The People of SPOHP
Dr. Samuel Proctor
- Dr. Samuel Proctor was born in Jacksonville and graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 1941. When he was an undergraduate, he was a member of the Florida Alligator staff. He received his master's degree in 1942, and his doctorate in 1958, both from the University of Florida.
- For decades, Proctor was one of the world's foremost scholars of Florida history. He edited the scholarly journal, Florida Historical Quarterly, for more than thirty years. Proctor was a pioneer in the field of oral history. The oral history program at the University of Florida, which he established in 1967, is one of the largest in the nation. It is fitting that it is now named after him. He was a member or chair of many historical organizations and associations. He authored or edited countless articles, publications, and books, including the history of the University of Florida.
- You can read Dr. Proctor's full Biography HERE!
Dr. Paul Ortiz
- Tamarra joined SPOHP in 2010 courtesy of the
UF College of Engineering. Tamarra writes and administers grants and contracts,
supervises our academic interns, and manages
the workflow and schedules of all students, staff and volunteers.
Tamarra plans SPOHP’s public history program series as well
as our special educational events.
- Erin L. Conlin is a PhD candidate in twentieth century U.S. History. Her dissertation focuses on a case study of Florida’s agricultural labor systems and practices with an emphasis on the experiences of early Bahamian migrants.
- While working on her master’s degree, Erin began a preliminary examination of these issues in the context of World War II and the newly-created British West Indian Temporary Labor Program. Her dissertation expands the scope and scale of the project identifying and analyzing how and why various farm labor regimes emerged in Florida throughout the twentieth century. As an agricultural powerhouse and a primary destination for migrants, a thorough analysis of Florida farm labor practices illuminates the intersection of labor, migration, and state policy on a broader scale.
- Erin earned her B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 and her M.A. degree from the University of Florida in 2010. Erin joined SPOHP this fall (2012) as a Graduate Coordinator to assist in processing transcripts, helping organize SPOHP’s public programs, and supervising SPOHP’s growing internship program.
- Ross is a first year MA/PhD student in the University of Florida History Department. He intends to conduct research on the pre-independence legal history of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
- Born to Canadian parents in London, England, Ross graduated from Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2004. He received a BA from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada in 2008. Ross graduated in 2012 from Hofstra University School of Law and passed the New York Bar Exam in July 2012.
- Sarah Blanc became a staff member at SPOHP in 2010 after serving as an intern in 2009. Sarah graduated from UF in 2012 with a B.A. in History and wrote her honors thesis, “Showcase of the Disinherited: Planning the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968,” under the direction of Dr. Paul Ortiz. Sarah’s research interests include rural and urban poverty and community organizing.
- Sarah manages fundraising and grant initiatives at SPOHP, while working with the SPOHP team to successfully execute fascinating interviews and public programs. Sarah plans to apply to graduate school and continue pursuing a career in development. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking and running with her dog.
- Born on St. Simons Island, Georgia, Deborah graduated Glynn Academy high school in 1972 and attended Brunswick Jr. College where she received an AS degree in Marine Biology and Medical Technology. Deborah worked as invertebrate technician with Dr. Eugene Keferl, also tagged loggerhead turtles on Jekyll Island with Dr. Archie Carr.
- Deborah worked in hospital laboratories as a medical technician in Brunswick, Georgia, Houston, Texas, and Gainesville, Florida before returning to school to get a graphic design degree from Santa Fe Community College in 2000. In 2006, Deborah received a B.A. in history and a minor in Anthropology at the University of Florida. Deborah has studied film and video editing since 1990, and attended a one-month immersive film school at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine, in July/August of 2010.
- Deborah has worked with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program since 2000, first as a volunteer and presently, as archivist and videographer
Assistant Technology Coordinator
- Maria C. Muñoz is a graduate student at the University of Florida studying student personnel in higher education. Maria was a McNair Scholar, and received her undergraduate degree also from the University of Florida, majoring in women's studies and gender research with a minor in family, youth, and community sciences.
- Maria's interest in immigration stems from the struggles of her family members and friends as immigrants from Cuba to the United States. For Maria, working on SPOHP's documentary film on immigration, "Siempre Adelante," serves as part of her contribution to the movement and fight for immigration rights and recognition, as a way to ask others to "wake up!" and realize that we must all act as informed citizens part of one human race. These stories we present belong to real people, with real families, and real dreams to live their lives to their full potential, to have a fair chance in their pursuit for life, liberty, and happiness
- Kapri Crowley a senior undergraduate student, who is double majoring in anthropology and history. Kapri joined the SPOHP team in 2012. She works with Deborah in the production lab to process audio and text data for archiving.
- A McNair Scholar, Kapri is currently working on an anthropology research project to educate undergraduate students about their role as a spectator. Also, she is writing a history honor’s thesis to determine why medieval themes resonate in the thought and culture of 20th and 21st century film.
- Kapri plans to attend graduate school for her Ph.D. She plans on using her knowledge about archival work to further enhance educational tools in the classroom and to spread awareness about cultural differences.
