Public History

Public History Students

Jesse Brock: M.A. Candidate

Jesse Brock

My name is Jesse Brock and I am currently a student in the UNA Master’s Program with a concentration in Public History. I received my Bachelor’s degree in History in May of 2013 at Young Harris College, a small private institution in the North Georgia Mountains. When I first started college I was originally set on becoming a lawyer. This changed when I took a course on the Great Depression during my junior year, where I discovered my true love. Public History will give me the knowledge on how to look at sources and history in general from a different perspective. I am interested in cultural history, particularly focusing on the study of Appalachia. This year I will be working as a graduate assistant with the Muscles Shoals National Heritage Area where I will be completing various projects. Currently I am in the process of establishing a grant program for the MSNHA.

Ashley Pentecost: M.A. Candidate

Ashley Pentecost

My introduction into the field of Public History came when I started working at Pond Spring--the General Joe Wheeler home as a Curatorial Intern while I was still in high school. After high school, I attending Cottey College, a two-year school for Women in Nevada, Missouri and there I continued working in the field of Public History by interning at the Bushwhacker Museum--a museum highlighting the interaction between the Bushwhackers and Jayhawks during the Civil War. Upon my graduation from Cottey College, I transferred back home where I continued my work at Pond Spring and earned my Bachelor's degree from Athens State University in August 2013. After meeting with Dr. Barske, I knew that the small classes and hands-on experience that the Public History program at UNA  provided would be perfect for me. While I am most interested in collections, the wide-ranging curriculum taught in UNA's Public History program will allow me to be more marketable, while still allowing me to specialize in my area of interest. 

Wesley Garmon: M.A. Candidate

Wesley Garmon

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in History/Secondary Education License and Certification from Athens State University in 2008. After teaching at various levels for four years, I decided to add to my education.  I feel that a Master’s Degree in Public History will allow me to expand my abilities and knowledge and will allow me to teach history in ways that transcend the traditional classroom experience. I am interested in digital history and archival work. My main focus is to discover new methods of instruction and new ways to spread historic content to people who may never step into a history classroom.

Hannah Garmon: M.A. Candidate

 Hannah Garmon

I graduated from the University of North Alabama in May 2012 with a Bachelor’s in History and a minor in Political Science. While there I went on the first study abroad trip to London, England during the summer of 2011. This trip changed my life and this is where I fell into public history. My project was on Hampton Court and how Cardinal Wolsey used this palace to portray the image he wanted people to have of him. The research that I did for this project sparked an interest for me in architectural history and how people relate to buildings.

As a Master’s student at the University of North Alabama I hope to continue this line of thought. I hope to focus my thesis on Gothic Revival Architecture and its role in the South. I am currently working on a National Register Nomination for FAME Records in Muscle Shoals, AL.

Kristen Tippett Briggs: M.A. Candidate

Kristen Tippett Briggs

My name is Kristen Tippett Briggs and I am currently a student in the Masters program at UNA with a concentration in Public History. I received my bachelors degree in History with a minor in Political Science in July of 2011 and hope to graduate with my MA in December of 2013. My interests include Museum Studies as well as Architecture. This coming Spring I will be completing an internship at the Wheeler Home/ Pond Springs in Hillsboro, AL and also working on a project for the Downtown Florence area. I am extremely interested in Women’s History, particularly their lives and roles from the 1920s through the 1950s. But overall, history is not just a form of study for me. It is something I have always been passionate about and I love to share stories of the past with anyone who will take the time to listen.

Clint Alley: M.A. Candidate 

Clint Alley

I am originally from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. I have loved history and the preservation of memory from an early age. In the summer of 2000, I participated in an SEAC archaeological dig which discovered and preserved important relics from the main Temple Mound at Shiloh National Military Park. I obtained my undergraduate degree in history and journalism from the University of North Alabama in 2006. I earned a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in history from UNA in 2009. My main interest in the field of history has always been the American Civil War. In December 2012, my research paper Culture of Violence: Livestock, Honor, and Feuding in the Scottish Borders was published in the North Alabama Historical Review. My current graduate work in public history focuses on archival preservation, which I anticipate will aid me in my role as the head of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library's Digital Archive department and will also become the basis of my doctoral work.

Mickey Lollar: M.A. Candidate

Mickey Lollar

Education:  I have a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, with certifications to teach the Social Sciences, English-Language Arts/Reading, and Music.  Due to my many interests, want of experience, and mission to help, I also hold Health & Safety Instructor certifications through the American Red Cross and have attended an array of diverse environment survival courses.  Additionally, I participated in literary internships that allowed a greater insight into the crafting of various genres.

Employment:  Leaving twelve years of public education behind, I am now a full-time graduate student.  I also participate in antiquity procurement and consultation for private clients and offer supplemental lessons and tailored field-trips for students and their parents.  Otherwise and when time permits, I am a freelance writer that has contributed travel/public interest articles, content for test preparation materials, and will eventually finish that long-lamented novel!  I also enjoy public speaking engagements on the topics of the Social Sciences, Creative Writing, Career Counseling, and Travel for leisure and education.  During the summer months, I teach “Stones & Bones: An Introduction to the Historical Sciences” for the University of North Alabama’s Department of Continuing Education.  I am excited to be back in U.N.A.’s History Department- my second home- and have great plans for the future!

 Why “Public History”?:  Dissatisfied with the direction of public education curriculum and its negative consequences, I began looking into graduate programs.  With U.N.A. as my obvious first choice, I was informed that a “Public History” concentration was being added to the History Department options.  This course of study will allow me to gain experience and follow a path offered by a scarce few universities in Alabama.  The program is also spearheaded by the profoundly knowledgeable, approachable, and concerned Dr. Carolyn Barske- a tribute to the profession- and a student can rest assured that their education will be thorough, comprehensive, and individualized.

 Future Plans:  During my time at U.N.A. and after graduation, I plan on focusing my professional attention on Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management.  I would also like to work in tandem with Homeland Security/I.C.E. in the area of the antiquities trade.  Otherwise, I will continue to pursue freelance writing and public speaking opportunities and plan to realize my dream of owning a jazz and blues club.

Anything Else?:  I am married to an intelligent, beautiful, and talented Speech-Language Pathologist named Mandy.  We reside in Hackleburg, Alabama with two dogs, two cats, and a fish.  I have a profound love of global travel and a passion for collecting cultural items- originally to supplement my classroom mantra of interactive education.  As for hobbies, I enjoy hiking, cooking, anything water-related (kayaking, diving, etc.), photography, volunteer/charity opportunities, gardening, reading, and forging new friendships.  As for my trademark randomness, my favorite drink is Strawberry Crush; favorite book is a tie between Around the World in Eighty Days and A Christmas Carol; favorite travel destination for leisure is the Cayman Islands; hero other than family is Dr. Peter Barty, U.N.A. History Chair (Retired); favorite song is the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves”; my mother, Mary Lollar, offers a Floral Design certification through U.N.A.’s Department of Continuing Education; and pet-peeves include pretentiousness and hypocrisy. 

Contact Information:  If I can be of help in any way, please feel free to contact me at mjlollar@una.edu.