Interview with Kristy DeWall, Class of 2001, 2003, and 2007


Kristy DeWall



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Oral history interview with Illinois State University alumnus Kristy DeWall, Class of 2001, 2003, and 2007. The interview was conducted on July 8, 2022, by Heather Paraday, at the time an undergraduate student at Illinois State University. She discusses how growing up in foster care led her to pursue a college education, serving in the Air National Guard under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, her involvement with ISU Pride and Student Government Association, and ISU personnel who impacted her experience in positive ways.

Interview Date



  • Introduction; path to attending ISU: 00:00-03:16
  • Changing major; transferring from Lincoln Christian College: 03:16-05:56
  • Coming out at ISU: 05:56-08:27
  • Notable faculty and staff: 08:27-10:19
  • National and local news: 10:19-11:55
  • Getting involved in PRIDE; Speakers Bureau: 11:55-15:12
  • Dormitory life; getting involved in drag: 15:12-19:04
  • PRIDE; Safe Zone: 19:04-20:28
  • Student leadership activities: 20:28-21:44
  • Involvement in student organizations: 21:44-23:26
  • Working as an assistant residence hall coordinator; 9/11: 23:26-26:25
  • Working in dining hall and at the Vidette: 26:25-31:34
  • Other jobs while pursuing graduate degrees: 31:34-33:16
  • Influential faculty: 33:16-36:20
  • Changes to ISU since DeWall’s graduation: 26:20-39:42
  • Kate Bornstein: 39:42-42:24
  • Dormitory water fight: 42:24-45:12
  • Path after graduation: 45:26-47:59
  • Current career; reflecting on time at ISU; conclusion: 47:59-49:58


The transcript of this interview has been lightly edited in service of readability and to reflect the interviewee’s intentions.

Interview with Kristy DeWall, Class of 2001, 2003, and 2007