Although I currently work in the public history field as the Trail of Tears Project Coordinator/Historian at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), I began my college career studying photography at Onondaga Community College. My professors not only taught me the craft of photography but also taught me the role it played in the broader historic narrative of the United States. It was this lesson, along with learning how to digitally restore antique photographs, that my love of photography, history, and preservation blended together.
After graduating, I worked in supervisory positions in retail for several years, which helped foster my growth in leadership, communication, and teamwork, before I enrolled in the history program at Le Moyne College. At Le Moyne, I studied 19th century history, focusing on African American slavery, Cherokee removal, and Civil War photography.
After graduating from Le Moyne, I traded the snowstorms of Syracuse, NY, for the sunshine of Murfreesboro, TN, to pursue an M.A. While working towards my M.A., I was a Graduate Research Assistant at the CHP for two years and worked on a variety of projects that helped strengthen my skills in developing educator materials, exhibits, and tourism materials. The fieldwork was (and still is) the most rewarding part of my work, as I get the opportunity to see the places I research and meet the people who the sites and history mean the most to. These opportunities have taught me how deeply important history is to so many individuals, and I am truly grateful that I have the opportunity to uncover it and share it with them.