Oral History Section 2017 Candidate Bios

Nominations for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (1 open position):

  • Adam Mosseri
  • Dainan Skeem

Nominations for Steering Committee (2 open positions):

  • Gavin Do
  • Abra Schnur
  • Svetlana Ushakova
  • Jaycie Vos

Candidate details

Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Adam Mosseri

Adam Mosseri has been the digital archivist at Kohler Co. since 2016. His primary stewardship is the preservation and management of the company’s multimedia and visual collections. He holds a MLIS in archival management and digital preservation from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Previously he was the archivist for the Gordon L. Grosscup Museum of Anthropology & Library in Detroit, Michigan, from 2013 to 2015, and was the M. Jacob & Sons. Archival Fellow for the Detroit Jewish News Foundation in Southfield, Michigan, from 2013 to 2016. 

He currently serves as the Chairman of the Southeastern Wisconsin Archives Group (SWAG), and as a co-editor of the Archival History Section’s newsletter. He additionally served as a member of the Detroit Jewish News Foundations Technical Services Board from 2014 to 2016, as a Graduate Student Member of the Wayne State University Academic Concerns Committee from 2013 to 2014, and as President of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Wayne State University Student Organization from 2013 to 2015. 

Adam is enthusiastically asking to be considered for the Oral History Section’s Vice Chair position. As his responsibilities now include the transcription, preservation, and management of Kohler Co.’s oral history collection, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with the archival community to further the goals of the Oral History Section.  

Dainan Skeem

Dainan Skeem is the curator of the 21st Century Mormon & Western Manuscripts collection at Brigham Young University’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections with responsibilities for documenting the current century’s history of the LDS church, Utah, and the West. He has previously worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Hawaii State Archives. He obtained a MLISc (2007) and M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology (2016) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. While in Hawaii, he served as a board member of the Association of Hawaii Archivists from 2009-1013, taking on the role of President-Elect/President in 2012-2013. He is a certified archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists and obtained the Digital Archives Specialist certificate with the Society of American Archivists.

Oral histories are one of the most information rich records available to researchers but, unfortunately, they often get overlooked in the archive. I have been fortunate enough to work with managing oral histories since I began archival work in 2007. I currently administer oral history collections and will be traveling this summer to Japan to conduct more oral histories to document important first-hand accounts and preserve memories. I would be honored to serve as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect and stand as an advocate for the creation, use, and preservation of oral histories. I would like to see more use of the histories that have already been recorded and transcribed and would work towards raising awareness of these materials and exploring ways to use them.

Steering Committee


Gavin Do

Gavin Do currently serves as the Acting Director of Archives and Special Collections at Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC), a non-profit organization located in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. The organization was founded by a group of Japanese American World War II veterans to preserve their story and share it with the world. Prior to Go For Broke, he received his Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.


My involvement and experience with oral histories largely centers around my work at Go For Broke. Our archival holdings center around a single collection that sets us apart from any other organization or any other collection. Beginning in 1998, Go For Broke recorded its first oral history interview as a part of its Hanashi ("to talk" in Japanese) Oral History Program. The goal of the Hanashi program was to capture the testimonies of Japanese American World War II veterans about their lives prior to, during, and after World War II. I handle aspects of this program (and the resulting collection of over 1,200 oral histories) that include preservation, processing, description, and promoting digital access for scholarship. In addition, I am able to engage with the local community to schedule additional interviews as needed and promote scholarship of the primary sources. The work I have done over the past two years has been with the overall goal of full preservation of our oral history collection with digital access for scholarship. 


My vested interest in joining the steering committee is first and foremost to strive in ensuring that smaller institutions have a seat at the table for both decision-making and awareness. My exposure to the oral history community has allowed me to see that oral history collections are just as likely to be found in a larger institution with ample resources as a smaller, non-profit, community-based archives such as my organization. Oral histories are noted for being a medium available universally to all communities, and I wish that to be reflected in leadership that drives decisions and change within the community. 


