Board members

Read more below about the wonderful board members who help plan our events, publish our journal, and keep NCFS running! Interested in joining us? We’re looking for a new board member to serve as our treasurer. See details here.

Kathryn (Katy) Clune is most recently from Washington, D.C. and grew up around the world, thanks to her father’s career in the Foreign Service. She earned her BA at UC–Berkeley in art history and her MA in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill (expected May 2015). Katy has supported the public work of cultural organizations since 2008, most recently as communications manager for The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.. Inspired by global cultural heritage, her research and professional activities aim to bridge cultural differences by engaging people in exploring worlds different from their own. Her portfolio is online at

Sandra Davidson was born and raised on the country edge of Lillington, NC, but she currently resides in Raleigh. She expects to graduate with an MA in Folklore in Spring 2015. Her research interests range from narrative to foodways to applied folklore, but the common denominator in all her work is her passion for the power of story. She is a Co-Founder of Bit+Grain, a new North Carolina based digital magazine devoted to telling important stories about the State.

For the past ten years, Associate Professor Anna Fariello built digital collections for Western Carolina University. These curated collections focus on the region’s material traditions in a digital humanities format. With 20 years experience in higher education and museums, she is a former university museum director and Smithsonian research fellow. As a Fulbright Scholar, she traveled to Central America where she taught courses in museum studies and researched indigenous cultures, visiting and photographing the Kuna and Ebera´ tribes. Fariello is author of numerous book chapters, articles, and presentations, and curator of over 40 exhibitions. Among her publications, she is author of three books on Cherokee crafts, author of the interpretive travel guide, Blue Ridge Roadways (2006), and co-author of the textbook, Objects & Meaning (2003). Recipient of the 2010 Brown Hudson Award, in 2013, she was honored with a Guardians of Culture award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

Elijah Gaddis is the current president of the North Carolina Folklore Society. Raised in rural Cabarrus County, he has an BA in English from NC State, and an MA in Folklore from UNC Chapel Hill.  He is currently a PhD candidate in American studies at UNC, where he also teaches and develops public-facing digital projects. See more information about his work at his website here.

Anita Rao
was born in a small coal-mining town in Northeast England but spent most of her life growing up in Iowa and has a fond affection for the midwest. She fell in love with interviewing and storytelling as a Women’s Studies and International Studies major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2011-2014, she worked for the national oral history project StoryCorps in their production department, and she moved back down to the Triangle in 2014 to work as a producer for The State of Things, WUNC’s daily, live talk show that features the issues, personalities and places of North Carolina.

Joy M. Salyers, secretary of the North Carolina Folklore Society, received her MA in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has conducted fieldwork in several states, including a long-term life review oral history project, and a collaborative project documenting, through text and photos, members of a modern performance community.Salyers has more than ten years’ experience in project management, including running her own consulting business, facilitating an innovative education program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and developing and executing projects with multiple partners, including county agencies, nonprofits, community groups, and museums. A decade of work in the white anti-racist movement informs her particular interest in the ethics and equity of engagement. Salyers is also an award-winning curriculum developer who has developed and taught courses at the elementary, middle school, and university level. She has taught courses for the certificate in documentary arts at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies for more than ten years. Salyers was appointed in September, 2014 to a three-year term to the Arts Commission by the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

Leanne E. Smith is editor of the North Carolina Folklore Journal.  She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and graduate and undergraduate degrees from East Carolina University.  She is a Greenville native with experience working as a freelance writer, editor, and photographer; a staff writer and photographer with a weekly newspaper; and as a writer and editor of notes, features, and obituaries for a university alumni magazine.  Several of her photographs have served as cover images for Tar River Poetry.  Her writing has appeared in Flannery O’Connor Review, North Carolina Folklore Journal, Encyclopedia Virginia, Pirate’s Revenge, and the North Carolina Folklife Institute’s blog NC Food.  She teaches writing at ECU; is active with the Folk Arts Society of Greenville and the Green Grass Cloggers; and occasionally plays fiddle for square dances.

One thought on “Board members

  1. Hi,
    My name is Seph Callaway III, a native of North Carolina, currently a second year MFA candidate with focus in painting and drawing at Ohio University. I am researching non-Western derived spirituality, mythology and folklore. At the moment, I am reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men. Specifically, to inform my studio practice, I am more interested in learning more about hoodoo, conjuring and how folklore is (or is not) intertwined. I want to learn more about old Black Belt hoodoo.

    Basically, I would like to become a member because I think folklore is fascinating. I am using this time as I study for my MFA to research my Southern roots.

    I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

    Seph Callaway III
    MFA Candidate, Painting and Drawing
    Ohio University School of Art + Design

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