How to Participate


Veterans, families, and friends: To sign up to be interviewed, to recommend a friend or relative to be interviewed, or to find out more about the interview process, please contact Dr. James Smither at Grand Valley State University.  His telephone number is (616) 331-3422 and e-mail address is [email protected].  Interviews can be conducted either in a studio setting (which gives us better video quality and creates programming for public access cable television in Kent County) through WKTV in Wyoming/Kentwood, or we will come to your home for the interview. 

GVSU Students, Faculty and Staff

Internships: The GVSU Veterans History Project offers student internships of 1, 2, or 3 credits in History and in Communications.  These internships can often be applied to students' majors in these fields, or can be done as free electives.  History interns' responsibilities may include working with the university archivist to process and archive videos and documents, participating in interview sessions, creating text files (summaries and outlines of interviews) for posting on the archive website, processing interview videos for uploading on the internet, and/or helping to organize and run public events.    

Communications interns can participate in various aspects of documentary production, and can also assist in creating edited collections of materials drawn from different interviews for classroom use.  Other projects may include photography and advertising/public relations.  The project also offers jobs for student research assistants.  Research assistants are paid (by the hour) and their roles are similar to the interns.  We have a particular need for students interested in viewing the interview videos and creating summaries and outlines to post on the Internet.  We are also interested in hiring students capable of doing transcription work.  Students from all majors are welcome to apply for these positions.   

GVSU staff and faculty: You are invited to assist us as interviewers, recruiters, transcribers, and event planners.  They are also invited to use our resources, including materials posted on the website and our full collection of interview videos, in their courses.   

High Schools: The Project offers training and support for secondary school teachers interested in using our archive in their classes or in having their students conduct interviews themselves.  We can visit your school and meet with teachers and students to talk about the project and show the website, and to provide training and guidance for interviewing, and archive interview videos produced by the students. We will also send veterans DVD copies of their interviews. Teachers and school administrators interested in learning more about the Project should contact Dr. Smither.

Partner Organizations:  We are actively interested in developing partnerships with area museums, historical societies, libraries, veterans' groups, retirement communities, churches, and other organizations.  Partners help us recruit veterans to be interviewed, provide interview venues, and promote the project in their communities.  In return, we assign interviewers to work with them, provide partners with copies of the interviews that we conduct, take care of archiving the interviews, and assist in planning live events featuring area veterans and/or materials (documentaries, etc.) created by the project.  

Community Volunteers:  We encourage interested individuals from the area to work with us to recruit veterans to be interviewed, conduct interviews for the project, and assist with transcription of individual interviews.  Volunteers can work on their own schedules, and any contribution in these areas, large or small, is most welcome. 

If interested in any of the opportunities above, contact Dr, Smither at (616) 331-3422 (GVSU History Department Office) or by e-mail address at [email protected]



Library of Congress Veterans History Project

For more information on the Veterans History Project at the national level, visit:










Page last modified September 2, 2020