I enjoy sharing my love of history with others. Throughout my career, I have worked at a variety of museums across our nation as an administrator and historian. My goal has always been to show people that history doesn’t have to be stuffy and boring and that history is all around us if we only look for it.
Since moving to Florida, I have served as a Social Studies Teacher, a Math Teacher, and a Media Specialist with Orange County Public Schools. Prior to that, starting with the most recent position, I served as the Director of the Texas Forestry Museum, the Director of Programs at the George Ranch Historical Park (Texas), the Director of Education at the Fire Museum of Maryland, and the Historic Site Manager at the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site (a World War II museum in Indiana).
My museum background is only half of the story. At the same time I was working at the museums, I also served as a Firefighter/EMT at Various volunteer and paid fire departments. Because many of the museums were in smaller towns, serving on the local fire department was an excellent way to become part of and to serve the communities.
I have enjoyed being a lifelong learner. I earned my master’s degree by going to school part time while working full time at my first museum. I earned my MA in History from Eastern Illinois University and my BA in Journalism with Math Minor from Franklin College (Indiana).
Even before teaching here, I fell in love with the small community feeling at Valencia College. My first experience with the institution was as a student in the Education Preparation Institute (EPI), which provides coursework for teacher certification in Florida. After graduating from the program, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the college. I was delighted when I was able to come back a few years later to serve as a Professor of History. Besides teaching history, I also have been a part-time student at Valencia. Building on my fire service background, I started taking fire classes at the School of Public Safety. I recently earned my AS in Fire Science from Valencia College. Lastly, my child recently earned an AA from Valencia College (with a focus on American Sign Language interpreting) and currently is enrolled in the Stage Management Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
I also teach at Orange County Public Schools (OCPS). On the lighter side, prior to the COVID layoffs, I served as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World. You might have seen me in costume at the Jungle Cruise or at Pirates of the Caribbean!
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OFFICE LOCATION: Virtual
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OFFICE HOURS: Zoom meetings are available by appointment (please email or message)