Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
As many of you may have already heard, longtime Associate Director and Archivist Mary Saffell has accepted the position of Senior Archivist/University Archivist with Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, beginning in October. Mary joined the Vietnam Center and Archive in the spring of 2002 and has been instrumental in the growth the Archive has experienced over the last decade, as well as the development of the Virtual Vietnam Archive.
During her time with the VNCA, Mary has been a part of a significant number of wide-ranging projects. She has received grants for and directed numerous archival projects, starting with a project to preserve the film “Dong Tam Base Camp,” part of the William Foulke Collection. In 2005 Mary applied for a grant through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to process the Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association/Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation (FVPPA/VAHF) collection. This grant was awarded in 2006 and led to the creation of the Vietnamese American Heritage Project at the Archive, as well as an additional NHPRC grant (currently ongoing) to digitize this invaluable collection. In 2011 Mary, along with current Assistant Archivist Amy Mondt, and the VNCA’s former Communications Coordinator Victoria Lovelady, initiated the VNCA’s Guest Lecture Series, which to date has brought 14 speakers to Lubbock and will continue this fall with two additional speakers, and four speakers planned for 2014.
These are just a few of the many things Mary has been a part of during her nearly twelve years with the Vietnam Center and Archive. She has played a vital role with the VNCA and will be greatly missed. We wish her the best of luck in Fort Worth!
As many of you have already heard, Associate Archivist Ty Lovelady will be leaving the Vietnam Center and Archive on January 6th. Ty has accepted a new position as University Archivist in the Special Collections Library of the University of Texas at Dallas, which he will begin in the next few weeks.
Ty started at the Archive over ten years ago while finishing up his Master’s thesis here at Texas Tech, working as an Archival Specialist digitizing materials for the Virtual Vietnam Archive. Promoted to Associate Archivist in 2007, Ty has been responsible for, among many other things, collection accessioning, processing, and donor relations. If you’ve had contact with the Archive recently, you’ve probably interacted with Ty.
Ty has been an invaluable member of the Center and Archive staff and will be greatly missed, and we wish him the best of luck in Dallas!
Vietnam Center Advisory Board member Dr. Ron Milam has received a Core Fulbright Scholar Award to teach a history course in Vietnam. Dr. Milam was an advisor to the ARVN in 1971 and is currently an Associate Professor in History at Texas Tech. In the spring of 2011, he will travel to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to teach “America’s Historical Role in International Relations” at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities. At Texas Tech Dr. Milam teaches classes on US history, the Vietnam War, and military history. His Vietnam classes are among the most popular offered. Currently Dr. Milam is accompaning Vietnam Center Director Dr. Steve Maxner and a group of Texas Tech students on a study abroad trip visiting locations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He has previously received the TTU President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Award, and was recently named an academic fellow for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Since his arrival at Texas Tech, Dr. Milam has been a great support of the Center and Archive and a fixture at our conferences and events. While we will miss his presences next spring, we wish him the best with this great opportunity.
Oral historian Jason Stewart will be leaving the Vietnam Archive on July 15, 2011, to pursue a teaching career in Mississippi. Jason has been with us for nearly three years, and we will certainly miss his hard work and devotion to the mission of the archive. Jason has been a strong advocate for America’s Vietnam veterans, and we greatly appreciate all he has done to help record their history. Please join us in wishing Jason and his family the absolute best in this transition and in all their future endeavors.
Texas Tech University’s President Guy Bailey presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award to Vietnam Center founder Dr. James Reckner during the annual Global Vision Award ceremony to recognize the individual or office especially active in promoting campus internationalization during the previous year. TTU’s Office of International Affairs hosted the award ceremony at the International Cultural Center, and this year’s event was held on April 21.
The Office of International Affairs selected Dr. Reckner because of his pioneering contributions to establishing the Vietnam Center and his dedication to the institution over many years. Thanks to his efforts, and the dedicated staff he assembled, the Vietnam Center and Archives now hold one of the major collections of related documents in the world, and the Center organizes and hosts major events related to the Vietnam era. Dr. Reckner has also worked tirelessly to create a number of partnerships between Vietnamese institutions and TTU. In addition, he has led initiatives to assist Vietnamese institutes of higher learning in a number of ways, such as establishing scholarships to allow Vietnamese students to attend university in their home country.
The annual Global Vision Award, first given in 2003, was created to recognize a faculty member, administrator or organization whose contributions inspired students to study and experience cultures abroad, as well as encourage a broader understanding of the world. It has since expanded to recognize a broader achievement in promoting campus internationalization.
Longtime Vietnam Center and Archive staff member Victoria Lovelady has accepted an exciting new job opportunity with Covenant Health Systems here in Lubbock begining in February. Victoria started with the Archive in 2001 as a temp worker digitizing documents for the Virtual Vietnam Archive. She was soon hired on full-time as an Archival Specialist. Eventually she was placed in charge of our microfilm digitzation project, which she oversaw for a number of years. Since 2008, Victoria has been the Communications Coordinator for the Vietnam Center and Archive, where she produced all of the Center and Archive’s print material, including a redesigned brochure and folder, numerous items for our 20th Anniversary Celebration, and a redesigned Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter, for which she won the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) 2009 National Clarion Award for Most Improved Newsletter (Print).
Victoria will be joining Covenant Health Systems as their new Internet Marketing Coordinator. For the past nine years she has been an invaluable member of the Vietnam Center and Archive staff and will be greatly missed. We wish her the best of luck in her new job!
The Director of the Vietnam Center and Archive, Dr. Stephen F. Maxner, has received a Presidential appointment to the board of directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation, a government agency that works to strengthen the United States’ relationship with Vietnam through educational exchanges in science and technology. Congratulations, Dr. Maxner!
Oral Historian Dr. Kelly Crager will travel to Washington D.C. next week to participate in academic gatherings and a Congressional briefing. First on his agenda is a panel discussion, “American POWs of the Japanese: World War II Experiences,” at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, part of The Elliot School of International Affairs, at the George Washington University. On Wednesday, September 10 he will speak before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the issue of compensation for prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. Finally, on September 11, he will make a presentation on his recently published dissertation, “Hell under the Rising Sun: American POWs and the Building of the Burma-Thailand Death Railway,” at the Navy Memorial Lecture Hall, in an event co-sponsored by Navy Memorial and the Asia Society. Congratulations, Dr. Crager, on these outstanding achievements and contributions!
The Oral History Project at the Vietnam Archive is pleased to announce that Jason Stewart will be joining our faculty. Jason comes to us from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he is ABD in his doctoral studies. Jason is a specialist in the history of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and is working with Professor Andy Wiest at USM. Jason will be conducting interviews for the Project, and we are very pleased to have him aboard. Please join us in welcoming Jason to Lubbock.