Alumni: We are everywhere!
Adriana Widdoes (OHSS Intensive 2016): I am an LA-based writer exploring nonfiction narrative at various stages of blurring through text, video, audio, and photographic works. In 2014 I earned my MFA in Writing and Integrated Media from California Institute of Arts, where I concentrated in Documentary Strategies.. After receiving my MFA, I co-founded Which Witch L.A., a fem-focused publishing project interested in community building around printed matter, collaborative works, and curated events. Which Witch seeks to explore the complex (and at times contradictory) intersectional definitions of female, feminine, and feminist as a sustained investigation throughout our publishing practice and recently presented “How Are You Feeling Today?” — a non-monetary and communal self-care exchange in collaboration with the Women’s Center for Creative Work at the 2016 L.A. Art Book Fair. Some of my other areas of interest include: alternative archives, informal economies/modes of exchange, ritual, failed communes, cults, illness and recovery narratives, institutionalization, generational trauma, testimony, and foster care.
Alanna Medlock (OHWS Radio 2015): I’ve worked as an actor, singer and collaborator for over 20 years on ensemble-generated, script-based and “devised” theater projects, and am interested in telling stories about the lives of artists and creative process. I’ve also done some voiceover work for theater, ad spots and radio plays. I’m pretty new to radio production, but I got my feet wet with Radio Boot Camp at Union Docs, and found that I was excited by the editing process in particular. I’m usually making a living doing some combination of copy editing, writing, bookkeeping and web communications for small businesses, and I have a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Acting from Columbia University. As I learn more about oral history and storytelling, I’d like to explore playful ways of combining documentation and art-making. In my free time I enjoy hiking, exploring offbeat art spaces and finding opportunities to sing harmonies, preferably around a fire with bourbon. I currently divide my time between Saugerties, NY and NYC.
Alex Chouinard (OHSS Intensive 2019) I have a B.A. in English & Canadian Studies, a diploma in Assaulted Women's Advocacy and Counselling, and have been lucky to learn from great professors, elders, coworkers, captains and community members. I've worked as a researcher, arts facilitator, barista, and frontline social worker in mostly Toronto. Emotional about radio, place-based narratives and country music.
Alexandra Kendall (OHSS Intensive 2012) works in the field of international development and human rights. Most recently, she has worked as a policy analyst for Congress, providing analysis on issues related to international development, global health, gender-based violence, and post-conflict and post-disaster reconstruction efforts. She has also worked on programs related to women’s health, HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, human trafficking, and youth education in Haiti, Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, and Cambodia. She has a Masters in International Relations from Yale University. She is interested in approaching international development from a human rights-based perspective, and hopes to explore oral history as a tool for supporting the meaningful inclusion of local voices in the international development process.
Alice Goldfarb (OHSS Intensive 2019) Alice Goldfarb is a master's student in the Media Studies department at the New School. She is about to begin her final year, and will be focused on writing a thesis about the postal service in the United States, especially in rural areas. Part of her excitement about studying the post office is being able to tell stories about women working. Previously, she did map making, data analysis and visualization work at NPR, after having been a flight instructor, taught at a progressive high school, and studied physics and mathematics. During this upcoming time of academic concentration, undistracted by working in another city, Goldfarb hopes to also spend time on making maps and mail art.
Alice Kim (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a writer, activist, educator and cultural organizer. She is a co-founder of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and the Editor of Praxis Center, an online resource center hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. Alice also teaches at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum security prison for men, through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project and has taught Gender and Women's Studies courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is currently curating an exhibit, Freedom Dreams in the Age of Mass Incarceration, at UIC Social Justice Initiative's Pop Up Just Art Gallery inspired by the students who took part in her class at Stateville last fall. She was previously the director of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and a national organizer with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.
Alice Kim (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a writer, activist, educator and cultural organizer. She is a co-founder of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and the Editor of Praxis Center, an online resource center hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. Alice also teaches at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum security prison for men, through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project and has taught Gender and Women's Studies courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is currently curating an exhibit, Freedom Dreams in the Age of Mass Incarceration, at UIC Social Justice Initiative's Pop Up Just Art Gallery inspired by the students who took part in her class at Stateville last fall. She was previously the director of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and a national organizer with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.
Alicia Aroche (OHSS Intensive 2018) is a writer and community-based participatory researcher, interested in using the power of storytelling and narrative to give voice to social justice issues, among marginalized communities, and facilitate community-driven solutions. Her writing and communications career led her to film production, where she performed story analysis and development for a studio run by Emmy-Award Winning actor Tim Reid; as well as feature writing published by the Hurston Wright Foundation, Style Weekly, the Richmond Free Press, and various blogs. Her interview subjects have included the 2008 recipient of the U. S. State Department of State International Woman of Courage of Award, for her work on Violence Against Women with impunity in Central America. Recently, her short film on human trafficking, “Empty Chair,” was selected for screening at the New York Short Film festival, as well as selected for the 2018 Oral History Association Conference, being held in Montreal this fall. Alicia also consulted on a community-based participatory oral history project “Unsung Heroes: Together we Rise” that chronicles the experiences of several African-Americans who were the first to attend integrated schools in their community in the Northside of Richmond Virginia. Within her work with community-based participatory research work, she has served as a co-investigator on projects examining social determinants of health, such as education, built environment, mental health and community cohesion within low-wealth, high poverty communities of color. She currently works at the School of Medicine, at Virginia Commonwealth University, in the Center on Society and Health. Alicia has an undergraduate degree in mass communications and a master’s degree in education, with a focus on action learning and research. She is based in Richmond, Virginia.
Alicia Lochard (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a doctoral student in the department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, with research interests in Black women's history, feminisms, and poetry. She is developing an oral history project that explores motherhood, and women's experiences of kinship and intimacy across the African diaspora.
Aliza Becker (OHSS Intensive 2014, Project Lab 2014, Oral History & Writing 2019) Aliza Becker has founded two oral history collections: The American Jewish Peace Archive, which documents 50 years of Middle East peace activism and The Meanings of October 27th: Reflections by Pittsburghers on the 2018 Synagogue Shooting. Becker received her initial oral history training at the Oral History Summer School. She previously worked as an immigration advocate for 20 years and a Middle East peace advocate for 10 years.
Allie Fischgrund (OHSS Intensive 2019) I am a recent graduate of the University of Rochester with a degree in anthropology. My interest in oral history was piqued when I lived/studied in Cuba for a semester, speaking with people of different generations about their experiences in/with Cuba and more particularly, with the revolution and government. I returned to school and got involved with the Rochester Decarceration Research Initiative, traveling to the town of Attica to conduct interviews with people to find out about their experiences, both directly and indirectly related to the prison, and continued research and interviews in the city of Rochester thereafter. I am interested in preserving stories and memories of those who have struggled for autonomy and dignity, and am excited to gain experience in oral history, using this opportunity as a jumping-off point for my further professional/personal endeavors.
Allison Schein (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is the Archive Manager for the Studs Terkel Radio Archive and Archivist at the Creative Audio Archive in Chicago. She holds her Master’s degree from Dominican University in Library and Information Science where her focus was access, advocacy, and reference; and she became a certified archivist in 2013. She organizes several outreach events in the Chicago area that bridge musicians, community archives and scholars that continue the conversation surrounding advocacy and access through her work with the Creative Audio Archive. In addition, she is connecting youth to the Studs Terkel Radio Archive by inviting them to add their own narrative to the original programming. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Young Mazzuchelli Model award.
Allyson Strafella (OHSS Intensive 2015) has been making drawings with a typewriter for nearly 23 years. She has been an avid listener of stories, especially after working with adults with chronic schizophrenia. She has also worked at a farm in Columbia County, and appreciates the many ways that being an artist has put her in contact with a wide variety of people.
Amanda Littauer (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016): I am an assistant professor of History and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Northern Illinois University. I earned my PhD from UC Berkeley, where I was introduced to oral history as an interviewer for the Rosie the Riveter Memorial Project in the city of Richmond. My teaching and research interests include gender, sexuality, race, youth, and social justice in US history, as well as feminist and queer theory. My first book, Bad Girls: Young Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties, was published in 2015. I argue in the book that transgressive sexual attitudes and practices among teen girls and young women in the 1940s and '50s catalyzed the sexual revolution that we usually associate with the years after 1968. My current research focuses on queer youth histories between 1940 and 1980, including the experiences of youth in liberation movements. Oral history interviewing will be central to this project, which I hope ultimately to publish both as a scholarly book and also in formats targeted to young adult audiences.
Amy Anselmo (Radio 2014): I have been using a short form of oral history and interview for a project I work with called Threshold Collaborative. I have also taught a few workshops in storygathering and editing. I am very interested in combining story/sound with art and photography. Public art installations and other creative ways of getting stories out in public are very intriguing to me. I have conducted a lot of interviews with Threshold Collaborative. My first project, entitled “Conversations with Farm Women” focused on gathering stories with women farmers. That project led to a job gathering stories around food access/food justice with Wholesome Wave and most recently I was involved a great project with high school students called “a picture is worth…” I also helped design a storygathering toolkit for Threshold Collaborative, which is a sort of guide to oral history technique, equipment ethics and resources.
Amy Taylor (OHWS Family 2015): I am a licensed psychologist working with individuals, couples, and families in Western Massachusetts and a graduate of Duquesne University’s clinical psychology program and Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research in Pittsburgh. In my work as a psychotherapist, I am immersed in cultural, communal, familial, and individual developmental narratives. I study how context informs identity, and my research involves investigating how people develop narratives (and invoke technologies and use relationships) in ongoing efforts to (re) embody and adaptively live their bodies throughout life. I am interested in learning more about how one derives a sense of oneself from one’s family context, including the very earliest sense of oneself via bodily contact and holding/ handling from caretaking others, which I hope will help me develop my thinking about how bodily encounters and experiences continue to be a primary source of identity throughout life. I joined OHWS both to engage in learning which will deepen my work as a collaborator with other embodied subjects engaged in narrating their ways into their lives, and as an autoethnographic encounter, to continue my own project of self-narration and bringing my context into consciousness.
Ana Malagon (Oral History & Writing 2019) I have worked as a physicist and software engineer, and have always treasured oral traditions and learning through stories. I am interested in formulating questions to probe my own family history (refugees from Hungary, immigrants from the Dominican Republic) and learning how to help people who have a hard time putting their histories into words.
Andrea Friedman (OHSS Intensive 2017): I am a professor of History and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. I am currently working on several collaborative projects to document the queer past in the St. Louis region, especially the relationship between sexuality and segregation. These include a historical GIS map and a service learning course in which my students will be working with the grassroots St. Louis LGBT History project to build an expanded archive. I'm new to oral history and very excited to stretch my own skills and bring its methods to these projects, that we hope will contribute to more diverse and inclusive histories.
Andrew Leland (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) is the host and producer of the Organist (kcrw.com/theorganist), an arts and culture podcast from KCRW and the Believer magazine. He recently received a commission to produce a series of audio essays about vision loss for the magazine Triple Canopy. He works as a lecturer in English at Smith College and teaches in the Journalism department at UMass-Amherst. His website is (or will be) andrewleland.org.
Andy Marquis (OHSS Intensive 2018, Oral History and Writing 2019): Originally, I trained to be an astronomer. I studied star formation in the early universe. Almost on a lark, I decided to tutor some kids in math at a library. That experience blew my mind, so I became a public school teacher. I have considered myself a teacher ever since. Increasingly, though, I split my time between several different projects: a curriculum reform initiative, an inmate education initiative, a philosophy summer camp, coaching kids, pushing back against the woe of rampant intellectualism in academic philosophy---and also putting equipment in boxes and shipping those boxes across the country for a cool eighteen bucks an hour. My spirit animals are Nietzsche, Arendt, and Heidegger, even though he was a Nazi. In the future, I want to explore possible connections between oral history methodology and what William Connolly calls ‘relational self-artistry’. I think liberal modernity might be a Faustian bargain, and I hope to spend the rest of my career meaning-making with students in public schools.
Angela DiBattiste (Archive 2013) Unfortunately since graduating college I have been less involved in Oral History endeavors. While I was fortunate enough to find a full-time position as a Assistant Pre-K Teacher, I hadn’t, and still don’t really imagine continuing my education in traditional (primary) education. It is important to note, however, that my life hasn’t been completely void of Oral History. Over the past couple months I have been able to transcribe a few interviews as a volunteer for a recent exhibition at the Philadelphia Folklore Project, titled “Honoring Ancestors of Rhythm, Movement and Place,” as well as run a semi-successful weekly workshop about Oral History for displaced youth in Philadelphia at the Youth Health Empowerment Project. More recently I have tried to get involved with pubic radio at WHYY and explore radio as a channel for Oral History.
Angelica Clarke (C&C 2015) recently became the Executive Director of the Albany Social Justice Center, which is an activist resource center, info-shop and office with a variety of member organizations. Her organizing focus is on ending state violence through community empowerment, specifically police brutality, prisons and poverty.
Anita Hecht (Radio 2014): I’ve been a life long student, mostly in the humanities and languages, earning degrees in History (1987, UW-Madison) and Clinical Social Work (1993). Among other things, I’ve worked an as ESL teacher abroad, a licensed psychotherapist in Wisconsin, and a yoga teacher long before the days it was hip. I cut my oral history teeth in 1995, interviewing Holocaust survivors on videotape (old fashioned Betacam SP) with Steven Spielberg’s Visual History Foundation of the Shoah. This experience led me back to Mexico City to my own roots as a granddaughter of Holocaust refugees. Serendipitously, it also led me to my future career. I got my first personal history contract in 1996 writing the memoir of a famous Mexican philanthropist. In 1997, I formally began Life History Services, an oral and personal history production company. My work includes both writing memoirs, and producing audio, video, and multimedia archives for individuals and families. Another large part of my work is producing larger oral history archives for state institutions, historical societies, communities, and organizations (businesses, congregations, synagogues.) Currently, I am working for the University of Wisconsin on a political oral history archive of Wisconsin Congressman David R. Obey. I’m also producing an oral history archive for New York State Archives on the last fifty years of Federal Education Policy.
Anita Rivera (Oral History & Writing 2019) I am a Bronx native who has worked as an educator in New York City and Westchester for 22 years. I have an MA from Teachers College at Columbia University, and I teach English, ESL, and AVID at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, NY. As an AVID teacher, I mentor students from underserved communities, so they can access higher education. I use storytelling to develop resiliency and counter the social alienation that my students experience because of poverty, segregation and their absorption into virtual worlds. My work with oral history has evolved from having adolescents write and tell their own coming of age stories to interviewing family members and bridging the intergenerational gap. Students have learned about their parents’ experiences with abandonment and homelessness, a grandfather’s journey around the world as a 16-year-old merchant marine, the story of a poor and fatherless farm boy with limited prospects who turned one game into a pro football career, and the story of a young mother’s last day with her child before she emigrated to the United States. Oral history work is alive and involves students in observation and action, which are the enemies of intolerance and indifference.
Anita Simansky (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) Anita retired this year after 34 years as a teacher and counselor in the public schools, beginning in MIlwaukee, WI and ending in Madison, where she still lives. She has been a peace and justice activist since her early teens, during the Vietnam War. In recent years, Anita’s activism has focused mainly on education, racism and labor struggles. She is currently part of a team that is planning and organizing Madison’s first Black Lives Matter National Week of Action in the Schools. Anita’s work in schools gave her the opportunity to know students and families of a wide range of backgrounds, and to hear countless stories of their struggles, traumas and triumphs. She has been lifted up, over and over again, by their creativity, love and insight, as well as the sheer hard work and persistence it often takes to survive in this world. These stories, combined with her own family history as granddaughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and her belief that knowing history is crucial to understanding our present circumstances, have brought her to this oral history training. She wants to help collect the deeper, personal stories and perspectives of those affected by recent incidents of anti-semitism, from Pittsburgh to Baraboo, Wi. She is especially interested in the role of allies standing up to this and other forms of white supremacy. She hopes documenting these stories will provide an invaluable resource for reflection and understanding in the future. Anita is also excited to be back near the Catskill mountains for this training, as this is where she fell in love with nature, as a young child growing up in NYC, who got to escape to the “country” in the summer.
Anna Gurton-Wachter (OHSS Intensive 2016) is an archivist, editor and writer. She works full time as the sole archivist for The Keith Haring Foundation. In other parts of her life she is a co-editor and bookmaker of poetry chapbooks with DoubleCross Press. Her own writing has been published by Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, The Brooklyn Rail, Publication Studio, The Organism for Poetic Research and more. She is interested in film, history, waste, science fiction, hoarding, art and material culture. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Anna Levy (C&C 2015): For seven years, I have been involved in historical memory, inter-generational dialogue, and oral history and human rights initiatives. I've mostly worked on questions of inherited historical memory (memories people have about experiences they did not live through) after collective trauma, transition, or exile -- and how different symbols, traditions (including music) speak to those memories in ways that is invisible or unclear to others. This work has manifest in US foreign policy legacies, in Palestine-Israel, in Central America and first nations in the United States. I completed a Master's degree in public policy and international development, only to complete fieldwork courses in Oral History at Columbia University's Oral History Master's program. My full-time work has been focused on various facets of policy related to poverty, innovation, surveillance, political rights, and urban planning. I have designed and facilitated more than ten experiential education exchanges in the US and overseas. My work and living experience extends from Jordan to Nicaragua to Kenya to the Philippines. I am most interested in political and economic transitions, the role of stories across generations, and how these different stories or perspectives of a single event shape policy of all kinds for many years to come. In the US, the conversation about race and legacies of slavery is the most obvious example.
Anna Samuels (OHSS Intensive 2014) is a freelance writer and audio editor living in Pittsburgh, PA. After receiving her BA in English Literature from the University of Puget Sound, she worked with the Washington State Legacy Project, during which time she conducted two extensive oral history interviews with local centenarians. Anna currently volunteers with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, recording stories, editing audio, and drafting short form biographies. This January, she participated in the Transom Online Workshop, a seven-week multi-media storytelling course, and produced a number of short pieces. When she’s not trolling for stories, befriending neighborhood cats, or whittling down her “to-read” list, Anna works in the telephone reference department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She is particularly interested in the power of community conversation, the ways in which narratives shape shared experiences, and public drinking spaces as storytelling incubators.
Anna Van Dine (Oral History & Writing 2019) Anna is an undergraduate student at NYU Gallatin where her studies incorporate journalistic work and ethnographic methodologies, a love of oral history, everyday artifacts, and the conviction that everything is interesting when you look at it right. Anna believes strongly in the power of listening and values ordinary histories, which she translates into her work in radio and podcasting at places like StoryCorps, VPR, and WNYU. When she was small, she told her mom that when she grew up she wanted to travel around and record old people — now she knows that's a real job! What drives her is preserving — and making people interested in — things that might be otherwise lost or unknown. She hopes to do this in some capacity after she graduates.
Anne Ribbert (OHSS Intensive 2014): I am passionate about life stories and journalistic projects concerned with storytelling. I have carried out a project on life stories of people living in the border region between the Netherlands and Germany, which I hope to publish this year. I am interested in questions to do with (cultural) identity and I enjoy giving people a voice who are not used to being in the spotlight. During the summer school, I would like to further develop my interview skills and meet inspiring people who share my passion for oral history as well hear stories from the local community.
Annelise Finney (OHSS Intensive 2016) is a recent graduate from Urban Studies program at Barnard College and is currently working as criminal defense investigator in The Bronx, NY. Annelise's studies focus on communal trauma and the way in which communities process and remember crime. While in college, Annelise lived in Managua, Nicaragua and Santiago, Chile studying the dynamic ways in which the citizens of each city memorialized state violence and dealt with monuments to the governments and systems that perpetrated that violence. Annelise's past academic work in combination with her work today, has seeded an interest in reconciliation processes and the powerful role personal stories can play in helping individuals understand others' pain and motivations.
Annie Bielski (Oral History & Writing 2019) Annie Bielski is an artist, writer, and performer. Bielski’s paintings, sculpture, and video have been exhibited at NADA (New York), Art Rio (Rio de Janeiro), Burning in Water (NYC), SEPTEMBER (Hudson), Paris London Hong Kong (Chicago), High Tide (Philadelphia), Lodos Gallery (Mexico City), and The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland). Bielski has performed at SEPTEMBER, Basilica Hudson, The Museum of Modern Art, Rachel Uffner Gallery, and CANADA. She has collaborated with musician Jenny Hval and filmmaker/performer Zia Anger and performed across the US and Europe. Her work and performances have been covered by Art News, Hyperallergic, MTV, and The New York Times. She received a BFA with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University at Buffalo. Bielski lives and works between New York and New Mexico.
Antoine Guerlain (Mixed/Memory 2015) works in the bakery at Camphill Village Copake, making bread with a group of special needs adults. He's lived in southern Columbia County for 8 years and currently resides with his partner on her farm in the town of Livingston.
April Braden (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a doctoral candidate of American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. She received her Bachelors and Masters in U.S. History from Loyola University Chicago. Her primary academic interests are in U.S. history of the 1970s and 80s, the middle class, vernacular architecture, and urban history. Her dissertation examines the residential and postindustrial built environment of the Canaryville neighborhood in Chicago. It hypothesizes a relationship between the postindustrial environment and class identity formation and is trying to use the physical environment to answer the question, “why does everyone think they are middle class?” Her interest in oral history stems from her background in Public History, along with a healthy influence of storytelling through public radio. She currently lives in Chicago with her spouse, 1 year old son, and two cats.
Ariel Hahn (Doc Film 2013) I’ve been working in radio and telling stories (or trying to) on film since 2005. At the moment, I’m working on a project at National Public Radio — using archival audio to tell the story of the organization and their approach to the news. I’m also aiding a Brooklyn based filmmaker with some archiving projects while trying to edit my own films and think about new ways to experiment with narrative storytelling. I’m very interested in bringing the gap between my on-air radio experience (mostly music based throughout college) , my behind the scenes audio editing, and my love for telling stories (on film and through sound). I haven’t had many opportunities to explore audio storytelling, especially in longer formats, and it is something I’d like to learn how to do. I also consider myself a one-day-academic who would like to pull from oral storytelling to expand on narratives about traumatic events in history. Specific areas that interest me range from family stories (mainly my own about Arizona before it became a state) to narratives about hoarding and obsession to coming out and issues about sexuality to power and control to historical topics related to violence and the Gothic.
Arwa Alhoribi (Oral History for Educators 2019) Hi! My name is Arwa. I was raised between the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, and have lived in New York for the past 9 years. I've worked in public education institutions for the past five years. For several years I was a college counselor in public high schools with historically low college-going rates. Currently I work as an academic counselor for a support program called ASAP at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. I have a master's in educational leadership and a bachelor's in gender, race and sexuality studies. I'm currently working on: leveling up my capacity to ask good questions, to listen, to hold space for others, to write (and publish!) , to facilitate conversation, to live more courageously and to heal. I really enjoy hot sauce.
