Degrees and schools: Ph.D., history, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2003; M.A. history, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1994; B.A. history, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1989; B. Music Education, instrumental—oboe, Milton College, Milton, Wisconsin, 1973.
Originally from: Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Courses taught: I teach all U.S. history courses that cover up to the mid-19th century. Those include Topics, my 100-level course, The American Revolution, Colonial America, and The Civil War. Among those is a course I usually offer in the summer called Horses, Hardtack, and Heroes: The Civil War in Film and Literature.
I really enjoy the class because we spend a lot of time talking about how the war is remembered. I also teach a couple of courses that consider a broader piece of history—beyond the 19th century. These are American Women’s History and the Introduction to Public History. That course is wide ranging. It explores how academic history is transmitted to the broader public through archives, films, museums and a host of other media.
What I like about Saint Vincent: As a historian the thing I like best is this place. The presence of those who were here before us is everywhere! Everyday from my desk I can see the beautiful weathered red brick exterior of Alfred Hall through my neighbor’s window. It reminds me that the past is always part of who we are.
My most memorable moment: This is easy. The first day I came to work. I came in very early in the morning, about 7 a.m. I drove in to the parking lot in front of the Basilica. The campus seemed deserted. I met no one in the halls, found my office and went to work. Sometime early in the afternoon I decided to take a break and walk around campus. When I left the building I was completely shocked to see the mass of people wandering around—Steelers’ camp! I don’t know if I missed something in my interview or if I was never told but it was a shock to me.
What most people don’t know about me: I used to play a cornet that was built in 1857.