Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The Institute for Oral History has long worked closely with Baylor undergraduate students in processing the oral history interviews in our collection. We are also available to provide instruction and consultation for classroom oral history projects across the disciplines.
An expanding area of our research mission is collaborating with undergraduate students as they carry out their own oral history research initiatives. Students work with the staff of the Institute to create, develop, design, process, and analyze an interview project, significantly enriching the undergraduate research experience.
||Baylor senior and University Scholar Avery C. Lill received a 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement [URSA] grant for a research project directed by Dr. Stephen Sloan. Titled, "Voices of East Austin: Preserving the Stories of East Austin in the Face of Impending Gentrification," this undergraduate research initiative preserves the stories of people in historically underserved, rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in East Austin. The researcher has investigated primary and secondary source materials on the topic of US urban gentrification in general and on the eastern side of the state's capital city in particular. Based on the background research, she is conducting oral history interviews with local residents and municipal leaders to document their experiences and their perceptions of the forces of redevelopment in their neighborhoods. The study preserves and highlights the cultural identity of the East Austin community and provides greater understanding and context of the character of Austin as a whole. Through the stories of its residents, the study will reveal what is at stake as the area is transformed. Ms. Lill will present an original paper based on her research at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association [SSSA] in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March 2016, and also will develop a short, three- to five-minute, human interest audio documentary suitable for public radio.
Jillian Buttecali, a junior, pre-business major, received a 2010-2011 URSA grant for a project titled "A Better Hometown: Universalizing the Structure of Incorporated Towns and Townships." Through oral history research, Ms. Buttecali explored the challenges faced by incorporated townships in Texas, most notably urban crime, urban government disconnect, and socioeconomic isolation. Under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Sloan, she interviewed community leaders in Houston and federal officials in Washington and made a presentation at the SSSA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March 2011.