M.A., History, Boise State University, 2001
B.A., English, Writing Emphasis, Boise State University, 1999
The Historical Craft
I came to Boise State University the long way around. I started College in California, but the 1960s were… distracting. Decades later after much travel, many relocations, and numerous jobs, we landed in Meridian, Idaho, and I set out to address that disturbingly unfinished English degree. To further the pursuit I worked as a writing assistant in Boise State’s Writing Center and spent a summer month at the Northwest Inland Writing Project’s institute that grants one a total immersion experience in writing from every conceivable approach as well as some that were inconceivable. I also enrolled in the Introduction to History course since it had a strong writing component. The earth moved.
History as presented in that course was a revelation: here was a way to connect and apply everything learned, experienced, and necessary to life in this time and place. I recieved at last a BA in English, Writing Emphasis in 1999, just in time to enroll in a unique history graduate program that put together a cohort of students with BAs from across the disciplines–none of us had been history majors. Our projects and theses were all over the map (literally) but shared historiographical components, the desire to make history accessible to a wide audience, and the goal of fitting us for employment in our varied areas of interest through real world experience. I recieved an MA in History in 2001 with a portfolio of written and/or edited public history projects that emphasized Western environmental history and its nexus with our sense of place.
Some of those projects I helped develop and publish as editor for Black Canyon Communications: Secrets of the Magic Valley and Hagerman’s Remarkable Horse, the Idaho Librarian Association’s Book of the Year in 2002; Equus Evolves: The Story of the Hagerman Horse; Trolley: Boise Valley’s Electric Road; and Black Canyon Quarterly, a magazine devoted to the relationship between culture and place reflected in the history, literature, and fine arts inspired by our landscapes.
I began teaching at Boise State in 2004 and fell in love with the Constitution and Romanticism. I think the discipline of history provides an excellent platform from which to develop the essential skills of critical thinking and verbal and written expression. I care about that platform and the students who use it to their own advantage as well as to our world’s.
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