Academic Journey

I joined the St. Olaf History Department in September 2022, after serving for six years as an assistant professor of history at Mercyhurst University. I completed my Bachelor's in Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Vermont. At the beginning of my junior year, I took a course titled "Sex in Modern History" with Dr. Paul Deslandes. As soon as I realized that this was a thing--the history of sex!!--I added History as a second major.

When I started college, I thought I wanted to go into foreign policy. But the universe had different plans. When I applied to political science grad programs and history grad programs, I only got into the history programs. After completing a Master's in History with a focus on Gender and Sexuality and modern Europe at the University of Vermont, under Dr. Deslandes' direction, I applied to PhD programs. Wanting to continue work on Irish sexuality studies, I only applied to a handful of programs. The University of Minnesota unfortunately rejected my application, but the University at Buffalo offered me a funded position in their PhD cohort starting in 2010. My partner, Dan (who'd just finished a six year enlistment with the US Navy), and I moved to Buffalo. I finished my PhD in 2016, with a dissertation titled "Queering Dublin." I got my first full-time job that fall, at Mercyhurst. After six years of commuting from Buffalo NY to Erie PA, I applied for and was offered the job at St. Olaf, and the Minnesota life that might've been presented itself once again. Funny how life is just a series of loopy-dee-loops on a rollercoaster ride.


I teach courses on modern European, British, and Irish history, sexuality studies, and digital history. I love piloting new and new-to-me pedagogies, particularly any that have the potential to increase student ownership over their learning and that create equity and opportunities for all students to succeed. In addition to trying out new pedagogical practices to foster collaborative learning and student engagement, I love to travel with students. I've taken students to Washington DC, Gettysburg, Toronto, Seneca Falls, NY, Greece, and (of course) Ireland. I am offering a January term course in Ireland in 2024, and hope to continute to do so regularly.


I write about Ireland, sexuality, and policing, publishing in academic and public history venues. In addition to a range of pedagogy essays, I've published an essay in Nursing Clio on sexuality and censorship in the Irish Free State, and in Notches on child sexual abuse in the Irish Catholic Church.  My 2019 article, "Unnatural Offences of English Import: The Political Association of Englishness and Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century Irish Nationalist Media," was published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. My 2020 article, "Solicitor Brown and His Boy: Love, Sex, and Scandal in Twentieth-Century Ireland," published in a special edition of Historical Reflections (which I also co-edited with Rachel Hope Cleves and Nick Syrett) won the 2021 Judith R. Walkowitz Best Article Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies. My book, Love in the Lav: A Social Biography of Same-Sex Desire in Ireland, 1922-1972 is under contract with Temple University Press. 

Public History

One of my passions is digital public history, both as a creator of those projects, and as a teacher of those skills. I started podcasting in 2015 when I co-founded the History Buffs Podcast with other graduate students at UB. In 2017 I launched DIG: A History Podcast, a general history podcast, covering a range of topics in U.S., European, and world history, with a feminist perspective, with three colleagues/friends--Elizabeth Garner Masarik, Sarah Handley-Cousins, and Marissa Rhodes. I am the Executive Producer, or "benevolent dictator," of the podcast. I am also the Layout Editor for Nursing Clio, and a host for the New Books in Irish Studies podcast. I've taught courses in Digital Storytelling (podcasting), Documentary Filmmaking, and Digital History Methodology to undergraduates. I've also led several podcasting workshops, for middle schoolers (at Sacred Heart Academy in Buffalo) and academics (Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Organization of American Historians, and the American Association of State and Local History), and given numerous invited talks on podcasting and digital public history more broadly.

Personal Background

I was born and raised in central Vermont, in a little town named (quite uncreatively) after Williamstown, Massachusetts. I'm named for a town in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of Vermont, known for its glacial lake and not much else. My mom, who passed in 2017, was a Phys Ed teacher -- in fact, she was my (and my three younger brothers') PE teacher throughout high school. My dad has done many things, from serving as a Town Manager, to coaching me and my brothers (and all my friends) soccer and basketball teams, to working as an estimator in construction. My mom graduated high school at 16 and worked her way through college to get her teaching degree; my dad fell through the cracks of the colleges he attended, but because of that, he always insisted that school come first for his four children. Now his children collectively have two doctorates, an MA, two Bachelors of Science, a Bachelor of Arts, and an Associates. 

Technically I met my partner, Dan, in elementary school, but we didn't start dating until we were seniors (in a class of 36...just a bit awkward.) We've now been together for over 19 years, and added Madame Curie, a sweet rescue pup, to our family in 2016. I enjoy playing board games with friends and seeing as many movies in the theater as I can, watching way too much TV, and reading fiction for pleasure. I've been part of a book club, which went to Zoom during the COVID pandemic, since 2014. I also enjoy painting, in watercolor and acrylic, though I'm not very good at it. Every summer, we spend as much time in Vermont with parents, siblings, niblings, and dog-nephews as we can, mostly chilling at a cottage (or, as Vermonters call it, a "camp") on Lake Champlain.