealogy” and “has traditionally been given for publication efforts.”

This year's Silver Tray award was given to honor someone who has touched our field, genealogy education and standards, and publication efforts in profound ways: Elizabeth Shown Mills.

If we outlined everything that Elizabeth has accomplished in her distinguished career, we would be reading for days. The number of honors and awards she has received is astounding, and every one of them well deserved. Elizabeth is a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Fellow of the National Genealogical Society, and was awarded the Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association in 1990.

She is the author and editor of several books, including Evidence Explained, Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors Lecturers, and Librarians, and Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. Her articles have appeared in the most notable genealogy publications of our time: National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The Virginia Genealogist, OnBoard, The American Genealogist, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and more. And in giving this award, we should also recognize 16 years of dedicated service as the editor of National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Even beyond traditional authorship and publishing, Elizabeth’s efforts to educate and empower our community have extended to videos, study aids, online lessons, social media engagement,  and blogging. In fact, it is these extra efforts that place Elizabeth above and beyond in our field and inspired us to honor her with this award today. It demonstrates a desire to not just teach, but to establish a conversation and lead others to new heights in meaningful and interactive ways. In teaching us about the “FAN club” she has created her own “FAN club” that spans the width and breadth of our field.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for your contributions to our field!

UGA Chapter Service Award to Zachary Hamilton

Zachary is the owner of Briick Family Research. A specialist in Southern US research and military records, Zachary has worked for and contracted with some of the leading genealogy companies in the world, including and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Zachary holds a BA in History and an AAS in Office Management. Zachary has also been a contributing researcher to the Emmy-nominated television series, Who Do You Think You Are?

The Chapter Service Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to or for a UGA chapter. The award was created in 1999, and has been given only eight times since. This year we were pleased to honor Zachary Hamilton, who has dedicated countless hours to ensuring the success of our UGA local chapters, Zachary Hamilton.

Zachary spearheaded the renewal of the Salt Lake City Chapter and grew it from a few periodic attendees to a thriving community that met monthly at the Family History Library. After serving for a year as Salt Lake City Chapter President, he was elected to the UGA Board of Directors and became co-chair of the Chapter Support Committee. Zachary designed an annual multi-chapter event which is now held every November, and has assisted the individual chapters in marketing, technical support, training, acquiring speakers, budgeting, and other activities. His service has been invaluable, especially as we have transitioned to holding chapter meetings online during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In addition to his research experience, Zachary is a lecturer at regional conferences across the country, including RootsTech and has been a guest speaker for genealogy courses at Brigham Young University - Idaho and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Zachary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Utah Genealogical Association and as Registrar for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Zachary is a member of the Utah Genealogical Association and Association of Professional Genealogists.

We are pleased to honor Zachary for his dedication to our UGA chapters.




Friday, February 5, 2021

The Folks Behind the Scenes at SLIG

It takes a village to run a program. Or something like that :) 

These are the folks behind the scenes at SLIG 2021: committee members that work year-round, some who join in the fun for the last few months or weeks, and the on-site tech support team.

Each and every one played a key role in making this year's program a success! As we wrap-up SLIG 2021 and move toward the Academy for Professionals, we need to pause a moment to say


It was a small core group this virtual year:

  • Cinda Baxter, Virtual Technical Coordinator
  • Zachary Hamilton, Registrar
  • Mary Kathryn Kozy, Syllabus Coordinator and Website/Database Manager
  • Cheri Hudson Passey, Marketing

Which was expanded in December and January:

  • Liz Miller, "Gal Friday"
  • Amberly Beck, Photographer
  • Sue Petersen, Hospitality (this year that meant stuffing and labeling and shipping!)
  • Sherri Hessick, Dropbox support

We were also supported by members of the UGA Board:

  • Whitney Tolman, UGA Administrator (year-round keeper of membership and funds)
  • Tristan Tolman, UGA Tech Support Team
  • Gerhard Ruf, UGA Tech Support Team
  • Peggy Lauritzen, UGA Tech Support Team
SLIG would not be SLIG without each one of them passionately caring for the outcome of this educational experience.

Photo above:
Front row, left to right: Peg Ivanyo, Cinda Baxter, Zachary Hamilton, Mary Kathryn Kozy, Cheri Passey
Second row, l to r: Liz Miller, Amberly Beck, Whitney Tolman, Sue Petersen
Third row, l to r: Tristan Tolman, Gerhard Ruf, "Miss Peggy" Lauritzen, Sherri Hessick