Graduation day at St. Olaf College

I grew up in rural Wisconsin above and in my mother’s indie bookshop. My guess is that reading so frequently and such a large variety of books is how I became interested in just about everything. Growing up, I sang and danced, played sports, acted, dabbled in painting and drawing, volunteered at the local poetry festival and with Rotary, and, of course, read. Much of these interests continued through high school and into college where gospel choir and broomball were some of the extracurricular highlights of my time there. And, being a history major, the reading continued.

I have always enjoyed history, and initially beginning my undergraduate degree, I was excited by the idea of becoming a master of a specific historical topic. I was always awed by people who could answer any question thrown at them almost immediately. While I still admire that ability, it became a bit more complicated when I began to understand history as relational rather than always objective. And that is what brought me to where I am today.

I’m currently a first-year MA student in Northeastern University’s Public History program. I understand that history is important, but the relational nature of history left me with so many questions. Do most people think it’s important? Why or why not? I’m specifically interested in how institutions and organizations engage with public(s), what seems to be most effective, and why, and what constitutes effectiveness. I began exploring all of these interests in my undergraduate years, and am looking forward to expanding my skills and tool set to be able to help historical organizations in the future.