Arya Samuelson (OHSS Intensive 2014) is a recent graduate of Reed College, where she studied cultural anthropology with an emphasis on gender studies and development. She currently lives in New York City and works at Neighbors Together, a community-based organization in Brownsville, Brooklyn, helping chronically homeless folks with mental illnesses secure housing in New York City. Her passions are broad and encompass sexual and interpersonal violence advocacy, international human rights, nonviolence, creative writing & literature and the question of how to strengthen activism through arts-based initiatives. She eventually hopes to work internationally with human rights initiatives through a grassroots, community-informed approach.
Ashraya Gupta (Oral History for Educators 2019) Ashraya Gupta has taught science in New York City public schools for almost a decade. A Math for America Master Teacher, she teaches upper house science at Harvest Collegiate High School, where her courses include Climate Justice and the Artist as Chemist. She serves as faculty advisor for the school newspaper, the Harvest Tribune, and is interested in how storytelling connects to the work of scientists and the lives of students. She seeks to connect science education to the urban environment and enjoys leading students on camping trips and other outdoor learning opportunities.
Atim George (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): Atim is a retired diplomat, grandmother and doctoral student in the Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change. A global citizen, Atim is concerned about the world's vulnerable and exploited, especially women and children. She is a storyteller and student of world mythology. Atim loves Star Trek (especially, Next Generation) and is prepared to play Trek Trivia with any other interested parties. Atim comes to OHSS 2018 with a desire to learn about audio-recording, editing, interviewing and podcasting. Make art not war!
Audrey Berman (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) Audrey lives in Germantown, NY and moved to the Hudson Valley six years ago to purse a second career in agriculture a few years after graduating from The Cooper Union School of Architecture. Initially apprenticing and managing small-scale diversified organic vegetable farms, Audrey now runs Long Table Harvest, a non-profit committed to social and economic equality in the local food system and is part of the Rolling Grocer 19 team, a new initiative offering a full-service grocery store that sells food using a sliding-scale sales model in the city of Hudson. Audrey is the child of Soviet-Jewish immigrants, and has been exploring the loss of their family's culture and traditions through assimilation and Communism.
Avery Lamb (OHSS Intensive 2015, C&C 2015) is a recent graduate of Bard College, where she studied Human Rights and Written Arts, specifically research on medical relief and public health as well as journalism. Her interests include the intersection of health and human rights, radio, writing, and other forms of documentation, migration studies, and art as activism. Her undergraduate thesis was a reflection on three trips to Haiti, and illustrated some of the obstacles in monitoring the adherence of non-governmental organizations to rights based principles. Avery is a co-founder of The Draft, an interdisciplinary student journal out of Bard College, and has worked as a research assistant at the Human Rights Project at Bard College and at Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees in Brooklyn, NY.
Barkey Powell (OHSS Intensive 2014): I am currently working as a merchandiser/sales associate at Caren Forbes & Co in New Canaan, Ct, as well as a freelance photographer for Hearst Media Group. While raising my four sons I was a freelance writer/photographer for New Canaan Patch, a project manager for the publishing of ‘Living With What You Love’ by Monica Kosann, as well as a longtime volunteer with Voices of September 11th and many school related organizations. Continuing education included photography classes at Silvermine Art School and recently an oral history seminar at Columbia University. Free time is spent reading, writing, running, golfing and skiing with day trips to NYC for style and design inspiration, as well as gallery hopping.
Batul Abbas (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) I’ve worked as a garden designer in the Hamptons, a legal assistant in financial services in NYC, and volunteer translator & editor. I’m always pursuing projects in illustration & storytelling, and am passionate about the use of drawing as a tool for thinking, visualizing, feeling, and revealing. I graduated from the University of Virginia with a master’s degree in landscape architecture, where I learned how to think through drawing & develop design narratives. While at UVA, I created collective drawings & conducted narrative fieldwork in Mexico City, and in the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois along the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’m passionate about all things related to language, drawing, and storytelling, and am currently based in the New York City area.
Becky Carmel (OHSS Intensive 2018, Oral History & Writing 2019) Born & raised in Manhattan, I have been a nanny & babysitter for over ten years, as well as a doula, trauma support group facilitator, & end of life caregiver. Last summer I was a participant in OHSS’s ‘oral history & care work’ intensive. I’m working on oral history projects about: the colleague relationships between people who do care work of all kinds, my neighborhood, & the people in my life (especially elders & children). During a few years of college, I wrote a lot about people, history, media, culture, & systems of power. This spring, I was in a creative writing class for nannies. I’ve kept a journal on & off my whole life, & I love to write a strongly worded letter in pursuit of justice.
Ben Lander (OHSS Intensive 2012, Archive 2013): I teach history and social science research methodology courses at a college in Montreal. I took part in last years OHSS along with a colleague and fellow archive workshop participant, Mark Beauchamp, with the intention of bringing what we had learnt back to the classroom. Over the year Mark and I have developed and delivered a course on oral history to about 150 students and have collected c300 oral histories. The course went well, but now we have pretty much no idea what to do with the recordings that are currently stored on two hard drives wrapped in a cloth in our office drawer. We are pretty certain that this isn’t anyone’s idea of a best practice and are attending this workshop to find out how to move forward with our project.
Beth Beckman (OHSS Intensive 2015): I am a strategist, illustrator, and UX researcher. My specialty is emotional journey mapping. I’m interested in amateur genealogy, how collective identities form, and dissecting celebrity gossip. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Beth Cleary (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016): I am the co-founder of the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, MN, a new kind of library focused on labor, immigration, and social justice histories. ESFL hosts artists and researchers, shows films, provides space to teachers, labor groups, theatre companies, refugee weaving collectives--all pulling together in what we call the work of freedom. 'Story' is at the core of what ESFL supports, and as a new organization we are poised to gather and record many stories, in many languages, to document the neighborhood. I also teach theatre at the college level, and am preparing a devised project about the "emotional labors" of nurses and personal caregivers, based on interviews the students and I will conduct in the Twin Cities.
Bianca Mońa (OHSS Intensive 2018) is a lover of the arts. As an arts administrator, curator, educator, advocate, and artist, she has initiated a number of projects at institutions such as Studio Museum in Harlem and The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently she served as the Public Programmes and Development Manager at Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she developed exhibitions, lectures, and workshops to further engage on how the camera can be used as a tool of resistance and reform. All of her artistic endeavors center on a greater understanding of contemporary Africa and her Diaspora including her writings which chronicle her adventures living on the Continent. In addition, she is particularly keen on investigative projects that tackle the living history of regular citizens who negotiate grand topics such as gender, heritage, and social-economic placement. As the founder of the Newark Black Artists Oral History Project she has exhibited these audio recordings throughout the New York Tri-State area. Inspired by her living and traveling experiences throughout Africa, Bianca continues to build partnership that highlight the contemporary happenings of Africa. Ms. Mońa is currently an Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellow at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in arts administration from Dillard University, two master’s degrees (art education and interdisciplinary studies) from San Jose State University and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Brian Fuhr (OHSS Intensive 2016): I'm a storyteller and a digital strategist. I like to tell stories that inform, inspire, and move people. I work in the advertising and marketing industry. My clients are businesses eager to tell their stories in new ways through new mediums. I write digital strategies for them in order to maximize the value of communication between brands and audiences. I've seen the limits of technology in creating meaningful connections, and so I am pursuing a new direction in my career. I'm hoping oral history will introduce me to new methods of capturing and sharing human experiences.
Britt Dahlberg (Oral History & Writing 2019) Britt Dahlberg has worked across and in gaps between fields for fifteen years, using ethnographic research to open dialogues and form connections. Her formal PhD training is as an anthropologist of science and medicine. Her work has explored experiences of older adults around depression, aging, and primary care; and ways people make sense of environmental risk in context of late industrial northeastern United States. She is currently working on a book project that seeks to integrate oral histories with ethnographic research around experiences of place, race, and environmental risk. When ethnographic research helped her notice the need for other discussions not happening in existing forms of public engagement in science, she worked with oral historians, residents, and playwrights to create an oral history collection that became basis of short plays, as well as basis of experience-based public programs, materials for classrooms, and focus of an undergraduate class she recently taught. She currently works as Director of the Center for Applied History at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia (a space for scholarship on history and anthropology of science, used as basis of generating public experiences and dialogues), and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.
Britta Nelson (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a native of Northern Germany. Over the last 20 years, she has lived in Berkeley, CA, and Brooklyn, NY, and lives now with her family near Boston, MA. Britta used to work as Human Resources specialist, mainly involved in training and teaching, and has earned a degree in Art History and Psychology while in Berkeley and New York. While raising her children she has been involved in editing, as well as working for a start up company offering services to the German speaking expatriate community of greater New York. Currently, Britta is involved with a number of non profit organizations, organizing fundraisers in New York that aim to help children, helping to build schools in Central America, organizing a stove project for Guatemala, helping at a local hospice as well as a being involved with a local project that supports women in need. Britta has been a passionate listener to the StoryCorps installments on NPR for many years. She is fascinated by giving people the opportunity to preserve their life stories. Britta is currently in the planning process of building an organization that will create the opportunity for people nearing the end of their lives to tell their story, using the recorded material to create a videography for family and friends so that life lessons and experiences can be passed on.
Bruce Downey (Oral History for Educators 2019) I am 66 years old, live in the country in a log house with my partner Elinor Rush. We have three children all of whom are married and live in nearby Kingston. We have a 2 year old grandchild - Esther- and another due mid February. I come from a family with strong rural ties and have 6 siblings. For the past 40 years I've had an architectural practice in Kingston where I worked on small and large scale projects and am mainly known for my work with heritage properties. I sat on the Kingston Heritage Committee for 30 years. I enjoy music, playing banjo and sing in a 120 voice choir - Open Voices - which I helped form 16 years ago. El and I are involved as volunteers in various local organizations such as a property in Kingston serving the needs of various groups and organizations with meeting space, Live Wire Music Series, and Blue Skies Music Festival. We have rental properties in Kingston which keeps us in touch with students attending Queen's University.
Bryan Cockrell (Oral History for Educators 2019) Bryan Cockrell is an English as a New Language teacher at Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy International High School in the Bronx. As an educator of English language learners, he is interested in creating space for multiple modalities of communicating and storytelling by students, their families, and their wider communities. As an archaeologist and former museum worker, Bryan wonders how sound can play a role in understanding past lives. Over time, he has come to think more carefully about who is telling stories, for whom, and the overall power dynamics of storytelling and research.
Cara Turett (OHSS Intensive 2013) is a graphic designer, artist, teacher and aspiring carpenter living in Hudson, NY. Her design work focuses on supporting community based businesses and non-profit organizations, often combining handcrafted imagery with digital tools. Her art focuses on collections and the ways that objects tells stories and hold memories. Cara has always been an enthusiastic listener and observer. She has taught children’s art and environmental education classes in Hudson, New York City and Ohio and is currently teaching young women at a local detention facility. She is also learning carpentry and boatbuilding. She holds a BA from Oberlin College in Art and Environmental Studies.
Carol McKirdy (Radio 2013): As a professional oral historian I have worked on several large-scale oral history projects in Australia and also with individual interviewees. I have applied oral histories to educational curriculum, on websites, for the recording of community history and as supplementary history. I have presented papers at several international conferences. My website summaries my experiences as an oral historian:www.historyherstory.com.au My greatest passion in oral history is the preservation of the history of ordinary people. As well I am a qualified adult educator working in the tertiary sector with educationally disadvantaged adults.
Cassandra Marsillo (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): Cassandra is a multi-disciplinary artist and oral historian. She is completing her masters in Public History at Carleton, after having completed two bachelors at Concordia in Studio Arts and Italian, as well as Honours Public History. Her art is about nostalgia, imagining and remembering, and sometimes imagining memories. Her historical interests included the study of the formation of national narratives, identity, collective memory, magic, folklore and superstition, and the role of mapping and the imaginary in history. In addition to making art and writing essays, she enjoys working with students, promoting interdisciplinarity and creativity in hands-on and interactive education.
Cathleen Antoine-Abiala (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Cathleen M. Antoine is an educator from NYC with over 15 years experience as a classroom practitioner. Her career has primarily focused on English Language Arts but she has incorporated the arts and social activism as well in her pedagogy. Partnering and collaborating with institutions such as Weeksville Heritage Center, the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College and Urban Word, she recognizes the vital role that creative expression plays in learning and as a part of culturally responsive practice. She holds a masters degree in Sociology of Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Cathleen is the Executive Producer and Writer of the award-winning short documentary, African Odyssey: Ancestral Memories (2017)
Chance Grable (OHSS intensive 2016) is an undergraduate history major at University of California, Berkeley. His studies focus on US history with an emphasis on social movements. Chance augments his studies through participation in contemporary social justice movements. In particular, Chance has contributed to the movement against incarceration and the various social and political dynamics that enable the mass incarceration system to exist. Throughout the summer, Chance will be conducting research on the relationship between mass incarceration and deindustrialization in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to archival sources, Chance will rely on oral history to examine how mass incarceration and deindustrialization were experienced and responded to by the people most impacted by these two processes.
Charlotte Cleary (OHSS intensive 2016): I am a (fairly) recent graduate who studied visual art, and multimedia journalism at Sarah Lawrence who is looking to break into the field of oral history. I currently work for a VR company, and live in NYC.
Chelle Francis (Verso Mini Intensive 2019, Oral History & Writing 2019) Chelle is an intellectual property lawyer with 29 years of experience. Starting as a litigator, and then, after working in-house handling global IP enforcement for 20th Century Fox Corp and many other Fox companies in Los Angeles, she came to NY and joined News Corp’s general counsel’s office, where she expanded and led the global IP practice, charged with business strategy, management and protection of the IP assets of the News Corp operating and joint venture companies. In 2009, Chelle started The Francis Company which partners with businesses of all sizes in various industries (including consumer products, media, technology, fitness, publishing, fashion, jewelry, and beverage), uniting IP development/management and monetization with business strategy to create competitive advantages and increase market share for her clients. Chelle is also a co-founder of the cold brew coffee company Red Thread Coffee Co., and a co-owner of a rental house in the south of France. BUT, more recently, Chelle has begun to concentrate in earnest on her long-standing, keen interest in story telling through various means of non-fiction expression, including oral history and writing.
Chloe Zimmerman (Oral History for Educators 2019) Chloe Zimmerman is an artist, writer and educator with an interest in ecologies, alternative pedagogies, and experimental documentary practices across disciplines. She has worked in documentary research and production, and her own creative work spans analogue film, digital video, installation, sound and text. Chloe teaches filmmaking in New York City, as well as online through Soliya, an intercultural nonprofit that focuses on innovative use of new media technologies to shift the way societies resolve their differences. For the past year, she has been volunteering at New Sanctuary Coalition’s asylum clinic and is collaborating on an oral history project with immigrant community members affected by detention and deportation. She previously co-created an oral history of a grassroots organization promoting self-sufficiency among farmers in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador. Chloe was a 2013-2014 Collaborative Fellow at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art and is a graduate of the Combined Degree Program between Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Christiana Fizet (OHSS intensive 2016) is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Edinburgh and is a research student in the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. Her research explores Canadian history teacher candidates' understandings of and orientations to Canadian history with a focus on how their identities and experiences shape these views. By asking teacher candidates to 'story' Canadian history according to what they find most significant and then try and draw links to their own backgrounds, she tries to underscore how we are all active makers and shapers of history while at the same time highlighting that certain voices and experiences have been given more space in official history. She comes to the OHSS as an ongoing learner and teacher of history and hopes that she can apply the techniques she learns to her future classrooms.
Christina Abdo (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) Growing up between Beirut, Lebanon and New York, I developed a curiosity for understanding the psyche of cultures and its residents. Being away from my grandparents, I realized how much I didn’t know about their lives, and desired to find ways to bring that out to light. Consequently, I realized many senior citizens don’t have their story told, and began interviewing them in my neighborhood. I’ve made many mistakes along the way and want to explore new ways to interview and record people’s stories in a thoughtful and ethical way. I graduated from NYU Tisch film program and deviated from film work is the past few years. I am very interested in exploring oral history. I think it’s a noble profession and I can’t wait to meet you all!
Christina Bohnsack (OHSS Intensive 2014) is a licensed massage therapist and fifth generation resident of Columbia County. She received her BA in Comparative Religion and International Development from Hartwick College and her AAS in Massage Therapy from Columbia-Greene. The frequent position of professional listening, coupled with observing great changes to her home region over the last generation have created a deep interest in recording and preserving the stories of everyday local people.
Chuck Kaczynski (OHSS Intensive 2017) has taught history at York Preparatory School on Manhattan's Upper West Side since September of 2012. With a special emphasis on teaching the habits of mind of professional historian, he centers his curricula around historical research and expository writing. This year, three of his students' papers were published in journals, two in the United States and one in Shanghai, China. Over the last two years, he has directed a senior-level advanced historical research methods seminar and York Prep's online student research journal. With the OHSS training, he will direct an oral history research seminar for juniors on the experience and lessons of Hurricane Sandy in the 2017-2018 academic year.
Corinne Botz (OHSS Intensive 2019) Corinne May Botz is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator whose work engages with themes including space, gender, trauma and the body. Her published books combining photography and writing include The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Monacelli Press, 2004) and Haunted Houses (Monacelli Press, 2010). Botz’s photographs have been internationally exhibited at such institutions as the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Photography; De Appel; Turner Contemporary; Bellwether Gallery; and Benrubi Gallery. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Foam Magazine, Hyperallergic, Bookforum, and Time: Lightbox. She has held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Atlantic Center for the Arts; Akademie Schloss Solitude; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Mana Contemporary. Botz is the recipient of both the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Jerome Foundation grants. Botz is represented by Benrubi Gallery in NYC.
Cornélia Strickler (Archive 2013) As the Video Archivist for the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Cornelia Strickler ensures the preservation, the archiving and the documentation of the Centre’s Oral History collection. She also creates video clips for temporary exhibits, pedagogical and promotional materials. Ms. Strickler has a Master’s Degree in Promotion of Cultural Heritage.
Cory Fischer-Hoffman (OHSS Intensive 2014) is an activist-scholar and media maker. She is the founder of the Prison Voices Project, a radio-story telling program that addresses various aspects of the prison system by highlighting the voices of those most impacted. The Prison Voices Project airs on WGXC 90.7FM in Greene and Columbia counties. Cory is also a doctoral student in Latin American, Caribbean and US Latino Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY. Her dissertation research focuses on media representations of the prison crisis in Venezuela and the relationship between contemporary prison uprisings and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Cory is also a trained facilitator, a yoga instructor and gardener.
Cynthia Stone (OHSS Intensive 2013), Associate Professor of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Massachusetts, has been Director of Latin American and Latino Studies for the past six years. Her limited experience with oral history fieldwork to date includes supervising students conducting honors theses and community-based learning projects, as well as research into early sixteenth-century Mexican manuscripts based on indigenous oral testimonies. Along with her colleague, Rosa Carrasquillo, she is hoping to jump-start an interdisciplinary project documenting the history of the Spanish-speaking population in Worcester, which has grown exponentially over the past few decades.
Damon Freeman (Shaking the Family Tree 2017): I grew up in the Washington, DC area and currently work as a professor at the University of Maryland University College where I chair the History and African American Studies program. UMUC is a very large online university with some hybrid classes; most of our students are in the military or are returning students who never completed a college degree. My typical week involves staffing classes, interviewing, hiring, evaluating, and sometimes training new faculty members, making curriculum decisions and developing new curricula, resolving student concerns, and working with other university departments on multiple issues. Part of the reason why I am taking this workshop is I want to create a doable oral history project in my program that would work in either an online or hybrid class for adult students. When I have spare time, I like to go hiking, visit museums and art galleries, and volunteer on historic preservation projects.
Daniel Cogan, NP (Guest Instructor, OHSS Intensive 2018) is a palliative care nurse practitioner with Aspire Health, the nation’s largest provider of non-hospice community-based palliative care. He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Nursing, and has advanced certification in geriatrics as well as hospice and palliative care. He holds a Certificate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics.
Danielle Dulken (OHSS Intensive 2017, Production Coordinator) is a reproductive justice activist from the mountains of western North Carolina. A doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill and field scholar at the Southern Oral History Program, Danielle is interested in practices of wellness as resistance in southern Appalachia. Her research borrows from critical race studies to challenge dominant narratives that foreclose on the region’s diversity and modernity. Her methods center the queering of temporality – or a rethinking of linearity in oral history narratives. Danielle is also excited about experimental research projects with outcomes in sound art and performance. She is a former Columbia Oral History Summer Institute Fellow and holds an M.A. in History from American University. While earning her M.A., Danielle collaborated with grassroots, pro-choice activists to create the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force Oral History Project (WACDTF OHP). She currently lives in Chapel Hill with her partner and two cats and serves on the Board of Directors at the Carolina Abortion Fund.
Danielle Riou (Radio 2013): I work at Bard, at the Human Rights Project. Briefly, I’ve worked on media projects involving genocide and crimes against humanity, and I’m currently developing a radio show called Human Rights Radio. Back in 2002, I managed what was then the first public, on-demand streaming video archive of a genocide trial (Slobodan Milosevic’s trial, to be exact) , over the course of which I’ve put considerable time into thinking about and presenting work on issues of trauma, witnessing, memory, and the construction of conflict and post-conflict narratives. The human rights radio show I’m developing now, which will deal with a range of issues and topics in the human rights field, and so this seems like the perfect moment for me to learn more about and reflect on oral histories for radio, since I can imagine the potential for this to become a vital part of the radio work I’ll be doing.
Dao Tran (Radio 2013): Born in Vietnam, Dao is the youngest of eight children in a family of refugees who came to the United States in 1975. In her youth, Dao organized with Asian Americans United in Philadelphia to build campaigns for youth and community empowerment, against racial violence, and for tenants’ rights. Dao coedited 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History and is working on a domestic worker oral history project. She is a board member of Voices of a People’s History. She also has a kindergartner in a New York City public school and is involved with activist groups including Change the Stakes.
Darlene Stokes (OHSS Intensive 2019) Darlene recently retired from New York City's Department of Education. For over thirty-five years she has served as an educator in various capacities, classroom teacher for early childhood, elementary and adult education, a professional staff developer for teachers and school administrators alike and as a school administrator in the positions of assistant principal and principal. She is an avid reader on a broad spectrum of topics. Darlene facilitates book discussions on professional and nonprofessional levels. Currently she is exploring the topics of grief, the role and power of agency and podcasting. Since retirement Darlene has actively pursued her interest in documenting family histories for the average person. She use family photos as an initial talking point to unearth the past and how to re-imagine ones present and future existence. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Adelphi University, a Master of Arts in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College Columbia University and a Master of Science in Education from The City College. Darlene resides in White Plains, New York.
