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2020 Oral History Project

Oral history project facilitated by the Heartland Community College Library staff members about Heartland staff, students and faculty experiences during 2020, such as stories about COVID-19, political topics, and online learning.

Digital Services Librarian

Profile Photo
Cynthia Medrano

Instructional Services Librarian


Graphic with a grey background and black text that reads "2020 Oral History Project. Heartland Community College," There are two illustrations of people talking on a headset and communicating via zoom. A small Hunter the Hawk is pasted on the laptop.

The 2020 Oral History Project wants to hear your stories!

What were your experiences during the turbulent year of 2020? It was a year that will go down in the history books about adapting to life in response to COVID-19, political topics, working from home and online learning. We are calling for Heartland staff, students and faculty to record your stories by interviewing each other.

Through this project our goal is to build community through sharing interviews of our human experiences and offer an archive for the future. Each of our experiences deserve to be remembered. 

Are you interested? We have provided sample questions, tutorials for recording your interviews and instructions on submitting them on this website.

Interviews should be recorded and submitted by Dec 5, 2021. Library staff will compile the recordings and host them on this website. 

Interested in Participating?

Interviews should be recorded using Canvas Studio and submitted by Dec 5, 2021.Interviewees must fill out the Informed Consent Form before recording their oral history. 

We have three ways you can participate in this project:

In pairs

Find a buddy and interview each other! We have prepared a selection of sample questions and resources for conducting an oral history interview. 


Record yourself answering our sample questions! Or, if you'd like us to pair you with an interviewer, email either Cynthia Medrano or Megan Ballengee with the subject line "Oral History Project- Pair me with an interviewer." We will connect you with a volunteer interviewer and it will be up to you both to coordinate a day and time to record your interview. 

Volunteer Interviewer

Help us interview folks! Email either Cynthia Medrano or Megan Ballengee with the subject line "Oral History Project- Volunteer Interviewer." We will connect you with someone interested in sharing their story and it will be up to you both to coordinate a day and time to record their interview. 

Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

Due to Covid-19, we ask participants to please practice social distancing guidelines as indicated by the CDC. We recommend participants conduct interviews over a Zoom call and record using Canvas Studio. Visit the Tutorials & Instructions page for more information.

If you would like to use a quiet room in the Library to conduct your interview, please email Cynthia or Megan to schedule a time. We will have a quiet room available Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am- 4pm. 


If you would like to participate and require accommodations, such as recording a video interview or assistance with requesting and editing captions, don't hesitate to contact us about how we can make it work. We also encourage contacting Student Access and Accommodation Services to address any disability-related needs for your learning and success at HCC.

Sample Interview

When recording your interviews, you can take a more traditional approach where one person interviews another and then the roles switch in a separate video. Or, you can try a more conversational approach like Cynthia and Megan did in this sample interview clip.