- Ph.D. Hagley Program in the History of Industrialization, University of Delaware
- MA in American History and Museum Studies, University of Delaware
- BA in History, Montana State University
College Colloquium (Neither Pitied Nor Entitled: Being Poor in America)
As a historian, I have two primary areas of interest: the history of social welfare and the history of natural history. In social welfare I am particularly interested in the connections between poverty and Americans’ self-image as resourceful and socially and economically mobile. My work on the Mid-Atlantic region examines the poor as agents in the process of relief administration, and I attempt to illuminate how community values both shape and are reflected in our response to poverty. In natural history, I am fascinated by the way in which social and political ideas are reflected in fact-based narratives about nature, and the ways in which what we think we know and feel about nature shapes our interactions with the environment. I am currently working on a study of nature study manuals for children and young adults authored by women and published between 1880 and 1940, in which I examine the authors as scientifically trained women in a period when the sciences were dominated by men, and increasingly by professionals; and look at the texts themselves as reflections of contemporary social and political concerns and as ‘training manuals’ for moral and civil behavior.
As Director of the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards, I administer three internal grant programs and assist students in applying for national scholarships and project funding.
“Poor Women and Work in the Philadelphia Almshouse, 1790-1840,” Journal of the Early Republic, forthcoming
“Advising Academics: A Discussion about Maintaining Productivity, Boundaries, and Standards in our Advising, Administration, and Academic Careers,” with Janet Myers, Deborah Olsen, and John Orr. Proceedings, National Association of Fellowships Advisors (forthcoming)
“Bound out from the Almshouse:’ Community Networks in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1800-1860,“ in Ruth Wallis Herndon and John E. Murray, eds., Children Bound to Labor: The Pauper Apprentice System in Early America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009)
“’The Earth is also a living being and can be offended’: Environmental Sensibility in the Great Monster Movies,” Proceedings, Film and History Biannual Meeting, 2009
"Poor Relief 'Without Violating the Rights of Humanity': Almshouse Administration in the Philadelphia Region, 1790-1860," in Billy G. Smith, ed., Down and Out in Early America (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004)
Populating the Poorhouse: A Reassessment of Poor Relief in the Antebellum Mid-Atlantic Region,” Pennsylvania History 70:4 (Autumn 2003)
“The Development of the Charitable Landscape: The Construction of the Lancaster County Almshouse in Regional Context,” Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society 102:2/3 (Summer/Fall 2000) (with Bernard Herman, et al. Authors incorrectly cited in original--see correction in 103:1 (Spring 2001)
“The Creation of the Almshouse: Institutions as Solutions to the Problem of Poverty,” Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society 102:2/3 (Summer/ Fall 2000)
"'There is nothing more divine than these, except Man:'" Thomas Moffett and Insect Sociality," Quidditas: Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 20 (1999)