Mastalio Project Manager

Mastalio Project Manager

For Christine Mastalio, working on the “Women’s Suffrage in Iowa” digital project was a source of personal inspiration as well as practical experience. Mastalio (May 2011) served as project manager for an online exhibit and digital collection, both created by the Iowa Women’s Archives with funding from the State Historical Society, Inc.

Mastalio is particularly pleased that the exhibit contains material from ordinary Iowans involved in the movement as well as historically recognized suffragists. She discovered that “Iowa women were very involved in the suffrage movement, which I hadn’t realized before I started.”

Overseeing the process from the ground up provided a useful range of experience: hiring a student worker, selecting material to be scanned, researching and writing the text for the exhibit and collaborating on the design.

The quest for appropriate technology also presented challenges. “Most other sites used Flash, which doesn’t work well on iPads and similar devices. The concern was to make the exhibit as compatible as possible with the widest variety of devices.” Mastalio worked with Applications & Web Services Librarian Linda Roth to realize the vision for the exhibit.

In her course on Organization Management, Mastalio arrived at an understanding of “how to manage a project and be a leader in the workplace.” She also discovered the importance of communication and coordination with different departments collaborating on the project. “You have to be really organized and clear with all contributors.”

“The other thing I learned from the suffragists is perseverance through failure. This movement lasted 70 years. The Iowa State Legislature kept breaking promises, but the women never gave up.”

Publicity efforts for the exhibit are continuing through the summer. Anyone interested in learning more about the project should contact the Iowa Women’s Archives. Current SLIS student Kayla Pollock also worked on the exhibit as project assistant.