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Kendall Taivalkoski

M.A. CandidateHeadshot of Kenall Taivalksoki

Fields: Public history, American history
Education: B.S., History, Unversity of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Interests: Local history, Sports history

Born and raised in Wisconsin, with half of my family “Yoopers”, I am a Midwestern woman taking myself east to pursue my education in history. I have a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP) in History and it was there I developed my love for history and, more specifically, public history. The Stevens Point area, as well as my hometown, did not offer many opportunities to expand my knowledge of these fields so I took it upon myself to apply to programs where I could. UWSP’s amazing study abroad program led me to a short stay in Cuba (in January 2014) as well as participating in the London internship program (Fall 2015) which placed me in a little hidden gem of London’s East End called The Ragged School Museum. It was there that I discovered my love for local history and the passion residents brought to it.

Upon my return to the States I interned at the Milwaukee County Historic Society, cataloguing hundreds of objects that people had deemed important enough to be preserved. In Stevens Point I became an experimental intern at Amherst, Wisconsin’s coolest venture, The Taxidermy Store. I also served as a research assistant for Dr. Lee Willis in his work on housing discrimination and discriminatory covenants. In my final semester of school, I wrote a research paper about the historic value of the town of Ahmeek, Michigan and the Keweenaw Peninsula which furthered my interests in public history and memory.  I love to engage the public and my contemporaries on local history of small towns (of which there are plenty in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) and hope to create a new awareness for the attachments the people have to these areas and the plights they are facing in the current era.

While studying at UMass I have developed an interest around sports history and how it contributes to cultural and national identity, and how sports have been utilized as a form of soft power. During the summer of 2018 I interned at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, where I was able to see first-hand how the Olympics helped build the Lake Placid’s identity as a winter sports town and how that legacy continues today. Being from Packer-land, I hope to bring my studies in sports history back around to my home state as well as Upper Michigan.