Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Telling Stories: Audio Documentaries Now Available for Streaming

Latest tracks by UniversityYMCA

"Telling Stories" is a new oral history project that is beginning to unravel and explore the rich history of the University YMCA. We're also preserving current history by recording interviews with current Y members, such as student leaders, donors, and staff.

The first three Telling Stories episodes are now available on SoundCloud and can be live streamed, downloaded, and shared easily:

Jenni Kotting, the new Communications Director at the Y, has begun this process of interviewing, editing, and arranging the stories. She has a strong background in sound design, ethnography, and oral history. She says, "When I was hired, I wanted to bring my passion for oral history and archives to the table. I never imagined there would be so many stories to tell, and I've never had so much fun editing down a 90 minute interview into a 15 minute episode." Although she complains that her equipment isn't capable of recording at a professional level, she's happy with the way the stories have come together and proud of the students who shared so deeply during their interviews.

Currently available episodes include:

Martha Webber
Alternative Spring Break Volunteer and Graduate Student
Martha Webber, against some major odds, has become both a seminal academic and devoted volunteer. She is the storyteller here, and it’s fitting because that’s her passion as a grad student. Her dissertation is an ethnographic and auto-ethnographic narrative which she describes in detail. Martha came to the Y almost as soon as she came to the University for her grad program. She became co-leader of Alternative Spring Break and her interests shifted both academically and personally towards service learning and civic engagement.

Andrea Rosales
La Colectiva Volunteer and Blogger for Undocumented Rights
Andrea didn’t discover she was undocumented until she was in high school when she had to decline a work study position to which she’d been accepted. From that point on, she was on an emotional roller coaster. She felt alone and helpless... until she began to connect with the larger undocumented community through forums and blogging. Now she’s an activist with Y Student Group, La Colectiva. This group of 18 students has put in over 2000 volunteer hours in the past year alone, for which they received the Y’s Outstanding Student Group of the Year Award. Quickly, Andrea became a big part of La Colectiva’s educational outreach, organizing, and action aimed at changing state and national legislation.

Kenny Long
Engineers Without Borders Volunteer and Student Board Member
Kenny Long is a leader in Engineers without Borders, and a new student board of governors member. When he came to the University of Illinois, his family in Texas couldn’t believe how far from home he would be. Soon enough, his involvement with the Y would take him even farther... to Africa. Kenny arrived to the village of Ntisaw with other student engineers. You can hear in his voice the affection and respect he developed for the place. He especially admires the way politics and religion played out while the water system was being planned. Listening to Kenny, you can understand why he got attached to Ntisaw. The people, as a community, worked so hard to get fresh water. They saved an improbable amount of money. And when everything went wrong, they did it all over again.

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