Professor Kathy Hillman became Director of Baptist Collections, Library Advancement, and the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society in 2012. Additionally, she serves as Associate Professor and Director of Baptist Collections and Library Advancement for the University Libraries. A native Texan, Hillman received a BA, summa cum laude, from Baylor University and an MLS from the University of North Texas. In addition to her Baylor responsibilities, she has served as President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, President of Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, and Recording Secretary and Vice-President of Woman’s Missionary Union, Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Larisa Seago serves as the curator of the Keston Library and Archives. A native of Samara, Russia, Seago received her bachelor’s degree from Samara State Aerospace University and earned a masters in Church-State Studies from Baylor.
Janice Losak greets visitors and assists with processing and administrative details. Losak has worked at Baylor more than 25 years. Before joining the Keston Center staff, she was an assistant in the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.
Tanya Clark works part-time processing Russian-language materials. Clark received a Master of Arts in Foreign Language Education from Kuban State University and is a managing editor for the Journal of Church and State at Baylor.
Joy Watson earned a B.A. in German Language and Literature and History from SMU and three master’s degrees in History, Intercultural Communications, and International Education. She also holds a certificate in Russian Language and Literature from Donetsk State University in Ukraine. Joy has worked for 25 years in a variety of countries across the globe and maintains a special interest in the history of persecution experienced by religious leaders. She enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family who all deeply love the Russian people and history.
Through an arrangement with the Department of Museum Studies, a graduate student serves an assistantship in the Keston Center working approximately 15-20 hours per week. Museum Studies graduate students are a perfect fit for Keston because they receive training in collections management, material culture, education, exhibit design, and archival collections management. They bring to the assistantship useful historical background and professional training that benefits Keston.
Victoria Royal, a first year Museum Studies graduate student from Erie, Pennsylvania, received her undergraduate degree in August from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. She studied history and political science and spent a semester studying abroad in Bulgaria, which helped prepare her for the graduate assistantship in the Keston Center. In her free time, Victoria enjoys reading, volunteering, and practicing music.
Andrea Parker, a double History and Russian and Slavic Studies major, spent the spring semester studying in Russia. A Baylor AFROTC cadet, Andrea has served as Flight Commander and Wing Standard and Evaluations Officer. She credits Keston Advisory Board member and Baylor history professor Dr. Julie deGraffenried with her passion for Keston after writing a research paper on religious persecution during the Soviet era.
Timothy Watson, a cross-culturally raised student, draws on his childhood experiences in Russia to aid him in his work in the Keston Center. He currently is studying the Russian language and Slavic history to further grow and prepare himself for involvement in Russian-speaking and cultural settings.
By drawing upon its rich resources, Baylor University offers a wide range of courses that intersect with the mission of the Keston Center. These include classes in Russian and East European languages and Asian Studies, as well as Religion, Theology, History and Political Science. Many Baylor faculty who teach in these areas serve on the Keston Advisory Board and work closely with the Keston Center faculty and staff.