Veterans' History Project Coordinator
- Ann Smith joined SPOHP in 1998 after retiring from a distinguished career in Nursing Education and administration in Acute Care hospitals. She is the Coordinator of the Veterans’ History Project Coordinator and facilitates the interviewing of World War II veterans. So far, the project has conducted over 160 interviews.
- Ann works on all levels of interview processing for the VHP project, including interviewing, transcribing, audit editing, indexing, and supervising volunteer workers on the project. Her work was recently featured in Gainesville Sun, “Retired? Hardly. Woman immersed in collecting stories of local WWII Vets”.
- Ann also chairs the Oral History Program at the Matheson Museum in Gainesville and supervises an oral history transcription program at the Alachua County Womens’ Prison. She is also currently collecting memories from elders in Alachua County.
- For more information about Ann, see her Resume
African-American History Project Coordinator
- Marna Weston is a graduate student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
- He coordinates SPOHP's African-American History Project and is very involved in community efforts to preserve the cultural history of African-Americans in Alachua County.
African-American History Project Coordinator
- Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology department at UF. He has a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from Penn State University, and has taught both anthropology and writing courses at UF. Ryan's dissertation fieldwork will be conducted amongst Western Shoshone Indians in eastern Nevada.
- His area of focus is on issues of heritage and heritage management from critical, political, and historical perspectives. In the course of fieldwork, he will conduct oral history interviews to be archived in a new collection at SPOHP, which will hopefully be of value to Shoshones and non-Shoshone researchers alike.
- Since joining AAHP, Ryan has conducted a number of interviews, helped with creating the AAHP CD, and has given presentations to UF undergraduate classes on conducting oral history interviews. He has found it particularly rewarding to help record some of Gainesville's unique history, and to share it with community members and UF students.
African-American History Project Assistant
- Justin Dunnavant is a graduate Student in the Department of Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology. His research interests lay in the historical archaeology of Africa and the archaeology of slavery and emancipation throughout the wider African Diaspora. He received his B.A.s in History and Anthropology from Howard University in 2009.
- You can read Justin's CV HERE.
- Diana Dombrowski became a staff member at SPOHP in January 2012 after working for a year as an intern in 2011. She earned her B.A.s in History and Environmental Science in May of 2012 and wrote her thesis, “Contributing to World Community: Peace Corps Service in Historical Perspective,” under the direction of Dr. Paul Ortiz, using research she conducted through SPOHP in developing the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Collection.
- Diana works as the Poarch Creek Indian Project Coordinator, processing interviews with members of Poarch Creek Nation that were conducted in the 1970s, and also directs a new initiative to organize SPOHP’s extensive collection of digitized oral history interviews.
- Diana also served as the Education Director of Recurso at UF from 2011-2012, organizing UF’s Fair Trade Fair and traveling to Nicaragua in 2011. She plans to attend graduate school to study environmental history, focusing on water issues and land use.
- Isht Vatsa is currently entering his senior year as an undergraduate student, majoring in history and criminology and earning a minor in business administration.
- Isht began working at SPOHP as an intern in 2011 before joining the staff in 2012. Isht is working closely with the Student Action with Farmworkers in Durham, North Carolina, to gather a collection of twenty interviews with noted SAF Alumni in order to commemorate SAF’s twentieth anniversary and the profound impact that SAF has had throughout North Carolina thus far.
- He is also involved with the Creek Indian Project and the African American History Project. Isht will be writing an honor’s thesis on the legal framework surrounding the PATCO strike of 1981. He plans on attending law school after graduating.
- Scott Kraff is a 4th year pre-law student majoring in History, with a focus on Latin America, and Political Science.
- Scott first joined SPOHP as an intern in Spring 2012 after hearing about the opportunity through an adviser and became involved with coordinating social media for the African American History Project, including Facebook and Twitter pages (Like/Follow us!).
- He stayed on as a staff member the following summer, working on the Poarch Creek Indian Project and continuing his social media work. Scott hopes his experiences working with SPOHP will help prepare him for his future career as an attorney planning to work in civil rights law.
- Genesis Lara was born in New York City to parents from the Dominican Republic, and moved to Miami, Florida when she was ten. Genesis is a third year History major with a concentration in Latin American Studies.
- Genesis worked with teachers, students, and activists who are attempting to save the ethnic studies curriculum at the Tucson Unified School District.
- In addition to her passion for history, Genesis also loves music and dancing, especially merengue, bachata, and salsa. Her goal is to one day become a history professor and inspire her students to take over the world, just as her teachers have inspired her.
- Chris graduated from the Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, FL is currently studying for a History degree and minors in Russian Studies and Education at the University of Florida.
- She has worked with SPOHP since 2010, and is currently writing her History honors thesis on resegregation in public schools using research with former teachers and students from SPOHP's AAHP and Mississippi Freedom Project collections. She was an undergraduate researcher on the 2012 Mississippi Delta Research Trip.
