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Student Worker Highlight: Chas Cassidy

The Special Collections and University Archives could not function without the amazing student workers who assist the staff on a daily basis on numerous projects including paging materials for researchers, fulfilling scanning and photocopying requests, and processing collections, among numerous other requests. Throughout this school year we will be highlighting these students each week to showcase their interests and some of their favorite collections in our repository.

What is your major/minor? My major is Russian studies, with an emphasis in Russian history. I’m intrigued by the ethical and philosophical implications of Communism, especially in relation to premeditation and personal actualization. I am considering a minor in either folklore or creative writing, both of which work with individual experience within larger social and thematic systems.

What is your career goal?  When I am older, I would like to be an archivist. I discovered this passion for records and historical documentation while working at Special Collections and University Archives: first hand, I have seen archival sciences bring together a diverse group of people who share the common goal of higher thinking.

Why do you like working  at Special Collections and University Archives? I love Special Collections because it feeds my natural affinity for retrospection and provides a positive work environment. The atmosphere is progressive. Down time is valued and respected. We are a repository of deep knowledge in an era that prioritizes instantaneous information. The people I work with are ethical, aware, and forward-thinking, and I am always learning from them.

What is your favorite item or collection in our repository? Choosing a favorite item is so difficult — so little time, you know. I think the SWORP (South West Oregon Research Project) collection is of special interest, as it utilizes original materials to explore Native experiences throughout Oregon. The documentation of indigenous languages and the re-examination of colonialist history is critical, especially now, when these narratives are so in danger of being diluted or lost to a monolithic American future.


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