Darrell Cannon (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is an activist, inspirational speaker, leader in the movement for reparations for the Chicago Police Torture survivors, and advisory board member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials. Darrell was tortured on November 2, 1983 by white detectives working under the supervision of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. After being electrically shocked on his genitals with a cattle prod, subjected to mock execution with a shotgun, hung by his handcuffs and tormented with racist slurs and epithets, he confessed to being an accomplice to a murder. The confession led to his wrongful conviction for murder and twenty-four years of incarceration, ten of which he spent in Tamms Correctional Center, a super-max prison that he worked with scores of others to close in 2013. He has testified before Chicago’s City Council in support of the reparations ordinance. He also has spoken to countless numbers of people, in small, intimate audiences to wide lectures halls, at high schools, universities, churches including Operation Rainbow Push, as well as national gatherings convened by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Darrell has appeared on numerous television shows including Democracy Now and Al Jazeera, and his work and story have been covered in multiple print media outlets including Mother Jones and the Chicago Reader, and he has been quoted at length in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Reporter, DNAinfo, Final Call and other news outlets.
David Petrovsky (OHSS Intensive 2012): I’m a native New Yorker that has been involved in the Antiques business for the past thirty years. I began as a private dealer specializing in 19th century American furniture then opening a retail space in Hudson from 1995-2001 after closing the store I worked at Stair Galleries in Hudson for three years. I am now back to private dealing working with museums collectors along with some wholesale trade. I look forward to producing and directing an independent documentary film and am interested in the skills needed for the interview process.
Dawn Breeze (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is an interdisciplinary artist living in Germantown, New York. She explores her guiding questions in non-linear ways, moving freely between artistic disciplines such as teaching, writing, visual and conceptual art, social practice and parenting. Breeze recently founded and directs Instar Lodge in Germantown, NY. Instar Lodge is a creative mixed-use art space, in what was formerly an Odd Fellows Hall, with a focus towards supporting women artists in a myriad of ways. Breeze leads the progressive arts program at the Liberi School k-8 school in Hudson NY and teaches her Creativity + Courage™ adult workshops throughout New England. Creativity + Courage™ is an aesthetic arts process program Breeze developed, which is applicable to all people in pursuit of discovering and developing their unique creative voice. Breeze has successfully been leading her workshops for individuals and institutions such as Highwatch Recovery Center as well as corporations such as Etsy since 2011.
Dawn DiPrince (Mixed/Memory 2015) is the director of a state-owned community history museum. They have been the director for just over a year, and is in the midst of a successful transformation into a museum that engages in participatory history and honors people's personal histories. They are working on several memory projects in different local neighborhoods that are in crisis and have long-time residents, and aim to interpret these histories within the museum gallery space and within the neighborhood. They are also establishing a prototype gallery where we experiment with different methods to get people to share their histories within the museum.
Debbie Galant (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) is the co-creator of The Chemo Files, an award-winning podcast about her year as a breast cancer patient, and is currently producing a podcast called Stuff Dot Life, about our relationship with things. Many years ago -- when sound was stored on magnetic tape and edited with razor blades -- she produced an oral-history documentary about her grandfather, Abraham, Our Father, which detailed his journey from Russia and his family's transformation into Americans. Debbie is a longtime journalist, diarist, and entrepreneur, and has three published novels. She loves the intimacy of the recorded voice, and seeks new collaborators and projects.
Debra Gitterman (OHWS Radio 2015) is a writer, artist, web developer and classics scholar who has been living in the Hudson Valley since 2008. She is compelled by the political, personal, and social power of storytelling and driven to learn its craft. She’s ready to shape and share some stories.
Desiree Evans (OHSS Intensive 2015) has a diverse background as a researcher, writer, journalist, and social justice activist. During the past fifteen years, she has had the opportunity to work with several international and domestic human rights organizations. As a journalist she has covered issues of race, poverty, and economic justice for such publications as Alternet, The Chicago Reporter, In These Times, The Indianapolis Star, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and others. In 2014, she helped to launch the Social Movements Oral History Tour, which allowed her to travel the U.S. collecting oral histories and stories from progressive social movement activists and organizers. A Louisiana native, Desiree currently lives in New Orleans, where she is the the Policy and Communications Director for Women With a Vision, Inc. She has a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University and a M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Dhana Hamal (OHSS Intensive 2018) completed her B. A. in Human Rights and Politics at Bard College and her MA in Political Science at the University of Toronto. She has worked extensively on a research project in ‘human trafficking vulnerability’ in Nepal conducted by Vanderbilt and Stanford universities. Her interests include migration, labor and health policy, democracy and security, gender inequality, and multicultural politics.
Diana Lempel (OHSS Intensive 2013, Radio 2013, Project Lab 2014) loves stories. Everyday stories, old, old stories, and big stories that everyone knows. She especially loves stories about landscapes, or places that shape and are shaped by people. A PhD student at Harvard, Diana believes in stories as a way to help people live more meaningful, rooted lives. She also believes in the places where stories are told: museums and libraries, and the dinner table, and campfires. You can read and listen to some of her work at cultivatingplaces.com.
Din Clarke (Radio 2014) is a filmmaker, multimedia journalist, videographer, editor and seamstress. She received a B.A. in Media Studies from The New School and an M.A. from New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism. Her videos have appeared in The Guardian and the New York Times and her audio pieces have aired on WBEZ in Chicago and WBAI in New York. The first short documentary film she produced and edited, The Invisibles, was selected for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Court Métrage and she’s currently expanding it into a full-length documentary. She lives in Brooklyn with her huge grey tabby, Siddhartha - a great companion but the worst administrative assistant ever.
Dina Gregory Nowicki (OHSS Intensive 2016) is an educator, activist, aspiring writer, community weaver, and a joyful play and life enthusiast. She is currently working as an ENL teacher at Ichabod Crane Central School district in Valatie, NY. Though English as a Second Language and Spanish are her certification area, the truth is that she doesn’t really care about grammar. Her job is a cover for teaching about the human heart, fostering connections, and inspiring her students to lead lives of joyful service. Dina is currently working with the Social Harmony Institute to develop programming that systematically provides school communities with a functional toolkit for promoting social and emotional well-being and skills necessary to move conflicts that naturally arise in all relationships towards growth and understanding. Dina is a lifelong learner who is constantly exploring her own inner and outer landscape and is dedicated to living a deeply conscious, passionate, and creative life based on the pursuit of Truth, growth, and social justice. She lives at the Quaker Intentional Community in East Chatham, NY where she and others explore conscious culture creation in community. Dina joined the OHSS in order to explore how storytelling can be used as a tool to rewrite the current narrative on the role and purpose of public education.
Dr Mark McKirdy (Radio 2013): I have a doctorate in Creative Arts from Wollongong University and I currently work as a Children’s Librarian. I have published several books, magazine stories, poetry and travel articles – many based on places in the USA. My experience in oral history is through assisting my wife, Carol, who has also applied for this Summer School. We have established an oral history business called History Herstory - RECALL RECORD RETAIN. The web address is: www.historyherstory.com.au My major involvement with oral history recordings is turning them into digital stories and books which enscapulte the recording accompanied by images.
DW Gibson (Guest Instructor, Oral History and Writing 2017) is the author of the awarding-winning book The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century and Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy. He shared a National Magazine Award for his work on “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn” for New York Magazine. His work has also appeared in Harper’s,The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Village Voice, and The Caravan. Gibson has been a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and “There Goes the Neighborhood,” a podcast co-produced by WNYC and The Nation. His documentary film, Not Working, a companion to the book, is available through Films Media Group. His directorial debut, Pants Down, premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York. Gibson serves as director of Writers Omi at Ledig House in Ghent, New York, and he co-founded Sangam House, a writers’ residency in India, along with Arshia Sattar.
Eli Plenk (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a teacher, writer, and organizer based in Brooklyn. He teaches English in the New York state prison system and is the founding editor of a transnational human rights journal that will begin publication this fall. When not writing or teaching he organizes with a variety of groups, including the New York Reentry Education Network and Boston Mobilization.
Elinor Rush (Oral History for Educators 2019) I am 66 years old. I live in a rural setting in a log house which I rebuilt with help. I ran my own manufacturing business for 30 years, designing and manufacturing clothing for people with special needs. I am a fibre artist producing work for exhibition and more recently trained as a teacher of sewing and resilience in the elementary school system. I sit on 2 boards, one a community house of 35 years standing. One of the histories I would like to record is the history of the Kingston Community House for self Reliance. Looking forward to meeting everyone!
Eliza Newland (OHSS Intensive 2014) -I am a recent graduate of the Public History MA program at West Virginia University and am currently serving as a PreserveWV AmeriCorps at the Old Hemlock Foundation in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. The Old Hemlock Foundation just started an oral history project. Through the interdisciplinary nature of OHSS, I would like to build on my preexisting oral history knowledge and skills to better serve my AmeriCorps site. I also have hopes of starting an oral history project of my own once my service is completed in September.
Elizabeth LoGiudice (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) is an environmental educator who has been helping people explore and understand the landscape and waterways of the Hudson River region for over 15 years. Her work ranges from providing hands-on field experiences, to leading educational programs on flooding and climate change, to producing radio programs on environmental topics. She is interested in the use of oral history and storytelling to help make complex, scientific information more engaging to audiences. Liz has conducted interviews with local residents on a variety of environmental and historical topics for the production of radio programs on WGXC, 90.7 FM in Greene and Columbia Counties. She is interested in blending natural sound, music, narrative and science to produce audio broadcasts that illuminate environmental issues. Her current effort, which is a capstone project to complete an M.S. in Environmental Communications from Green Mountain College, involves recounting stories of the fascinating, migratory fish of the Hudson River. Liz holds a B.A. in History from SUNY Albany, and runs a small farm in Hannacroix, NY. email@example.com
Elizabeth Shaw (OHSS Intensive 2018) is an elementary educator teaching library, coding, and mythology to kids in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She also serves on the board of Resolve Network, a grassroots peacebuilding organization currently working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is in the process of planning an oral history collection project at her place of work, Rodeph Sholom School and working with Resolve to document participants' stories. Her areas of interest are antiracist education, public health, community and family histories and conflict resolution. She was born in the District of Columbia, went to school outside Philadelphia, PA, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY; her hobbies include genealogy, embroidery, translation, and other activities in the spinster tradition.
Ellen Papazian (Trauma 2013, Doc Film 2013): I’m a writer, editor and creative writing teacher. My nonfiction and fiction appear in a few anthologies, and my essays, interviews and book reviews appear in Bitch magazine. I lead creative writing workshops in studio settings and school-based residencies in northern New Jersey.
Emily Bass (OHSS Intensive 2018): I'm a writer, queer, social justice and HIV-focused activist, mother and NGO-employed worker in the ongoing African AIDS epidemic. I'm 12 months away from the submission deadline for my first book, The Plague War, a history of America's war on AIDS in Africa as fought through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). My writing has appeared in n+1, the Lancet, Esquire and many other publications, and has received notable mention in Best American Essays.
Emily Gallagher (OHSS Intensive 2013): I currently work at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, both as an Educator and recently as the Community Outreach Coordinator, as which I’m working to find oral history candidates for a future exhibit about Chinese and Latino immigration. I am very interested in social history. I find human geography fascinating, especially how in New York City, there is a tension between government, development and city planning and the communities that live here and want to sustain their neighborhoods. For fun, I have worked to create public pop-up museums in different New York City neighborhoods to tell forgotten histories— including the shipbuilders in Greenpoint, Brooklyn during the Civil War, the free black and immigrant community of Seneca Village in what is now Central Park, and an East Village tour that had to do with community perception, personal memory, and collective memory. I have also worked as an educator at a variety of other historic sites, like the Wyckoff Farmhouse, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the new Navy Yard Museum. Currently I also work at the NY Historical Society. I love story telling and inspiring visitors to feel a connection with people from the past, and to better understand their position in the present through the context history can provide. In my free time I am the co-chair of a community activist group, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, in my Brooklyn neighborhood. We attempt to empower and educate neighborhood residents around issues of government, social and environmental justice. I spend my leisure time watching movies, especially documentaries, reading poetry, and writing.
Emily Marielle Mitamura (OHSS Intensive 2014) is a rising junior at Vassar College, majoring in political science with correlate sequences in Jewish studies and English, specifically poetry. She’s currently employed as a consultant at the Vassar College Writing Center and has plans to study abroad at Charles University in Prague next year. Her experiences observing the workings of disparate fields as a research assistant at the New York Botanical Garden Pfizer Research Laboratory, a volunteer at the Jaguar Research Conservation Fund, and an editorial intern at Fitness Magazine have imbued her with a penchant for chance encounters and storytelling.
Emily Truitt (Oral History & Writing 2019) I am a mother and amateur writer, artist and crafter. I like writing about my experiences with other people and sharing them so that we can all understand each other a little better. I have long-term interests in trauma psychology and societal transitions and I want to pursue those interests in a creative way. My current job is transcribing and annotating the speech of young children. I have a huge garden, I do a lot of home improvement projects, and I'm learning French. I live on a beautiful piece of land in far northern New York State and I spend a lot of time trying to understand how best to steward that land.
Emma de Campo (OHSS Intensive 2013) is an Independent Radio Producer from Melbourne, Australia. She produces podcasts for businesses and not-for-profits, hosts two programs on Community Radio Station 3CR, and provides sound editing training to radio producers.Emma trained in radio at the radio documentary school Transom, since her work has been featured on Radio National, Triple R, ABC Pool and US Radio Stations WCAI & WAMC.
Emma Rose Brown (OHSS Intensive 2018 Staff) is a Queens-based performer, multidisciplinary artist, and audio archivist working in the field of dance. Emma is developing her own film/performance/lecture about a dance that never happened. She assists in the preservation and production of the Dance Oral History Project at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Emma is currently a Su Casa Artist-in-Residence at the Ridgewood Older Adult Center where she initiates impromptu dancing and reminiscing throughout the week. Emma has collaborated, improvised, and performed in the work of Diana Crum, Keely Garfield, Lisa Parra, Tyler Rai, Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey, Joanna Kotze, Brooklyn Touring Outfit, K.J. Holmes, Inkyung Lee, and Emily Johnson. As a member of the Ridgewood Tenants Union, Emma works to educate NYC tenants about their rights. Emma holds a BA from Smith College in American Studies and hails from Watertown, Massachusetts. She is delighted to be participating in her second summer as the Archives Coordinator for Oral History Summer School.
Erica O’Neil, PhD, (OHSS Intensive 2018) is a trained anthropologist, historian, and biologist with experience cultivating ethical cultures across academic projects that teach public science communication and outreach. She is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University. Her research on the emergence of disease states and regulation surrounding those entities examines the culture of scientific practice and the ethical responsibilities researchers have in the creation of products that impact public policy. She leads Reproductive Health Arizona (RHAZ) , a collaborative digital project between the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and the Center for Biology and Society. The project aims to increase Arizonan’s literacy of reproductive health and medicine (RMH) , to record Arizona’s history of that field in a sustainable and open access digital venue, and to promote civil discussion among Arizonans about the past, future, and meaning of reproductive health. Products include articles with robust historical context written for the general public, a digital map of individuals currently active in RHM, video recorded oral histories with individuals influential to the history of Arizona's RHM, and public events that encourage civil dialogue.
Erin Healy (OHWS Family 2015, I Am Sitting In A Room 2017): I am currently the Director of Knowledge Sharing (fancy term for consulting) at Community Solutions, a national non-profit based in NYC. In 2014, our team began designing and facilitating an approach to systems improvement, performance management, multi-sector collaboration, and neighborhood transformation, called Agile Problem Solving. We are currently working in 15 neighborhoods in NYC as well as several in upstate NY. I'd love to incorporate oral history into this work. Prior to this, I was an Improvement Advisor with Community Solutions’ 100,000 Homes Campaign, a successful national campaign to house 100,000 of the nation’s most vulnerable homeless individuals within four years. My background is in law and I’ve done a variety of policy and legislative work in the non-profit and governmental sectors. My best job ever (before my current one) was managing an independent bookstore. I am from Saratoga Springs, New York. My interest in oral history is also driven by my desire to discover and document my upstate Irish roots. I have a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a JD from the University of Washington School of Law.
Erin Schreiner (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I am the Executive Director of the Bibliographical Society of America, a small non-profit supporting the study of books/texts as physical objects. My personal research explores the printerly labor of the women who typed, edited, and printed screenplays in Hollywood movie studios. In the coming months I hope to locate women who did this work and interview them, and look forward to learning the basics in this workshop to ensure the integrity of this aspect of my research.
Eve K Austin (OHSS Intensive 2016): I have been interested in peoples' stories for as long as I can remember. As a Child & Family Therapist/Mediator I'm a professional listener. I have spent many years working with people whose voices are often unheard in our culture. I am happy to be exploring the field of oral history and its potential as a therapeutic tool. I've recently launched an organization in Baltimore that focuses specifically on people with mixed heritage backgrounds called The Center for the Mixed Voice and have begun a pilot project interviewing my own extended multi-racial family. I would love to find work as an entry-level oral historian! Anyone? Anyone?
George Katinas (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a resident of Kingston, a small town in Ontario Canada. He has an interest in museums and culture and recently graduated from the Museum Management and Curatorship program of Fleming College. He is currently working on starting an Oral History Project for the Greek Community of Kingston. George works as a chef and also holds degrees in Education and Classical Studies.
Gin MacCallum (OHSS Intensive 2018): Gin teaches individual and community classes in restorative and slow yoga. She also leads narrative workshops, and more recently, free writing groups for difficult stories. Trained as a creative arts/movement therapist, she is now working on studies in traumatic stress, while continuing to deepen her practice and understandings of yoga. For over 20 years, she lived and worked as a performing artist. She is particularly drawn to stories about the body.
Giulia Sbaffi (OHSS Intensive 2014): I’m a student, a traveller and an Italian ginger head. I was born in Rome twenty four years ago and since then I’ve maturated an abiding affection for history and its approaches. Last December I took my bachelor’s degree in History with a thesis based on oral history. I’m also a contributor to a news blog.
Grace Radkins (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016): I am a librarian and although I originally planned to have a quiet cataloging job at a public library, I have instead (and luckily) ended up at the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. This, along with volunteering with Human Library Chicago, led to my interest in oral history. I have lived in Chicago all my life, and have always been interested in the juxtaposition of the city's blending cultures and segregated neighborhoods. In addition to my MLIS, I have a BA in art history.
Greg Rosenburg (Radio 2014): I have worked in and around the field of affordable housing for nearly three decades, with a particular focus on sustainable development, universal design, and community land trusts. These days, I work with an architecture firm in Boston (telecommuting from my spare bedroom in Madison, WI) focusing on energy efficiency programs. Over the years, I’ve also done community organizing, legal representation of prisoners with mental illness, protection of land for urban farming, and run a Braille translation software company. Over the past three years, I’ve been dipping my toes into oral history work, doing background research, editing, and website development for Life History Services. Over the past year, I’ve been developing a website on the history of the community land trust movement with John Emmeus Davis, which just launched this past April (www.cltroots.org). As part of our Roots of the CLT project, we are planning on conducting interviews with key figures in the CLT movement, which we would like to turn into shorter pieces that we can post on our website, for podcasting, and possibly for broadcast on Vermont Public Radio.
Greta Weber (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) I'm an independent radio producer living in Portland, Maine. After working as a magazine journalist in Washington, D.C., I came up to Maine to learn radio storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. I graduated Salt in May 2018, and I decided to stay in Portland. I now work remotely for a podcast production company based in LA. Oral history has always been an interest of mine, and I'd love to find ways to incorporate it into my radio work.
Gretta Tritch Roman (OHSS Intensive 2017) is the Digital Projects Coordinator for Experimental Humanities (EH) at Bard College. She received her B.Arch. from the University of Arkansas and holds a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art & Architectural History from the Pennsylvania State University. At Bard she teaches courses that focus on mapping as a cultural practice, and she has offered workshops on integrating mapping exercises into courses as well as using mapping tools in research. She also leads the EH Digital History Lab, a humanities laboratory that produces local history projects with the aim to foster an exchange between the strong community of public history in the Hudson Valley and Bard College.
A native of New York City, Guy Greenberg (Mixed/Memory 2015) graduated the New School for Public Engagement this spring. As a BA student, he’s spent time studying anthropology, clinical psychology, and methods for documentation. He’s been a principle in building www.UnitedStatesofAIDS.com, a student-led digital humanities project invested in making the oral history narratives of AIDS activists accessible and heard using existing archives. Previous to returning to school, Guy served for five years as a librarian assistant, curating and cataloging the 40,000+ video collection for Port Washington Public Library. His ongoing ritual of photographing New York and the personal project of recording his family’s oral histories keep the idea of quitting his day job and surrounding himself with oral history alive in his mind.
Hani Omar Khalil (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I'm an attorney, writer, and photographer currently living in Park Slope, Brooklyn. My writing has mainly consisted of short fiction and critical essays, with an emphasis on creative works in dialogue with Egypt and the broader Arab World. Though I've lived in New York City for almost twenty years, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am drawn creatively to ideas of place and sprawl, especially as they overlap with immigration, ethnicity, and identity. I have an equally keen interest in atomization in American society and how it overlaps with these three themes as well. Though I don't have a concrete oral history project in mind as of now, I imagine the one I would develop would be anchored in those ideas outlined above.
Hannah Beal (OHSS Intensive 2017): I own a small but diverse vegetable farm in Red Hook, NY. Though I love to grow food, my objective is to expand my scope of learning and community impact through documentary audio. I am passionate about stories, radio and people. When not farming or listening to podcasts, I can usually be found cooking or eating noodles.
Hannah Shepard (OHSS Intensive 2015) holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where she concentrated in creative writing. Hannah has worked as a script reader for the Public Theater in New York and the Druid Theatre in Galway, and holds Masters degrees in History and Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland and Fordham University in the Bronx. In recent years she has worked as an independent researcher for filmmakers and oral historians on a wide range of projects including The Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project, housed at the University of Kentucky.
Heather-Lyn Haley (Trauma 2013) I’m a sociologist working with refugee populations in Worcester, MA where I’m an assistant professor of family medicine and community health at UMass Med School and the president of a local non-profit called the Worcester Women’s History Project (WWHP). I’m also working on research using story-telling as a way to combat health disparities at our Center for Health Equity Intervention Research.
Helen Morgan (Radio 2014, OHSS Intensive 2015, Mixed/Memory 2015) is a writer, editor and translator, who also collects stories and loves radio. She has worked for various independent newspapers, art magazines, and human rights organisations, and is currently a Masters student in Migraciones Contemporáneas in Barcelona, Spain. She is also participating in an artist residency at Fabra i Coats, developing a project that engages the local community in a broader dialogue on migration through storytelling, mapping and audio. Through work with a refugee support center, a Muslim women's association, and anti-discrimination organisation, she is also part of an on-going oral history project that explores everyday discrimination.
