Sarah Milligan is Head of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP) at the Oklahoma State University Library, where she oversees the teamwork for production, access, and preservation of the 2,000+ interviews in the OOHRP collection. A 2005 graduate of Western Kentucky University’s Folk Studies M.A. program, Milligan worked as a Folklife Specialist for the Kentucky Folklife Program, growing the KY Community Scholars Program, and team-producing the Kentucky Folklife Festival, before taking on administrative roles for the Kentucky Oral History Commission. Milligan co-chaired the Local Arrangements Committee for the American Folklore Society annual meeting in Tulsa in 2020 and 2022.
What are the most significant opportunities or challenges now facing AFS, and how as a member of the Nominating Committee would you respond to those opportunities or challenges?
One of the most significant opportunities and challenges for AFS now, not unlike other professional organizations, is remaining relevant to a growing and changing demographic of practitioners in our field. As an organization, we not only have to continue to think broadly about who we currently serve, but what our membership (or membership recruitment) shifting needs are. Over the last 5 years working with AFS on annual meeting planning (in-person, virtual, then in-person again), I have had an intimate look at the organizational efforts to be reflective and inclusive in responding to rapid changes related to a global pandemic and a fluctuating job market and culture of profession. I am confident we have a solid foundation as an organization from which we can continue to grow and rebuild. If I was elected to the AFS Nominating Committee, I would work to recruit organizational candidates that work with the leadership to continue to broaden our boundaries of relevancy to those in and around our field. I appreciate the community of AFS and look forward to continue contributing to our organizational future.