I am a Ph.D candidate in Public History (with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Studies) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I work with Leila Rupp, Interim Dean of Social Sciences and Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies, and Public History professors Harold Marcuse, Randy Bergstrom, Stephan Miescher. You can read more about me in the GradPost or The Bottom Line school newspaper, or visit my personal website.
On May 23, 2014 six UCSB students were killed and another 14 individuals were injured in a violent crime spree that occurred in Isla Vista, the residential and commercial district adjacent the UCSB Campus. In the immediate aftermath I worked with UCSB counselors to provide crisis trainings for the graduate student Teaching Assistants, and initiated a memorial collection and documentation project under the guidance of Debbie Fleming, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. For links to NBC Nightly News stories about what occurred click here and here.
Since June 2014 I have served as the Project Manager for the May 23, 2014, University of California, Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Archive. Housed in the UCSB Library’s Department of Special Research Collections, our archive documents the campus and larger community’s response to this senseless violence. It includes thousands of physical artifacts and digital images of condolence items from our immediate community and from around the world. The Archive is available to researchers and classes. Click here to access the Finding Aid and click here to read about the history of the project.
At the request of the UCSB Library I also served as Curator and Project Manager for a large one-year memorial anniversary exhibit. The exhibit entitled We Remember Them: Acts of Love and Compassion in Isla Vista served as a tribute to those who were killed and injured, and highlighted the ways our community came together to heal through loving acts of remembrance. In creating the exhibit I worked closely with the parents and friends of the victims. Though we had 22 campus and community sponsors, the 6,000 square foot exhibit was largely student-run and volunteer driven. In the ten weeks that the exhibit was open we had over 1,800 visitors. It was the largest exhibit in the University’s history both in terms of size and attendance. Articles on the exhibit were published by Noozhawk, The Bottom Line, the Ventura County Star, and a photo was published in the LA Times.
My project team and I recently received the Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for our archive and exhibit. This award is shared by the UCSB Public History Program, the UCSB Library’s Department of Special Research Collections and the campus’s divisions of Student Affairs, and Humanities and Fine Arts. To read an article about our national award click here.
My dissertation is tentatively entitled The Humanity of Loss: Memory and Politics in the Wake of School Shootings. I am looking at how the concept of “school shootings” has evolved over time, and how school communities have engaged in memorial projects in the aftermath of such violence. The response to the May 23, 2014 Isla Vista Rampage provides my primary case study and for comparative purposes I am examining the collection projects at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School. I am particularly interested in the ways that friends and family members of victims mobilize memory to fight for political and social change. Through this work I hope to provide a larger context for thinking about the various ways we create meaning out of acts of violence, whether it be calls for gun reform, combating violence against women, or turning to artistic expression to help grapple with loss. My methodology employs oral history, as well as archival driven history with a cultural studies approach focused on analysis of discourse, representation, and reception.
Since much of the work I have done is visual in nature (such as the exhibit I curated and the images in the archive) digital history is also a major component of my dissertation. I am currently leading the effort to create a memorial website and on-line archive to represent the physical artifacts in the May 23, 2014, University of California, Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Archive. I am looking forward to incorporating these digital aspects in my dissertation in the future. In the meantime, a virtual tour of the exhibit utilizing Google Business 360 can be found here.
Spontaneous memorial at Isla Vista Deli, May 2014. Photograph by Claire Bredenoord.
Dissertation Title:The Humanity of Loss: Memory and Politics in the Wake of School Shootings
U.S. History Since 1877
U.S. Social Protest Movements
Women, Gender, and Sexualities in U.S. History
Race and Ethnicity in U.S. History
U.S. Constitutional and Legal History
Photograph of origami cranes left at Isla Vista Deli spontaneous memorial site. Photograph by Claire Bedenoord.
Spring 2016 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition; Teaching Assistant
Winter 2016 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition; Teaching Assistant
Spring 2015 History 192 DR: Directed Readings in Public History,
Isla Vista Community History and Historical Commemoration; Practicum Supervisor
Spring 2015 Art Creative Studies 199: Independent Studies; Practicum Supervisor
Fall 2014 History 196: Internship/ History 199: Independent Studies; Practicum Supervisor
Summer 2014 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition*; Associate/Instructor
Spring 2014 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition; Teaching Assistant
Winter 2014 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition; Teaching Assistant
Fall 2013 Writing 2: Introduction to Academic Writing and Composition; Teaching Assistant.