- Stephanie has had a 12-year career as a Registered Nurse, and has worked primarily in an Emergency Room setting, most recently at North Florida Regional Medical Center. She also enjoys a freelance career as a Graphic Designer/Web Designer.
- She enjoys spending time with family and friends and hopes to be able to travel more.
- Stephanie joined the SPOHP team in the summer of 2012 as Webmaster and Web Designer.
Mississippi Field Intern
- Breanne Palmer is a rising senior at the University of Florida, with a major in Political Science and a minor in African American Studies. She is currently involved on campus with the Florida Cicerones, WRAPS, SAVANT Leadership Honorary, Campus Diplomats, and Multicultural and Diversity Affairs.
- Breanne has participated in SPOHP programming, and was honored to be part of the annual Mississippi Delta Trip's Research Team in 2011, with plans on returning for this year's venture. She just completed an internship in Washington, DC, with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and has hopes of pursuing a joint degree in international law and foreign policy. She will be applying for post-graduate opportunities this Fall.
- She is "grateful to SPOHP and its staff for allowing her to participate and contribute to the massive, imperative work SPOHP does in recording the testimonies of living history. She has certainly increased her appreciation for oral history, its merits, and its place in our society."
Research Field Intern
- Cecilia-Rose Greco came to SPOHP in 2012 inspired. Under Dr. Anna Muller’s instruction, Cecilia compiled the oral histories of a Jewish family that survived the European Concentration Camp and Gulag. Her interest in political prisoners, gender, and WW II thereby, was formed and would not be ignored.
- At SPOHP, Cecilia worked on both the Poarch Creek Indian Project and the WWII Veteran’s Project. In 2012, Cecilia graduated from the University of Florida with an honors B.A. in English and History. She leaves SPOHP with an oral history internship at the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, where she will assume her passion with the study of Political Prisoners in Czechoslovakia.
- Following that, Cecilia will attend a workshop on oral history and memory at the Huizinga Instituut in Amsterdam. The workshop involves Selma Leydesdorff, author of the book “Surviving the Bosnian Genocide: The Women of Srebrenica Speak,” a book which Cecilia carried with her to her first interview at SPOHP. Following the workshop, Cecilia is set to intern at Prague’s oral history program, Political Prisoners.eu.
Research Field Intern
- Tanya Azuaje is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida majoring in Anthropology and Religious Studies. She is currently away on a student exchange at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
- After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to take some time off before pursuing further education to travel and teach English. Tanya was an intern with the AAHP during the spring semester of 2012, during which she collaborated with several projects by doing fieldwork and conducting interviews, assisting in community events, transcribing and writing audio logs, and translating and recording voice-overs for interviews which had been conducted in Spanish.
- She is currently working on her own personal research and thesis work under the supervision of Dr. Paul Ortiz, and considers her time with SPOHP to have provided invaluable insight into her topic of interest: religious identity among African American Christians.
- Cindy Bobadilla
- Anna Jimenez
- Annie Boggs
- Joanna Joseph
- Aldreka Everett
- Faithful Okoye
- Sana Syyed Qamar
- Kaycee Smith
- Amanda Tomlin
- Anna Walters
Interested in becoming an Intern? CLICK HERE!
- Cornelius Clayton - volunteer photographer for SPOHP Public Programs and Social Media,
Mr. Clayton is frequently referred to as the "Mayor of Melrose," Florida. He is a combat
veteran of the United States Army
- Kamal Gray
- Tiffany Chacon
- Abby Austin
- Rachelle Cella
Interested in becoming a Volunteer? CLICK HERE!
Professor Julian Pleasants
- Professor Julian M. Pleasants joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1969, and served as the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program from 2001 to 2007.
- He has published six books and countless articles. His most recent project is a compilation of interviews on Florida Seminole Indians entitled, And My Values Are Still There: Seminole Reflections on Their Changing Society.
- Despite returning to his home state of North Carolina, Professor Pleasants continues to work as an interviewer, consultant, researcher and fundraiser for SPOHP.
- For more information on Professor Pleasants:
Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus Robert H. Zieger
- Professor Robert H. Zieger is a prominent historian whose research focuses on the labor history of the United States.
- Professor Zieger joined the faculty at UF in 1986 and was named Distinguished Professor of History in 1998. He retired from teaching in 2008.
- Professor Zieger serves on the SPOHP Program Advisory Board, and also chairs the awards committee for the Julian Pleasants Visiting Scholar Award.
- For more information on Dr. Zieger:
Dr. Zieger's UF faculty profile
Provost Emeritus David Colburn
- Professor David R. Colburn joined the University of Florida faculty in 1972, serving as the chairman of the Department of History (1981-1989), Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1989-1995), University Provost (2000-2005), and currently directs the Reubin O’D Askew Institute on Politics and Society at UF.
- Professor Colburn is a contributing interviewer for SPOHP, and is also Interim Director of the Bob Graham Center at UF.
- For more information on Dr. Colburn: