Public History Students
Hello! My name is Casey Mills. I am a second year Masters student at UNA, pursuing a degree in history with a concentration in public history. My hometown is Russellville, AL. I graduated from UNA in 2012 with a BS in history, with a minor in political science. My interest in history was instilled in me as a child. Every summer my family and I would travel west and visit many of our nation's beautiful national parks. Whether it was the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or one of my favorites, Mesa Verde, learning the history of each park was one of my favorite parts of the trips. When I heard the UNA was starting a public history program, I was immediately interested. Learning and teaching history through active, hands-on-methods sounded like something I wanted to do. Whether its archaeology, material culture, museums, archives or documentary films, I've come to realize that there are many ways to study, learn, and teach history outside of the classroom. I've learned so much over the past year, from museum management, to how to conduct oral history interviews, to using archives and how to examine and tell the history of ordinary Americans. I currently am a graduate assistant in the UNA Archives. I am excited to see what the rest of the program holds and what lies ahead in my future!
I received my BA in History in 2103 from Athens State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. I was also chosen for the Outstanding History Major award. I have lived in Middle Tennessee my entire life, so I have been able to visit a number of historic sites, which have helped to shape my interests. My favorite, by far, is Shiloh National Military Park. Visiting the battlefield helped lead to my interest in the Civil War. While reading about history is great, visiting a location where historic events actually occurred or where historical artifacts are displayed creates the best learning experience. Visiting locations including the James K. Polk home in Columbia, TN and the Indian Mound in Florence, AL, has given me a great appreciation for the work of public history. Having the privilege of walking where U.S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and Albert Sindey Johnston did during the Battle of Shiloh brings the past alive for me. I love history! I want to be able to share my passion for historical events with others. Pursuing an MA in history with a concentration in Public History and working with the UNA Center for Public History as a graduate assistant are a perfect fit with my interests.
I am originally from a small town in Walker County, AL, called Kansas. I attended Carbon Hill High School, graduating in 2010. After high school I moved to Florence, AL, and began my first steps towards a BA in history, with a minor in geography. During the summer following my first year of college, I participated in a study abroad trip to London. This experience exposed me to a whole new historical world - both in terms of the research I conducted and the city itself. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my history degree until I took Dr. Barske's Public History course my senior year. I then realized that I wanted to pursue a career in public history. During the second semester of my senior year I interned at the UNA archives under the supervision of Louise Huddleston. After graduating in May of 2014, I worked as a summer seasonal in the living history program at Fort Morgan, gaining experience in giving tours, firing period weapons, and maintaining the site. I started the MA program in the fall of 2014 and have a graduate assistantship with the UNA Public History Center.
My name is Jesse Brock and I am currently a student in the UNA Master’s Program with a concentration in Public History. I received my Bachelor’s degree in History in May of 2013 at Young Harris College, a small private institution in the North Georgia Mountains. When I first started college I was originally set on becoming a lawyer. This changed when I took a course on the Great Depression during my junior year, where I discovered my true love. Public History will give me the knowledge on how to look at sources and history in general from a different perspective. I am interested in cultural history, particularly focusing on the study of Appalachia. This year I will be working as a graduate assistant with the Muscles Shoals National Heritage Area where I will be completing various projects. Currently I am in the process of establishing a grant program for the MSNHA.
My introduction into the field of Public History came when I started working at Pond Spring--the General Joe Wheeler home as a Curatorial Intern while I was still in high school. After high school, I attending Cottey College, a two-year school for Women in Nevada, Missouri and there I continued working in the field of Public History by interning at the Bushwhacker Museum--a museum highlighting the interaction between the Bushwhackers and Jayhawks during the Civil War. Upon my graduation from Cottey College, I transferred back home where I continued my work at Pond Spring and earned my Bachelor's degree from Athens State University in August 2013. After meeting with Dr. Barske, I knew that the small classes and hands-on experience that the Public History program at UNA provided would be perfect for me. While I am most interested in collections, the wide-ranging curriculum taught in UNA's Public History program will allow me to be more marketable, while still allowing me to specialize in my area of interest.
I graduated from the University of North Alabama in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s in History and a minor in Political Science. While there I went on the first study abroad trip to London, England during the summer of 2011. This trip changed my life and this is where I fell into public history. My project was on Hampton Court and how Cardinal Wolsey used this palace to portray the image he wanted people to have of him. The research that I did for this project sparked an interest for me in architectural history and how people relate to buildings.
As a Master’s student at the University of North Alabama I hope to continue this line of thought. I hope to focus my thesis on Gothic Revival Architecture and its role in the South. I am currently working on a National Register Nomination for FAME Records in Muscle Shoals, AL.
I am originally from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. I have loved history and the preservation of memory from an early age. In the summer of 2000, I participated in an SEAC archaeological dig which discovered and preserved important relics from the main Temple Mound at Shiloh National Military Park. I obtained my undergraduate degree in history and journalism from the University of North Alabama in 2006. I earned a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in history from UNA in 2009. My main interest in the field of history has always been the American Civil War. In December 2012, my research paper Culture of Violence: Livestock, Honor, and Feuding in the Scottish Borders was published in the North Alabama Historical Review. My current graduate work in public history focuses on archival preservation, which I anticipate will aid me in my role as the head of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library's Digital Archive department and will also become the basis of my doctoral work.
Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, with certifications to teach the Social Sciences, English-Language Arts/Reading, and Music. Due to my many interests, want of experience, and mission to help, I also hold Health & Safety Instructor certifications through the American Red Cross and have attended an array of diverse environment survival courses. Additionally, I participated in literary internships that allowed a greater insight into the crafting of various genres.
Employment: Leaving twelve years of public education behind, I am now a full-time graduate student. I also participate in antiquity procurement and consultation for private clients and offer supplemental lessons and tailored field-trips for students and their parents. Otherwise and when time permits, I am a freelance writer that has contributed travel/public interest articles, content for test preparation materials, and will eventually finish that long-lamented novel! I also enjoy public speaking engagements on the topics of the Social Sciences, Creative Writing, Career Counseling, and Travel for leisure and education. During the summer months, I teach “Stones & Bones: An Introduction to the Historical Sciences” for the University of North Alabama’s Department of Continuing Education. I am excited to be back in U.N.A.’s History Department- my second home- and have great plans for the future!
Why “Public History”?: Dissatisfied with the direction of public education curriculum and its negative consequences, I began looking into graduate programs. With U.N.A. as my obvious first choice, I was informed that a “Public History” concentration was being added to the History Department options. This course of study will allow me to gain experience and follow a path offered by a scarce few universities in Alabama. The program is also spearheaded by the profoundly knowledgeable, approachable, and concerned Dr. Carolyn Barske- a tribute to the profession- and a student can rest assured that their education will be thorough, comprehensive, and individualized.
Future Plans: During my time at U.N.A. and after graduation, I plan on focusing my professional attention on Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management. I would also like to work in tandem with Homeland Security/I.C.E. in the area of the antiquities trade. Otherwise, I will continue to pursue freelance writing and public speaking opportunities and plan to realize my dream of owning a jazz and blues club.
Contact Information: If I can be of help in any way, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public History Alumni
December 2013, Kristen Tippett Briggs. MA Thesis: "The Ties that Bind: The Educational and Literary Journeys of Caroline Lee Hentz and Maud Lindsay"
May 2014, Wesley Garmon. MA Thesis: "The Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House: A Strategic Plan for Development". Wes is employed at the Alabama Department of History and Archives as a museum education outreach coordinator.