SPOH Hosting Monthly Virtual Happy Hours

Grab your favorite festive treat and join us on the first Thursday of every month for a virtual conversation about Oral History in the COVID19 Era.

See below our schedule:

Thursday, September 3rd, 4pm Pacific ZOOM Meeting Link (Code “OH”)
Oral History and Storytelling
Click to Register
What are the overlaps between oral history and storytelling? How can the two fields work together to benefit our research and collective memories? Join us to discuss the relationship between oral history and storytelling.

Special Guest: Liz Warren
Executive Director: Storytelling Institute

Thursday, October 1st, 4pm Pacific
Let’s Talk about Tech
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What kinds of technology are you using to conduct remote interviews? What lessons have you learned? Be a part of the conversation!

Special Guest: Jennifer Keil
Founder, 70 Degrees

Thursday, November 5th, 4pm Pacific
COVID19 Collections
Click to Register
Are you doing work on COVID19? Call in for a conversation about launching and analyzing COVID19 stories. Please bring your own ideas to share with all of us.

Thursday, December 3rd, 4pm Pacific
Ethics and Consent with Remote Interviewing
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There is a lot to consider when it comes to consent, and ethical practices of conducting oral history. COVID19 has exacerbated these concerns. Join us for a dialogue about navigating our new challenges in oral history.

Special Guest: Adrienne Cain
Assistant Director, Institute for Oral History, Baylor University

More and More Every Day Recognized for Great Teaching

“Need some teaching inspiration? The South Phoenix Oral History Project is a digital oral history of a rich but understudied part of Phoenix–and it began as a student history project at the local community college. If that doesn’t get you excited about the relevance of teaching right now, I don’t know what will!”

~Rebecca Barrett-Fox, PhD

More and More Every Day and SPOH have been highlighted as a source of great teaching and commitment! Read more here.

More and More Everyday: SPOH’s working blog of teaching in the COVID19 era

We need to continue to feel like teachers. We are experts in content and the process of learning. In the age of information, social isolation will not stop quality education. That’s what we’re here to do. It honestly kills me to know that I may miss out on seeing people I love – colleagues, friends, family members, and students – in order to protect them from an unseen risk. But we can continue to collaborate and innovate. Necessity, as they say, is the Mother of Invention. Get ready for a Mother of a ride!

Here’s my plan: I’m going to work my booty off the only way I know how. I’m going to check in with you regularly. I’m going to ask you what’s going well and what has been difficult. I’m going to rely on you to tell me about a technological tool you’ve just mastered. I’m going to help you whenever I can. Ever the historian, I am also going to record, collect, and analyze our experiences. I’ll journal every working day about what you’re teaching me. Reach out. Let me know how it’s going.

We’re going to feel more and more like teachers every day!

Share your triumphs and struggles of teaching in the COVID era. Email me at historysouthmountain@gmail.com.

Click here to read and learn along with us.

SPOH Cancels all Spring Events and Interviews


Responding to the current global health crisis, South Phoenix Oral History Project will be suspending all in-person operations. Therefore, all interviews will be postponed until a future date.

Students, however, will continue to analyze and publish academic scholarship on our website. If you were recently interviewed, keep an eye out for your story on our narrator page!

In addition, I am disappointed to share that our March 27th Anniversary Event, Origins: Celebrating 40 Years of SMCC is tentatively rescheduled to September 18th. Out of respect for our community and founders, we find it in our best interest to avoid gathering as a group. I’m very sad to miss the opportunity to celebrate our college and its achievements. Please know that we will throw a heck of a makeup party down the road, when it is the right time.

Be well,


SPOH Wins National Award!

Dear friends,

We are excited to share that the work of our faculty and students has been recognized as a recipient of the League Excellence Awards! The League Excellence Awards “recognize outstanding faculty, staff, and leaders in the community college field who have made a significant difference in the lives of students and in the communities their colleges serve.”

We are delighted that our work is being recognized in this way. Our college president, Dr. Shari Olson, will be at the annual League for Innovation conference this spring to represent the work done at SMCC.

See here for a list of 2020 winners: https://www.league.org/excellence


Written by: Summer Cherland

Over the weekend, I attended the Oral History Association Meeting in Salt Lake City. OHA is the go-to organization for all things oral history, and as a member of the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA), I was excited to attend this international conference!

Dr. Cherland in Salt Lake City for the 2019 Oral History Association Meeting

The co-founders of the the South Phoenix Oral History Project and I presented on the work our students have been doing on behalf of our campus and our local community. The reception was great with folks from the Arizona Archives, the Salt River Project, and colleagues from the country weighing in on the good work we do. In our presentation, we got great feedback on SPOH’s use of multimedia, and people seemed stoked that we are doing work on the history of South Phoenix! After that, we got to explore a little bit of SLC.

From left: Dr. Travis May, Dr. Summer Cherland, and Liz Warren explore Salt Lake City, 2019.

I also had the opportunity to attend several panels and review posters about Oral History in a variety of forms. I watched two graduate students present on their academic work, I sat in on a discussion regarding using Oral History in undergraduate face to face and online classes, and I learned what other community college leaders are doing to incorporate this work in their classes.

At the SOHA Awards Reception, Travis May and I learned from Dr. Ignacio Garcia, a nationally sought Oral Historian, and represented South Mountain Community College, when we won a mini-grant from the organization!

Dr. Cherland accepting a mini grant at the Southwest Oral History Association banquet, 2019

All in all, I’d say we had a spectacular weekend!

Student Archive Challenge, 2019

In October, 2019 students enrolled in history classes at SMCC explored the archive. During their time in the archive, they reviewed primary documents, made historical claims, and produced short videos demonstrating what they learned. See below one group’s coverage of two people in 1983: One famous, and one relatively unknown, but very significant to our students.

Students describe their findings in the archive.
Posted with permission.