Hicran Kratas (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a research assistant in the progress of attaining her PhD, focusing on Folk law, Gender and Oral history. Oral history is an area which she is focusing on deeply; she has several articles on the WOS database. She is interested in compiling the texts collected during her PhD fieldwork into a composition.
Hiram Perez (OHSS Intensive 2012, Archive 2013) is an Assistant Professor of English at Vassar College, affiliated also with the programs in Africana, Latin American and Latino/a, and Women’s Studies. He teaches courses on immigrant writing, Latino/a literature, methodologies for literary criticism, as well as interdisciplinary seminars on Queer Theory, Queer of Color Critique, Gay Harlem, and Racial Melodrama. In his spare time, he volunteers at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, helping to coordinate a Black Gay and Lesbian Archive. He also volunteers with the Vassar Prison Program and plans to offer, within the next two years, a section of Latina/o Literature class at Green Haven Correctional Facility. Currently, he is in the process of creating a Women’s Studies course on “Queering the Archive.” He is interested in stories of queer women at Vassar (and other women’s colleges) before Stonewall, especially those who were expelled. His hope is to find training in oral history and eventually be able to train students to help record these stories.
Holli Cederholm (Family Oral History 2017, Oral History & Writing 2019) Holli Cederholm has spent the last fifteen years immersed in sustainable agriculture—as a farmer, advocate, and freelance writer. She first apprenticed on a farm while in college and, upon completing a B.A. in Environmental Writing in 2007, founded her own small farm focused on celebrating the diversity of open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables. During this time, Holli cut flowers, tinctured herbs, put by the season’s bounty, fermented small batches of tempeh, and accompanied her herd of dairy goats for regular jaunts in the woods. As the former general manager of a national non-profit dedicated to organic seed growers, she authored a peer-reviewed handbook on GMO avoidance strategies for farmers and sat on the opposite side of a courtroom as Monsanto’s lawyers. Holli has also been a steward at Forest Farm, the iconic last home of The Good Life authors Helen and Scott Nearing, and an interim radio host for The Farm Report on Heritage Radio Network. She currently resides in northwestern Connecticut where she continues to grow organic vegetables while working as a writer, digital storyteller, and photographer.
Ida Yalzadeh (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a PhD student in the department of American Studies at Brown University. She primarily studies race, nation, and the Iranian diaspora through historical and cultural texts, such as stand-up comedy. Her interest in Oral History stems out of her desire to attain a deeper and more effective understanding of identity formation among Iranian Americans during the later half of the twentieth century. While receiving her BA at the University of Chicago in History, she also had the pleasure of working at McSweeney's, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the University of Chicago Press.
Irini Neofotistos (Project Lab 2014) is a former member of the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM!) at Hunter College, CUNY. She is currently working with the SLAM! Herstory Project to document and share strategies and lessons learned with current student activists. Most recently, Irini helped build grant and capacity building programs for grassroots activists, cultural arts and social justice networks as the director of the Union Square Awards in New York City. She lives in Astoria, Queens where she grew up.
Isadora Vieira (OHSS Intensive 2019) Isadora Vieira is a filmmaker with 14 years of experience. Currently an MA candidate in Media Studies at The New School, where she is diving deeper into transmedia storytelling and exploring narratives across new mediums; 360 Video and interactive documentaries. Isadora directed, Olho Magico, one of the most watched shows in Brazilian cable. Recently a short erotic film, she co-directed, Amores Liquidos, was picked up by the vanguard platform in adult cinema, X Confessions. She navigates through fiction, documentary and experimental film with ease. Her work delicately gazes at what is genuinely charming in each character, fictional and real. Most invariably her personal work is about women, as she strives for a more accurate representation in media of the female gaze, desires and cycles. Isadora grew up sailing in the brazilian northeast and developed her career between the cities of Rio and São Paulo. Recently she moved to New York, for the third time, in the hopes that the winds will freshen from here on.
Jaime Shearn Coan (OHSS Intensive 2018) is a writer and PhD Candidate in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he is completing a dissertation titled Metamorphosis Theater: Performance at the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Race, and Sexuality. He currently serves as a Mellon Digital Publics Fellow at The Graduate Center’s Center for the Humanities. Jaime’s writing has appeared in publications including TDR: The Drama Review, Critical Correspondence, Drain Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Movement Research Performance Journal, and Women & Performance. Jaime served as the 2015-2016 Danspace Project Curatorial Fellow, and co-edited the Danspace Project catalogue: Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now (2016).
Jallicia Jolly (OHSS Intensive 2017) is a Jamaican American poet, writer, and HIV/AIDS researcher with a passion for interweaving her interests in health humanities and public history. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Culture at the University of Michigan and a researcher at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, where she integrates her interests in research and praxis on institutional diversity. Stemming from research as a Fulbright Scholar in Jamaica in 2015, her doctoral work focuses on the contemporary politics of HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice, and grassroots health activism. She is interested in using oral history, life histories, ethnography, and digital storytelling to document the lived experiences of HIV-positive Black women in urban contexts in the Caribbean and the United States. Jallicia's commitment to publicly engaged, cross-cultural work on Black women’s intersectional health experiences coupled with her interest in incorporating oral history work in her pedagogical practices energizes her commitment to research-informed social action. She looks forward to connecting with people and communities similarly invested in health humanities, arts activism, and using research as a site of intellectual inquiry and social engagement.
Janice Brockley (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016, Mixed/Memory 2015): I’m a historian of disability and health with a focus on children and families. I’ve previously written about the twentieth century parents of intellectually disabled children and supposed parental “mercy killings” in the 1930s. I’m currently working on a study of intellectual disability in Mississippi in the decades after the Brown decision. I’m not a native Mississippian nor a southern historian so I’ve been immersing myself lately in Mississippi history, trying to catch up. I’m an associate professor at Jackson State, Mississippi’s largest historically black university. I teach courses in the history of the U.S., black women, public health, disability, and childhood. I have some theoretical knowledge of oral history and last summer I took a workshop in mixed ability interviewing with OHSS. This summer, I’m hoping to work on designing my own oral history project and gaining practical skills as an interviewer.
Jared Miracle (OHSS Intensive 2014) is a PhD student specializing in folklore and folklife in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University. His dissertation tells the story of how Americans came to adopt and adapt East Asian martial arts after World War II, and what meaning they hold for the current community of practitioners. Jared received a degree in Asian studies from Purdue University and his research interests include folk culture, narrative, physical culture, religion and the supernatural, myth, performance, transnationalism, and play.
Jasmine Stein (OHSS Intensive 2013, Radio 2013): I was born in 1989 and my family moved from the U.S. to Berlin, Germany, a few months before the wall fell. I lived there until age 19, when I moved to New York City to attend the Cooper Union School of Art, my alma mater.
Jason Marlow (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a Filmmaker (narrative and documentary) living in Hudson, NY. He’s also a co-owner of the soon to be operating sail cargo company Hudson Sail Freight. He was born far from the ocean in Oklahoma, and later moved with his mother to rural Mississippi where he was introduced to both great music, and well told tall tales.
Jeanne Hutchins (OHSS Intensive 2012, Trauma 2013, Doc Film 2013, Radio 2013, I Am Sitting In A Room 2017): I have had the pleasure and privilege of working as a clinical social worker for the past twenty four years and therefore have been privy to the amazing story of others. I have wondered for a long time how to respectfully put these experiences and cultural histories into another framework to be shared. For the past four years, my primary focus has been in providing clinical services specific to trauma and torture recovery with Somali Bantu refugees, an amazing animistic-nomadic people who lived as farmers in the Jubba/ Shebelle River Valley prior to a prolonged draconian displacement as a result of civil war. Many hours have been spent in listening to the stories of phases such as these: life before, the complexities of prolonged loss during flight, refugee camps/multiple relocations, adjustment to an unknown culture, survival through spiritual practices, cultural beliefs, and a long tradition of storytelling. My home is in Maine where I have a private clinical practice.
Jeff Nagle (OHSS Intensive 2016): I am a PhD student in the history and sociology of science; specifically, I work on the history of environment, labor, and technology around deindustrialization and the combined urban-environmental crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. I focus on community responses to capital flight and environmental injustice, on the different futures imagined by capital, experts, community activists, and technological futurists, some spectacular, some quotidian, in cities and countrysides in Pennsylvania, the upper peninsula of Michigan, and southern Appalachia.
Jen Griffith (OHWS Family 2015): During the farming season, I work at Queens County Farm Museum in Queens, NY, a community farm that grows vegetables, educates the public, and preserves a historic farm. I am in the agricultural department there and grow, harvest, and market the vegetables. I also take care of the livestock and do public education by managing our volunteers days and hosting Farmer Led Tours. During the winter season, for the past two farming seasons, I have been working with The Greenhorns to develop an oral history project interviewing the elders in the Grange Movement (a populist farmer movement/fraternal agrarian organization with an interesting political and social past). We have been touring California with this project for the month of December collecting oral histories along the way and doing events based highlighting the rich history and potential future of the Grange in the farming community. I tend to have an interest in crafts and historical knowledge that I think could enrich our lives today. I am interested in preserving technical skills, lore, and people's personal stories. I enjoy getting a glimpse into the past and truly understanding how our current access to technology and transportation has changed our environment. I am interested in understanding what elements of life are at the essence of what it means to be human.
Jennie Morrison (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Jennie Morrison has a background in social work and youth development, working primarily with kids and families in public school settings in Seattle and New York City. She is particularly interested in the voices of workers in children and family serving systems, including the public education and child welfare. During a Masters in Social Work program, she developed an interest in storytelling and narrative as tools for healing, human connection, and social change.
Jennifer Garcon (Trauma 2013) is a doctoral student of Latin American history, with a particular interest in Haiti. She is interested in questions of translation, constituent/constituted power and forced migration. Her current research centers on experiences of Haitian exile and the attendant cultural production of historical memory during the Duvalier regime (1957-1986).
Jennifer Zackin (OHSS Intensive 2019) For the last 20 years Jennifer Zackin has been integrating public art, social sculpture, installation, performance, collaboration, ceremony, photography, video, collage and drawing into acts of reverence and reciprocity. Whether wrapping trees in patterns of brightly colored rope, growing medicinal herbs in a public garden for public use, offering large masses of rose petals to oceans and lakes, creating absorbent tentacles ("hair booms") out of salvaged materials to aid in the clean-up efforts of toxic spills, Zackin seeks to engage and create community in her process, bringing art and ritual into everyday life. Every act is an exploration of exchange, communion, performance, skill-sharing and mark-making. Her work has been exhibited in national and international museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Spertus Museum, Rose Museum, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden - Norway, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Zacheta National Art Gallery - Warsaw, Poland. Commissions include Governors Island with LMCC, Katonah Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park and MASS MOcA at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. She is the recipient of fellowships including Art Omi, Atlantic Center for the Arts and Skowhegan.
Jenniffer Woodson (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) As the archivist for the Ayn Rand Archives, I'm responsible for processing and preserving Ayn Rand’s personal and professional papers and other related collections. As the department manager, I assist researchers, answer reference questions, and supervise interns and volunteers. I'm also managing our newest oral history project (on the formation and early years of the Objectivist movement). I'm interested in everything related to oral histories, including issues concerning memory, annotation, and best practices for eliciting information on sensitive topics.
Jenny Burman (OHSS Intensive 2017) is an academic who lives in Montreal and teaches at McGill University in Communication Studies. She wrote a book called Transnational Yearnings, about the multiple connections (economic, social, cultural, emotional) between Toronto and Jamaica. These days she works on the intersection of gender-based violence, urban 'blight', and trauma-rooted addiction. She is new to oral history but excited about what people's personal narratives could bring to this and other projects.
Jenny Goldberg (OHSS Intensive 2014, Family History 2015, Radio 2015, Collecting and Composing 2015, Mixed/Memory 2015) is currently working as an archivist for fine art photographer, Joel Meyerowitz. She also does freelance transcription work for oral historians, publications, and non-profit organizations. Previously, she worked as a book editor at Aperture Foundation, a non-profit photography organization. She has a BA in Documentary Studies from the College of Santa Fe.
Jenny Kane (OHSS Intensive 2012, Radio 2013, OHWS Family 2015, OHWS Radio 2015): I live in Brooklyn (after many years in the East Village) and work on movies/tv/commercials as an electrician. I’ve just completed my MA in Media Studies at the New School where I took audio/radio classes, a short course in Oral History as Documentary, and several seminars which used the city as a laboratory. I made a short video about Tug Boats which introduced me to the New York waterfront and I’ve recently been involved with waterfront organizations and maritime preservation projects. I studied history in college and later photography at the International center of Photography in NYC and I’ve been an addicted listener to WNYC since moving here in 1983. I’ve always been interested in hearing stories of places that no longer exist or have changed dramatically and the “small” stories about people’s lives and the city’s neighborhoods. I’m interested in using oral history for radio stories (Sound Portraits’ radio documentaries are some of my favorites) and multi-media projects.
Jeremy Thal (Radio 2014) is a French horn player, composer, educator, and co-founder of Found Sound Nation, a collective of musicians and artists who leverage the unique power of creative sound-making to help build strong, just, healthy communities. With Found Sound Nation he has co-led collaborative sound-making projects in NYC, Haiti, Zimbabwe, New Orleans, Mexico, Senegal, Indonesia, Italy, and Switzerland. Jeremy studied ethnomusicology and Chinese at Northwestern University, and continues to work as a performer. As a French horn player and multi-instrumentalist, Jeremy has recorded and toured with Neutral Milk Hotel and The National, and leads his own band, Briars of North America.
Jess Lamar Reece Holler (OHSS Intensive 2016) is a PhD. student in Penn's Department of English Literature, and, in May of 2016, completed her MA in Public-Sector Folk Studies in the Dept. of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University. Jess works as a public-sector and applied folklorist and community-based oral historian with a strong interest in the histories and futures of sustainable agriculture, food systems, food access, environmental justice, and the power and meaning of place and experience and movement histories of displacement. In 2015, Jess completed an oral history project with the Kentucky Oral History Commission on the history and community memory of the Christian-Trigg Farms Project -- a New Deal Resettlement Farm built in Christian County, Kentucky, to promote principles of conservation agriculture. At present, she is directing two new oral history projects: a community-collaborative effort in the Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia on community memory around urban renewal removals, activism, and organizing around site-based environmental toxicity, in partnership with Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities (PPEH) and the Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) ; and a statewide oral history and archives project with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) on the rise of the ecological agriculture movement in Ohio, and the spaces and places in which agricultural training becomes ecological activism. Jess is especially interested in models for community co-curated, collaborative practice; and in digital, physical and map-based tools for emplace-ing oral history & providing rich context for spatial memory and experience. She has also served as an oral history intern with the Ohio History Connection, and has worked on Philadelphia's Stadium Stompers Oral History Project and as a fieldwork/documentation intern around food access for Wholesome Wave/Columbus, Ohio's VeggieSNAPs nutrition incentive program. Jess is a proud native of Columbus, where she lives most of the time with the world's best border collie, Isaly Caledonia!
Jess Puglisi (OHWS Radio 2015) is Managing Editor of Fence / Fence Books, as well as Programs Coordinator at Wave Farm. Prior to her position as Programs Coordinator, he spent over two years as Outreach Coordinator of ave Farm program division WGXC 90.7-FM, a creative community radio station. Driven foremost by an impulse to observe and document, ess has followed a meandering trajectory underpinned by a passion for the study of character and place. As a result of her engagement with WGXC, he learned to employ audio recording as a means of portraying encounters and occurrences in and around New York's Greene and Columbia Counties. Past work includes a series of features documenting the town of Prattsville in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, produced for and aired on WGXC. She intends to continue to contribute her energies to the record of the lesser-seen.
Jessica Cottle (Oral History for Educators 2019) I recently earned my Public History MA from Appalachian State University. I am currently the Justice, Equality, and Community Project Archivist with Davidson College as part of a campus-wide Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant focused on grappling with local issues related to race, religion, and social justice. As part of my position, I work closely with colleagues and faculty to incorporate archival materials into courses addressing these themes, as well as engage students and the local community to expand and diversify our archival collections. I applied for the Oral History Winter School to gain experience in producing and teaching oral history as part of these efforts. I am particularly interested in exploring Oral History as a pedagogical tool for empowering students as active participants in the life cycle of institutional memory by looking at curricular integration, collaborative project development, and student-led collecting.
Jessica Lamb-Shapiro (OHSS Intensive 2012, Radio 2013): I first encountered oral history through OHSS 2012, and have been a little obsessed ever since. I’m a writer interested in a family history project, as well as hoping to incorporate some oral history into my professional work. My non-fiction book, Promise Land: A Journey Through America’s Euphoric, Soul-Sucking, Emancipating, Hornswoggling, and Irrepressible Self-Help Culture, will be published by Simon and Schuster in Jan 2014.
JoAnn LoSavio (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a second year Phd student of history at Northern Illinois University. She has a B.A. in history, anthropology, and a minor in Southeast Asian studies from the same institution, and a M.A. in anthropology from Emory University. Her dissertation project focuses on young women of Burma and Malaya in the 1950s and 1960s, and their pursuit of higher education in the metropole. In general, she is interested in transnational links through “overseas” education, and the impact of these processes on post-Colonial Southeast Asian culture and society.
Joanna Thompson (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Joanna Thompson is a graduate student in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. She is currently based in Brooklyn and works in Records Management at the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) , where she is responsible for processing physical and digital materials regarding the DSNY artist-in-residence. She previously received an MA in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universitaet Berlin (2018) and a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Fine Art from the University of Louisville (2014). She was born in Germany, raised in Kentucky, and spent several years living in Turkey. These international moves led to her interest in studying diaspora communities in the United States and Europe. For her first MA thesis, she wrote about notions of belonging and non-belonging among Middle Eastern leftists in New York City. Additionally, Joanna is interested in and writes on critical pedagogy and research methods and methodology, including oral history.
Jodi Clough (Mixed/Memory 2015): I was born and raised in the rural communities in Upstate New York. I hold a BA in Human Relations. Most of my adult life, I lived and worked in New York City and Washington, DC as an Estate Manager. Recently, I came back to Columbia County to care for my grandmother. Upon her passing, I began working at Camphill Ghent when it opened in 2011. I started as a Home Health Aide but now work full time in the Activities Department. At Camphill, I discovered I love working with the elder population! Currently, I live in a 1820 renovated Greek revival with my adorable yellow lab, Wiggles in Valatie, NY. I enjoying reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my friends, family and of course, Wiggles!
John Marchese (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a Lecturer in Spanish at Valparaiso University in Indiana and is currently completing his dissertation titled "Religion, Revolution, and the Realm of the Literary in Twentieth Century Central American Prose." This project is related to his more general concerns about the relation between church and state interaction with both progressive and reactionary political movements. He is interested to incorporate oral history components into some of his Spanish courses and is also part of a team that is working to elaborate a history of Su Casa Catholic Worker, a Chicago-based organization that originally housed survivors of torture from Central America, and has gradually expanded its mission to provide a community garden, a soup kitchen, and shelter and case management for homeless families over its 26-year history.
John Serafin (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) arrived at radio in his early forties, playing records and hanging out with kids half his age at Northwestern University's station, WNUR. The experience was both awkward and rewarding. As a web developer, he comes to the Oral History Summer School with very little interview, audio or editing experience but with a enormous amount of enthusiasm and love for radio. He currently hosts The Midnight Crisis, Wednesday nights on Chicago's CHIRP Radio.
Jon Earle (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): I'm an independent audio producer in Brooklyn, NY. Before that, I was a print journalist in Moscow, Russia and a producer at StoryKeep, a company that makes family history documentaries.
Jordan Fickle (OHSS Intensive 2019) I am a life-long learner, dedicated dog-mom, hiking aficionado, burgeoning world-traveler, and clinical social worker from Fayetteville, Arkansas. My interest in oral history is driven by personal dreams and professional intentions. Through my experiences, I have learned the power stories have to empower and protect, educate and preserve, connect and change. My goal is to learn how to cultivate, collect, and perpetuate the voices of others in order to create a meaningful and enduring narrative legacy.
Jose Ortega (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): José Ortega is the Exhibit and Collections Coordinator for Community Museums located in Pueblo. José is responsible for curating the objects and memories that help us to tell stories in our museums and communities. Even before he worked for History Colorado, he assisted El Pueblo History Museum in working with the Salt Creek Memory Project. He worked with the community and helped to collect stories. He is now staff of History Colorado and is serving as the lead person on the Dogpatch Memory Project, in addition to his many other exhibits and collections duties throughout the state. José intuitively knows how to work in community and guide community in the Museum of Memory process. He will benefit from this program in discovering ways to take what he does intuitively and develop pathways, methods, and training to empower others to lead this work.
Joseph Harold Larnerd (Oral History for Educators 2019) I am a Ph.D. candidate in the art history program at Stanford University. My research and teaching attend to the social histories of American material and visual culture from the late-eighteenth century to the present. Much of my recent work considers how artworks and artifacts have intervened in popular understandings and enactments of social class, privilege, and mobility. I am especially invested in exploring the roles of such objects in the lives and labors of the working classes, whether as representations, products of their efforts, or possessions. My dissertation-in-progress, “Decorative Cut Glass and the Working Class in America, 1876 to 1916,” offers one such history of cut glass, domestic glassware incised with geometric patterns and popular around the turn of the century. This project has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Winterthur Museum, the Huntington Library, the American Antiquarian Society, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, and others. I am currently the Douglass Foundation Fellow in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I will finish my dissertation this spring.
Josephine Shokrian (OHSS Intensive 2012) makes film and designs sets for video and photography. Her work draws from a background in landscape filmmaking and field recording practices, exploring the intimacies of place through constructed interior and exterior environments. Her most recent work, a miniature Southern California suburban landscape that she designed and fabricated, has been published in V Magazine. She currently lives and works in New York City.
Judith Stone (OHSS Intensive 2013) is an editor and writer whose most recent nonfiction book, When She Was White, was named one of the Washington Post’s top 100 books of 2007. She was the features editor of the late, lamented Mirabella, and a contributing editor at O, The Oprah Magazine, Discover, Glamour, andHealth. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New York, Smithsonian, and many other publications. Judy was on the founding board of The Moth, the storytelling organization, and has served as curator, storyteller, host and outreach volunteer. She lives in Brooklyn.
Julia Gottlieb (OHSS Intensive 2019) Originally from Oak Park, IL, Julia Gottlieb is a rising senior at Scripps College working towards her BA in American Studies and dance. As a student, she is interested in public space, social movements, performance, and collective memory. Through her studies, she has been introduced to various modes of narrative storytelling such as movement, non-fiction creative writing, and more recently, oral history.
