Office Kropf Center
Affiliated Departments or Programs
- B.A., history, Eastern Mennonite University, 2009
- M.A., American studies, Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg), 2012
- Ph.D., American Studies, Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg), 2022
- American social literature of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era;
- consumer culture and the formation of the middle class;
- 19th-20th century religious rhetoric;
- labor vs. capital in the early 20th century.
Publications“Amish and Anabaptist Groups”; “Latino Groups”; and “Religion” in Youth Cultures in America (ABC-CLIO, 2016).
College prepares students to join the “conversation” that has been going on in each discipline for most of recorded history. Each new fact, idea, and perspective added is a new line in the dialog. To enter this world, they must find their own voice as well as listening carefully to the continuing back-and-forth. Places like Hesston endow this process with a sense of mission: Sure, entering this conversation is important from a career standpoint, but as Christians and as human beings, we must also understand where we should fit, how we can serve others, resist, and otherwise relate to the broader culture, meanwhile remaining sensitive to the impact of our own actions, narratives, and traditions.
- HIST 221 - U.S. History I
- HIST 222 - U.S. History II
- HIST 251 - History of World Civilizations I
- HIST 252 - History of World Civilizations II
- HIST 204 - African-American History
- POLS 121 - American Government and Politics
In Addition …
What draws you to the study of history?History is important because it so greatly affects our self-perceptions. It’s a story about us! This importance, paired with the fascination of discovering and retelling amazing true stories, is initially what drew me to the study of history. The past is so different and complex, yet it also determines the present, which makes it our responsibility to understand it. I teach English as well, and the field of American Studies has allowed me to combine my love of literature with studying U.S. history. Asking questions about values, traditions, and identity can offer deeper insight why we do the things we do.
What about teaching energizes you?I love when I can empower students by showing them that they can succeed. With writing, some students come in overwhelmed, intimidated, or pessimistic based on past experiences. Especially during one-on-one time with students, I get to de-mystify the process and see that feeling melt away as they begin to approach it as a skill they can master or even a problem they can solve.
How has your background and educational experience shaped you as a teacher?Adjusting to a different culture as a missionary kid (then years later as a missionary adult), struggling to learn a second language myself, and working as a writing tutor at my previous job have prepared me to work with students of many different levels and backgrounds. These experiences put me on the journey to gaining the patience, empathy, and creativity required for this important task.