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 an Assistant Professor of History at Grand Valley State University, where I teach public history, museum studies, USĀ  history surveys, and writing history. I am looking forward to developing some long-term local history projects with my colleague Matthew Daley. I’m excited about collaborating with local institutions in Grand Rapids and Western Michigan.

Prior to joining the faculty at GVSU, I developed web content for the Tennessee Historical Society. I also taught Tennessee history, US history, and Global Studies courses at Middle Tennessee State University and Motlow State Community College.

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. I recently finished the Dark Tower series and look forward to reading It Devours, the new Welcome to Night Vale novel. I recently watched all of Stranger Things 2, and I’m looking forward to the return of Legion and Westworld. The last movie I saw in the theater was Thor: Ragnarok, and it was awesome.

You can see my current CV here.