2013-2014 Lead Teaching Assistant, History Department; Lead TA (trained 38 History TAs)
Winter 2013 History 17B: Contested Visions of American Liberty, 1840-1920; Teaching Assistant
Spring 2012 Feminist Studies 150: Sex, Love, and Romance; Teaching Assistant
Winter 2012 History 17B: Contested Visions of American Liberty, 1840-1920; Teaching Assistant
2011-2012 Lead Teaching Assistant, Feminist Studies Department; Lead TA, (trained 20 TAs)
Fall 2011 History 17A: The American People, 1492-Early 1800s; Teaching Assistant
Spring 2011 Feminist Studies 150: Sex, Love, and Romance; Teaching Assistant
Winter 2011 History 17B: Contested Visions of American Liberty, 1840-1920; Teaching Assistant
Fall 2010 Feminist Studies 20: Women, Culture, and Society; Teaching Assistant
Spring 2010 Feminist Studies 150: Sex, Love, and Romance; Teaching Assistant
Spring 2009 Ex Post Facto: Journal of the History Students at SFSU; Instructor
Fall 2008 Ex Post Facto: Journal of the History Students at SFSU; Instructor
*Graduate Student Instructor/Associate for Writing 2: Academic Writing — Introduction to academic writing and composition. Writing units focus on analyzing non-academic writing genres, working with scholarly writing in specific academic disciplines, interdisciplinary analysis and developing academic arguments.
Sample of condolence cards and letters received by the University. Photograph by Claire Bredenoord.
“Careers in Public History,” History 192 DR: Directed Readings in Public History, Isla Vista Community History and Historical Commemoration, May 2015, UCSB.
“We Remember Them: From Memorial Sites to Exhibition,” UCSB Library Presentation, July 2016.
“Memorialization in Photos and in Prose,” Writing 1: Approaches to University Writing, August 2016, UCSB.
“Memorialization in Photos and in Prose,” Writing 1: Approaches to University Writing, October 2016, UCSB.
“Material Culture and the May 23, 2014 Isla Vista Tragedy Memorial Project(s),” History of Art & Architecture 255G: Studies in the History and Theory of Museums, Toward a Museum of Presences, February 2017, UCSB.
Awards & Professional Activities:
Graduate Fellowships and Awards
2016-2017 Counseling and Psychological Services Intern, Graduate Division Fellowship UCSB
2016 Leadership in History Award, American Association for State and Local History
2015-2016 Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award, Student Affairs, UCSB
2015-2016 Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee, Graduate Student Association, UCSB
2014-2015 Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Graduate Collaboration Award, UCSB
2014-2015 Michael Bransfield Prize Best Public History Project, History Department, UCSB
2014-2015 Leslie Griffin Lawson Outstanding Leadership Award, Office of Student Life, UCSB
2014-2015 Fee Fellowships, History Department, UCSB
2011-2012 Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award, Feminist Studies Department, UCSB
2011-2012 Outstanding TA Award Nominee, Academic Senate, UCSB
2010-2011 Travel Grant, History Department, UCSB
2009-2010 Recruitment Fellowship Recipient, History Department, UCSB
2008-2009 Graduate Honoree, History Department, San Francisco State University (SFSU)
2008-2009 Graduate Distinguished Scholar Award, College of Social Sciences, SFSU
2008-2009 Ex Post Facto Editor Award, History Department, San Francisco State University
2007-2008 Markowski-Leach Scholarship Recipient, San Francisco State University
2006 Public Interest Certificate with Distinction Golden Gate University School of Law
2005 CALI Award for Excellence in Sexual Orientation and the Law, GGU
2004-2005 Farella, Braun and Martel LLP, Diversity Scholar Recipient, Public Interest Law
2004 CALI Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy, GGU School of Law
2004 Moot Court Board, Golden Gate University School of Law
2000 College Honors, University of California Santa Cruz
1999-2000 Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program, UC Santa Cruz
1998-1999 Alumni Association College Service Award, University of California Santa Cruz
Public History Experience
June 2014-Present Ad-Hoc Memorial Preservation Committee Chair and Project Manager:
- Created May 23, 2014, University of California, Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Archive housed in the Department of Special Research Collections at the UCSB Library. Contains thousands of artifacts, digital images and documents.