Julia Hanlon (OHWS Radio 2015) is the podcast host of Running On Om, yoga teacher, long-distance runner, and student of life. Julia’s three main loves are storytelling, yoga, and running. The Running On Om Podcast interviews innovative minds from yoga, running, spiritual, and health backgrounds. In spring 2014, Julia graduated from Bates College, with a BA and a double major in ethnomusicology and religious studies. Julia’s ethnomusicology thesis was an oral history focused on kirtan (chanting) artist Jai Uttal. She spent the Fall 2014 in Ethiopia working with young Ethiopian female runners. Julia is excited to develop a podcast interview with renowned Ethiopian runner, Haile Gebrselassie.
Julie Golia (OHSS Intensive 2015): I am a historian of 20th century America, media, and gender. Currently, I'm the Director of Public History at Brooklyn Historical Society, where I have curated digital and physical exhibitions about Brooklyn's agricultural origins, Civil War correspondence and photography, and the history of Brooklyn's waterfront. I'm also the co-founder and editor of TeachArchives.org, a robust educational website that brings innovative teaching exercises and articles on pedagogy to a national audience.
Julie Rogers (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a public historian working in public radio. She holds an MA in history from American University and a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include American popular culture, gender, media and sound studies. As a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress, she worked with pulp magazine collection, a dream come true for the self-proclaimed science fiction geek and detective story aficionada. Currently, Rogers is a member of NPR’s Research, Archives & Data Strategy team and is working to expand institutional knowledge by collecting oral histories from NPR colleagues. Her project focuses on NPR’s early news reporting and the organization’s commitment to promoting the diversity of on-air voices.
Kaitlyn Schwalje (OHSS Intensive 2016) lives in Brooklyn, NY. After studying physics at Carnegie Mellon University she worked as a research associate at Walt Disney Imagineering building wearable technologies. During design graduate school in Copenhagen, she investigated the science and design behind efforts to preserve our world’s agricultural diversity. Kaitlyn is fascinated by the mechanisms that govern how everything works, from physical architectures to people and their behaviors. She is currently developing a podcast featuring NYC-local scientists speaking about their work, dreams, struggles, and predictions. She is a contributing producer for WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show. Her work has appeared in Wired, Fast Company and The Creators Project. Reading about Joe Gould brought her here.
Kara Kornhaber (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I’m a podcast producer who graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary studies in May, and studied philosophy and French as an undergrad. I’m currently working for Neon Hum Media making entertaining podcasts to pay the bills but looking to dig deeper into stories, characters and histories with more heart, soul, meaning and care.
Kara Westerman (OHSS Radio 2015, OHSS Intensive 2017) is an alumna of The Oral History Winter School in 2015. She is a published fiction author, teacher, podcaster, oral history facilitator, and fearless leader of Amagansett Writer’s Collective. She received her MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and received the Edward Albee Foundation residency fellowship. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Ohio Review, the anthology, Submerged: Tales From the Basin, and The East Hampton Star. She is now a feature writer for the newspaper The East End Beacon. She created the podcast, AmagansettLand for the Amagansett Free Library, and she produces and hosts a podcast called Phantom Hampton: Stories From Where The Rest Of Us Live. Please visit her on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/phantomhampton where you can hear most of her articles in extended form. She lives and works in East Hampton, New York.
Karen Gardner (OHSS Assistant 2013) is a writer, radio producer, and resident of Hudson, NY. Her written work thus far explores new analyses of microeconomic development theory, including critiques within labor economics, urban economics, and community-based development. Her work has included an interview-based project in the Ilam region of eastern Nepal analyzing the power dynamics involved in a tea factory’s conversion to organic production. A subsequent project analyzes USAID’s agricultural technology interventions in Nepal. She has recently begun co-hosting a radio show on Hudson’s community radio station WGXC with fellow Oral History Summer School students Melinda Braathen and Sara Kendall. She is also a baker and runner. Karen received her Bachelor’s in Economics at Bard College.
Karen L. Lew Biney-Amissah (OHSS Intensive 2018) is a lifelong New Yorker, an educator who works in informal learning environments, a budding public historian, and researcher with an interest in revealing hidden histories. Most recently, she served as Senior Educator at the High Line, a formerly abandoned elevated railway transformed into a public park, where she created and designed learning experiences built around connections to place and personal narratives. Karen is also an experienced administrator of after school programs and has worked as an educator at several cultural institutions in the New York City area, including the Museum of Chinese in America, Save Ellis Island, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. She is fascinated by the life of urban environments and how cities work.
Karen Shakerdge (OHSS Intensive 2013): My academic background is in anthropology and media studies, via The New School. Since finishing my studies in 2008 I’ve been working in TV and documentary production. For the past two years, I’ve been working at a small independent production company where I’ve focused on research, conducting preliminary interviews, fieldwork, editing media and story development for feature length documentaries. Most recently, I’ve been focusing my time on fundraising and development for a few projects that are not yet in production.
Kate Blofson (OHSS Intensive 2013, I Am Sitting In A Room 2017): In recent years, I've worked as a beekeeper and moonlight in the winter as an oral historian. For my graduate thesis in Natural Resources, I conducted a place-based oral history project about the Winooski intervale, and was then hired by the Vermont Historical Society to collect oral histories for the Vermont 70s Project. Prior to my Vermont life, among other endeavors, I worked as a community organizer for the Prometheus Radio Project.
Kate Ratcliff (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a Professor in American Studies at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. She moved to Marlboro 26 years ago with her husband and two year old son, with one chapter left of her dissertation on historic suburbia and no experience teaching at a tiny college or living in the country. She finished the dissertation, had a second child, and fell in love with Marlboro College and the mountains of southern Vermont. One of the joys of teaching at Marlboro is the freedom to develop and pursue new academic interests. Her graduate training focused on turn-of-the-twentieth century social and cultural history and archival research methods, but she’s enjoyed teaching a diverse range of subjects, including consumer culture and mass media, contemporary feminism and environmental history.
Kate Skorpen-Claeson (OHSS Intensive 2012): For the last fifteen years I have worked with the United States Courts as a staff attorney working principally on cases filed by individuals who are not represented by an attorney. My subject-matter specialization is civil rights (constitutional and statutory) and habeas corpus. I am midway through a Masters of International Human Rights at Oxford University; I have a dissertation to complete and next summer will spend five weeks studying and exam-taking at Oxford. (This will be my second residential experience.) My dissertation will focus on the United States’ historical leadership in establishing the international rights instruments and its failure to realize these rights at home, a shortcoming often justified by the notion of American Exceptionalism. In particular I am focusing on labor rights standards and child labor. Needless to say, oral history will enrich my approach to my work in this area by providing narratives to underpin my legal analysis. I am also working with a local group in my community in Maine that is using oral histories/stage performances/workshops to explore issues of dignity in these times of economic hardship and social/political division.
Katherine Newhouse (Mixed/Memory 2015) is a third year doctoral student at Teachers College at Columbia in the Curriculum and Teaching department. As a former special education teacher, Katherine is interested in disability studies in education as an underlying theoretical framework for inclusive education. While still in the process of completing my course work, she plans to frame her dissertation work using disability studies in education.
Kathy Bailey (OHSS Intensive 2013): I have worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years in the areas of housing and adult literacy. I recently spent three years in national service with Literacy AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA, working with GED and ESL students. I am presently a GED instructor at the Dutchess BOCES Adult Literacy Institute, which means I am basically a teacher of a one-room schoolhouse: helping some students work on their multiplication tables, some write critical essays and others solve problems with the Pythagoreum Theorem . I am focusing on deconstructing and demystifying math topics and developing real-life curriculum for my classes. I lived in Hudson for 3 years and now reside in Poughkeepsie. I am interested in architecture, photography, writing and in the history of the Hudson Valley. I recently met my 2012 goal of crossing the Hudson River 100 times on the Walkway over the Hudson. I documented my trips with over 1000 photos and created a photo book of the experience.
Katie Hammond (Shaking the Family Tree, 2017, Mixed/Memory 2015): I love listening to people tell stories. Thankfully I chose a career that centers around storytelling. Through various social work positions over the past 10 years, I have had the pleasure of interviewing and listening to hundreds of people in a diverse range of settings, from nursing homes to domestic violence shelters to jails. I am in the process of brainstorming a new path and want oral history to play a major role in the form it takes. I look forward to meeting and learning from all of you.
Kelly Giles (OHSS Intensive 2016): I’m a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Sociology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. My research interest include: race, class, gender; sexuality; agency/autonomy; organizations/institutions and methodology. My current research examines middle aged (35 to 55 years) Black women and their ideals regarding dating, love, sex and intimacy. More specifically, I’m exploring the impact voice and voiceless has on the construction of Black sexual narratives, particularly as it relates to the Black female body in the US. I received a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Marketing, from Western Michigan University (2002) and from CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique & Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA) Program (2014) with concentrations in Gender and Sociology. Their my research interest focused on the impact that mass media and popular culture has on ideals of self, specifically as it relates to the body and body image, for Black women in the US.
Kieran Cannistra (OHSS Intensive 2014) is … where to begin? Kieran Cannistra works in communications at IBM Design. She is based out of Portland, OR, where she lives with her five children and husband. She has previously lived on the Oregon coast, in Western Maryland, in Atlanta, Georgia, all over the place in the Northeast (NY / NH / CT / MA) and for a few years in Tokyo, Japan. She landed in her communications role after a few years in learning design, and (before that) a few years in fundraising. She really, really hated fundraising. A lot. Kieran spends most of her time picking up Lego, scraping what looks like it might have been banana off the floor, and putting coins into the family swear jar. She wishes she spent more time reading and writing for pleasure. She wishes she spent less time looking for missing library books.
Kira Thompson (Archive 2013) I am a librarian in a public library in upstate New York, working at least in part in the Local History collection. We have begun some work on creating a digital library from our historic photo collection, and would like to add oral histories to the project to supplement and complement the images. Though we have made some preliminary recordings, there is a great deal more I would like to know about the process.
Kristin Lin (Oral History & Writing 2019) I'm an editor at The On Being Project, a media and public life initiative based in Minneapolis (best known for our public radio show/podcast On Being, which examines the questions, what does it mean to be human; how do we want to live; and who do we want to be with each other?). I grew up in a Buddhist Taiwanese household in Texas, which I think very much influenced my curiosity about the world and my decision to become a journalist — during college at the University of Chicago, I edited and wrote for a couple of campus publications while pursuing my degree in political science (my studies focused on environmental politics and Asian American history). I'm interested in how oral history methods can deepen the kind of work I'm able to do, both with individuals and communities. Prior to On Being, I worked at UC Berkeley and interned at The Wall Street Journal. When I'm not listening to podcasts or reading, I enjoy cooking for crowds, running, and penning my (mostly defunct) advice column.
Kristina Whipple (OHSS Intensive 2015, C&C 2015) is living her life out of order. She became a mother at the age of 25; earned a BA degree in Applied Behavioral Science at 30; launched a career as a nonprofit program manager and community events organizer at 31; built a house through a low income housing program at the age of 34; co-produced and co-directed a short documentary film at the age of 36, in which she interviewed over three hundred people; and met the love of her life at 37. Now in her 40s, Kristina is circling back to her early fascination with gathering people’s stories. Often in our society we hear under-represented voices through the experience of the exceptional lone voice that breaks through the cacophony. Kristina is fascinated by oral history, especially its ability to capture a body of human experience in both its diversity and similarity, thus creating a context in which those voices are heard. She looks forward to contributing to this body of work.
Lailye Weidman (OHSS Intensive 2019) Lailye Weidman is a choreographer and educator based in Western Massachusetts. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hampshire College and a 2018 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in Choreography. Her recent projects include Showman, an homage to the resonance of hardcore music; Social Animal Please Tame Me, an ensemble dance theater work investigating consent and consensus; and Dike Dance, a site-specific performance and community dialogue on salt marsh restoration. She worked with the Movement Party from 2013-2016 to collectively produce Fleet Moves, an annual site-based dance festival on Cape Cod for four seasons. She is also a member of Femmelab, a queer research and movement collective. Lailye received her BA in dance from UCLA and an MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been shown in venues on both coasts, the Midwest, and Europe. She has been an artist-in-residence at APE Ltd Gallery in Northampton, Light Box in Detroit, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND) in New York City, Hothouse UCLA, and the SEEDS Festival at Earthdance. She was Associate Editor for several issues of Contact Quarterly and remains a contributing editor.
Laura Hoffmann (OHSS Intensive 2017, I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) conducts interviews with visual artists, filmmakers, and composers. For many years she handled Artforum magazine's international reviews, after stints in fiction publishing, theater production, book selling, and photo editing. She holds a post-graduate degree in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne.
Laura Murray (OHSS Intensive 2015): I teach Cultural Studies and English at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. I’m also a musician and a community activist. Kingston is a conservative city known for its nineteenth-century limestone and as the home of Canada’s first prime minister. I however am interested in more recent history, the history of ordinary people and places, labour, immigration, play, the stuff of life. I’m in the early stages of a neighbourhood history project, and wanting to find inspiration and ideas about how to go beyond the staid classic interview – I want to learn about podcast possibilities, mapping and landscape-based interfaces, arts collaborations, and how oral history can contribute to community development without being a tool for gentrification.
Laura Thorne (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): Laura Thorne is a writer, illustrator, and the associate publisher of The New Inquiry. She holds a BA in Contemporary Theory and recently earned an MA in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism from The New School. Originally from the West Coast of Canada, she now lives in Brooklyn and works for Verso Books, as well as on several independent publishing projects. She is interested in new modes of criticism, hybrid forms, and community formation through narrative.
Laura Zelasnic (OHSS Intensive 2013, Radio 2014): Born in Scranton, PA. Attended Penn State. Graduated with a BA in Art History. Pursued graduate studies in Material Culture. MLS from Queens College, NYC. Worked as a project archivist for some years. Drawn to sound through its ephemeral, atmospheric qualities. Transitioning from historian to reporter.
Laurel Forest Foglia (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) was born and raised on a small family farm on Long Island, New York. She is currently based in Chicago where she has worked as a writer, editor, and educator. Foglia earned a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Lauren Bouton (OHSS Intensive 2014, Radio 2014): I spent my childhood in Upstate NY and my formative years in a college town in the Deep South. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Political Science and Spanish I decided it was time to leave the south to seek inspiration and opportunity. Since then, I have worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA, a production assistant for film and photography, a documentary film researcher and transcriber, an archive assistant, and recently have moved to New York City, a life-long goal. As of May 10, 2014, I have managed to narrow down my interests to these: media arts, research, documentary journalism, oral history, archival media, anthropology and sociology, gender and racial equality, mortality and spirituality. My plan for the future involves graduate work in Anthropology and continued study of media arts as a form of self-expression and social change.
Lauren Elizabeth Kelly (Radio 2013, OHSS 2014 Assistant , OHWS Radio Instructor, OHSS 2015 Program Coordinator, Staff): I’m a filmmaker with a background in ballet and post-modern dance interested in experimental practices, cognition, creativity, and humor. I hold an M.A. in Media Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies, both from The New School University, and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. I’ve screened at festivals and galleries around New York and last year at backup_Festival Weimar Germany. I’m currently working on two films. One is a short about my Mom and the idea of home. I shot over 8 months after my mom had a stroke and my parents packed up and moved from one home to a new one. The main audio components are a recording two weeks after her stroke as she was working to remember, communicate, and draw a family tree (as a recommended recovery exercise) , and an ongoing oral history as she regains language. My other current project is about my brother-in-law, Emmet, and his work with the alternative justice program Rapid Intervention Community Court in Burlington, VT, that works to get to the root of minor-offenders problems with a focus on addiction, mental illness, and access to treatment. Emmet’s 30 plus years working in the community provide him unique perspectives on addiction, mental illness, poverty, and justice. I am simultaneously excited and slightly anxious about my recent move from Brooklyn, NY to Burlington, VT to dive-in and work on these films!
Leanne Tory-Murphy (OHSS Intensive 2015) lives and works in Kingston, NY. For the past three years she has worked as an outreach worker with farmworkers throughout New York State for a regional human rights organization, the Worker Justice Center of New York. She does freelance journalism on issues relating to migrants rights and border politics. She first became interested in Oral History through a joint program between the Duke Center for Documentary Studies and Student Action with Farmworkers in Durham, North Carolina. Through the fellowship she was able to re-establish her ethics in regards to participating in media work and attempt to create a truly collaborative process between documentarian and participant. Through that program and in the years that followed, Leanne recorded many interviews with farmworker women and young Latinas living in Upstate NY. Most recently, she did several interviews with Central American youth who recently migrated to the Hudson Valley, excerpts of which were published in the January issue of the Chronogram magazine. Lastly, in her role as paralegal at the Worker Justice Center, she regularly conducts non-recorded interviews about the living and working conditions of low-wage immigrant workers in the area in the hopes of finding legal remedies that respond to some of the challenges they face.
Lee Gloffke (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I am a 55 year old male, retired from NYPD, former owner of security company, currently developing a new E-Publishing business geared toward giving first responders a platform for their voices. As part of my new venture, I would like to start a WTC 911 oral history project on my website.
Lena Sradnick (OHSS Intensive 2012) was born and raised New York City and now lives in Brooklyn. She works as a teacher and administrator at Basic Trust Infant Toddler Day Care Center, where she went as a child. She is a graduate of Bard College with a background in French Studies, dance and arts education.
Lin Zinser (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) My occupations have always involved asking people questions--from waitress to insurance claims representative, and trial lawyer to director of public relations at a non-profit. I've also been involved in forming community clubs and various kinds of activism. I enjoy talking to people and finding out what ideas motivate them. I'm now working as an independent contractor for the Ayn Rand Archives' Oral History project. I've never been involved in an oral history project before, and am interested in interviewing techniques, equipment, how to develop trust between interviewer and interviewee, best practices for these kinds of projects, and all the other issues I need and want to learn!
Lingling Yang (Oral History & Writing 2019) I’m a grant writer, researcher and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. I’m currently working on a project to incorporate oral history into the philosophy for children curriculum for an education non-profit in Taiwan, as well as several projects that use oral history interviews for memoir, creative nonfiction, and performance work.
Lisa Arrastia (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is Originally from New York City and teaches in the Writing and Critical Inquiry program at University of Albany, State University of New York. She has an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and an M.A. in Education, and she is a candidate for the PhD in American studies from University of Minnesota. Her fields of concentration are critical education studies, youth studies, and critical ethnic and gender studies. Her research examines the intersections of race, gender, and social class, and the crisis of social connection among young people. has worked as a principal, a consultant, and a teacher in independent, public, charter, and international schools. Right now, Lisa is working on building YPA: A Young People's Archive, a site which will launch in July 2016. Recently, Lisa published "love Pedagogy" in the Huffington Post, and she is working on her second book, Everyday Kids, which takes a creative approach to sharing some of the stories featured on YPA. Lisa is the editor with Marvin Hoffman of Starting Up: Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools (Teachers College Press, 2012) ; a consulting editor for the journal Schools; an assistant editor for the journal XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics; an advisory board member of New York University’s PACH (Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity) ; and she was the founder, designer, and lead facilitator for the Teachers Institute @Minneapolis, a fellowship program for practicing grades 5-12 teachers that built a network of critical educators committed to creative, democratic classrooms. In all of her work with schools, Lisa focuses on the development of empathic communities where young people have the freedom to think, question, and innovate as they wrestle with the tangled complexities of self, other, and difference.
Lise Brenner (C&C 2015): I am a choreographer/performer/writer/producer with a fairly heavy duty day job career in various levels of administration/management both corporate and non-profit. Since about 2002 I have been experimenting in different ways with applying choreographic thinking (i.e. how space/activity/time is organized and how to make that visible) to site specific projects ranging from a dance made for radio with pirate radio Patapoe in Amsterdam to mapping the pay phones in the East Village for Peter Stuyvesant's Ghost, which was a sound art/history/sound walk/environmental event sponsored by a bunch of people including the NY Dept. of Cultural Affairs and the Mondrian Stichting (Netherlands). Most recently I've been developing ideas based on a small project I did last year in Dutch Kills called Find Your Way that was organized around asking people in Dutch Kills to identify the place(s) in the neighborhood that they love and tell me the story of why. I made a treasure hunt for non-residents out of the sites/stories. Currently I am working to develop a collective project with various people mostly based in LIC/Astoria that aims to use collecting local stories about culture: making food, gardening, buildings, where and how people work, music, language--all the things that make up daily life and showcasing the most vivid at a monthly pop-up in various locations along the N and 7 subways lines. We plan to focus on a different 8 block radius each month and to connect with local businesses, civic associations, grassroots organizations, artists, cooks, etc--working as much as possible via word of mouth so that we build community as we collect stories in various mediums (video, dance, music, recipes, art or other objects).
Liz Dautzenberg (OHSS Intensive 2019) With over 10 years of experience in de creative industry Liz Dautzenberg (1986, Amsterdam) developed herself as a visual artist, producer, journalist and researcher. Liz works across the fields of documentary film, journalism, visual arts, radio and digital culture. Previous creative projects include the viral sensation of The Garden of Earthly Delights (PvH Film & NTR), the interactive documentary The Metamorphosis of Escher (NTR), the feature film History’s Future, Food Markets: In the Belly of the City (ARTE/ZDF), among many others. In her most recent project she assisted Jeffrey Perkins on his feature documentary George - The Story of George Maciunas and Fluxus. In addition to juggling a variety of ongoing creative projects she is also co-owns a film archive in Amsterdam: Cine Qua Non. Liz holds a degree in both Film Studies (BA) and Audiovisual Journalism (MA) from the University of Amsterdam, with a minor in Architecture and Visual Arts from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. At the New School in New York she received extensive training in documentary filmmaking and experimental film.
Liz OuYang (OHSS Intensive 2015) is starting an artistic blog for Asian/American women with breast cancer to express themselves through stories, poetry, and artwork. She hopes to conduct oral history interviews to document how they dealt with disclosing the news, fears, incidents of humor, and living after diagnosis. This blog is for Asian/American women who want to disclose, but don't know how or are seeking comfort from learning how other Asian/American women deal with these issues. Women contributing to the blog will have the option to disclose their identity or remain anonymous. Liz has been a civil rights attorney for nearly 30 years and teaches at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and New York University's Department of Social and Cultural Analysis.
LJ Amsterdam (C&C 2015) is an activist, youth worker, and dancer. She is a proud OHSS alumnus who uses oral history practices to support media for action. LJ lives in Millerton, NY with her partner Walter (also an OHSS alum) where they work as collaborators on The Watershed Center, a social movement resource and retreat center. She facilitates youth-powered political and media projects, including radio production programs for kids at Kite’s Nest in Hudson. Her academic background is in Ethnomusicology and African-American Studies and she holds an M.A. from Columbia University. Her master’s thesis, on Indigenous hip-hop artists and love as political power, won the Zora Neale Hurston Award for Greatest Contribution to the Social Sciences. She has published work in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and in a forthcoming edited collection from UCLA. At Columbia, LJ worked as an archivist on a community-partnered repatriation of Iñupiat music. Additionally, she has worked at independent record labels, inside NYC public schools, and as a Heavy Metal DJ.
