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Meet our directors

image of Bill Bryans
Bill Bryans
108 Murray South
P: 405-744-8179

Dr. Bryans has been a member of the Oklahoma State University History Department since 1987. His primary responsibility is directing its MA Public History program, which prepares students for careers as professional historians outside the academy. He has been a sub-grantee of the State Historic Preservation Office, conducting historic resource surveys, authoring historic contexts, and preparing nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. On the OSU campus, in addition to mentoring many students to completion of their graduate degrees, he served for many years on the Old Central Committee, has taught Oklahoma history, and prepared an exhibit on William H., “Alfalfa Bill,” Murray for the reopened building bearing the name of this complex and controversial figure in Oklahoma history. He also was a member of the working group jointly organized by the national Council on Public History, Organization of American Historians, and American Historical Association that produced guidelines and a white paper titled Tenure, Promotion, and the Publicly Engaged Historian. He recently completed an administrative history of the Oklahoma City National Memorial for the National Park Service and is working toward its publication for a wider audience. Bryans also has served on the boards and in leadership roles of professional organizations at the local, state, and national level. These include the Stillwater Museum Association, Payne County Historical Society, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Museums Association, Preservation Oklahoma, Oklahoma Humanities Council (chair), and the National Council on Public History (past president).

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Mary Larson
206 Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University
P: 405-744-6588

Mary Larson is the Puterbaugh Professor of Library Service and Associate Dean for Special Collections, having originally come to OSU as the head of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program after working in oral history at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Nevada. She has served as a two-term president of the Oral History Association (OHA)(2011-2013), on the executive committee for the Society of American Archivists Oral History Section (2015-2018), filled two three-year terms on the board of the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA), and has chaired numerous committees for OHA and SOHA and been a member of the OHA Council. She was also the media review editor for The Oral History Review for five years and an editor for the H-Oralhist listserv from 2000-2014. Her areas of interest include the intersections of anthropology and history, issues of shared authority, ethics and technology, and rural women's history. Her recent publications include a chapter in the book Beyond Women's Words: Feminisms and the Practices of Oral History in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge 2018), "'The Medium is the Message': Oral History, Media, and Mediation" (Oral History Review 2016), and the book Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement (Palgrave 2014, co-edited with Doug Boyd).

image of Dennis R. Preston
Dennis R. Preston
112 Morrill Hall Stillwater OK USA 74078
P: 405-744-3631

Dennis R. Preston is Regents Professor, Oklahoma State University and University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University and has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Hawaii, Arizona, Michigan, Copenhagen, and Berkeley and a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in Poland and Brazil. He was Director of the 2003 Linguistic Society of America Institute, President of the American Dialect Society, and has served on the Executive Boards of those societies and others, as well as the editorial boards of numerous journals and panels of granting agencies. He is a member of the advisory committees to several international research projects and is invited frequently for presentations in both academic and popular venues. His work focuses on sociolinguistics and dialectology, including four recent NSF grants, two in folk linguistics and two in language variation and change. His most recent book-length publications are, with Daniel Long, A handbook of perceptual dialectology, Volume II (2002), Needed research in American dialects (2003), with Brian Joseph and Carol G. Preston, Linguistic diversity in Michigan and Ohio (2005), with James Stanford, Variation in indigenous languages (2009), and with Nancy Niedzielski, A Reader in Sociophonetics (2010). He is a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, an Erskine Fellow of the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic in 2004.