Student reading a sign at a museum

Where are you from?

I’m from Coos Bay, Oregon, but I went to high school here in Corvallis!

What drew you to history, specifically military history, as well as French and German as your fields of study?

I first found a love for history by reading historical fiction as a kid, but my interest didn’t stop there. History is a field in which we can explore cultural identity, examine social change, tell stories, and so much more. It truly means so much to me to be able to preserve and share peoples’ stories through history. Regarding military history, I’ve come to appreciate the way that we can examine social change through the lens of war. War can often accelerate social change or exacerbate fissures in our societal structure.

Soon after declaring a major in history, I began creating a niche for myself in twentieth-century history, specifically regarding how imperialism and war impact society. I added a minor in military history because I knew that it would give me the ability to understand how war is related to colonialism, gender, race, social standing, science, and religion. I’ve used this knowledge in all of my major projects at Oregon State, including a paper hypothesizing an earlier origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic at a British military camp in Étaples, France; my history capstone paper discussing the contributions of Moroccan colonial soldiers to the twentieth-century French military; and my Honors thesis regarding Oregonian women’s service abroad in World War II.

As I grew more interested in twentieth-century military history, I came to discover that my love for language-learning had a place in my college career. I’d already declared a major in French, but soon declared a third major in German. These were both important languages in the twentieth century and understanding them allows me to read important primary documents from this time in their native language. 

What has been your experience as a student of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College?

I’ve been so glad to be a student of the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College. Both colleges have encouraged me to write and pursue research. Each college has allowed me to meet some really wonderful mentors and has given me access to exciting academic and professional opportunities, including presenting at the Oregon Historical Society with a research group, traveling to Santa Clara University for the 2023 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, working with the Corvallis Museum, traveling to Paris for an independent study abroad, and working as a student archivist at the Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC)! 

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

I’m currently working on my Honors thesis. I’m working with Dr. Marisa Chappell, developing a project that I began in her Winter 2023 HST 406: History Lab class. I’m writing about Oregonian women’s service on the front in World War II. I’m looking specifically at the service of three women who volunteered in different organizations: Margaret McLeod (American Red Cross), Ruby Hills (Army Nurse Corps), and Dorothy Fenner (Women’s Army Corps). There’s an element of personal storytelling in my thesis as well as examining the greater picture of how World War II impacted women’s ability to serve a national cause, in turn expanding women’s ability to enact their citizenship. I also had the privilege of working with the Corvallis Museum to research and curate an exhibit on these three women to accompany their 2023-2024 Veterans of Oregon exhibit. 

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

There are too many to count! I’ll list some of my favorite classes in a few categories. In the history department, I really enjoyed the History Lab class I took with Dr. Chappell. In that class, we had the ability to develop a research project and travel to different archives across Oregon to support that research. I’ve also loved every history class that I’ve taken with Dr. Kara Ritzheimer and Dr. Paul Wanke (including classes like Hitler’s Europe, History of Modern Europe, History of World War II, and History of the Vietnam War). Dr. Mina Carson’s Social Change and American Popular Music class was incredible and Dr. Kelly Bosworth’s Oral History class had me constantly considering my place in storytelling as a historian.

Outside of the history department, I also loved Dr. Robert Brudvig’s MUS 102: History of Rock and Roll. This was one of my first classes at Oregon State.

Some of my favorite Honors colloquia classes include Dr. Thomas Bahde’s Historical Fiction and Fictional Histories, Professor Brandy St John’s Visual Rhetoric in Popular Music, and Dr. Katherine Hubler’s The Holocaust in the Digital Age. They’ve all been fantastic! 

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

I currently work as a student archivist at SCARC. It’s been the highlight of my college experience and has inspired me to pursue a career as an archivist. I’m planning to attend the online master’s of library and information science program at Indiana University Indianapolis and continue working at SCARC. I can’t wait. 

How do you feel that your experience in CLA and HC is setting you up for success?

By being in the CLA and the HC, I’ve had a variety of academically and professionally influential opportunities. From both colleges, mentors that push my thinking and research further, class environments that encourage enthusiastic (and respectful!) discussions, exciting job opportunities, and access to extracurricular activities have set me up for success.