Author Archives: dabullitt

Interview Planning and Oral History Methods


Interview Planning

In the future to help create history and gain more insight into women’s history and Suffield history, I would like to interview Elaine Sarsynski and keep a record of our interview. I have made a list of questions which I will double check with Mr. Yuan again to make sure they are all ok. I plan on asking her about many questions related Suffield, Women’s history, and maybe a bit of her personal life to shed some further detail on the whole topic. I will make a detailed list of questions and go through them with Mr. Sullivan, the class, and Mr. Yuan before the interview. The main question that I want to answer is what hardships did she encounter on her journey to the top. First, I want to know what hardships she faced because she was a woman when she was young, and in high school and college. Then I want to know if it was harder for her to make her way in the workforce because she was a woman. Then if being a mother complicated her career path more. Then, I want to know why she made the decision to leave the corporate life to make her attempt at politics, did this have anything to do with promoting women’s rights? When she was running for First Selectwoman, what challenges did she face. What challenges did she face just because she was a woman? After winning the position of First Selectperson, what initiatives did she implement were any of them aimed at promoting women’s rights? Are the political parties in local politics much different than the political parties in national politics?

Oral History Methods

Oral history is not folklore, gossip, hearsay, or rumor. Oral historians attempt to verify their findings, analyze them, and place them in an accurate historical context.


  1. Formulate a central question or issue.
  2. Plan the project. Consider such things as end products, budget, publicity, evaluation, personnel, equipment, and time frames.
  3. Conduct background research.
  4. Prepare questions for interviews
  5. Review questions with classmates and teacher
  6. Interview.
  7. Process interviews.
  8. Evaluate research and interviews and cycle back to
    step 1 or go on to step 7.
  9. Organize and present results.
  10. Store materials archivally.

Successful Suffield Woman

Elaine Sarsynski featured in an article from

What challenges do women in Suffield have to overcome in order to be successful in business and politics? Elaine Sarsynski lives in Suffield and is a successful businesswoman. She is also the mother of three Suffield Academy graduates, one of them is our current Chinese teacher. Mrs.Sarsynski earned her MBA in accounting and finance from Columbia University. She was one of the top executives at the Aetna insurance company, where she was vice president of real estate investments. Mrs.Sarsynski has earned top positions and board seats at many multinational corporations. She is one of the top consultants in her field. Mrs.Sarsynski was elected to be the first ever women selectperson in Suffield town history, she must have overcome big challenges to do that. how did she pave the way for other women interested in politics and business, has the position become more diverse since she left? Have other women been elected selectperson since she left office?