On February 5, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program took UF CLAS undergraduate and graduate students to Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. The trip was organized by UF SPOHP graduate coordinator Jessica Taylor and UF alumnus Scott Huffard. The group arrived at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, Lees-McRae’s unique institute for the study of mountain life and history. The five staff members and five students who went to North Carolina are veterans of the program”s past Mississippi and Virginia oral history fieldwork.

Diana Dombrowski, senior research staff member at the SPOHP, has sent us a brief update and photos.

“We arrived late Thursday night (February 5). Oral history interviews started yesterday and continue today. We are partnering with Dr. Huffard and history students at the university here to record interviews with community members, focusing on the history and culture of Banner Elk and Lees McRae.”





UF’s Jennifer Thelusema and her interviewee


Lees-McRae student Sarah M. and UF student Austyn Szempruch


Dr. Huffard and UF Graduate student Jessica Taylor, the trip coordinator


UF’s Raina Shipman and Lees-McRae students


The sunset perk