Loring McAlpin (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) In the late 1980’s, I became an AIDS activist - at the time, a survival tactic rather than a career or aesthetic choice. ACT UP led to my involvement with Gran Fury, a collective that worked to broadcast the ACT UP agenda through graphic interventions, using art world money. An art career followed, but morphed into documentary film projects (Herman’s House, How to Survive a Plague, Marmato and Tegwan’s Nest). Now, I publish limited edition art books (recently, Cuban artist Jose Angel Toirac’s 'Parables') , and work on the occasional documentary film. Over a decade ago, I started to document Beulah Powell, my families’ cook who raised my sisters and I; it was never completed. She lived with us for over a decade at a time when she could have had her own family. I’m still interested in exploring the complex dynamics of these employee/family relations, perhaps as an oral history project. (Seeing Cuaron's Roma rekindled that desire.) Finally, my father is 90; I’m interested in thinking more systematically about how to preserve his life while there is time.
Lucinda Segar (OHSS Intensive 2015): I am a writer, educator, and movement artist. I recently earned my MFA in fiction at Columbia University. I live in Hudson, where I am learning many things: how to write on my own time, how to expand my teaching and movement practices, and how to grow a kitchen garden. I design and teach multidisciplinary workshops for kids at Kite's Nest, I teach after-school boat building at the Hudson Intermediary School, and commute to New York City once a week to teach creative and expository writing at The Fashion Institute of Technology. I am currently working on a collection of short stories.
Luisa Burgos-Thillet (Shaking the Family Tree 2017): I worked for 25 years in Community Action Programs serving families through local and statewide advocacy, as well as direct service. I helped design and implement training for front line family workers to approach their work using a strength based, family driven model. I trained non-profit boards to more effectively and dynamically meet their obligations to their organizations and the communities they served. I served as a volunteer mediator, trained in Restorative Justice, did volunteer work with the Youth Bureau, Head Start and served on many community boards. I have been a lifelong activist in social, gender, environmental and economic justice. I currently serve on the boards of SBK Social Justice Center in Hudson, Holding Our Own, a Feminist Women of Color led organization in Albany. I am part of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement advocating for the rights and protection of immigrant populations. I began a writing group at the local library that continues to meet after 5 years, I have been involved in community theater as both an actor and director. In all the work I have done both professionally and on a volunteer basis I have seen that everyone has a story to tell and one of the most powerful gifts we can give another is the opportunity to their story. I am adopted and am very interested in an oral history project with other adoptees.
Luisa Conlon (OHWS Family 2015, OHWS Radio 2015) is a media producer based in Los Angeles and New York. She most recently produced Five Star, directed by Keith Miller. Five Star premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Editing in a Narrative Feature and went on to premiere internationally in the Venice Days section of the 71st Venice Film Festival. Luisa also served as Associate Producer on Gillian Robespierre's feature comedy Obvious Child ( A24 Films) , produced by Elisabeth Holm and starring Jenny Slate. She has contributed writing and photographs to a number of publications, including Modern Farmer magazine and Narratively. Luisa is a native New Yorker, a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, and graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Maddy Macnab (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a graduate student at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, who also dabbles in community radio. Her current academic research is a local oral history project exploring the founding of Peterborough's first and only immigrant settlement organization in the 1970s. Outside of the walls of academia, she is also the producer and co-host of Aging Radically, a live interview show that lifts up the voices of older women working for social change and fosters intergenerational dialogue.
Maddy Russell-Shapiro (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) focuses in her work on creating and sustaining high-quality programs to increase young adults’ success rates in higher education and their preparation for fulfilling careers, with a particular focus on support for undocumented youth, former foster youth, and first-generation college students. She also chairs the board of Prison University Project, a degree-granting college program inside San Quentin State Prison. All these projects are grounded in the belief that empathy and high-quality education are critical elements for a healthy democracy. Maddy's current exploration of oral history stems from her interest in ways that writing and storytelling can be used to increase understanding between people.
Marci Uihlein (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a licensed professional engineer with a graduate degree in architecture. She has worked on building projects for both the private sector and academic institutions while working in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, teaching classes in building structures for architecture students. Her research areas include the structural engineering profession in both contemporary and historical contexts as well as the field’s relationship to architecture. Through the use of oral history, she is looking to document the voices of structural engineers and their contributions to building design.
Margaret Funkhouser (Oral History & Writing 2019) Margaret Funkhouser is the Director of Writing, Film & Media Arts at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. in Dance and American Studies from Wesleyan University. She has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, an E.E. Ford Award for Exceptional Merit in Teaching, and fellowships from the Boston Athenaeum and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Paris Review, among other journals and anthologies.
Margot Hammond (Shaking the Family Tree 2017): I am a twice married mother of three daughters, one son and grandmother to six. A retired educator, I started my career as a teaching assistant in a progressive school in Manhattan. During the next 40 years worked in public and independent schools as a teacher, administrator, staff developer and founder of a progressive community based charter school in Newark, New Jersey. Progressive values have guided both my personal and professional life and I am very proud to see those values reflected in the lives of my children and in the work that they do. Writing, quilting, reading and crafting are life long interests and pleasures of mine and now that I am retired I am happy to be spending more and more of my time enjoying these activities.
Maria Luisa Gambale (Oral History & Writing 2019) Maria Luisa Gambale produces non-fiction content in various media. As a filmmaker, she won several awards for her film "Sarabah", about Senegalese rapper-activist Sister Fa, which was broadcast in the U.S. and Europe, and appeared at over 40 festivals worldwide. With roots in cinematography and love for verite camera work and style, she also works as a TV non-fiction director and producer, including for National Geographic, ABC News and Fusion. Maria has reported frequently on women and peacekeeping, and launched a Facebook Live Q&A series with women involved in conflict resolution, in partnership with PassBlue, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Women’s March Global, among others. She is developing an oral and video archive of stories on the island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten, “SXM Stories”, and is working on projects exploring the legacy and future of Middle Eastern maqams in modern times. She’s based in Brooklyn, and has lived in Rome, Istanbul and Bucharest, with Boston roots.
Maria Santiago (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is an MSLIS student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, concentrating on archives (particularly oral history). She began interviewing people primarily to write narrative nonfiction essays, but believes recorded conversations are worthy too of being memorialized in their own form. In 2015, she spent time traveling through Indonesia conducting dozens of event-focused and life-history interviews. She would like to explore creating podcasts, but is open to other forms of display. She is interested in learning more about the art-science-journalistic-historic endeavor of oral history. Currently, she is an intern for the African American AIDS Oral History Project.
Marie Venezia (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016): I read Studs Terkel’s book Working while still in college - as I tried to figure out my own path in the world of work - and can remember falling in love with the stories of each of the individuals he portrayed at the same time as I appreciated the tapestry of their lives collectively. Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by individuals I have met in the many communities in which I have engaged and have worked hard to become a caring and curious listener. In 2014, I attended an Oral History Institute program at Kenyon College, “Catching Stories.” It was during that program that I developed a fascination for the role of film in capturing oral history. Since then I have been working to develop skills in film direction and editing. I see an opportunity that I would like to pursue to develop film “trailers” for oral history compilations in order to encourage and ease access to these stories in the future. Recently I co-directed a film of female survivors of heart and vascular disease.
Marissa Schneiderman (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016, Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a creative empath who is interested in cultivating community through group processes. Her past experiences of creating - whether it was her music recordings, her pseudo-fictional short stories or facilitating Jungian painting classes- emerge from a standpoint that all people can access their own personal creative channels. She studied literature and has worked in different industries ranging from litigation law to grassroots non-profits to a major Silicon Valley start-up. At the moment, she lives and works in Los Angeles and is currently working on a grant-funded book and audio project about her summer in Poland.
Mark Beauchamp (OHSS Intensive 2012, Archive 2013): I teach history and research methods at a college in Montreal, Canada. Last year, I attended the OHSS intensive course and was inspired to bring oral history into my classroom. Since then, I’ve developed a focused oral history project with Ben Lander (another workshop participant). We introduced over 150 of our students to oral history methodology; they have, in turn, collected over 300 oral histories. These interviews are currently saved on two hard drives that are sitting in our desk drawers. We need help. I’m hoping that this workshop will help me to conceptualize a structure for our archive, while finding a balance between making these interviews widely accessible to the public and ensuring that our narrators’ stories are protected and used ethically.
Mark Menjivar (Experimental Ethnographies 2018): Mark Menjivar is an artist and Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University. His work explores diverse subjects through photography, archives, oral history and objects. Mark received a BA in Social Work from Baylor University and an MFA in Social Practice from Portland State University.
Marnie Macgregor (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a recent graduate of Bard College where she majored in cultural anthropology. Having grown up on a farm in Minnesota, Marnie is passionate about issues regarding agriculture, rural communities and the Midwest. Marnie hopes to continue conducting interviews in her local community, collecting stories about the disappearing family farm landscape and how it affects small town viability.
Marty Hunt (OHSS Intensive 2018): Second of two daughters, I lived in eight states before ninth grade. I graduated from the University of Maryland in math education and taught seventh, eighth, ninth grade math before trying Camphill living. Now it’s been 45 years in Camphill, and I am a retired house leader/administrator/nurse, now (amateur) archivist living in Camphill Village, Copake NY. Mother of three, grandmother of six, honorary grandmother to two more. I enjoy traveling, astronomy, handwork, crosswords, and learning.
Mary Ann Johnson (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is president of the Chicago Area Women’s History Council, a non-profit organization founded in 1971 that supports the research, writing, publishing and sharing of women’s history. She is currently director of a major research and public history project titled “Documenting Women’s Activism and Leadership in the Chicago Area, 1945-2000.” She is the former director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she oversaw administration of the museum and development of its educational and interpretive programs. Through the years she has initiated and directed numerous neighborhood, community and public history projects and has been a consultant to radio, television and film productions. She is particularly interested in new media technology and has studied photography and digital filmmaking. She was an associate editor of the award winning Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary published by Indiana University Press in 2001. She is the editor of The Many Faces of Hull-House, The Photographs of Wallace Kirkland, published by the University of Illinois Press in 1989 and co-author of Walking With Women Through Chicago History, Four Self-Guided Tours. In addition, Mary Ann is a social activist and has been involved in numerous feminist and social justice organizations in Chicago.
Mary Ellen Lennon (OHSS Intensive 2014, OHWS Radio 2015): I am an assistant professor of history at Marian University in Indianapolis where I focus on women’s history. Indiana is new (and very different) for me; most of my life I’ve lived in Queens, Brooklyn, Boston and for a year, West Africa. I am interested in learning about the art, theory and practice of oral history to bring it into the classroom as a tool to push my students to engage with the complexities of the world around them.
Mary Ellen Lennon (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is an Assistant professor of history at Marian University in Indianapolis. She was introduced to oral history at Oral History Summer School in Hudson, NY in 2014 and has fallen in love with the field. She has directed a small project collecting the oral histories of a convent of women religious (Catholic nuns) in southern Indiana, making lots of mistakes but appreciating the wonderful, unexpected discoveries that oral history yields. She is very excited to learn more about the practice of oral history, especially in the service of social justice.
Mary Foltz (OHSS Intensive 2019) Mary C. Foltz is an Associate Professor at Lehigh University in the English Department and the Director of the South Side Initiative. Her research and teaching focus upon representations of environmental crisis in contemporary U.S. fiction, queer theory, and literary works by LGBTQ people of the post-45 period. Foltz also has a commitment to public humanities programming as a way to engage with the pressing issues in our local communities and region. She has received grant funding recently for three recent projects that bring community members together to think about how art and literature are resources for working through the challenges that post-industrial communities like Bethlehem face and for imagining as well as building the kind of communities that would enable all of us to thrive. Funding from the Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative allowed Foltz and a team of graduate and undergraduate students to design a website for reportage on the local arts in Bethlehem’s vibrant South Side district. A second grant project allowed her to design and to implement a reading group series through the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, which invites community members to utilize literary analysis as a means to engage with the multiple forms of oppression that impact diverse LGBTQ people and to imagine action against such oppression. Recently, she received a grant to lead a community-based LGBTQ oral history project for the Lehigh Valley in partnership with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center; this project will focus on the stories of LGBTQ elders as they reflect upon different waves of activism from gay liberation through AIDS activism and into the fight for marriage equality.
Mary Wesley (Oral History for Educators 2019) Mary studied Anthropology and Philosophy at McGill University, then returned to her native Vermont to work as a field archaeologist for the UVM Consulting Archaeology Program. After falling in love with the New England folk music and dance scene Mary learned to teach and call traditional contra and square dancing (building on the legacy of her grandparents, who were both square dance callers in their hometown of Middlebury, VT). She has taught and performed in schools, community centers, grange halls and at festivals and camps throughout Vermont and across the U.S. and Canada. Mary attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to learn radio production and Multimedia Storytelling. In collaboration with the Country Dance and Song Society, she helped conceive and manage The CDSS Story Project, collecting oral histories in traditional dance and music communities around New England. She has worked with other Vermont non-profit organizations including Young Tradition Vermont and the Wake Up to Dying Project to create opportunities for community education and engagement. Currently Mary coordinates "Discovering Community," the education program of Vermont Folklife Center. She also helped launch ""VT Untapped,"" a podcast for the VFC that explores the state through the voices of its own residents. Mary lives in Burlington, VT.
Matia Emsellem (OHSS Intensive 2017): I am currently living at home and working as a buyer for a vintage clothing shop, but I have consistently had an interest and passion for arts in corrections and criminal justice reform. I identify as a prison abolitionist and have done extensive research on theater and music used as rehabilitation in prison and the prison industrial complex. Especially in these times, I have found an even deeper sense of purpose in committing my body to dismantling systems of power that operate on racist and economic politics. I also studied ethnomusicology in school and make music and video art, so I think a lot about how music and practices of listening can shape culture and class, specifically in America.
Meera Nair (OHSS Intensive 2016): I work with India Home, a non-profit that serves immigrant South Asian seniors in Queens, NY and am interested in doing an oral history project with them on their experiences emigrating and growing old in the US. They are part of the first generation of South Asian immigrants who are aging in the US and I think it's important to record their histories in the limited time they have left. There has been very little work done with this group. In my other identity as a writer, I am also interested in developing a project that brings together oral history and creative writing, where the storytellers learn to shape their own stories into creative products.
Megan Bucknum (OHSS Intensive 2017): My vocational background has centered around trying to develop more regionally based food systems, which has allowed me to apply my academic background in urban planning to agriculture and regional development. As part of this work, I have been fortunate to have conducted interviews throughout the country with people involved in all aspects of the food supply chain for use in reports and business feasibility studies. Currently, I am 3/4 faculty at Rowan University as well as an independent consultant and very interested in trying to integrate people's perspectives through stories, rather than just data, into my work and curriculum.
Melinda Braathen (OHSS Intensive 2012, Doc Film 2013): I am a recent resident of Hudson. Prior to Hudson, I was living abroad in Berlin for 3.5 years, working in the arts and publishing. I currently work at TSL, a non-for-profit arts organization, and have recently joined in on the WGXC Monday Afternoon Show, with Sara Kendall and Noah Reibel. Over the year, I have been focusing on interviewing. Initially, as a freelance contributor to the radio, I interviewed various people, among them, Pavel Khodorkovsky, the son of the former Russian, oil-tycoon, now political prisoner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky; Wyatt Mason, the senior fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center, on the Chinese contemporary artist and activist, Ai Weiwei; and Robert H. Lieberman, the filmmaker of the recently released documentary “They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain”. Currently on the Monday Afternoon Show, I have co-interviewed several people living within the Hudson-valley region and abroad, as far as Lebanon and Nigeria. During the Oral History workshop, I first and foremost hope to develop my interviewing skills, but also could seriously benefit from becoming more technically sound, with regard to filming and recording, in addition to editing and doing all things post-production related.
Melissa Creary (OHSS Intensive 2013) is a graduate student at Emory University in the “Culture, Science, and History” track within the Graduate Institute of Liberal and a Health Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Blood Disorders. In this capacity, she helps coordinate the Public Health Research and Epidemiology in Hemoglobinopathies program and global sickle cell related activities. She will be traveling to Brazil as a Boren Fellow to study the impact of cultural constructions of race on sickle cell disease policy and will be collecting oral and life histories from physicians, patients, and NGO leaders.
Melissa Roberts Weidman (OHWS Family 2015): I'm a musician and writer currently living on Cape Cod, with strong family/friend ties to the Hudson, NY area. For the past decade I have worked as Director of Community Relations and Outreach for a large non-profit serious illness services provider. I am now starting a new project exploring our conditioning by ageism in our culture, and how we can treat each other and ourselves differently around age identity. Both these roles involve collecting stories told by elders across my community. I have also directed a county-wide community dispute resolution program and served as director of communications for a sustainable fisheries organization. My family lived for five years on The Farm, the largest and most enduring commune in the country. I attended Bryn Mawr College and Lesley College, and have facilitated countless community workshops on a wide variety of topics. Throughout all, I have held a deep reverence and astonishment about the power of story to transform pain and loss into wisdom and connection.
Meral Agish (Technical Assistant 2013) works as an independent oral historian and as a fundraiser, event planner and grant writer for the Drug Policy Alliance, Sandy Storylines, and other nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate of Yale University and recently completed the certificate program at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, where she worked on oral history projects with Vietnam veterans, long-married couples, and former residents of Durham’s demolished Hayti district. In 2013, Meral will travel to China and Japan to produce a multimedia documentary about the Tatar diaspora in the Communist era.
Michelle O'Brien (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Michelle Esther O'Brien is the coordinator of the NYC Trans Oral History Project (NYC TOHP) , hosted through the New York Public Library. NYC TOHP is a collective and a growing online archive of over 125 recorded oral histories with trans-identified New Yorkers. She also coordinates Urban Listeners, a collaborative quarterly convening of socially-engaged and community-based oral historians at the Urban Democracy Lab at New York University. Michelle is completing her dissertation on how class politics shape NYC's LGBTQ movements, and writes on the relationship between queer and trans politics and anti-capitalist struggle.
Mike Zryd (OHSS Intensive 2014): I teach film and media studies at York University in Toronto; my graduate training was at New York University. My main areas of research are a) experimental/independent film & video art and b) the history of film study from the 1860s to the present. I’m interested in interviewing artists and teachers from earlier generations to get a sense of the everyday textures and materials and experiences that shaped their art and teaching. I would like to incorporate what I learn in the workshop into my research and also into my teaching.
Miriam Johnson (Oral History & Writing 2019) Miriam is an artist, writer, photographer & filmmaker who was born in New York and grew up in Tasmania. She is involved in writing, design & art projects and has worked on a range of films including documentaries & educational films, indie low budgets, and the award-winning ‘Black Swan’. Her most recent project was collaborating on an artist monograph and co-producing a documentary about the Australian artist Tony Woods, to be launched in August 2013. She is currently studying in the Journalism, Media and Communications Department at the University of Tasmania, where her research is focusing on the relationship between the songwriter and the song. She divides her time between Tasmania and the USA. She is an alumni of Oral History Summer School 2012.
Miriam Johnson (OHSS Intensive 2012, Doc Film 2013, Radio 2013) is an artist, writer, photographer & filmmaker who was born in New York and grew up in Tasmania. She is involved in writing, design & art projects and has worked on a range of films including documentaries & educational films, indie low budgets, and the award-winning ‘Black Swan’. Her most recent project was collaborating on an artist monograph and co-producing a documentary about the Australian artist Tony Woods, to be launched in August 2013. She is currently studying in the Journalism, Media and Communications Department at the University of Tasmania, where her research is focusing on the relationship between the songwriter and the song. She divides her time between Tasmania and the USA. She is an alumni of Oral History Summer School 2012.
Nancy Kohler (Archive 2013) , Teaching Artist, has resided in Columbia County, NY for the past eighteen years and has found “home”. Nancy recently completed a second Masters in Visual Communication and Sequential Narrative. Her recent body of woven photographs and short stories explores Place, Migration and Identity.
Nancy Ma (OHSS Intensive 2016): My goal is to create spaces that empower participants to explore identity, privilege and healing. I care deeply about connecting diverse people and passions in the community. I live in Los Angeles and I grew up in New York City. I act and write. I am currently developing a multi-lingual one woman show that deals with growing up as a first generation Asian female in America.
Nancy Walters (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017): I thoroughly enjoyed a long career teaching high school English in St. Louis before returning to school to earn an MA in ESL. I was fortunate to enjoy a second career teaching immigrant and international students in community programs, community colleges, colleges, and universities. Eighteen months ago I moved to the Berkshires to be near my children, who live in Boston and New York. Over fifteen years ago, I participated in a summer oral history program at Columbia. Since then, I have been hooked! At present I am involved in an oral history/archive project at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. I am also collaborating with my foster sister, who is writing a book about her experiences with foster care and group homes. Part of the book will be based on her interviews. I hope that the workshop will enable me to assist her with that. A project about an outstanding elementary school that I attended in rural Illinois is also simmering in my mind. I look forward to learning how to use oral history as a basis of writing for not only my own projects but also for my narrators.
Natalie Galpern (OHSS Intensive 2019) Natalie Galpern is a vocalist, performer and sound artist from New York City. She’s interested in ethnographic sound, particularly how the human voice is tied to place, memory, and personal history. In 2018 Natalie founded Women in Sound, a growing community of women sharing knowledge and skills in music technology, sound art, and performance. She holds an MMus in Sonic Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Nayantara Sen (OHSS Intensive 2016): I am a woman of color, first-generation Bengali immigrant, social and racial justice activist, writer and trilingual storyteller. I've lived in New York City for the past nine years, and have spent that time working primarily as a racial justice educator, trainer, and curator of social justice programs in the non-profit sector. I am a Senior Trainer with RaceForward.org and BorderCrossers.org. I write and produce curricula about the intersections of race, gender, immigration, sexuality, and storytelling. I am also the Communications Manager at EmcArts.org, a national arts organization that supports the social sector in becoming more adaptive. I'm currently finishing up my graduate degree at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, where I am studying Decolonial and Diasporic Literature, Creative Fiction Writing and Social Change Movements. For my academic research, I am studying the relationships between literature, storytelling and social change movements. And I'm writing short stories, most of which center migrant women protagonists and feature themes of race, feminization, labor, politicization, and imaginary return. My professional background is in political education, leadership development and training, and community organizing for immigrant rights and reproductive justice. My personal interests however are interdisciplinary, and focused on bringing the worlds of art (especially community-based art) , creative writing (fiction and literature) , and activism together. I love reading stories and writing them (my genre is short fiction and poetry). And I love listening to people's memories and stories.
Neha Agrawal (Mixed/Memory 2015): I am currently a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Yeshiva University. I am from Los Angeles, and just moved to New York for school via Boston. My background is in documentary film, and I used to run an afterschool program for teens at a public access station Cambridge, MA that emphasized storytelling through video. I am really fascinated by how narratives and stories help people heal both from the storyteller's and story listener's perspectives. I hope to integrate my interests in clinical psychology and the documentary arts to foster connection through different mediums.
