Katherine (Kasey) Chappell
Historic Preservation track, 2nd year graduate student
Kasey has lived in several states, but considers Grand Rapids, Michigan home. She graduated from Cornerstone University with a degree in English Lit and Theatre. After graduating, she built a career in writing, working in radio, newspaper, and publishing. Along the way, she earned two Associated Press photography awards and did a lot of freelance editing and writing for various companies. She hopes to continue using her skill as a writer in whatever future job she finds.
Kasey is on the historic preservation track at WKU, though she is also considering a thesis focusing on Hungarian escape narratives and other handed-down traditions of Hungarian identity, including foodways and holiday celebrations--even though she is not, herself, Hungarian.
Her internship was at the Kentucky Library & Museum on Western WKU's campus. Inspired by the National Register nomination she put together in the fall of 2010, Kasey worked with manuscripts and folklife archives coordinator Jonathan Jeffrey to catalog a collection of architectural plans by local architect James Ingram. Not only did she log 200 sets of plans, she also tracked down and photographed Ingram houses still standing in Bowling Green, and designed a website to honor Ingram's local architectural legacy. Read more about her internship here.
During the summer of 2011, she worked with other WKU students on two oral history projects. The first, run by the National Park Service, looked at a historic community in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The results of this project will be used to create brochures, signage, and an audio tour for tourists to the area, as well as being deposited in the National Park archives. The second, which continued into the fall 2011 semester, is a grant-funded project documenting the folk life and oral history of Allen County, Kentucky.
Ideally after she graduates, Katherine hopes to work with museum collections. However, she would also be more than happy to continue fieldwork in oral history or to work on bringing historic preservation projects and their importance into the public eye.
She currently lives with her cat, Hamlet, and whatever critters make their home in the attic, but someday she'll have a dog again. In her free time, she reads voraciously, takes pictures, watches movies at the drive-in, and dreams of moving back to Michigan where summer doesn't try to melt the skin off your bones.