Since 2022, graduate student Parker Beverly has been focusing her efforts on the collecting of oral history interviews through the Expanding Wake Voices: Inclusive Student Life project. Thanks to donor support, this important work continues to expand the History of Wake Forest oral history project, with a new focus on the student experience throughout the decades. Parker is from Pensacola, Florida and a 2023 Wake graduate, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies (American Studies) and minoring in Film & Media Studies. She is currently completing her first year as a graduate student in the Documentary Film Program. Throughout her pursuits, she maintains a love for storytelling and a passion for uncovering historical narratives.

By Parker Beverly, ’23

Exciting progress has been made throughout the course of the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters on the Expanded Wake Voices Oral History Project. The main focus has been implementing a new remote interviewing software, TheirStory, to make existing and new oral histories more user-friendly and accessible. This has been a fun process for me as I familiarize myself with the platform and learn new ways to make our oral histories more widely available and easier to access. TheirStory is useful in generating transcripts for oral histories as AI can effectively detect the difference between speakers with minimal work necessary on my end. Another feature I have appreciated is the ability to record, organize, and process interviews directly on TheirStory. This streamlines the process as it allows the platform to be a “one stop shop” for the entire oral history project. We have also established three projects on TheirStory for future self-directed oral history collection. These include AWFUBA, reflections on child care at Wake Forest, and a project to share memories of Dr. Ed Wilson. TheirStory is a relatively young software and as such continues to change often with updates being rolled out. As such, we are continually evaluating whether TheirStory is the most appropriate and effective program for us to house our oral history project. Please note that we continue to make our interviews also available through our institutional repository, WakeSpace.

In addition to starting our work with TheirStory, I have continued processing and creating metadata for a variety of oral history collections. Many of these come from oral history projects conducted by classes. These include LIB 290, AAS 200, and the 2023 Queer Public Histories Class. Additionally, I have been assisting this spring’s section of the Queer Public Histories class as they begin their collection of oral histories, providing them with example questions, tips for successful interviews, and instruction on how to best create metadata. It is always so rewarding and enjoyable to teach others about the oral history process as I hope they love doing these as much as I do!

In the fall semester we added 28 interviews to the collection. Many of these came from class oral histories. Interviews range from Wake Forest administrators like Provost Michelle Gillespie and Dean of the School of Divinity Corey D.B. Walker to current students and student athletes. Topics are varied with some being the creation of the African American Studies program, the impact of COVID-19 on the college experience, and candid discussions about future goals and aspiration post-graduation.

As we look to the upcoming semester, we plan to continue conducting interviews with an emphasis on capturing the experiences of current students. We hope to specifically focus on gathering oral histories with first generation students, student athletes, and international students. As always, if you have a recommendation for an interview (or would like to participate in one yourself) feel free to reach out to Tanya at or myself at