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Southern Oregon University

McNair Scholars

Oneal Latimore has a passion for understanding complex and esoteric subject matter as well as helping others to understand through teaching, researching and developing new educational platforms. His multidisciplinary studies have contributed to his growth, added to his life experiences, and helped him develop techniques and skills that span a myriad of situations.  Oneal anticipates completing his undergraduate degrees in the spring of 2014 from Southern Oregon University.  He will graduate Cum Laude with a double major in Anthropology and Emerging Media Digital Arts, as well as a minor in Education. These synergistic and topical degrees have coalesced to provide Oneal with a solid foundation for excellence in his pursuit of a doctoral degree in Visual Anthropology. 

Visual Anthropology allows him to utilize his skills as a photographer and as a videographer to increase engagement with the subjects of his research. Photography started out as a hobby twenty years ago and has been a constant presence since then. Visual Studies is a more recent passion, but has nonetheless become just as important in his mission to help his subjects tell their stories and to highlight the connections and similarities amongst seemingly disparate communities.

Using digital video as his medium, Oneal intends to utilize his research to develop innovative programs that can be used in specific fields such as narrative therapy and in larger arenas such as explorations into cross-cultural communication.  His current research into American culture includes interviewing veterans about their experiences with the military: prior to enlisting, during their term of service and readjusting to civilian life.  He anticipates these videos can be used as part of a larger research endeavor that will highlight and explore the cultural and social elements that lead to military service.  Oneal’s other research interests include: examining the social constructions surrounding death, dying and the grieving process; consciousness studies; cosmogenesis; and what happens to the soul after death.

These research interests developed, in part, due to his service in the Old Guard of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Myer, Virginia, which served Arlington National Cemetery.  From 1998-1999, he served as military escort for the processions of family members through the cemetery to the burial plots. This experience exposed him to the grieving process everyday where he gained perspective on this barely understood aspect of reality.

Oneal is very active in both his campus and local communities. Oneal served as the Director of Student Life and Academic Affairs, for SOU’s student government.  The following year, in his role as Director of Campus Life, he oversaw the marketing campaign of a student-wide referendum which approved the construction of a $20 million dollar recreation facility in 2015.  In collaboration with the Jefferson Nature Center, a non-profit community education center, and the Ford Family Foundation Community Development Leadership Program, Oneal participated in the creation and implementation of “The Bee Tree Project”, a food forest, bee pollinator garden and educational exhibit in Phoenix, Oregon.  He has the distinction of having one of his photographs selected for the International Library of Photography’s permanent collection.  In his senior year he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Social Science, Policy and Culture department.  His film, "It’s More Than That…with Noble Coffee Roasting Co.", was showcased with other student films at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Oneal is a member of the Oregon Academy of Sciences, SOU Black Student Union, SOU Anthropology Club, and the SOU United Nations Club.


“Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who only know what to think.” 

-Neil DeGrasse Tyson


McNair faculty mentor - Dr. Jessica Piekielek, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

McNair faculty co-mentor - Dr. Robert Arellano, MA, Professor of Emerging Media Digital Art


Curriculum Vitae


 SOU McNair Scholars Journal 2013

Article: Bridging the Lenses: A Visual Project Examining Digital Storytelling with Military Veterans

2013 McNair Scholar Symposium

Presentation Handout: Bridging the Lenses: A Visual Project Examining Digital Storytelling with Military Veterans

Presentation: Bridging the Lenses: A Visual Project Examining Digital Storytelling with Military Veterans