Director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center
Cheylon Woods, Assistant Professor and Archivist/Head of Ernest J. Gaines Center, received her MLIS from LSU. After completion of her MA in Heritage Resources from Northwestern State University, she was awarded an IMLS (Institute of Museum & Library Studies) fellowship through HistoryMarkers (oral history archive based out of Chicago) where she was assigned to work as an Archivist at the Alabama State Department of Archives and History. She actively worked with communities and prominent figures in the region to fill in information gaps related to African American history in the state of Alabama. Cheylon also received a dual BA degree in History and Political Science from Louisiana Tech University. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, Society of American Archivists, Louisiana Library Association, and Association of the Study of African American Life and History. She has presented at annual meetings for Society of American Archivists and worked on numerous public programs for the Alabama Department of Archives and History specializing in preservation and displaying historical documents and artifacts.
Ernest J. Gaines Center Library Specialist II
Jordan J. Richardson, Library Specialist II in Ernest J. Gaines Center, received his MA degree in Public History from UL Lafayette. He comes to the center after two internships at Vermilionville Living History-- working as the registrar intern in the Curatorial Department. He also worked at Edith Garland Dupré Library as the Graduate Assistant for Research & Instruction where he was awarded 2017 Outstanding Educator Award, He was part of Bringing Life to Your Library Services with 360˚ Virtual Tours presentation at the Louis Users Annual Conference in Baton Rouge, LA. An active member of Phi Alpha Theta, Mr. Richardson was one of the Top 12 University Graduates in 2018. His areas of study are Interpreting Difficult History through digital platforms, as well as vast knowledge in Antebellum Southern History through Reconstruction. Mr. Richardson also received his BA degree in History from Louisiana State University, where he was an LSU Ambassador for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity.