I am a PhD candidate at Loyola University Chicago pursuing a joint doctoral degree in United States history and public history (expected Spring 2020). My research focuses on the history of education, women and gender, labor, urban space, and architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am also an active public historian with experience in the fields of museum education, archives and collections management, historic preservation, and public programs.
My dissertation, “Useful for Life: Chicago Girls and the Making of Vocational Education, 1880-1930,” examines how a group of female educators, social reformers, and trade unionists harnessed the power of the public schools to steer girls into “wholesome” occupations and ultimately prepare them for motherhood. This project argues that women cemented specific cultural ideologies about girlhood, ethnicity, feminine work, and economic dependency into the public school curriculum by the 1920s and analyzes how female students embraced, resisted, and negotiated the vocational education movement.