History Committee Member introductions
I am an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina where I supervise the museum studies track of the public history program. I regularly lead graduate seminars in material culture and museum theory and teach undergraduate surveys of modern US history, public history, and the history of science and technology. Before coming to USC, I was Curator and Winton M. Blount Research Chair at the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum.
My research focuses on how the general public comes to understand technology, which I investigate following two separate paths. First, I work to include STEM fields in unexpected museum settings; for example, including systems engineering in an exhibit at the Postal Museum. Second, I encourage my (very reluctant) public history students to engage with new technologies; for example, showing how hyper spectral imaging can reveal new information from artifacts. During the spring of 2013, I will be in residence at the National Museum of American History researching their engineering collections.
I received a BS in Engineering and a BA in History from Swarthmore College in 1998. I worked in technical consulting for several years before returning to graduate school. I received a PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University in 2008. I have been an IEEE member since 1996, as well as a member of the affiliate group the Society for the Social Implications of Technology. I am also an active member of SHOT (Society for the History of Technology), where I chair the technology & museums special interest group (TEMSIG).