Above the Clouds

Experience

Utah Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Advocacy Group

The Utah FASD Advocacy Group is a non-profit organization that provides aid to and advocates for families affected by FASD. As a co-founder and board member, I specialize in helping families navigate the special education system. (2018-present)

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The Stewart House

The Stewart House is a historic home located in Portal, Georgia. Dr. James A. Stewart was a founding member of the town and a prominent doctor in it and the surrounding communities. The house was built c. 1908 and occupied by the Stewart Family until the late 1900s when it was donated to the Portal Heritage Society.

I led a collaborative team to compile a historic structure report. Other members of the team included classes from the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management at Georgia Southern University and individuals from Savannah Technical College's Preservation Department.

The completed report included an analysis of the structure, a full photo inventory and analysis of the collection, related histories, and two different types of three-dimensional models: Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and Building Informational Modeling (BIM). (2017)

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Historical Markers

While working as a graduate assistant at Georgia Southern University, I was asked by the Bulloch County Historical Society to write three markers for their Historical Marker Program. The markers commemorated Burkhalter Road and Old Indian Trail, The City of Statesboro, and Bulloch County's Railroad History

Each of these were a lesson in brevity - how to say a lot in a very limited space. When you only have twenty lines, each with a maximum of sixty characters (including spaces), there is no beating around the bush. (2015)

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Narrator: Bonaventure Cemetery Historical Documentary

Bonaventure Cemetery is a historic cemetery located in Savannah, Georgia. It is currently owned and managed by the Bonaventure Historical Society. In 2015, the society asked an intern, Daniel Hancock, to write and produce a documentary detailing the long history of the cemetery. I was privileged to narrate the documentary. (2015)

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The Spanish in Georgia, Museum on Main, Statesboro, Georgia

This was my very first experience curating an exhibit. The end product was the final project for Georgia Southern University's Museum Studies Class, taught by Dr. Brent Tharp. There were ten of us in the class so this was a collaborative experience. Our goal was to tell the history of Georgia before Oglethorpe arrived in 1733, including both the Native American chiefdoms of the Mississippian Period and Spanish colonization.

We divided the content into five section sections and worked in pairs of two. My partner, Rhianna, and I curated the section on early Spanish missions, which included a mission façade with a wattle and daub cross-section. The context focused on the Guale, located on St. Catherines Island.

The exhibit was housed at the Statesboro Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The artifacts were donated from Dr. Michael Van Wagenen's private collection. (2016)

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An Academic Approach to Genealogy and Family History

Family history and genealogical research are gaining popularity, especially in the United States, and have developed a substantial following of hobbyists and lay historians. Unfortunately, the movement has not caught on in the academic world. I believe this is for two reasons: 1) genealogy tends to focus on the raw data (dates and locations) to the detriment of the historical context, and 2) family histories have the added complication of memory, which is often at odds with historical research. 

This paper is an experiment in combining genealogy with academic research. The goal is to situate a family history (the Neeley family) within a larger historical trend, theme, or movement. This approach helps fill gaps were the genealogical data is missing and engages memory in a discussion with history, culture, and society. It also helps tie the individuals into the broader historical context and gives deeper meaning to their lives. (2017)

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Teachers' Guides for Museum Exhibits, Georgia Southern University Museum

This research paper analyzes the fundraising strategy of Basil O'Connor, chairman of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (more commonly known as the March of Dimes). I focus on the organization's use of children in its poster campaign and argue that O'Connor visually leveraged the "advantages" of polio in order to out-fund every other disease-based foundation in the US during the 1940s and 1950s. The paper is written from the perspective of cultural history and includes an analysis of the March of Dimes forerunner, the President's Birthday Ball. (2017)

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It Is the Thought That Counts: How to Increase Higher Order Thinking in the History Classroom

This is my current project. As a graduate student in the Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction program at Weber State University, I am creating a guide for history teachers to use to help increase both the opportunity and expectation for deep thinking in history classes. Having taught history in secondary schools for six years, this is a pet project of mine--something I have always wanted to tackle. (2019-present)

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Interpretive Guide, Hall of Natural History, Georgia Southern Museum

While working as the education graduate assistant at the Georgia Southern University Museum, I developed an interpretive guide for the Hall of Natural History Exhibit. The exhibit covers the natural history of Georgia's Coastal Plain from the Paleozoic Era through the Pleistocene Epoch. There are many fossils on display, including two mounts: Georgiacetus vogtlensis and a 25-foot mosasaur. 

The purpose of the interpretive guide was to provide the museum's student docents with the information necessary to engage with the walk-in visitors. Very few of the students docents had any background in paleontology or geology. The interpretive guide was their resource for background and historic information on each of the fossils in the exhibit. (2015-2017)

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School Group Tour Programs

While working as the Education Coordinator at the Georgia Southern University Museum, I wrote and updated several school group tour programs. All of our tour programs reflected current Georgia Performance Standards (the state's core educational standards for kindergarten through high school) and were designed to reinforce the curriculum taught in the classroom. This was a unique challenge because of the range of students' ages and grades served by the museum: Pre-K through college. Each tour program targeted specific GPS standards and had activities appropriate for the corresponding age. My goal was also to have some sort of hands-on interaction as part of each tour program. Tour program content ranged from dinosaurs to Native Americans to current events, history to science, and everything in between!

I especially loved serving as the museum's education coordinator because it exposed me to content areas and methodologies I never would have thought to delve into on my own. For example, I learned a great deal about paleontology and archaeology, particularly as they applied to Georgia's Coastal Plain.

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The Remnant Trust Exhibition at Georgia Southern University

This exhibit was so much fun! Myself and two others public history students wrote the text for both the in-house and the online exhibits of the Remnant Trust at Georgia Southern University. When I was researching the history of these amazing books, I had no idea that just a few months later I would be holding original printings in my hands, gazing upon stunningly beautiful script. My favorite that I worked on was a 1350 printing of the Magna Carta. The books themselves are works of art and the history they represent is incredible. The exhibit was hosted by Georgia Southern's Henderson Library and ran January 18, 2017 through May 5, 2017.

One of the missions of The Remnant Trust is to "elevate... the public's understanding of individual liberty and human dignity through the precedent setting, hands on availability of the world's great ideas in original form." (2017)

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Pop-up Museum, Georgia Southern Museum

While at the Georgia Southern University Museum, I worked with the museum director to develop a pop-up museum. Our goal was to reach more students, many of whom were unaware the museum existed. This rotating and portable museum exhibit could be set up anywhere on campus or in the community. Each exhibit was very versatile in content and generally included an interactive activity, a mystery object, and a handful of other artifacts or fossils. (2017)

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How to Raise a Million Dollars, One Dime at a Time: Basil O'Connor's Anti-Polio Campaign

This research paper analyzes the fundraising strategy of Basil O'Connor, chairman of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (more commonly known as the March of Dimes). I focus on the organization's use of children in its poster campaign and argue that O'Connor visually leveraged the "advantages" of polio in order to out-fund every other disease-based foundation in the US during the 1940s and 1950s. The paper is written from the perspective of cultural history and includes an analysis of the March of Dimes forerunner, the President's Birthday Ball. (2017)

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