MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Meet Nicky Smith – Accredited in U.S. Great Lakes

We would like to introduce you to Nicky Smith, AG®, who recently earned her accreditation in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

We asked Nicky a few questions about her accreditation process, area of accreditation, and advice for those seeking accreditation. Here is what she shared with us.

What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the National Genealogical Society Conference in Salt Lake City.  I learned about the accreditation process and knew I wanted to challenge myself to work at those high standards. I knew I wasn’t at that level, and I dove into learning the proper way to research.  

What are some challenging or unique aspects of researching in your area of accreditation?

Choosing the Great Lakes Region was a no-brainer for me.  I love the history of the area–especially Ohio. Ohio is a major crossroad of pioneers early in the United States history.  With so many different groups moving into or through Ohio, there is always something wonderful to find.  

What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

Many people who heard I was pursuing accreditation asked me which college program I attended.  Although I have a BA in English Literature, I have relied on webinars, conferences and institutes to prepare for accreditation.

Several years ago, I found a group of other individuals pursuing accreditation and they have been a wonderful support system.  For those looking into accreditation, I would suggest:

  • Participating in an ICAPGen Study Group!  The ICAPGen Study Group leaders and mentors give individualized attention and help you refine one generation of your Level 1 project and help you prepare for the Level 2 & 3 testing process.  
  • Finding at least two people to review your Level 1.  A researcher in your area of accreditation and a researcher outside your area of accreditation–both will help you identify areas you can improve your report from different perspectives.

When did you receive your accreditation? What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?

I received my AG on 11 February 2020.  Now that I am officially an Accredited Genealogist, I find myself in that strange transition stage.  For now, I will continue working with the ICAPGen Study Groups, and the BYU Family History Library Training Committee.  I also hope to volunteer more with ICAPGen, and would love to become a presenter at conferences like the BYU Family History Conference.  (I’ll dream bigger like RootsTech in a few years.)  

Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?

Melody Diasson, AG (Southeastern Region of the United States) and I will be presenting a webinar on May 5th for the Utah Genealogical Society ProTalk series on “The Benefits of Participating in an ICAPGen Study Group.”  I’m really excited for this opportunity and all the other opportunities being an Accredited Genealogist will bring! 

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