Pictured from Left to Right: University Archivist Donna Baker with Graduate Assistants Kelsey Lamkin, Andrew McMahan, April Blevins, and Zach Kautzman
The Albert Gore Research Center employs four graduate students during the academic year. The center serves as a place for these students to receive hands-on public history experience alongside their classroom work. We would like to introduce this year’s graduate assistants:
Kelsey Lamkin is a second year M.A. student in the public history program. Originally from West Tennessee, she moved to Murfreesboro four years ago. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at MTSU. Shes focuses her work in the field of historic preservation, and had the distinct honor of interning with the Metro Historic Zoning Commission during the summer. After graduation, Kelsey is hoping to preserve historic structures within the community.
She also has a special interest in women’s history. Her thesis examines the ways that sexual regulations during World War II limited women’s ability to navigate the public sphere.
Kelsey’s Fun Fact: If she could read the diary of any historical figure it would be the diary of Marie Antoinette because she is such a controversial person in history.
Andrew McMahan is a second year M.A. student in public history and a resident of Murfreesboro. He graduated with a B.A. in history from MTSU in May of 2016. His research interests are the American Civil War, World War I, and war memory. He’s studying to be an archivist, and has earned ample experience working at both the Gore Center and the Rutherford County Archives.
In his free time, Andrew enjoys working on cars or reading something that has not been assigned for a class. Much to his beautiful wife’s annoyance, he often spends his weekends at local car shows and cruise-ins.
Andrew’s Fun Fact: If he could sing a duet with any historical figure it would be Molly Hatchet’s “Flirtin’ with Disaster” with Theodore Roosevelt.
April Blevins grew up in Memphis, Tennessee as the third of five daughters. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University.
April received a B.A. in Classical Studies from Dartmouth College. After leaving Hanover, she moved back to Memphis where she worked for General Electric for 2 years. She then decided to pursue a Masters in Library Science at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. While at NCCU, April studied archives and received hands-on archival training through internships at Duke, NCCU, and UNC Chapel Hill.
Her current research interests focus on the construction of Civil Rights memory through the origins of the Civil Rights archives. She also has an interest in gender and its role in the NAACP as well as the black power movement.
April’s Fun Fact: If she could read any historical figure’s diary, she would read Cathay Williams’ diary to find out what her life was like after serving in the U.S. Army.
Zach Kautzman is a second year M.A. student in the public history program. He is from Mandan, North Dakota and received his B.S. in History and Public History with a minor in Anthropology at North Dakota State University. He is focusing on archival work in his graduate program, and interned as the Institutional Archivist at the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville.
Zach’s main research area is Western U.S. studies. His thesis topic explores the relationships between local and national history in the context of state Prohibition in North Dakota.
Zach’s Fun Fact: If he could read the diary of any historical figure it would be Henry VIII, so he can read about the day Henry decided to create the Church of England.
Now that you “know” our graduate assistants, feel free to stop by and say hi! Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what our archivists and graduate assistants are up to during the academic year. We look forward to helping you research and preserve the past!