Hi I'm Cat. I completed my BA in History from Westfield State University in 2019 and this is my first year at UMass in the master’s program. I grew up in the Pioneer Valley and after a couple years traveling and a couple years in San Diego, I've landed back here. I love reading, art, and cooking, and I have recently started oil painting (my results are laughable but I have fun with it).
As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to intern at the Berkshire County Historical Society (BCHS). While there I worked on an exhibit to recognize men and women from Berkshire County who served in WWII. I also created the online exhibit for that, the first complete online exhibit the BCHS ever had. Another internship at the Springfield Local History Archives solidified my passion for Public History, which has brought me to UMass.
Another interest is in the history of medicine, which began a number of years ago with issues related to mental health and institutions, of which Massachusetts has a long and checkered history. My undergraduate research focused on the 1832 cholera epidemic in the U.S. which formalized my interest. I’m particularly curious about how power structures interact with health- how issues of health reinforce or challenge these structures, who gets to define what health is, etc. Additionally, I used to be a car mechanic and the history of transportation and automotive history are long-time interests of mine. I’m sure that there’s a good deal of overlap between medical and automotive history and I’ve been trying to find a way to stitch the two together for some of my graduate research.