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 specializations within U.S. history include women and gender, immigration, education, labor and social movements, and urban history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I am also an active public historian in Chicago with a passion for historic preservation and interpreting built environments. I have professional experience in the fields of museum education, archives and collections management, and public programs through my work at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Newberry Library.
My dissertation, “Useful for Life: Women, Girls, and Vocational School Reform in Chicago, 1880-1930,” examines how groups of female educators, social reformers, and trade unionists shaped the development of vocational education in Chicago schools through their competing efforts to prepare girls for wage-earning and homemaking. This project highlights the grassroots activism of urban women in turn-of-the-century school reform and foregrounds the experiences of female students who negotiated new “vocational” school programs to prepare for work as dressmakers, beauticians, stenographers, domestic servants, and homemakers between 1880 and 1930.