UCCS and Kraemer Family Library Appoint First ‘Storytelling Professor’

‘Ilaheva Tua’one, Ph.D.

The art of storytelling is universal and as ancient as humankind. Stories have always played an integral role in our lives and communities because of their ability to connect, transcend generations, inspire empathy and provide a common ground to help overcome differences.

In recognition of this invaluable art, the Kraemer Family Library has created a novel three-year rotating professorship. The endowed UCCS faculty member is charged with celebrating and diffusing storytelling into the culture of Colorado Springs through an interdisciplinary lens.

The inaugural Kraemer Family Library Storytelling Professor, ‘Ilaheva Tua’one, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies in the Women’s and Ethnic Studies Program.

‘Ilaheva Tua’one received her Ph.D. in British and American Literature from the University of Utah in 2020. She will work with the Kraemer Family Library to host the annual storytelling contest and other storytelling events while furthering the culture of storytelling at UCCS.

“I am so excited to bring more life to storytelling on campus,” commented ‘Ilaheva Tua’one. “Storytelling, or Talk-story, is an integral part of my family and my culture and I want to integrate that indigeneity into Mountain Lion life. I see this new position as a way to bring together the stories of the students, the staff and faculty, and the Colorado Springs community through storytelling hours, story installments and firesides. Maya Angelou wrote ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.’ I welcome the opportunity to help you unburden yourself of your stories.  Please, tell me things, I want to hear your story.”

Seth M. Porter, Dean of the Kraemer Family Library and Academic Online Lead, discussed this exciting new partnership: “We couldn’t be happier to partner with ‘Ilaheva Tua’one on this innovative programming that will help further the culture of storytelling and local artistic development within the university and community, and I look forward to seeing where she takes this programming.”

Lynn Vidler, Professor and Dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences at UCCS, said, “I’m thrilled that Dr. Tua’one has been appointed as the inaugural Kraemer Family Library Storytelling Professor. She brings both her scholarly and personal expertise to bear on this most foundational mode of human cultural production.”

While one of the strengths of this new programming is the inherent interdisciplinary nature on campus, it is also an opportunity to work with the community.

Sandy Kraemer, a community leader, discussed the importance of this role and storytelling as a whole.

“Storytelling changes lives,” he said, “and sponsoring a Professor of Storytelling under the Kraemer Family Library umbrella expands student opportunities in all departments.”

As author Patrick Rothfuss writes, “It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

And the Kraemer Family Library, partnering with the greater UCCS community, aims to be a leader in this important initiative.

About the Kraemer Family Library at UCCS

The Kraemer Family Library fosters the intellectual growth of UCCS students, faculty, staff and the Colorado Springs community by developing innovative services, technologies, collections and spaces that facilitate their emerging information needs. With a goal of advancing the spirit of discovery, the Kraemer Family Library offers an environment that encourages scholarship, creativity and intellectual freedom, while supporting the diverse needs of all users. Learn more about the Kraemer Family Library online.