Kokoro Assisted Living
  • Welcome to my online portfolio!

    I'm an assistant professor at Appalachian State University, teaching undergraduate and graduate students public history. I also supervise the MA concentration in historic preservation.

    I earned a PhD in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University in May 2012, and my current project is based on my dissertation, entitled "From Sacred to Secular: Adapting America's Religious Spaces."

    This website provides a sampling of the projects and academic work that I have participated in over the last few years, and remains a work in progress. Please take a look around and feel free to contact me.

Thesis Committee Service

In the Fall of 2012, I had the privilege of serving as an outside reader for a Masters’ thesis in English Literature. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with this bright scholar about her work and to encourage her to complete the thesis on schedule. The chair of the committee sent me the following (unsolicited) letter about … Continue reading

Honors US History Public History Projects

In Fall 2012, I taught an honors section of US History (through 1865) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. For their major project, the students did a National History Day style poster presentation. They were able to choose any subject, so long as it dealt with US history before 1865. The posters were required … Continue reading

First Presbyterian Church of Murfreesboro

On March 14, 2012, I had the privilege of speaking at First Presbyterian Church of Murfreesboro, TN, at one of their bicentennial celebrations. The congregation has been worshipping in Murfreesboro for two hundred years, and their current building is 98 years old. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. In … Continue reading

Kokoro Assisted Living

From Sacred to Secular: the Adaptive Reuse of America’s Religious Buildings

Nearly as long as congregations have been building churches and other religious spaces they have been abandoning those structures for new ones, either larger or smaller.  This dissertation will explore the fate of those religious buildings that, instead of being destroyed, have found new life under a different purpose.  As very little historical inquiry into … Continue reading

GradHacker Post

A few months ago, I needed some advice about how to handle a disagreement among members of my committee. I looked in several places, including the website gradhacker.org. GradHacker is a website run by graduate students on which grad students and former graduate students write articles of advice to their peers on various topics. I … Continue reading

MTSU “Out of the Blue”

After we returned from working on the South Abydos Mastabas Project, the excavation team was interviewed for MTSU’s TV Magazine “Out of the Blue.” I am interviewed at 8:15 and 10:30 in the video.


Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal, Nashville, TN

As a requirement for the PhD program in public history, I completed a professional residency. For the majority of the residency period, I worked with the Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal, in Nashville, TN through the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. Holy Trinity is a National Register listed property and construction began on it … Continue reading

South Abydos Mastabas Project

As a part of the professional residency requirement of the public history program at MTSU, I worked with Dr. Dawn McCormack on the South Abydos Mastabas project, an archaeological excavation in Abydos, Egypt. I served as Excavation Supervisor and Lab Director for this project as a small team, including Dr. McCormack, myself, another graduate student, … Continue reading

Reflections on Archaeology, History, and Practice

The public history program at MTSU requires PhD students to write a self-reflective essay before beginning research on the dissertation. Parts of the essay relevant to the professional residency projects are on this website elsewhere. Here I am providing excerpts in which I discuss my approach to the theory and practice of history and archaeology.

Sacred and Secular: A Tale of Two Churches

I presented “Sacred and Secular: A Tale of Two Churches” at the 7th Savannah Symposium: the Spirituality of Place in February 2011 and again at the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church Historical Society meeting in March 2011. Below is the abstract, followed by the full paper and the accompanying presentation. Sacred and Secular: A … Continue reading


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