History is strategy. As a senior historian at Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc., I’m always looking for ways to help people, communities, and institutions leverage the lessons of their past to meet their mission. My work varies from story to story and medium to medium: One day, I’m capturing oral histories to help a global philanthropy leverage lessons from its past to achieve strategic goals. The next, I’m organizing community meetings to help a Native American tribe build consensus around how best to make museum exhibits resonate while inspiring young tribal members to preserve their languages and defend tribal sovereignty. By Wednesday, I’m preparing a public presentation on how historic preservation can strengthen community cohesion and promote economic development. As the week winds to a close, I’m putting the finishing touches on a collaborative digital history project, drafting some exhibit text, then helping organize a volunteer research initiative with the Rapid City Indian Lands Project or attending a board meeting for the Journey Museum and Learning Center.
It’s humbling to have an opportunity to do such diverse and meaningful work.
I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and completed my Ph.D. in History at the University of Iowa in 2016. I’m the co-author (with Eric John Abrahamson) of Expanding the Energy Horizon: A History of Black Hills Corporation Since 1883 (Rapid City, SD: Black Hills Corporation, 2018). I also wrote The Question Is “Why?”: Stanford M. Adelstein, A Jewish Life in South Dakota (Rapid City, SD: Vantage Point Press, 2019). Finally, I’m currently revising my dissertation, “Red Earth Nation: Environment and Sovereignty in Modern Meskwaki History,” for publication with the University of Oklahoma Press. That project won the 2017 Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History.
But these projects are only part of my work. Let me know how I can help you put the past to work!
Updated March 2020