Fall 2014-Summer 2015 Curator, Project Manager, and Practicum Supervisor for Exhibit:
- We Remember Them: Acts of Love and Compassion in Isla Vista. An exhibit created for the one-year memorial anniversary of the Isla Vista Rampage of May 23, 2014.
- A healing and educational space that focused on community responses.
- A 6,000 square foot exhibit spanning eight display rooms that was visited by more than 1,800 patrons. This makes it the largest exhibit in the University’s history in terms of both size and visitation.
- Collection project and exhibit are student-run endeavors with the majority of the labor provided through undergraduate internships for course units and volunteers.
- Project received Leadership in History Award from American Association for State and Local History, the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
Winter 2015-Present Committee Member:
- Isla Vista Love & Remembrance Garden, a self-guided botanical garden that features six metal and wood benches, each carrying distinct designs created by UCSB Art students in memory of the six UCSB students who were killed. The designs were approved by the families of the victims, and each bench honors a particular student. To read more about the Garden please click here.
Photos of Benches in Isla Vista Love & Remembrance Garden by Bennett Barthelemy.
November 2016-Present Consultant:
- One Orlando Collection Initiative and City of Orlando Mayor’s Office, Pulse Nightclub Permanent Memorial Project.
August 2015-Present Curator:
- Tribute Wall for the Victims of the May 23, 2014 Isla Vista Rampage, Permanent Exhibit, Student Health Center, UCSB.
May 2015 Co-Curator:
- Isla Vista Remembrance Tribute Exhibit: A Special Exhibit Representing the Compassion of Gauchos and Community Coming Together, All Gaucho Reunion, Thursday April 23-Sunday April 26, 2015, Mosher Alumni House, UCSB.
Fall 2014-Summer 2015 Research Assistant, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, assisted with documentation and donation of original legislative record books to UCSB Library, Department of Special Collections, and served as consultant for exhibit:
- Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Ledger Project and Exhibit For the People By the People: Government at Work in Santa Barbara County, 1850-1950
- Exhibit was on display in Santa Barbara at the Channing Peake Gallery downtown at the County Administration Building from June 29, 2015 to September 18, 2015.
- Exhibit was on display in Santa Maria at the Joseph Betteravia Government Administration Building from Jan. 25, 2016 to May 6, 2016.
“Voices of Remembrance: UC Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Collection Project,” Digital Poster Session, Oral History Association Annual Conference, October 2016, Long Beach, CA.
“UC Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Collection and Exhibit.” Digital Poster Session, American Association for State and Local History Conference, September 2016, Detroit, MI.
“Isla Vista Love & Remembrance Garden.” Panel Presentation, Pondering Peace in a World of Turmoil Conference, Pacifica Graduate Institute, September 2016, Santa Barbara, CA.
“Community Building and Activism in the Aftermath of Tragedy.” Panel Presentation, 1st Annual Isla Vista Conference: Our Beloved Community, May 2016, Isla Vista, CA.
“UC Santa Barbara and Isla Vista Memorial Collection and Exhibit.” Digital Poster Session, National Council on Public History Conference, March 2016, Baltimore, MD.
“We Remember Them: From Memorial Sites to Exhibition.” Paper presented at Organization of American Historians Regional Workshop, July 2015, Glendale, CA.
“We Remember Them: Treading Lightly at Memorial Sites in Isla Vista.” Paper presented at Western Association of Women Historians Conference, May 2015, Sacramento, CA.
“Abolishing ‘Yellow Slavery’: Women Reformers in their Quest to ‘Redeem’ San Francisco.” Paper presented at Western Association of Women Historians Conference, May 2012, Berkeley, CA.
2009 “Equal Justice for Some: The Distasteful Legacy of Bowers v. Hardwick.” Paper presented at The Question of Rights Conference, San Francisco State University, September, 2009.
Painted rocks left at spontaneous memorial sites in tribute of each of the victims. Photograph by Claire Bredenoord.
