Becky Cross came to OHMA from Muskingum University. As an undergraduate Becky's focus was on the gentrification occurring in Columbus, Ohio’s historic district. Here, she explored the re-development of a historically middle-class African American neighborhood transforming into an affluent community of same-sex couples using oral history narratives, and the PBS documentary “Flag Wars.” In 2009, she was Muskingum University’s first Forensic intern and produced a publication in the “Ohio Forensics Manual” entitled: Establishing Legacy through Relationship: Exploring the Coaching Paradigm in Higher Education as “Inspired” Narrative. This work inspired by the University’s decision to “clean house,” which included the disposal of hundreds of Speech and Debate team trophies dating back to the 1960’s. While studying at Columbia, she used oral history interviews from CUNY’s “Women’s Activist Voices” collection to better understand activist identity of second wave feminists. Her thesis was entitled: Our Foremothers: Constructions of Activist Identity in the Second Wave of Feminism, which attempts to reconcile some of the tensions of contemporary feminist identity constructions by examining the lives of ordinary women from the second wave of feminism. Currently, Becky is living in Cleveland, Ohio and working as the manager of external relations for the region's largest small business support organization. The Council of Smaller Enterprise (COSE), a non-profit organization that provides advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues and educational resources to help Northeast Ohio’s small businesses grow. Recently, she interviewed 13 small business owners from northeast ohio for a video documentary displayed at COSE's 40-year anniversary annual meeting.
Katy Morris is a fourth-generation Wyomingite and a graduate of Smith College where she majored in the study of women and gender with a concentration in race and culture. She studies the history of sexuality in the United States with a particular focus in sexual geographies and rural spaces. As a displaced country girl, Katy is interested in understanding the intersection of lesbian and rural Westerner identities. For the past few years, she has been traveling around Wyoming interviewing lesbians in their 50s and 60s about their experiences of love and hardship in the Cowboy State. While at OHMA, she continued her research on Wyoming lesbian history and produced a 40 minute documentary featuring the stories she has collected.
Lauren Taylor: I grew up in New England, lived for years in the North West, and moved to New York City in 2014. In 2015 I received my MA in Oral History from Columbia University. I conducted my Masters thesis work with the NYPD Guardians Association, a fraternal organization for black police. The oral history of the Guardians Association can be accessed via the Columbia Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, as well as a collection of the organization's newsletters.
My BA from Oberlin College in 2009 was in Narrative Arts. There, I completed an individually designed major, which examined narrative theory, folklore, and explored in-depth tools for communicating narrative in visual arts and storytelling performance.
Prior to my time with the Columbia Oral History MA program, I was a professional storyteller, and a freelance personal historian in the North West. I led workshops and trainings, and managed projects for a variety of organizations and families.
These days, I am based in Brooklyn and I continue to manage several oral history projects. My recent clients have included the Brooklyn Historical Society, the New York Preservation Archive Project, and the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library.