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.
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.
The Libraries summer internship program allows Baylor undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to work on unique projects in special collections to improve skills and increase marketability. Those who serve in Keston learn about the Center, participate in a variety of assignments associated with processing archival collections in Russian and other Slavic languages, and explore Keston materials in various formats.
2019 interns include Luke Sayers, who holds the Dunlap Internship, and Hanna Camille Watson, who received the Nancy Newman Logan Library Internship.
Luke Sayers, a PhD student in English, studies 20th Century American literature with a focus on Russian-American authors. Luke earned his BA in English literature from Grove City College and his MA in theological studies from Westminster Seminary. Before coming to Baylor, he taught English as a second language for a year in Saint Petersburg, Russia and hopes to gain a deeper understanding of Russian religious history and archives through his Keston internship. He and his wife Chloe enjoy reading, hiking, and baking together.
Camille Watson, second-year University Scholar, studies Russian along with professional writing and rhetoric. She spent her childhood in Krasnodar, Russia, and that experience sparked her interest in the Keston Center. The undergraduate hopes to learn more about the culture and history of the country where she grew up through the Nancy Newman Logan Keston Internship. In her free time, Camille enjoys drawing, reading, and taking long walks in the woods.
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.