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Executive Director’s Report

By Kristine Navarro-McElhaney, Interim Executive Director 

As you know, OHA is in transition and there are many changes on the horizon for the organization, from the editors for the Oral History Review to a new institutional home for our executive offices.  As we move forward, it is important for us to remember that our staff, volunteers and members of the council provide stability and help keep our organization running smoothly.

From the program committees, standing committees, the local arrangements committee and others, our dedicated volunteers have stepped up to ensure that OHA remains the premier organization dedicated to the practice of oral history.   I want to personally express my gratitude for their continued hard work.

One of the critical missions of our volunteer committees is determining the recipients of OHA scholarships. Every year, we receive many more scholarship applications than we have funding for.  This year, we received more than 55 applications and are only able to give 23 scholarships. It’s heartbreaking to have to turn away so many promising scholars.  Many thanks to Erin McCarthy, the Scholarship Committee chair, and her fellow committee members Adrienne Cain and Carol Quirke for making the tough decisions.

Since we have such a great need to bolster our scholarship program, we have decided to host another OHA Giving Day on Tuesday, Sept. 12. With the funds you donate we hope to grow our endowment once again. Additionally, one exceptional graduate student will be the recipient of the first Cliff Kuhn Scholarship award, which is a fitting way to recognize our old friend and OHA champion while providing a great experience to an up and coming oral history professional. We hope you will once again show your generosity and donate to this great effort and encourage your friends, colleagues and fellow OHA members to participate.