Nell Baldwin (OHSS Intensive 2014): I am a first year medical student. This summer I’ll be working with a staff physician in the women’s prison here in Rhode Island, doing qualitative groundwork to develop a weight loss and weight maintenance program. Before I started medical school I worked as a health educator on a drug addiction prevention project, using Motivational Interviewing counseling techniques with my patients. I have also worked as an advocacy organizer and I have grown food. I am interested primarily in listening, writing, and wiggling.
Nick Trotta (OHWS Radio 2015) is a dramaturg, director, writer, actor and technician for the theater based in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from Vassar College (B.A. in Drama) , I began to work at a number of theaters in NYC. I have worked with The Naked Angels Theater Company, St. Annes Workshop, The One Year Lease Theater Company, The Flea Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, New Dramatists, The Amoralist Theater Company, The Target Margin Theater Company, and The Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theater (BEAT) Festival. All the while, I helped to found a theater company with other recent graduates called The Tugboat Collective. We have performed at The Bushwick Star, The Brooklyn Lyceum, Space on White, The Irondale Theater, Theater For the New City, The HERE Center, and The Brick Theater. While I have been working in the theater for the majority of my professional life, I was accepted into the internship program for The Brian Lehrer Show and I discovered a love for the work and storytelling of radio. Since that time I have been working with friends to develop small-scale podcast projects and record dramaturgical interviews for various theater pieces. In my capacity as a dramaturg for the next generation of American theater in the digital age, I'm interested in the intersection of oral history, journalism, and theater.
Nicole Galpern (OHSS Intensive 2019) Nicole Galpern is a video producer who has never left New York City for more than three months at a time. In the summer of 2018 she traveled to the Pamirs in Tajikistan and recorded 35 hours with over 70 interviewees for the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA). During the summer of 2019, she will be part of an ELA team documenting the Seke language in Nepal. She is interested in creating an oral history of the public’s transition to the internet.
Nicole LoBue (OHWS Family 2015, Mixed/Memory 2015) ) is a chef, educator and herbalist. She is culinary arts director of the Alimentary Kitchen and is Co-Director and programming director of Kite’s Nest, a learning resource center dedicated to curiosity, inquiry and social justice in Hudson, NY. She is committed to creating an extraordinary environment for children and teenagers to learn, play, and grow. She facilitates workshops and experiences that spark the interests and passions of young people, and offer a supportive environment for children and teenagers to pursue and develop their interests within their community, while exploring the intersection between art, science, creative writing, fiber arts, and culinary arts.
Nicolette Lodico (OHSS Intensive 2019) Nicki is an information manager who helps organizations establish practices to increase transparency, preserve institutional memory, and contribute to historical scholarship and public discourse. Currently, Nicki is the director of records, archives, and knowledge management at the Ford Foundation in New York City. She also is vice president of the Technology Affinity Group, a non-profit membership organization that promotes the power of technology to advance philanthropy. Previously, she worked at the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, a California agency that provides legal representation for indigent men and women under sentence death in California. There, she lead the digitization tens of thousands of historical case documents and the development of a complex application for case tracking and analysis. Prior to that, she developed complex knowledge bases, information catalogs, and intelligence systems for organizations in the private sector. Nicki is passionate about minimizing barriers to sharing and finding information and to analyzing information to reveal new insights. Her current interests include tools and approaches to data visualization and digital curation, as well as specific techniques for text encoding and analysis. She holds a B.A in Economics from Canisius College and an M.L.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Nikki Yeboah (OHSS Intensive 2017) is an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University in the Communication Studies Department, specializing in the area of Performance Studies. As an oral history performance scholar and artist, her research brings together creative oral history methods to create alternative records of black life through staged performance. Her work, which has been staged at venues such as Links Hall, the Chicago Cultural Center, and Northwestern University, interrogates questions of social justice, race, and migration within black communities.
Nora Segar (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a palliative care and primary care physician. She recently moved to Chicago to complete her palliative care fellowship. In her work taking care of patients with serious illness, she finds her role is often that of listener: a sounding board for patient’s reflections on their lives. She is drawn to patient’s stories and experiences living with chronic illness. She has always been interested in narrative medicine and has had the to opportunity to participate and organize writer’s workshops for physicians. These workshops endeavor to enhance practitioners’ powers of observation, increase empathy and reflect on the experience of practicing medicine through learning the craft of writing. She is interested in how illness narratives shape the way patients make decisions as well as how practitioners view their work. Additionally, Nora believes patient’s stories can be powerful agents for change, both because they highlight frustration and injustices in the healthcare system, and because they act as reminders for physicians to reflect more deeply on their patient’s lived experience.
Noreen Shanahan (OHSS Intensive 2012): I run a small oral history/biography/memoir business called “Rampant with Memory,” where I help people establish an archive of their lives and stories. Although it has been traditionally in print, I’m now moving into creating podcasts. I’m a freelance journalist and publish feature obituary essays in the Globe & Mail, Canada’s National newspaper. I also publish in a range of alternative publications, mostly Canadian, covering issues on the left. I work part time at Our Times Magazine, an independent Canadian labour magazine. I’m a creative non-fiction essay writer and have published fairly widely as such. I’m also completing a poetry manuscript, for which I recently received an arts council grant from the Ontario government.
Nova Seals (OHSS Intensive 2017) is the director of library services and archives at St. George's School. Nova specializes in research and information literacy instruction and archives management. She believes that every encounter with knowledge is an opportunity for growth. She is passionate about learning and her research interests are knowledge acquisition; social epistemology, and aesthetics. Nova holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in American and New England studies from the University of Southern Maine, a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College and is a Ph.D. candidate in humanities at Salve Regina University.
Olive Carrollhach (OHSS Intensive 2017): I am currently running an oral history project on Tivoli, NY. For this project, I am organizing community meetings and conducting individual oral history interviews with a number of senior residents in the town. As a (currently!) unpaid project, I produce and host a broadcast show called Echo, which is a monthly, hour-long show on Robinhood radio. My past audio experience includes working as a production intern for the podcast In Theory for two seasons, conducting interviews with visiting lecturers at Bard College, and recording for BardCorps, the Bard Oral History Project. I have experience in broadcast radio and podcasting. I am adept at everything from recording interviews, to writing stories, to editing and production. I am passionate about using radio as a way of creating personal connections in unlikely places.
Paula Smith (OHSS Intensive 2014): I am Associate Librarian at Penn State Abington in Abington, Pa. During my sabbatical I began an oral history and digital storytelling project without any real oral history experience. The project entailed research on African-American visual artists with the intent to develop a digital representation of their lives, work and experience. The purpose of the project was to provide historical documentation about artists who are little known outside of their immediate art communities and network, with the initial interviews focused on the Mid-Atlantic region, emphasizing African American artists practicing during the period of the Black Arts Movement (est. 1965 – 1975). My research interests are all over the place including the following areas: the effects of globalization on education and information access, international librarianship and cultural competencies. I have published in areas of general librarianship, diversity, cultural competencies, and academic outreach. My work experience includes international work in South Africa, Bangladesh, Bermuda, and Uganda. Prior to becoming a librarian I was an information technologist for Fortune 500 companies providing services in project management, and systems analysis and design.
Peter Alter (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) has worked at the Chicago History Museum for over sixteen years in various capacities. He's currently the Museum's historian and director of the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History.
Phil Grant (OHSS Intensive 2013): I first became acquainted with the Oral History project when I was working in Manhattan at the Grand Central Station Post Office. Since I commuted on the Metro-North I noticed the booths when they were first set up. I gathered up the information and really didn’t think about it again until last year when the Oral History Summer Workshops launched. I had taken several classes on interviewing skills, and techniques while attending the New School of Radio & Television Arts, but those classes were geared toward the Radio and Television Industry. I was more interested in documentary style interviews. I am interested in telling stories about people, their lives , and their history. As the WGXC morning show host I conduct interviews regularly. We have a regular feature on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, where I interview a journalist on the local news of the week, an Education blogger on school, and Board of Education issues, and a sports enthusiast on local, regional, and professional sports. Additionally, I also conduct interviews with local community, and organization leaders on current and upcoming events. I still find the latter very stimulating, as often times when interviewing people who head organizations you find them very passionate and dedicated to their causes. It usually results in a very informative and interesting interview.
Polly Dewhirst (OHSS Intensive 2018): I’ve been working in the field of human rights, trauma and transitional justice since I got my first job (my dream job) working at an NGO called CSVR supporting South Africa’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I am passionate about working with families of the disappeared, former political prisoners, and other survivors of human rights violations to document their stories, and advocate for truth, justice, and reparation. Since 2012 I’ve made Rangoon my home, and look forward to using oral history to collect and share some of the hidden histories of Burma.
Rachel Dolan (Mixed/Memory 2015): I am a Social Worker currently working at a long term care facility. I have been working in long term care for 17 years and have worked with individuals with dementia ongoing. Prior to getting my Masters degree in Social Work, I was an Activity Director and I continue to maintain that certification as well. The elderly are my favorite population and my residents with dementia are my favorite from that group. I plan to use what I learn at the workshop in my everyday interactions with the residents at my facility and may incorporate that knowledge with other practices.
Rachel King (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) I am a journalist, editor, librarian and former lexicographer. My writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, Longreads, and many other publications. I have a master's in journalism from Columbia University and one in archives from SUNY-Albany. I have some radio experience, having taken the one-week Transom Traveling Workshop, a six-week online podcasting class from the Center for Documentary Studies, as well as shorter workshops at UnionDocs and BRIC Media in Brooklyn (which is where I live).
Rebekah Aronson (Shaking the Family Tree 2017): The youngest of seven in a divided family, I have always been keenly aware that everyone has their own version of events. Inevitably attracted storytelling, I studied literature, creative writing and cultural anthropology at Sarah Lawrence College. It was, however, my experience as a television producer in NYC that taught me that real life, real people, are far more nuanced and emotionally compelling than anything I could ever imagine.
Régine Romain (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Régine Romain is a Haitian-American artist, educator, visual anthropologist and dynamic storyteller. From 2016 to 2018, Régine lived in Benin, West Africa, conducting research, teaching, completing her ""Brooklyn to Benin: A Vodou Pilgrimage"" mixed-media project and directing/producing three short films. While in West Africa, she created the WaWaWa Diaspora Centre - to actively heal historic wounds and trauma related to the TransAtlantic Slave Trade through inter-generational arts, education, and exchange programs. Régine has 20+ years of experience teaching, training, and supporting diverse populations as a consultant with clients that include – New York University, NYC Department of Education, Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is s a 2018 Hemispheric New York EmergeNYC Fellow and is a BRIC 2018 Brooklyn Free Speech Podcast Fellow, with a new podcast entitled ""Vodou Roots: A Love Story Musical available via iTunes and SoundCloud. Her photographic appears in MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora (2017) and her work was included in the MFON’s exhibition of Altar: Prayer, Ritual, Offerings at Photoville (2018).
Renay Egami (OHSS Intensive 2015, C&C 2015): I am a visual artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. I hold an Associate Professor position at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus where I teach in the Faculty of Creative & Critical Studies, Department of Creative Studies / Visual Arts. I received my MFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and I am an alumna of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine. In my work I employ a wide variety of visual strategies and materials that range from the impermanent to the enduring and in various combinations of sculpture, video, light projection, text, book arts, and immersive installations. In the past my work has focused on contemporary expressions of remembrance based on themes related to identity, tensions between life and death, and the erasure & reconstruction of wounded landscapes. Currently, I am in the process of developing a new body of work that examines immigrant experiences and invisible labor. I am also working on a parallel piece based on research conducted during my recent tenure as an artist in residence in Tokyo that examines the historical and contemporary lives of the women pearl divers (Ama) of Japan.
Rhan Small Ernst (Radio 2013): I am an artist that works in music, sound and video. My love of these mediums comes from a life long obsession with listening to recordings and watching films. My father gave me an early and rich education in film and music. He always had portable consumer recording devices around the house when I was growing up. I used these devices to make “soundtracks” for comic books. In high school, I sang in rock bands. In my early twenties, I started making experimental music using tape recorders and home made instruments. I went to a technical school to learn recording engineering. From there I moved to Los Angeles to work in post production. I was ill suited for the Hollywood factory and quickly left the business and began producing my own work.
Rhondda Robinson Thomas (Oral History & Writing 2019) I teach early African American and American Literature at Clemson University where I am the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature. My work includes courses and research in racial and cultural identity development. During the past nearly twelve years for my Call My Name project, I have been recovering and sharing the stories of Black people in Clemson history, including enslaved persons who lived and labored on John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation on which the University was built, sharecroppers—freedmen and women—who worked on Fort Hill during Reconstruction, convict laborers whom Clemson trustees leased from the state of South Carolina to help build the institution at the turn of the 20th century, wage workers and musicians who were hired to work at the institution during the Jim Crow era, and the students, faculty, and staff who came to Clemson after desegregation in 1963. I’ve also engaged with local Black residents to record and tell their stories, including narratives about their families and communities. More details about my project can be found here: www.callmyname.org. Additionally, I’m a family historian who has been researching and documenting my extended family’s ancestry and experiences for many years.
Richard Max Gavrich (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a photographer and educator currently based between New Orleans and upstate New York. He is a recent graduate of Bard College, where his senior thesis presented a photographic and audio-visual document of strangers met traveling across the eastern United States. Gavrich was the 2014 recipient of the Lugo Land artist residency in Emilia-Romagna. His first monograph, Estraneo, was published in 2015 by Edizioni del Bradipo. He has exhibited at the Museo San Rocco, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Rayko Gallery San Francisco, and lectured at Big Class New Orleans and Bard College. He is interested in the intersectionality of place, personal narrative, and collective identity.
Rosa Carrasquillo (OHSS Intensive 2013) is Associate Professor of Caribbean, Latin American and Latino History at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. Rosa Elena is also active in the Latino community in Worcester, MA, and form part of Latino Education Institute Community Advisory Board. Presently, she is working in the completion of the book manuscript, The People’s Poet: Life and Myth of Ismael Rivera, an Afro-Caribbean Icon.
Rosie Moosnick (OHSS Intensive 2014): I’m a sociologist by training and of recent have moved away from doing traditional social scientific work. In 2012 my book, “Arab and Jewish Women in Kentucky: Stories of Accommodation and Audacity,” (University Press of KY) was published. The book differed from my early work in that I used names and faces and delved into my own family’s history as Jewish Kentuckians and the intersection of our lives with those of non-Jewish Arab Kentuckians—working from the belief that Arabs and Jews could see their likenesses in out of the way places in the US and via women’s tales. Currently, I am working on a project showcasing contemporary activists in the six states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida) along interstate I-75. I-75 serves as a backdrop for discussing local political realities and offers a cross-section of middle America and the political-moral issues numerous states are tackling—deeply divisive and moral issues such as gay rights, abortion, immigration, fossil fuels, and gun control. Each state will be the stage for a single issue, and activists from opposite sides of the issue will be featured. Essentially, the work seeks, in a small way, to tackle the political division penetrating the US by documenting the stories of opposed passionate activists.
I, Russell Garofalo (no relation to either) (Radio 2014) , was a performer, writer, and video editor when I took a day job helping a tax preparer. Realizing my friends and I were doing our taxes poorly, I started Brass Taxes as a place for freelancers, artists, and other nice people to get tax help even if they weren’t rich, lazy, or scared of numbers. The reason I like my job is for the honesty I get from people, and the intersection of verifiable numbers and human emotion. I think if we talked more openly about what money means to us we’ll spend it in ways that make us happier. When I talk to people about money I hear so much about them; I hear what they’re scared of, who they wish they were and who they are. I’d like to share conversations about money that sound the way I hear them. I’d like to make a series of radio stories about the different situations I see and about how similar we all are in our anxiety about having numbers associated with our lives.
Ry Garcia-Sampson (OHSS Intensive 2017, OHSS Intensive Guest Instructor 2018): My name is Ry Garcia-Sampson and I grew up in El Paso, Texas along the border with our sister city, Juarez, Mexico. I have a BA in Ethnic Studies and am currently a 4th year MD/MPH student doing a year of fellowship with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Warren Alpert Medical School. As part of my project for that fellowship, I am interested in collecting the oral narratives of transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary people in the US and their experiences and understandings of what it means to be healthy. The goal of the project is to make these narratives accessible to health care providers as they learn how to improve health care for these communities. I live in Rhode Island with my wife (a UU minister in training) and our cat, Taj.
Sabine Bernards (OHSS Intensive 2014, Staff) is originally from Portland, Oregon and has lived in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn for six years. In her past work life, she spent six years supporting grassroots organizing around New York City with grants and workshops, which taught her about the power and importance of community-led change. A two-time Oral History Summer School student, she launched an oral history project to record the stories of long-time community organizers in New York City and a family oral history project recording her American and Swedish family stories. She is a member of Regeneracion radical childcare collective and No Disrespect anti-street harassment collective, as well as an amateur bread-baker and print-maker.
Sally Zwartz (OHSS Intensive 2014, Radio 2014): My background is mainly in journalism/writing and I have a long involvement in community writing projects of one kind of another; over the years my interest has shifted to oral history, initially because of its respect for the person speaking … At the moment I’m working as an interviewer for family memoirs and also for a storybank project for a Legal Aid organisation, doing interviews with lawyers, clients etc as a way to capture the value/significance of the work the organisation does. In another part of my life I write about children’s books/reading and am involved in various projects to promote these, one of which is a regular hour-long podcast of music, stories and poems for kids that I produce for a local community radio station. I’m from New Zealand originally and have lived in Sydney, Australia for many years - this will be my first trip to the US.
Samantha Gloffke (OHSS Intensive 2018) is an owner and operations officer at The Applestone Meat Co, which aims to increase accessibility and affordability of ethical alternatives to the commodity meat industry. She was born in Queens, N.Y. in May of 1987 and raised in the Newburgh, N.Y. area. What she really loves is anything that could potentially happen in public spaces between friends and strangers.
Sammy Sass (OHSS Intensive 2016): My name is Sammy; I am a 26 year old artist and teacher from Boston. Currently I’m working as a potter, a pottery instructor, and a writer. 10 months ago I launched an oral history//community storytelling project called Gathering Voices, which collects the spoken history of young adults (late 20s/early 30s) with LGBTQ parents. Before I dove into the life of a maker, I worked in public health for a few years and did a lot of lay-teaching in pottery, writing, cooking, writing, and ESL. I’m deeply passionate about the role of art and making in our increasingly consumerist//cheap-production world, and it’s capacity to enable self-knowing, social justice, and liberation.
Sandra Elzerman (OHSS Intensive 2013): My favorite part of my job as a lawyer is interviewing the client’s employees and learning about their work, the company’s business and their industry. I connected the dots between that “touchstone” of my work and oral history projects after listening to an interview of a former oral history archive director. After hours, I have been a photography student at Museum of Fine Arts Houston studio school for many years. I have been thinking about using some family stories as the basis of a photography project and want to develop an oral history project to capture family history and stories. I have also been active for many years in my neighborhood, most recently as co-chair on the committee that successfully petitioned the city to create a historic district in our neighborhood. I would now like to develop an oral history project for the neighborhood.
Sara B. Franklin (Archive 2013) considers herself a cook and writer foremost, though interviewing, oral history and academia seem to be creeping in more and more these days. She’s worn many hats in the world of food, farming in Waltham and Northampton, Massachusetts; writing as a restaurant critic for The Valley Advocate; working with small farmers at the New York-based WhyHunger; and developing content for the American Museum of Natural History. She is currently in the Food Studies doctoral program at New York University and works as a freelance cookbook reviewer and oral historian on the side. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Sara Kendall (OHSS Intensive 2012, OHSS Assistant 2012, Archive 2013, Project Lab 2014): I’m interested in cities and change, community-based education, and making radio with kids. I’ve lived and worked in Hudson since 2010. I’m currently a co-director and an educator at Kite’s Nest, an alternative learning environment and resource for children and families in Hudson. Beginning in the fall, I’ll also start a part-time master’s program in urban studies with the Centre for Oral History & Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal. I was the founding Station Manager of WGXC: Hands-on Radio (90.7-FM) , a community radio station and participatory media project in Hudson. And in July 2012, I helped Suzanne Snider to launch the Oral History Summer School, which introduced me to a transformative language and framework for doing qualitative research and documentary work, and for listening to the world around me.
Sarah Carlisle (Oral History for Educators 2019) Is a writer and gardener living in Brooklyn, NY. During the weekdays she manages an after school kids culinary program called Allergic to Salad and on weekends she manages a local farmers market and helps to coordinate and grow Q Gardens Community Farms. Sarah grew up living between two disparate communities in rural southwest New Hampshire and suburban Boston before moving to Portland, OR to attend Reed College where she studied 18th c British Literature (yes, mostly Jane Austen). After an eye-opening summer job as a farm educator, accessible food education became her passion, and she spent 2 years managing a kitchen, growing food, and gaining experience in the field before moving to Brooklyn with her partner and dog. She plans to spend 2019 pursuing new directions and communities in search of a farmhouse with lots of garden space, an apple tree, and room to settle and grow.
Sarah Geis (I Am Sitting In A Room 2017) is an audio documentarian, social work school drop-out, and former artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival. She began her career traveling the country recording interviews with StoryCorps, and is interested in the intersection of oral history, documentary, and community building. Recent projects include an episode of Love + Radio, a series of podcasts for the Poetry Foundation, and two stories on BBC Radio 4.
Sarah Hesketh (Oral History & Writing 2019) Sarah Hesketh is poet, editor and educator. Her books include Napoleon’s Travelling Bookshelf (Penned in the Margins, 2009) and The Hard Word Box (Penned in the Margins, 2014), a collection of poems and interviews inspired by this experience of being a poet in residence in a dementia care home. In 2015, she was commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to produce ‘Grains of Light’, a sequence of poems based around the story of Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler. She lives in London and is currently completing a practice based Phd at the University of Roehampton on making poetry from oral history
Sarah Macaraeg (Trauma 2013) is an aspiring publisher, essayist, and oral historian currently at work on The Domestic Worker Oral History Project with fellow OHSS participant Dao Tran. Plans for the project include a book collection which independent press Haymarket Books has contracted for future publication. Sarah has spent the previous 6 years in publishing and currently works at Columbia College in Chicago where she is also in the midst of creating a narrative-driven digital magazine of art and politics in the city.
