RUBY ORAM, PHD
Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of History
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
COURSES TAUGHT AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
(undergrad) HIST 1320: US History 1877 – Present
(undergrad) HIST 3368A: Introduction to Public History
(grad) HIST 5376: Local and Community History
(grad) HIST 5372 : The Practice of Museums and Material Culture
2020 Ph.D., History Department, Loyola University Chicago
Program: Joint doctoral program in United States History and Public History
Dissertation: “Useful for Life: Women, Girls, and Vocational School Reform in Chicago, 1880-1930”
Committee: Timothy Gilfoyle (chair), Elizabeth Fraterrigo, Elliott Gorn, Kate Rousmaniere
2012 B.A., American Studies Department, DePaul University
Program: Major in American Studies, minors in the History of Art & Architecture and Anthropology
Honors: Summa Cum Laude
GRANTS & AWARDS
2019 Graduate Scholar Residency, The Newberry Library
2019 Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation Fellowship, Loyola University Chicago
2018 King V. Hostick Research Scholarship, Illinois State Historical Society
2018 Graduate Student Travel Grant, Urban History Association
2018 Ramonat Fellowship in American Catholic History, Loyola University Chicago
2016 Robert McCluggage Award, History Department, Loyola University Chicago
2013 Five-Year Teaching Assistantship, Loyola University Chicago
2012 The Richard DeCordova Essay Award, American Studies, DePaul University
“‘A School Built Around the Girl’: Uncovering Memories of Girlhood to Protect a Historic Public School and Diversify Chicago’s Built Environment,” in A Girl Can Do: Recognizing and Representing Girlhood, ed. Tiffany R. Isselhardt (Vernon Press, Forthcoming 2022)
“‘A Superior Kind of Working Woman’: The Contested Meaning of Vocational Education for Girls in Progressive-Era Chicago,” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (July 2021): 392-410. (read it here)
Review of Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order by Jon Shelton. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Bibliography vol. 143 (April 2019): 228-229. (read it here)
PRESENTATIONS & INVITED TALKS
2020 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (cancelled due to COVID-19)
Panel Organizer: “More than Maternalism: Rethinking Women’s Reform in the Progressive Era.”
Paper: “’The New Homemakers’: Educating Chicago Girls for Modern Motherhood, 1890-1915.”
2020 Chicago History Museum, Urban History Seminar
“A Girl’s Preparation for Life”: How Women Reformed Vocational Education in Progressive-Era Chicago.” Lecture at the Chicago History Museum Urban History Seminar, Chicago, IL, February 20, 2020.
2020 Newberry Library, Fellows Seminar
“’A Superior Kind of Working Woman’: Trade Education for Girls in Chicago’s Public High Schools, 1900-1915.” Paper presented at the Newberry Library Fellows Seminar, Chicago, IL, January 2020.
2019 American Historical Association
“Public Schools as Urban History: Exploring Chicago’s Educational Landscape.” Tour co-created and presented at the American Historical Association Conference, Chicago, IL, January 2019.
2019 American Historical Association
“The Making of the Graduate Working Class: Perspectives on University Activism and Responsibility.” Panelist at the American Historical Association Conference, Chicago, IL, January 2019.
2019 History of Education Society
“‘I Am Old Enough and Sufficiently Educated’: How Chicago Girls Navigated Vocational Schooling and Employment, 1900-1930.” Paper presented at the History of Education Society Conference, Albuquerque, NM, November 2018.
2018 Urban History Association
“Schooling the Truant Boy and Restless Girl: Gender, Delinquency, and the Rise of Vocational Education in Chicago, 1880-1920.” Paper presented at the Urban History Association Conference, Columbia, SC, October 2018.
2018 Organization of Educational Historians
“‘To Prevent Girls From Going Astray’: How Gender and Delinquency Shaped Vocational Education in Chicago, 1880-1910.” Paper presented at the Organization of Educational Historians Conference, Chicago, IL, October 2018.
2017 Illinois Historical Preservation Agency
“The Lucy Flower Technical High School for Girls.” Landmark nomination presented at the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency, Springfield, IL, February 2017.
2016 Urban History Association
“Chicago’s Lucy Flower Technical School for Girls, 1927-1978.” Poster presented at the Urban History Association Conference, Chicago, IL, October 2016.
2016 International Standing Conference on the History of Education
“‘I Went in a Child, I Came Out a Perfect Lady’: Gendered Education and Flower Tech, 1927-1960.” Paper presented at the International Standing Conference on the History of Education, Chicago, IL, August 2016.
2016 University of Illinois, Women’s and Gender History Symposium
“‘They Taught Us To Be Ladies’: The Lucy Flower Technical School for Girls, 1927-1960.” Paper presented at the University of Illinois Women’s and Gender History Symposium, Urbana, IL, March 2016.
PUBLIC HISTORY POSITIONS
(2016 – 2019) Wendella Architecture Tours
Summer Tour Guide: Research and present architectural and historical tours of downtown Chicago
2015 The Newberry Library
Summer Archives Intern: Processed, arranged, rehoused, and created finding aids for archival collections
2014 The Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Museum Education
Summer Museum Educator: Researched, developed, and led museum tours for family, adult, and student groups (grades 1-12). Co-created and led museums tour for visually-impaired students.
2012 Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Photography
Collections Intern: Maintained proper storage conditions for the photography collection; conducted research for upcoming exhibitions; updated catalogue information in the museum database
2011 Chicago Architecture Foundation
Site Coordinator for Open House Chicago: Assisted in site selection for an annual city-wide architecture festival; built and maintained the event’s site database; communicated with site hosts and event volunteers; wrote the published event guide
PUBLIC HISTORY PROJECTS
2017 National Register of Historic Places
Nominator: Researched, wrote, and fended the landmark nomination for the former Lucy Flower Technical School for Girls in Chicago, IL (read it here on nps.gov)
2015 Chrysler Village History Project
Interviewer and Transcriber: Conducted and transcribed group interviews with former residents of Chrysler Village for the Chrysler Village History Project
2015 Glessner House and Clarke House Museums
Evaluation Program Co-Creator: worked with a team to develop an evaluation program for docents, visitors, and public programs at two historic Chicago house museums
2014 Chicago Cultural Alliance
Content Contributor: Wrote label text and artifact descriptions for local cultural institutions as part of a digital initiative with the CCA
2021-Present Board Member, Pioneer Farms Living History Museum, Austin, TX
2018-2019 Local Arrangements Committee, American Historical Association Conference, Chicago, IL
2015-2018 Judge, Chicago Metro History Fair, Chicago, IL
2016-2017 Vice President, History Graduate Student Association (HGSA), Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL
2015-2016 Chair, HGSA Public History Committee, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL
2014-2017 Committee Member, HGSA Conference, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL
2013-2016 District Coordinator, Open House Chicago, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago, IL
American Historical Association
American Association for State and Local History
National Council on Public History
Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
History of Education Society
Urban History Association
National Trust on Historic Preservation