Those Who Made This Possible
While this section is the "about" section of the site, my work on this project is far more the sum of the incredible people I have been lucky enough to meet than it is my own. This project truly would have been impossible without the incredible help I have received along the way, from strangers and dear friends alike.
This research was funded through Yale University's Friedman Family Travel and Research Fellowship. These funds gave me access to everything from our website domain to the chance to travel to the reunion in Ft. Worth. Thank you to my academic advisor, Professor Rosie Bsheer, who helped me in the grant process and whose class inspired my research.
Thank you to the Creole Reunions Association (led by Joanie McLester Miller, Doug Elliott, Richard Gracey, and an advisory council of Virgil Haney and Jerry Sanderson) for allowing me to come to their 2018 reunion in Ft. Worth, Texas, where I collected many of these stories.
Thank you to Hunter Frase, a friend who undertook my first forays into writing/journalism with me, for offering me a place to stay in Dallas and Texan hospitality. It made the trip both feasible and incredibly fun.
Many people directed me to other individuals whose stories would interest me or acquire more sources. These people include, but are by no means limited to, Randy Trahan, Steven Marzuola, Liz Lutz, Joanie Miller, Laura Wilcox Bryant, and David Garcia. Special thanks also to everyone in the online oil camp school alumni communities.
Perhaps most importantly, thank you to my mother, who, as always, helped me through moments of doubt and was willing to listen and help when the project seemed insurmountably large. I would not be anything near what I am today without you, and this project is no exception.
Last but not least, thank you to every person who was willing to share his or her stories with me. I have been blown away by the warm reception I received throughout my time on this project. Without you, this project has no reason to exist.
I am a sophomore at Yale University, where I study history. I am particularly interested in how transnational influences inform institutions in our globalizing world, as well as the history of the colonial United States, the US South, and pretty much anything pertaining to the late 18th century's Age of Revolutions. I was born and raised in Daphne, Alabama, the place I still call Home.
My role in this project is as both a researcher and a storyteller. My academic experience studying the impact of schools in early Venezuelan residential oil camps began as a class’s term paper my freshman year of college. However, what began as a simple paper soon started to consume my life. I conducted my first interview with an oil school alum in November of 2017. This project emerged from those origins.