Sarita Daftary (OHSS Intensive 2013, Guest Instructor OHSS Intensive 2017, OHSS Intensive 2016) has extensive experience in community organizing and community development work in Brooklyn. She worked at United Community Centers from 2003-2013 as part of the food justice and community organizing project, East NewYork Farms! During that time she helped to grow the project significantly, while maintaining a focus on developing community leadership, and led ENYF to become a nationally recognized model for youth and community engagement in urban agriculture and community markets. She joined El Puente in May 2015 as the director of the Green Light District, EP's ten year strategic holistic sustainability initiative. Sarita has recently worked in part-time and consulting roles with the Brooklyn Arts Council, Steve's Camp (at Gotham Professional Arts Academy) , and the Food Dignity Project (a community-based participatory research initiative). Sarita graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in sociology and government, and is also a graduate of the Leadership New York Fellowship, organized by Coro New York and the Leadership Caucus of the Community Resource Exchange. Sarita attended Oral History Summer School’s Intensive workshop in 2013 and will be presenting her oral history project related to East New York at the 2016 Intensive. A version of this presentation was shared at the 2015 Oral History Association Conference as part of a panel on Gentrification and Housing Justice in NYC.
Sarita Hernandez (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is a XicanaDyke artivista-escritora from Norwalk in Los Angeles County. Sarita is currently a graduate student at University of Illinois, Chicago in the Museum and Exhibition Studies and the publication coordinator for the Fwd: Museums Journal. Sarita is always thinking about TQPOC love, cycles of Chicano family violence and resilience, and payasa resistance through digital storytelling, painting, and creative nonfiction writing. Sarita's capstone project engages creative reinterpretations or disidentifications of everyday objects to address cycles of violence and queer spaces within Chicano family violence.
Scott Gyenes (OHSS Intensive 2015) is currently an Adjunct Professor of History at York College of Pennsylvania and History Department Chair and teacher at York Country Day School. He has a great deal of professional experience, having taught and led student organizations at the collegiate and college-preparatory level for over 25 years, worked with various non-profit organizations in helping them understand and implement the proper historical research and methodological process. Scott brings a wealth of educational and non-profit leadership experience having served as an adjunct professor at five colleges, in senior leadership roles for various non-profit social service agencies and leadership positions at many educational institutions. In addition to his teaching, Scott has also served both his local and global communities as a Board of Director on numerous non-profit organizations such as: the York College of Pennsylvania Alumni Association, East Berlin Community Library, Knights of Columbus Home Association Council 871, the Raintree Association, and currently as a board of director for the NGO Marie Mambu Makaya Foundation. Scott’s has many goals in learning about oral history such as incorporating the skills into his required service learning class projects, as well as utilizing oral history in his research projects currently underway examining the lives of Democratic Republic of Congo emigrants living in Pennsylvania.
Sean Ferguson (OHSS Intensive 2013): I’m a Junior at Vassar College, but my home is in New Jersey. At Vassar, I’m majoring in History with a minor in Asian studies. This Summer I will be working with the Rutgers Oral History Department and a Non-Profit based in my home state to collect oral histories of South Asian immigrants and their experiences in America and abroad. I’ll be concluding my research at the end of the summer with a presentation on my findings. I look forward to incorporating the skills I’ll learn at the Oral History Summer School into my senior thesis at Vassar and eventually graduate school.
Seher Vora (Shaking the Family Tree 2019) I recently graduated with a Master's degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts. As a child of the Pakistani Diaspora in the U.S., interest in my own cultural history and love of reading and telling stories led me to develop an avid interest in history and political science studies. My current career pursuits have therefore built on these interests; I worked as an Editor at publications where people's stories are the priority and inclusion of diverse narratives and perspectives is a must. Previously, I worked in immigration law, which also gave me a chance to understand the importance of storytelling and understanding the experiences of others. Outside of work, I love reading, writing, and scenic walks, and am a dedicated caffeine lover.
Selha Graham Cora (OHSS Intensive 2013): Mom of 6, local business owner living here in Hudson pre-gentrification days. Columbia Greene Alumni. Recycler, gardener, Native of Jamaica Muslim revert 3 years.
Sharece Johnson (Oral History for Educators 2019) I was born in Queens and raised in Hudson. I graduated with a BA in Communications from the University at Albany. In my journey I have been involved with most of the organizations in Hudson that involve Youth. I grew up going to the youth program at TSL a theater company central in Hudson. There I got to explore my interests in music, theater, poetry and visual arts. In high school I sang choral and classical music which also followed me into college. During my early college years I served as a mentor through Americorps in Hudson. At that time I started a Glee Club and Girls empowerment club. My late years of college I started working with Kite's Nest as a lead educator of the Social Justice Leadership Academy. Since then I've been working with Kite's Nest as the After School Coordinator.
Shola Cole (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Cole is a queer Afro-Caribbean/UK born immigrant and a multi-tuned performance artist in the NYC. An obsession with pirates, food, storytelling and good customer service often leads to many discussions and trips to yummy cheap eats. Using radio, movement and an alter ego called Pirate Jenny - Cole explores historical contexts within personal legacy as a queer woman of color and former classically trained musician existing in the US. A new ongoing work, Biographie of Service, uses narrative, figure modeling and viewer participation to look at her own journey within art and the service industry and to critique the grey area between customer care and performance. www.piratehaterjenny.com
Silvia Chelala (OHSS Intensive 2014) I have been involved in traditional and non-traditional education most of my life. Traditional academic has been my place in the last 30+ years. Now, facing a transition to retirement, I wanted to become immersed in people’s stories. Thus, oral history came to mind both as a way to inquiry (health project with Latino men and their health) and as a way to document and honor other’s experiences.
Sindhu Gnanasambandan (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Sindhu Gnanasambandan is an audio producer, previously working with Planet Money and Gimlet's StartUp podcast. After studying Economics in college, she spent a year living in a zen buddhist monastic community and now spends much of her time plotting how she can become a monk. Her next project is a year long research fellowship with Stanford's Poverty and Inequality Center, involving interviewing hundreds of Americans about their daily lives.
Spencer Beswick (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I am a PhD Student researching the history of anarchism in North America and Europe. My academic work seeks to engage with contemporary social movements and uncover histories of resistance and experiments with alternative forms of social life and organization. I am involved with Food Not Bombs and the Antidote Infoshop in Ithaca, New York.
Stacey Engels (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a playwright and writer of fiction and non-fiction prose. She has worked as a consultant, workshop leader and program manager in a variety of educational and human services settings in NYC. She is completing her MFA in Memoir at Hunter College and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter and Lehman Colleges. She is working on a book about walking the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain and essays about the Anglo-Montreal diaspora.
Stella Yoon (Oral History for Educators 2019) Stella Yoon is a designer, strategist and at the helm of Hudson River Exchange. After studying illustration at the School of Visual Arts, Stella wove her way through a series of design and styling roles across the worlds of retail and photography collaborating with magazines, agencies, retailers and fellow artists. During her decade of experience as visual merchandiser, prop stylist, and graphic designer in NYC, she honed her gift for creating rich visual narratives. Her curiosity and passion for learning moved her to take risks, and say yes when opportunity came knocking. A trip upstate to a biodynamic farming workshop introduced Stella to the small, river city of Hudson. She felt an instant kinship with the community of growers and artisans who valued working with their hands. Within days, she was packing to leave NYC. The move allowed Stella to connect with the people behind the food on her plate, those who made the plate itself—and even the table underneath. Those early conversations sparked the idea that became Hudson River Exchange. These days, Stella uses her wide-ranging expertise to help burgeoning brands bring their ideas to life. “HRE is where I get to share everything I’ve learned,” she says.
Stephanie Loveless (Shaking the Family Tree 2017) is a Montréal-born artist who works with sound, video, film and voice. She makes soft-speakers out of paper cups, performance prescriptions for audience-identified ailments, and sound works that attempt to channel the voices of plants, animals and musical divas. Loveless’ sound, video and performance work has been presented widely in festivals, galleries, museums and artist-run centers in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council and el Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; awards from Kodak, the International Festival of Cinema and Technology, and the Malcolm S. Morse Foundation; and has completed residencies at el Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras (Morelia, Mexico) , the Coleman Center for the Arts (York, Alabama) , and Studio XX (Montréal, Québec). She holds MFAs from Bard College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a certification in Deep Listening. She currently lives and works in upstate New York.
Stephen Ballentine (Shaking the Family Tree 2017): I graduated from law school in 2014. After spending a year doing housing legal services and community organizing work in New York City, I moved to Albany to clerk for a judge. I love hearing people's stories, and I'm generally interested in understanding how oral history can fit into activism and my future professional work. But I'm particularly interested the family oral history workshop because I hope it will give me an opportunity and structure for exploring and preserving my own family history.
Sue Efferen (Oral History for Educators 2019) Originally from New York City, where she worked as a orthopedic then pediatric nurse, Sue Efferen transitioned into the field of education in 2000. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst University Without Walls program, she received a B.A. in children’s learning, while minoring in psychology. Continued coursework in education was completed at the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA, leading to teacher certification in Special Education. From 2000-2018, Sue worked in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District in Sheffield, MA. Her time there was spent teaching predominantly reading and math to third, fourth and fifth graders. Sue’s kind and fun-loving personality becomes apparent in her daily interactions with students and staff.
Susan Augenbraun (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Susan is a writer, nonprofit events producer, and erstwhile historian. Her historical fiction seeks to make sense of the world through its near-forgotten details, to tell stories that would seem impossible if they hadn't truly happened. She was raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and holds a BA in history from the University of Chicago.
Susan Burns (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) I am a historian of modern Japanese history and work on the history of medicine and public health, with a particular focus on stigmatized diseases. I have in mind an oral history project the history of the care of the mental ill. Iwakura, an agricultural village located outside of Kyoto, has a long history of community based care and today is the site of two private psychiatric hospitals that together have over 1300 beds. I've done a good deal of archival research on Iwakura, but I think oral history will add a new dimension to my work. I am particular interested in interviewing people in the community and medical professionals.
Suzanne L. Schulz (C&C 2015) received her PhD in Media Studies in August 2014 from the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin. From 2014-2015, Suzanne was a Postdoctoral Fellow at UT-Austin and a visiting researcher in Mardin, Turkey. Her research on contestations around cinema in North India included interviews and archival research. Prior to her academic career, Suzanne worked for six years in documentary filmmaking in New York and Boston. She is eager to incorporate oral history methodology including audio recording and photography into her research and teaching.
Suzi Kim (Oral History for Educators 2019) Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Suzi received a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, Suzi traveled to Wonju, South Korea, to teach English at Yonsei ELP Institute, where she discovered her passion for education and working with children. After returning to Tucson, Suzi continued to pursue her teaching career as an English Language Learners Instructor at Southside Community School, a progressive charter school, where she taught until relocating to Hudson, New York. At Southside, Suzi led her own multi-age full-time classroom, designing syllabi, assessing student progress, finding creative ways to meet state rubrics, and honing her classroom management skills. She also served as the school’s after school Program Director. Suzi enjoys practicing yoga, painting, reading, and spending time with her dog, Elliott.
Suzy Subways (OHSS Intensive 2012): I am a writer and editor, and when I’m not at my part-time job as a medical copy editor, I’m working on Prison Health News, a national newsletter for people in prison, and an oral history project about an activist group I was part of in the 90s, the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM!). SLAM! was a multiracial radical group based at the City University of New York (CUNY) that fought tuition hikes and the elimination of open admissions, and organized youth to resist police brutality and the prison industrial complex. I was an editor at POZ magazine starting in 2001 and later was the lead writer for the AIDS activist publication Solidarity Project. I write for The Indypendent, The Defenestrator, and other independent media publications; create video for Occupy Philly Media; write short fiction; and occasionally post on my blog, AIDS and Social Justice (http://aidsandsocialjustice.wordpress.com/). The SLAM Herstory Project is online at http://slamherstory.wordpress.com/, and my goal is to do many more interviews and edit them into a book. So far, I’ve only completed short articles and a pamphlet focused on one aspect of the group’s history, because my experience as a journalist has only prepared me for envisioning and structuring the work of smaller projects. I’m hoping that this workshop will help me figure out how to come up with a plan to move forward.
Taia Handlin (OHSS Intensive 2019) Journalism grad student. I'm a writer generally, and I've had the occasional podcast. I write about gender and sexuality, pop culture, and all their intersections. I had a podcast called 'Juicy Bits' about sex and politics. My favorite episode was with a Yale ornithologist about the political implications of bird sex.
Tamar Aizenberg (OHSS Intensive 2017) is a rising senior at Williams College majoring in History and Chemistry with a concentration in Jewish Studies. This summer, she is interviewing grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to examine their Jewish identity and what connection, if any, it has to their grandparents' experiences. These interviews will form the basis of her upcoming yearlong History thesis.
Tanu Kumar (OHSS Intensive 2018) is an urban planning and policy specialist, working on projects that combine planning, research, and advocacy to address challenges facing low and moderate-income communities. For the past 5 years, she's led the Pratt Institute’s economic development work in NYC and the region, providing technical assistance to government agencies and community-based organizations on equitable growth strategies. She has extensive experience in guiding and facilitating community-based planning processes. She also spent several years in India developing affordable housing and evaluating the impact of housing assistance programs.
Tashi Choden (OHSS Intensive 2016): I founded the Himalayan Heritage at the Rubin museum. It is a platform for the Himalayan community (Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutan, India and surrounding regions like Mongolia and China) to present and bring the living tradition and for the friends of the Himalayas to experience on the galleries. I'm also the founder of www.voicesoftibet.org and co-founder of TOHP - Tibetan Oral History Project.
Theodore (Ted) Kerr (OHSS Intensive 2015) is a Canadian born Brooklyn based writer and organizer. His work focuses primarily on HIV/AIDs, related issues and community. Ted was the Programs Manager at Visual AIDS and is now currently doing his graduate work Union Theological Seminary, where he also works at the Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice.
Theresa Casciato (Project Lab 2014): I am a multimedia professional and artist in Pittsburgh, PA. I began to study film and video production after I earned my BFA in Photography, from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. As I built my skills with sound recording, I worked as a Remote Sound Recordist for the documentary film, “The River Ran Red “, (1993). This film won a Cine Golden Eagle Award, in the History Category, and tells the story about the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. I am interested in telling more stories that feature oral history recordings. I hope to find a way to use my talents with new technology, to create something lasting for future generations to access.
Tobi Elkin (Verso Mini Intensive 2019) Tobi Elkin is a versatile writer, editor, reporter, interviewer, researcher, and multimedia content creator with interests in creativity, how people connect to their purpose, nonagenarians, and intergenerational storytelling. Selected as an Amtrak Writer-in-Residence (2016-2017) , she produced an award-winning short documentary film, “Train People,” inspired by her cross-country rail experience. The film was screened in more than a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and abroad in 2017. In 2018, she produced and directed a video about the Henry Street Settlement Senior Center with seniors sharing their experiences. Tobi is an advisor to and founding member of Seward Park Conservancy. She served as a consultant to the Taproot Foundation, a volunteer with New York Public Library’s Lower East Side Oral History Project, a mentor for Girls Write Now, and a member of Manhattan Community Board 3's Parks & Waterfront committee. She's an adjunct instructor at Montclair State University's School of Communication and Media.
Tobi Jacobi (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016) is Professor of English at Colorado State University where she teaches courses on writing and literacy theory with a specialization in the work of incarcerated women writers. She directs the CSU Community Literacy Center and trains student and community volunteers to facilitate writing workshops with incarcerated adults and at-risk youth in Northern Colorado, a program that has been publishing and circulating writings from confined populations for 10 years. She has published on community literacy and prison writing in book collections and journals such as Community Literacy Journal, Corrections Today, Feminist Formations and the Journal of Correctional Education. Her edited collection (with Dr. Ann Folwell Stanford) , Women, Writing, and Prison: Activists, Scholars, and Writers Speak Out, was published in 2014. Her current research focuses on examining narratives of representation from a girls' training school in Hudson, NY in the 1920s and 1930s along with Dr. Laura Rogers. She is interested in exploring the ways that oral and visual storytelling can enhance our understandings of history and inspire social change.
Tomie Hahn (OHSS Intensive 2016) is an artist and ethnomusicologist. She is a performer of shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) , nihon buyo (Japanese traditional dance) , and experimental performance. She is an Associate Professor in the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she is also the Director of the Center for Deep Listening. Contemplative practices have been a part of her life and pedagogical method for many years. Her artistic and research focus has been the transmission of embodied cultural knowledge, stemming from her life-long practice of traditional Japanese “practice arts” (okeikogoto). Tomie’s research spans a wide range of area studies and topics including: the senses and transmission, Japanese traditional performing arts, Monster Truck rallies, issues of display, gesture, and relationships of technology and culture. Her book, Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture through Japanese Dance was awarded the Alan P. Merriam prize (Society for Ethnomusicology).
Tony Macaluso (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016): As the Director of Network Marketing & Syndication with the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago, Tony Macaluso oversees the distribution of several dozen classical music, jazz, folk, science and public affairs radio programs to radio stations throughout the United States and internationally including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and others. He also helps develop new series and radio specials. Born in the Chicago suburbs, he grew up listening to WFMT (and especially Studs Terkel’s daily interview show) , studied journalism and Chinese, lived and taught in China and received a MA in Theater History from the University of Illinois. He is the author of Sounds of Chicago’s Lakefront, a book about the history of outdoor music in Chicago’s Grant Park and is currently working on a book about the cultural history of spaces at the tops of Chicago’s historic skyscrapers and an online cultural history of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Trinity Thompson (Oral History for Educators 2019) Trinity Thompson works as a residential faculty member at a semester called CITYterm, where she teaches literature and history to high schoolers. A multiracial woman who proudly hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, she grew up interested in the power of various forms of storytelling- both individual and collective. For her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Trinity would go on to Stanford University, where she would explore her relationship to these stories by studying English (Creative Writing) , Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Sociology. While there, she discovered that she enjoys personally creating short stories, film, and memoir, as well as using creative writing to help her students develop and share their voices. While she has never officially done oral history work, she is excited to explore this medium and bring it back to her students as a tool for personal and collective exploration. In her free time, Trinity can usually be found watching film, reading, eating sweets, or doing some combination of these.
Tyler Caughie (OHSS Intensive 2016): I currently manage a food pantry in Harlem. In the past I traveled extensively working seasonal agriculture jobs; started a food truck in the Pacific Northwest; worked for the Museum of History and Industry, Historical Seattle, and HistoryLink; worked with children with life-threatening illnesses; volunteered with Hospice. I'm drawn to Oral History as a methodology to engage, co-create, and ground narrative in context. I started working with a historic preservation group in Seattle on a project collecting oral histories about a landmark building in the Central District of the city. From there I worked on a project in dialogue with the WPA's American Guide series, collecting stories around Washington State. During my work with Hospice I became interested in oral history during end-of-life, work that I'd like to pursue further. As a resident of Harlem I have been participating in workshops and lectures put on by the Oral History department at Columbia
Vanessa Maruskin (Doc Film 2013) works as an Archival Researcher & Associate Producer in documentary film. She found an interest in oral history and research while studying at the New School. Her background includes work in theater and commercial production. She is currently working as the Archival AP on a feature documentary on Bill Cosby, and will begin similar work on a second feature documentary this summer.
Vianey Castrellon (OHSS Intensive 2013, Archive 2013): I have a degree in Journalism of the University of Panama and for over seven years I worked in Panama’s leading newspaper, La Prensa. During this period, I worked as an editor of the Political and International sections. In 2007, I started the work at the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) , the government entity that manages the Canal since 1999. In that same year the Panama Canal Expansion began and the ACP created a department to focus on its historic documentation. This effort includes photographic and video documentation, the recovery and preservation of historic objects and documents, and an oral history collection. I am part of the staff involved in the conduction of these oral history interviews. In the past five years I have been emerging myself in the world of the academic history and as a result of our oral history work in the Panama Canal Expansion Program, I have had the opportunity to present papers in the International Oral History Conference (Argentina, 2012) and in the Latinoamerican Oral History Meeting (El Salvador, 2013). Journalism was my first love but destiny wanted me to discover in the Panama Canal a second passion: oral history.
Walis Johnson (Guest Instructor, OHSS Intensive 2017) is a multidisciplinary artist/researcher whose work documents the experience and poetics of the urban landscape through oral history and visual ethnography, performance and artist walking practices. She is particularly interested in the intersection of documentary film, performance and socially engaged practice. Her work explores hidden fissures of culture and history that upend our understanding of the political, economic and cultural structures we use to define the American condition and ourselves. Her practice takes a critical view of the relationship between the personal and political in everyday life. Walis holds an MFA from Hunter College Interactive Media Arts and has taught at Parsons School of Design.
Walter Hergt (OHSS Intensive 2013, Doc Film 2013, Project Lab 2014, Experimental Ethnographies 2018) I have been doing a lot of carpentry/contracting in the vein of creating a social justice educational/retreat center in Millerton, NY. I am actively interested in video and perhaps video-documentary-ethnographic efforts but interested in more experimental approaches rather than the “rote” documentary/advocacy format. This fall and winter I have been studying and honing my photography skills, particularly documentary narrative skills, i.e. telling stories with a set of images. Very interested in combining this with audio to create home combinations of visual, audible, audio-video storytelling. This will be put to the test the rest of this winter and spring working on an oral history and portraiture project with the Black Urban Growers group in NYC.
Yasmin Mitchel (Oral History Intensive Chicago 2016, Archives/Production Assistant, E) is a current DePaul University student pursuing a BFA in Dramaturgy/Criticism with minors in History and Museum Studies. She has worked with both the Elk Grove Historical Museum and the Theatre Historical Society of America. With these organizations, Yasmin was trained in various museums fields such as archiving, collections management, exhibit design, audience engagement, and curation. What she enjoyed most was her time spent with oral history. Yasmin loved listening to the interviews and breaking them down into smaller parts that could be used for exhibitions. Recently she was awarded a fellowship to continue her work with the Chicago History Museum on their latest endeavor Forty Blocks: The East Garfield Park Oral History Project. This summer she will also be conducting oral histories with the Indo-American Heritage Museum in collaboration with the Field Museum.
Yvette Ramirez (OHSS Intensive 2016): Born and raised in Queens, NY, Yvette Ramirez is an arts administrator, community educator and multi-media artist. She is inspired by the arts as a social agent that can build and empower communities as well as bring about transformative justice and healing. Currently she is the program coordinator for The Laundromat Project. In the past, she has organized alongside Latino and working class communities via Make The Road NY and New Immigrant Community Empowerment and as a fellow with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership. In addition, she has worked as an arts education assistant at The Noguchi Museum as well as alongside artist Sol Aramendi via Project Luz. She holds a BA from Hunter College in Romance Languages and Political Science where she studied past and present social movements in Latin America. As a daughter of Bolivian immigrants, she is interested in exploring identity based politics, the meaning of “home,” memory, and patriarchy through her art practice.
Zoe Dutka (OHSS Intensive 2015) is originally from Shokan in the Hudson Valley, but has lived in a very rural region in Venezuela, on the border of Brazil, since she was 17. She currently works as a journalist for the news site venezuelanalysis.com, where she closely tracks Latin American politics and social crises.