Oral Histories, Fall 2015
The oral histories that form part of this project were conducted by the following students during the 2015 fall term:
Benét Conlin is a Drake senior majoring in anthropology and sociology. She enjoys interviewing people and feels that people’s stories are worth telling. Having previously worked on an interview documentary and The ones I Bring With Me; she is pleased to be part of another project. She’s enjoyed the class inside and out of the classroom setting: “the class has a nice atmosphere, everyone is so welcoming.”
Emily Enquist is a senior at Drake University studying International Business and Anthropology. She hails from Plymouth, Minnesota, but after moving to Des Moines to attend Drake, she has set her eyes on the world. Having studied and interned abroad a total of 5 times during her college career, Emily has developed a passion for learning about new cultures and peoples. Although this is her first oral history project, she hopes to continue working with international and marginalized communities to bring their stories to light.
Shannon Fisher is 20 year old Junior at Drake University. She is a native from San Diego, California who came to Des Moines to explore possible environmental carriers paths. She is majoring in Environmental Policy with the possibility of a Psychology minor. She enjoys intervening people who have had personal experiences with environmental issues, natural exploration or who simply love the outdoors.
Laura Gann is a senior at Drake, majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a Global and Comparative Public Health Concentration. She is from Wheaton, Illinois and runs cross country and track at Drake. She has previous exposure to oral histories from taking an ethnography class, but has never created an oral history for someone before so she has really enjoyed the process and opportunity to hear everyone’s story.
Phil Hespen is a 23 year old Senior Sociology Major from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Crystal Lake, Illinois. He is also involved with Drake University Athletics. The ability to share one’s story and give the opportunity for someone else’s voice to be heard is a huge part of why this life history is being written. Phil had the opportunity to interview a close friend Naren Bhojwani, an International Drake Student from Ghana. He hopes this project will be a medium for a good friend to tell his story. He would like to thank Professor Gutierrez for the ability to work on a Life History project, his classmates for helping him along the way, and of course his close family and friends.
Jackie Heymann is a Junior, Politics and Sociology double major. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she moved to Des Moines two and a half years ago to attend Drake University. She has thoroughly enjoyed living in Des Moines, interacting with new people, and attending the Farmer’s Market. Also, she has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the small, but mighty, Jewish community. While spending time with the Jewish community, she met Chaim and his family. After spending time with the family, she decided to interview Chaim and showcase the fantastic work that he does within the Des Moines community. She would like to thank Professor Gutierrez and Chaim for the ability to work on this Life History project.
Ashley Hunter is a sophomore at Drake University, studying sociology and anthropology with a minor in psychology, and a concentration in women and gender studies. Ashley is from a small town in Iowa called Glenwood. She has never created an oral history on anyone before, so this took her a little out of her comfort zone! However, she enjoyed every second of it and plans on continuing working on oral histories after the class is finished. She also hopes that her first oral history gives Maria justice, and that she enjoys reading it.
Megan Johnson is a 2nd year college student at Drake University studying Anthropology, Sociology, and Magazine Writing. This coming Spring, she will be traveling to South East Asia to study abroad and will be living in Thailand for four months. This is what inspired her to work with someone originally from the area to grasp a better understanding of the culture and school system. She has known Vincent for two years now and they have grown to be good friends over the course of these interviews. Megan’s extra curriculars include competitive Mediation, volunteering at the Food Recovery Network and Bulldog Paws with the ARL (Animal Rescue League), competitive sailing, and chess club.
Brooke Rogers is a junior at Drake University studying Environmental Science and Anthropology/Sociology with a minor in History. Brooke is from Kankakee, Illinois and enjoys talking to new people and sharing stories. She is an active member of Drake Broadcasting System, where she has hosted her own radio show for the third consecutive year. Although, this is her first oral history course Brooke finds herself right at home asking people about their lives. Brooke has found the whole process to be rewarding as well as inspirational and hopes to continue collecting oral histories after the course completes.
Lizzy Stuart is a Senior at Drake University, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. She has never worked on a life history before, but was drawn to the project because of the stories that her grandmother used to tell her. Although she was nervous when starting this project, she has been excited with the whole process and with the oral history she had the privilege of telling.