I am an Assistant Professor of History and the Museum Studies Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I have a PhD and MA in American History from Marquette University (2020, 2015) and a B.A. in History and Political Science from Northwestern University (2012).
My manuscript under contract with the University of Illinois Press, “How Democrats Won the Heartland: Progressive Populism in the Age of Reagan, 1978-1992” examines the how left-wing activists rebuilt the Democratic Party, specifically in the Upper Midwest, in response to the Reagan Revolution. Combining the records of grassroots activist groups with state- and national-level Democratic parties and figures from across the Midwest and U.S., I focus on the reorganization of Midwestern Democratic parties around the principles of what leading figures like Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, and others called “progressive populism.” Through newspapers, correspondence, and internal memos, I trace how this was driven by grassroots groups who intentionally used the language of Midwestern progressive organizations like the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, North Dakota Nonpartisan League, and Wisconsin Progressive Party to revive farm-labor, rural-urban working-class solidarity.
I am the author of the chapters “Replanting the Grassroots: The South Dakota Democratic Party from McGovern to Daschle, 1980-1986” in The Plains Political Tradition, vol. 3 (South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2018); “‘There exists a conservative veneer’: Terry Branstad, Chuck Grassley, and the Conservative Takeover of the Iowa Republican Party” in The Conservative Heartland: A Political History of the Postwar American Midwest (University Press of Kansas, 2020); and the forthcoming “‘Why We Must Save the Family Farm’: Midwestern Liberalism and Progressive Farm Policy, 1985-1996” in The Liberal Heartland: A Political History of the Postwar American Midwest (University Press of Kansas, expected 2023). I have also written an encyclopedia entry for MNopedia.org on the DFL Feminist Caucus and have articles in progress on a series of anti-NAFTA border blockades in the 1980s and 1990s and Paul Wellstone and the 33% Campaign, a progressive voter-registration initiative in Minnesota. I also serve as the Social Media Director of the Midwestern History Association.
My research has earned me several grants and fellowships. During the 2019-2020 academic year (extended into 2021), I was a New England Regional Fellowship Consortium recipient, spending eight weeks at various archives in the greater Boston area. I have also received the Arthur J. Schmitt Leadership Fellows Program at Marquette University, a Congressional Research Grant sponsored by the Dirksen Congressional Center, a State Historical Society of Iowa grant, the Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Research Fellowship, a Senator Paul Simon Papers Research Stipend, multiple travel grants to the Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting, and a Young Scholars and Activists Fellowship from the Working Class History Association.
My digital projects to date include the Milwaukee Near West Side History Project as part of an internship with the Marquette Digital Scholarship Lab and a mapping project for the Milwaukee County Historical Society on historic breweries in Milwaukee. With Tom Goetz and his AP US History students at Simley High School, in 2022 I began the Inver Grove History digital archive project. Currently I am working on a project to map a 500-mile campaign trip taken on bike by Minnesota 2nd Congressional District candidate David Minge, exploring the effects the trip had on local voting patterns, and a scrolling map of Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in the Minneapolis parks system.
In the 2021-22 academic year I served as Visiting Assistant Professor of History in the Honors College at the University of Houston, teaching courses on modern U.S. history and “Populism and Protest in U.S. History and Politics”, and in the 2022-23 academic year I taught U.S. history and Minnesota History at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. During the 2020-21 school year I taught a mixture of in-person, hybrid, and online classes at St. Cloud State, Tarleton State University (Fall 2020) and Connecticut College (Spring 2021), including “U.S. Politics and Culture since 1945” and “Reagan and American Conservatism”. I have served as an Adjunct Lecturer at St. Cloud State since Fall 2019, spent the 2018-19 academic year as an Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation Leadership Fellow, and during the 2017-18 academic year was a Teaching Fellow in the Marquette University Department of History, teaching two sections of Intro to American History. I have also taught at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. You can see a list of student academic and research successes here.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife Laura, our daughter Noelle, and our cat Moe, traveling, trying new craft beer, and reveling in the misery of supporting Minnesota professional and Northwestern collegiate sports.