Oral history interviews are primary sources with an especially unique contextual value. I am excited for the opportunity to learn more and engage with the larger oral history community through SAA. 

Abra Schnur

Abra Schnur holds a Masters of Library Science from the University of North Texas.  Her professional interests and focus are in archival management and oral history.  She spent two years conducting interviews for the Flying Voices Oral History Project.  She has presented at the Braniff History and Architecture Conference, The Society of Southwest Archivists Conference, and the Texas Oral History Association Conference.


Abra's interest in oral history developed out of her time as an anthropology major with an appreciation for is practical use in field research, but more profoundly, its ability to illuminate various perspectives and experiences that may otherwise go unheard.  Under the direction of Dr. Todd Moye (current OHA Vice President) she learned theory and methodology.  She was selected for an oral history internship with the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art where she trained in oral history auditing. Abra has also completed Baylor University's Institute of Oral History's Getting Started with Oral History and Processing and Outcomes in Oral History online workshops.  She’s most recently interned with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Historical Research Center Oral History Collection where she processed interviews posing privacy challenges, yet presenting unique marketing and heritage developments for the institution.


Abra recently published a feature about lessons learned from the Flying Voices project in the Society of American Archivists oral history newsletter, Dialogue.  She currently sits on the board of the Texas Oral History Association and is working with the Houston Area Archivist oral history committee as they plan for their inaugural archives bazaar. 


Svetlana Ushakova

Svetlana Ushakova holds PhD in Russian history from Novosibirsk State University, Russia and MLIS from San Jose State University. Since January 2014, she has been working at University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, first as an indexer of oral history interviews and now as a member of a team who develops the thesaurus of indexing terms and improves discovery and accessibility of the Shoah Foundation oral history collections.

My approach and interest to oral history is defined by my educational background and professional experience as historian and information specialist. As a historian, I understand the value and specificity of oral history as historical sources. As an information specialist, I am interested in various ways and methods to preserve, describe, and make oral history more accessible for users. My experience at the Shoah Foundation let me become a professional in describing oral history interviews via indexing while I am very interested in other methods and their combination. Traditionally, oral history collections take an important place in archival collections of universities, public libraries, and historic societies. Emergence of new tools, including open source tools and applications, make oral history projects and collections a promising resource for digital humanity projects. As a member of the steering committee, I would like to emphasize the potential of oral history for humanitarian and social science education.

Jaycie Vos

Jaycie Vos is the newly appointed Special Collections Coordinator and University Archivist at the University of Northern Iowa. Until recently, she worked as the Southern Oral History Program's Coordinator of Collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her MSLS from UNC in 2013, and she is pursuing an MA in Folklore from UNC.

At the SOHP, Vos worked with archivists, activists, students, scholars, and all areas of southern community to capture, preserve, and share the South's rich history. She oversaw archival processing of the SOHP collection in the Southern Historical Collection, led workshops on oral history methodology, collaborated with students and researchers to add to and use the SOHP collection, developed policies and workflows surrounding issues of sensitive content, and led outreach initiatives to further engage the campus and community. In her new position at UNI, Vos is eager to enhance the Special Collections and University Archives with diverse and underrepresented voices and to integrate oral history research into the undergraduate classroom.

Since 2013, Vos has actively participated in the Oral History Association, leading workshops and serving on committees, most notably co-founding the Oral History Association Metadata Task Force. She strongly believes in the democratizing, transformative power of oral history in archives and advocates for broad access to audiences beyond the academy. She is especially passionate about bringing oral histories back to the communities where they originated through an ethnographic perspective on collaboration, as exemplified in her work on the bilingual oral history project New Roots. Vos hopes to take her experience and knowledge from OHA to the SAA Oral History Steering Committee to contribute to conversations about access, description, and ethics, potentially facilitating collaboration between both organizations.