2018: Will Stoutamire (Director of the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture) and I developed a public history/ community project that focused on a public history of Kearney through a mobile humanities model. “Pedaling the Past” is biking history tours project that encourages Kearney residents and visitors to explore the city’s dynamic past on the hiking-biking trail that runs from Cottonmill Park to the State Park and back. We direct each public history tour, which includes a combination of riders associated with UNK, the Kearney community, and surrounding communities. We are excited to build on this project throughout the year and look forward to future community involvement. We are grateful for the support of Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.
Book Review Editor, The Public Historian
2017: I'm honored to become the new book review editor for The Public Historian. Thanks to James Brooks for writing such a welcoming introduction in the August 2017 issue: "Finally, we want to thank Professor Jacki Thompson Rand for two years' service as our book reviews editor at The Public Historian, and especially for how she brought her public history graduate students into our conversations around digital history. We likewise welcome David D. Vail, assistant professor of environmental and agricultural history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, as our new colleague in the reviews department. His research focuses on the history of aerial pesticide application, health, and food production in North America's grasslands. He teaches environmental and agricultural history, the history of science and technology, the American West, and public history, a range of expertise that we know will serve the journal superbly (9)."
Exhibit Review for The Public Historian
2017: I reviewed the Indiana Historical Society's brilliant You Are There: Eli Lilly at the Beginning. An incredible immersive history awaits. I welcome you to read the review in The Public Historian 39 (August 2017): 113–115 and definitely visit the exhibit in Indianapolis.
National Endowment for the Humanities Site Visitor
2017: I served as an NEH site visitor to the Michigan Humanities Council in early 2017.
Consulting Historian and Archivist for Television Documentaries
2016-2017: I served as consulting historian and archivist for documentaries on the Tallgrass prairie regions of the Great Plains and aerial spraying in Kansas.
Morse Department of Special Collections, Public Services Archivist
2013-2016: I served as the public services archivist with the Morse Department of Special Collections at Kansas State University. Some of these projects included:
Developing a public services program—research support, environments, and social media strategies.
Designing educational and outreach strategies to engage collection-user communities; expanding donor partnerships; extending patron access; offering curriculum-specific instructional services (i.e., primary source integration/ promotion in graduate and undergraduate research).
Providing research assistance to faculty, students, and public researchers.
Coordinating exhibit/event planning and support docent and other user-engagement programs. Some recent examples include:
Prairie Dust: Living, Studying, and Farming in the Dust Bowl Era (2015–2016)
Mapping History: Connecting GIS and Digital Technologies with Historical Maps in Kansas State’s Department of Special Collections (2015)
Kansas Humanities Council, Board of Directors
2013-2016: As a board member, I participated in numerous outreach activities that link primary sources, archival materials, and historical analysis to expand scholarly knowledge, encourage critical-thinking of all audiences, and support the larger cultural, literary, historical, social connections of the state. Some of these projects included:
"Shared Stories of the Kansas Land: A Reader’s Theater Project" (2015–2016).
"The Tour to End All Tours," Blue Rapids Historical Society’s Hometown Teams partner project exhibition (2015).
“Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, and Secure Nation," Eisenhower Presidential Library (2013-2014).
“A Historical Sketch of the Way We Worked in Montgomery County, KS,” Independence Historical Museum and Arts Center exhibit “Hay Town to Agribusiness” as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s “The Way We Worked!” national exhibition series (2013).
“To Protect, Produce, or Endure?: Pesticides, Aerial Application, and Food Production in Kansas, 1945−2013,” Kansas Town Hall Discussion Series hosted by the Eisenhower Presidential Library, the Kansas Humanities Council, and Fort Hays State University’s Forsyth Library and Center for Civic Engagement (2013).
"Of Fire and Steel: A Historical Sketch of 19th Century Kansas Agriculture." Kauffman Museum’s “Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum” Humanities Lecture Series (2012).
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Humanities Curator
2013-2016: I assisted as humanities curator for the Beach Museum of Art’s exhibitions such as:
Prairie Studies Initative, Open Artist-in-Residence Program "Calder Kamin's Mind-Full exhibition (2014).
"Take Shelter": The Tom Parish Root Cellar Exhibition (2013-2014).
Kansas State Presidential Memoirs Project, Director
2010-2012: I directed historical analysis, offered editing expertise, conducted interviews, and oversaw budgets for the Jon Wefald’s Memoirs Project. The main goal was to explore the economic, social, and political challenges of the modern agricultural research university by using Kansas State and President Wefald as case-studies.
Aerial Spraying Oral History Initiative, Director
2009-2012. I began interviewing Kansas aerial spraying pilots in 2009 to learn about the historical evolution of agricultural aviation from practitioners themselves. A small, guarded community sprayed in western Kansas, but they also treated fields throughout the Great Plains, forging connections to spray pilots in Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas. I hope to create a larger, regional database that documents the collective memories, methods, and moments of aerial spray pilots.
Utah State University Editorial, Curatorial, and Archival Work
Editorial Internship with the Western Historical Quarterly (2005-2006) Under the direction of Drs. David Rich Lewis and Colleen O'Neil, I organized journal contact lists for manuscript reviewers, updated the scholar database for book reviews, and assisted the Quarterly staff with forthcoming article manuscripts. I also had the opportunity to participate in the journal's production stage, which included organizing proofs and mailing the new issue to subscribers.
Assistant Archivist/Curator (2005-2006) I served as an assistant archivist to Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library Department of Special Collections. My main tasks included processing two and three dimensional materials, design registers and inventories, and entered the information the department’s internet database. I also helped researchers, faculty, and community members with research requests, item donations, and collection analysis.