The Transformations blog provides a public, scholarly space in which to investigate the history, transformation, and impact of The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) on the occasion of its centennial in 2014. We seek to place the university’s past and present within the context of the El Paso community, Texas and the American Southwest, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, changes in higher education, and the field of public commemoration.
Abbie Weiser is the processing archivist at the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library. She earned a BA in history from George Washington University, a MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin, and is certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists. She is also currently working on a second master’s degree (in history) at UTEP.
Andy Klooster is an assistant in the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library. He is currently an MA student in History at UTEP.
Ashley Swarthout is currently a student in the Masters of Arts in Teaching English program at UTEP. She will graduate in May 2013 after completing her thesis on Freedmen Textbooks. She enjoys historical research and writing.
Claudia Rivers is the head of the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library. She earned both her BA and MLIS degrees at the University of Texas at Austin, and worked at the Benson Latin American Collection there before coming to El Paso in 1992. Her interests include the history of the Southwest and Mexico, ancient Meso-America, and detective fiction.
Kristine Navarro-McElhaney has served as the director of UTEP’s Institute of Oral History since 2000. Most recently, she has enjoyed interviewing Hispanic entrepreneurs and participants in the Bracero program.
Laura Hollingsed is the manuscripts librarian and archivist in the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library, where she has worked with rare books, historical photographs and maps, and manuscript collections for the past ten years. She holds BA and MA degrees in History from UTEP and an MSIS degree in Information Studies (Library Science) from the University of Texas at Austin.
Laura Trejo is the photograph coordinator in UTEP’s office of University Communications.
Willie Quinn (at right in the picture) is a member of UTEP’s Heritage Commission and a volunteer at UTEP’s Heritage House. He is an expert on the history of the university’s mining heritage, its buildings, its mascot, and well, most everything.