Service to the University and Profession
August 2016-Present, Graduate Student Representative, Graduate Student and New Professional Committee, National Council on Public History
September 2016-Present Representative, Interpersonal and Sexual Violence Forum Meetings
December 2014-Present Committee Member, Isla Vista Love & Remembrance Garden
Fall 2014-Fall 2016 Graduate Student Representative, Organization of American Historians; Voting member, Committee on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession
March 2012-June 2016 Graduate Student Association Representative, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women
October 2015-June 2016 Representative, Work Group of the UC President’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault
November 2015-August 2015 Treasurer, Public History Graduate Student Association (PHGSA)
September 2012-June 2014 Graduate Student Association Representative, Office of the Ombuds Advisory Committee
September 2012-June 2013 Graduate Student Representative, Academic Senate Committee on International Education
August 2013-Present, Volunteer, Office of Instructional Development, Teaching Assistant Trainings:
- Guest Speaker, Helping TAs Manage Conflict and Assist Distressed Students, Lead TA Institute, Friday August 19, 2016
- Guest Speaker, Experienced Lead TA Panel, Lead TA Institute, Saturday August 22, 2015
- Campus-Wide New TA Workshop on Teaching to Diverse Learners, September 30, 2014
- Organized event Responding to the Isla Vista Tragedy: A Guidance Session for Teaching Assistants, May 26, 2014, 2 workshop times: 50 attendees at first, 90 attendees at second
- Guest Speaker, Experienced Lead TA Panel, Lead TA Institute, Friday August 23, 2013
- Campus-Wide New TA Workshop on Teaching to Diverse Learners, September 24, 2013
- Guest Speaker, Lead TA Panel for International Grad Student TAs, December 5, 2013
May 2008-December 2008 Graduate Research Assistant, History Department, SFSU
August 2008-May 2009 Managing Co-Editor, Ex Post Facto Journal, SFSU
September 2005-October 2008 Volunteer, GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco
August 2003-May 2006 Co-Chair, Queer Law Student Association, GGU School of Law
August 2003-June 2006 Volunteer, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom
August 2004-November 2004 Legal Intern, City & County of San Francisco, Human Rights Commission, GLBT/HIV Division
August 2003-May 2004 Mentor, Moot Court Board, GGU School of Law
November 2002-May 2003 Volunteer International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
October 2002-January 2003 Volunteer, Seva Foundation, Eye Charity Working to Prevent Blindness
September 1998-June 2000 Volunteer, Triangle Speakers, Santa Cruz Chapter
September 1997-June 1999 Co-Chair, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Network, UCSC
September 1997-June 1999 Volunteer, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Santa Cruz
September 1997- June1998 Co-Chair, Bi the Way Discussion Group, UC Santa Cruz
April 1999-November 1999 Volunteer, HIV Prevention Program, UC Santa Cruz
Memorial Paddle Out, May 2014, organized by UCSB Surf Team. Estimated five thousand people in attendance (a thousand in the ocean and four thousand on the shore).
Additional News Articles:
Interview in The Coordinating Council for Women in History newsletter
UCSB Student Newspaper, The Bottom Line, article on exhibit
UCSB Student Newspaper, The Bottom Line, article on second memorial anniversary
UCSB Gradpost Article regarding creation of Memorial Wall
UCSB Library e-newsletter announcing Isla Vista Memorial Project
UCSB Gradpost’s Top 14 Stories of 2014
Political Activism and Event Planning:
Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy: I am the president of Gauchos Against Gun Violence — UCSB, and am a committee member for The Concert Across America to End Gun Violence. You can learn about this movement by clicking here to be directed to the Coalition Against Gun Violence Santa Barbara website or here to read an article in the Independent or here to see us on the local tv news channel. The full video of our concert that occurred on September 25 at the Arlington Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara can found here. I feel fortunate to have been able to work so closely with an incredible group of people including Tipper Gore and Bob Weiss, leaders in the movement for gun violence prevention.
Photograph by Bill Allen.
Photograph by Bill Allen of audience holding up cell phones with light to mimic a candlelight vigil.
Photograph by Bill Allen.
Photograph by Bennett Barthelemy.
Anti-Racism Advocacy: As an undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz I became extremely involved in anti-racism work, and specifically educating other White people about racial privilege and the importance of serving as an ally to communities of color. This advocacy work has continued to play a major role in my personal and professional life. As a graduate student at UCSB I have been working closely with the Division of Student Affairs to help address campus climate issues to foster a more diverse and inclusive community. One of the largest events I co-organized was when we brought prominent anti-racist advocate Tim Wise to campus. We only had two weeks to plan the event, since he just happened to be in the area. Nevertheless, we managed to fill our largest auditorium on campus, with over 880 people in attendance. It was a wonderful experience to work so closely with such a great team of volunteers (staff and students), and to be able to share Tim’s insights with our local community. You can read a news article on the event here or open up the pdf of the flier 0001