Assistant Professor of History
Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT
I'm a modern European and comparative historian interested in sacred spaces and ecology, public memory, Catholic orders, religious communities in socialism, and how people interpret the supernatural.
I teach a variety of courses that cover topics from global coffeehouses to Truth and Reconciliation.
I'm passionate about social justice, interdisciplinary and inclusive learning. I encourage students to think critically about the way the past has shaped contemporary issues and challenges we face. My hope is that my courses will inspire students to contribute to their local communities in meaningful and transformative ways.
Research and Publications
Sacred Spaces in Socialism: Catholics, Cloisters, and Charity in East Germany
Photo Courtesy of the Archives of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth, Berlin
Exile and the Ecology of Home"
Photo Courtesy of Fortepan/ Jezsuita Levéltá
Germany's Hungary: Culture and Ecology at Lake Balaton
From wellness tourists of the late nineteenth century to Communist Party leaders in the 1970s, Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest lake, has attracted a variety of travelers, especially Germans and Austrians. It has even been used as a retreat for religious communities and a destination for pilgrims. My second major project examines the changing cultural, religious, and ecological landscape near Balaton.
Photo Courtesy of Fortepan/ Karabélyos Péter (1912)
Resources for Teaching
What we do in the classroom matters. As educators, we make a decision to contribute to or work against democracy and healthy civic engagement.
Below is a growing collection of articles, blogs, and books that influence my teaching and scholarship. If you have anything regarding pedagogy and inclusivity that I should add, don't hesitate to reach out!
The Inclusive Historian's Handbook, produced by the National Council on Public History and the American Association for State and Local History offers resources that support inclusive practice.
Recent article by Viji Sathy and Kelly Hogan in the Chronicle about How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive
"Black Minds Matter" by Coshandra Dillard. Interrupting school practices that disregard the mental health of Black youth. From Teaching Tolerance
Cathy Davidson's "Why My Students Design the Syllabus" describes her students' participation in creating their own syllabus as "a model of participatory, student-centered, engaged, democratic learning."
Teaching Tolerance on Controversial Subjects in the Classroom
Yale's Center for Teaching and Learning offers guidance on Teaching Controversial Topics
Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It's so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, 2018
Dina Gilio-Whitaker, "Settler Fragility: Why Settler Privilege is So Hard to Talk About," 2018
Interactive app that maps Indigenous lands: Native-land.ca
Linda B. Nilson, "Getting Students to do the Reading"
Jay Howard, "How to Hold a Better Class Discussion"
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddle on the importance of libraries and reading. "Why We Need Libraries--An Essay in Pictures."
In 2020 I joined the Westminster College community as assistant professor in History. Before coming to Westminster, I was at Maryville College in East TN and Westfield State University in western Mass as a Visiting Assistant Professor. I taught as a Teaching Associate and Assistant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for six years and taught Western Civilization and World History at the University of Tennessee from 2008-2010.
My experience extends to administrative work, subtitling, and programming as Associate Director and Program Assistant of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst. DFL has an excellent catalog of East German films as well as a number of research opportunities for scholars. Check them out!
I have a Ph.D. in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2017), a M.A. in History from the University of Tennessee Knoxville (2010), and a B.A. in History with a German minor from Birmingham-Southern College (2007). My research has been supported by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Central European History Society, the German Academic Exchange Service, the UMass graduate school and history department.