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 processing archivist for 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 an editorial assistant 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.
First year Museum Studies graduate assistant Sarah Howard from Austin received her undergraduate degree in May 2017 from Baylor where she majored in history. Sarah’s assistantship also includes working in the Mayborn Museum’s collections department. When she isn’t in the Archive or the Museum, Sarah enjoys reading, writing letters, and baking.
Junior English major Julia Pantleo doesn't have a "hometown" because she grew up in a military household. After attending eleven different schools in three countries, she graduated from high school in Germany. Actively involved in First Baptist Church of Waco and an avid reader, Julia enjoys running, dancing, traveling, and singing.
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.
2018 interns include Chanse Sonsalla, who holds the Sue Margaret Hughes Internship, and Andrea Parker, who received the Nancy Newman Logan Library Internship.
A senior Economics, Russian, and Business Fellows major who has studied Russian, Polish and German, Chanse Sonsalla grew up in a military family. As a student in Baylor’s honors program, she has chosen to write her senior honors thesis on linguistic discrimination and linguistic human rights in the Baltic States. In her free time, Chanse enjoys needlework, cooking, and hiking.
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.
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.