America's Byways Resource Center
Where do you currently work?
I am a byways specialist (i.e., planner) at The America's Byways Resource Center in Duluth, MN.
Tell me a bit about your career?
I was a historic preservation track grad student at WKU. My primary paying jobs have always been in historic preservation, but some have been in a regulatory setting and some have been in a project management and interpretive setting. The regulatory job was with the Connecticut state historic preservation office and, while a relatively secure position, the regulatory function is not for everyone. My other jobs with the Minnesota Historical Society and the Mark Twain House & Museum were project management in an interpretive setting.
My current job is probably the most satisfying of all my positions because I work with an interdisciplinary team and I get to help community organizations tell the story of their region. My colleagues include a transportation planner, a recreational planner, a geographer and a tribal liaison. One of the most rewarding opportunities for me has been working with American Indian tribes throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, our funding from the Federal Highway Administration has been cut, so we will be shutting down this summer.
Some of the writing I've had published will give you an idea of my various jobs:
You can also visit my linkedin profile.
How has folklore prepared you for your career?
The best part of the WKU Folk Studies program? Learning the value of people's stories and how they relate to their sense of place, best represented in the Cultural Conservation course. For me, it's been the most satisfying part for each of my jobs and it has a greater application in job situations than one may think.