“Why are you taking a photo of my house?” asked a muscled, long-bearded, leather-jacket-wearing biker in West Medford, Massachusetts, on a brisk fall day in 2010. “I’m a student at Boston University doing research on the historic development of your neighborhood,” I replied nervously. Disarmed, the resident proceeded to tell me what he knew about his house, his neighbor’s (“it was moved”), and offered to share historic photos. It was my introduction to fieldwork, and as a newly enrolled master’s student in preservation studies, I was hooked.
Since that day, I have relied upon fieldwork techniques developed by VAF scholars as well as their written scholarship in Buildings & Landscapes and books. I began attending tours offered by the New England Chapter and later the national organization via my first annual meeting at Gaspe, Quebec, and have come to understand how invaluable the VAF is to students at all levels.
Now a PhD Candidate in Boston University’s American & New England Studies Program, I am honored to bring a student voice to the VAF Board. I have served as a bibliographer for the organization since 2013, getting to know the scope of VAFers’ interests in architecture, cultural landscapes, preservation, and related areas. The VAF offers outstanding support and resources for emerging scholars and practitioners, and I look forward to continuing to foster this role while acting as a liaison for the student constituency.
My own interdisciplinary dissertation explores communal summer vacation cottages and campgrounds constructed by Civil War veterans in the late nineteenth century. Along with an MA in Preservation Studies from Boston University, I earned a bachelor’s degree in American History from Bates College. I also have over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. Prior to entering the PhD program, I was Assistant Editor for the Humanities and Administrator of the Loeb Classical Library and The I Tatti Renaissance Library at Harvard University Press.