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LSU Libraries' Jen Cramer Receives Happy Award for Community Engagement

two women pose with a certificate
From left to right: Jennifer Baumgartner and Jen Cramer

LSU Libraries’ Jen Cramer is one of 10 recipients of this year’s Happy Awards. The awards are bestowed annually by the LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership to faculty, staff, students, and community partners who represent the highest ideals of reciprocal service-learning partnerships. 

Cramer is the director of LSU Libraries’ T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, the largest and most comprehensive oral history repository in the state of Louisiana, and one of the largest in the South. She was nominated for this award by Jennifer J. Baumgartner, an associate professor in the School of Education and a 2023 Happy Award winner, for her work on Baumgartner’s service-learning courses and other courses on campus. 

Led by Cramer, the Williams Center works tirelessly to collect, document, and make accessible the stories of Louisianans. As an extension of that work, Cramer partners with LSU faculty to incorporate oral history projects and service-learning connections into their courses, and she instructs students on how to conduct their own oral histories.  

For example, in Dr. Baumgartner’s “Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education” class, Cramer assists students in creating interviews and transcripts that can be used by anyone curious about the topic and that address current approaches to education in Louisiana.  

Additionally, Cramer works diligently to collect the first-person stories of military veterans from across the state that might otherwise be lost to future generations.  

“We see her forward-thinking contribution to the community through these documentation efforts for what it truly is: undeniably groundbreaking work!” Baumgartner said.  


Additional Information 

Part of the Williams Center’s mission is to help members of the public with their own oral history projects. The center offers community workshops on best practices including interviewing techniques, how to conduct background research, and how to navigate the paperwork required to have their oral histories housed at the Williams Center or the Library of Congress. For more information, email Jen Cramer at

The LSU Libraries includes the LSU Library and the adjacent Hill Memorial Library. Together, the libraries contain more than 4 million volumes and provide additional resources such as expert staff, technology, services, electronic resources, and facilities that advance research, teaching, and learning across every discipline.
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