About

I am a public historian, and my particular focus is on community engagement and the preservation and interpretation of cultural heritage. I use a cultural landscapes approach and treat preservation as a holistic process that should embrace both the layers of history and the particular needs of the community. I’ve worked a variety of projects, including National Register nominations, oral histories, interpretive plans, architectural surveys, and historic structures assessments. I’m also interested in the history of race and civil rights, postcolonial history (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa), and medical history.

Selfie of the author in front of a hand-beaded South African flag
At Constitutional Court of South Africa in Johannesburg, Oct 2014

I am currently developing web content for the Tennessee Historical Society‘s new website, which will go live sometime early next year. I get to spend a lot of time rooting through the THS’s collections, which are housed at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum, to find useful or interesting photographs, images, and objects. As the project moves forward, I will be writing the website’s content and developing social media content to help the THS reach a broader audience.

I am also teaching Tennessee history at Middle Tennessee State University, where I have also taught US history surveys and Introduction to Cross-Cultural Experiences. I really enjoy teaching, and I am always looking for new ways to reach my students. I’m really enjoying using the primary sources and material I work with at THS to develop my students’ primary source skills in Tennessee history.

Starting this fall, I will be joining the faculty at Grand Valley State University as Assistant Professor of Public History. I am excited about moving to Grand Rapids and working with their excellent faculty and students.

Photo of the author in front of a sign reading DinosaurLand
Visiting DinosaurLand near Winchester, VA, Nov 2016.

Before joining THS, I was a digital research fellow at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University, where I worked on Southern Places, the CHP’s digital archive, and wrote metadata for material collected during research trips to Selma, Alabama. Before getting my PhD, I taught high school, handled closings for a real estate agent, worked at a winery, and was a seasonal Park Ranger at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

In all of my free time, I enjoy traveling, horseback riding, rowing, board games, tacos, and cross stitching. I love reading and listening to audiobooks, and I’m currently working my way through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series in anticipation of the new film. I’m currently watching American Gods and Santa Clarita Diet and waiting for the new seasons of Legion and Game of Thrones.

You can see my current CV here.