My name is Kiersten White, and I am serving as a Preserve WV AmeriCorps member with Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV. I was raised in Preston County, a place ingrained with my family roots. Growing up, I spent a lot of time outdoors, reading, and exploring the Smithsonian with my family. I was very involved in my high school’s marching band, choir, and theatre program. After graduation, I toured and performed in six European countries with the Sound of America Honor Chorus and Band. Afterwards, I attended Berea College in Berea, KY for two years and then received my Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Millikin University in Illinois. During college, I was once again able to sing abroad in Spain and Portugal. Throughout my travels, my love and passion for history and embracing the world around me has grown significantly.
During my senior year of college, I was unsure of what path I wanted to take with my degree. My cousin suggested applying for AmeriCorps as she had spent a few years serving. Because of her suggestion, I spent the last year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. While there, I worked with a summer service learning program and created projects and events around the concept of healthy futures. Near the end of my service year, I felt West Virginia calling me back home. I wanted to find a position where I could work in theatre but also embrace my other passions. Thankfully, I stumbled upon the Preserve WV AmeriCorps positions and found just what I was looking for. During my year at Carnegie Hall, I will be working on archiving, developing a script for tours, gathering stories, and many other tasks. I have not had a lot of opportunity to travel the southern part of the state and look forward to immersing myself in its unique qualities and people. Here’s to a new adventure!
I am from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and share a hometown with children’s television educator Fred Rogers, professional golfer Arnold Palmer, and even the first banana split. History, therefore, was an ever-present and meaningful part of growing up. I soon realized there were so many stories from the past left unwritten. When I attended Saint Vincent College for history, I wrote my senior thesis on Powdermill Nature Reserve’s bird banding lab, the longest continually-running station of its kind in the United States. Having visited and worked at Powdermill for many years, I was excited to document its history and craft an interesting narrative. I also developed an exhibit on Rachel Carson at the McCarl Coverlet Gallery on campus. Thanks to these projects and my academic mentors at Saint Vincent, I discovered the worlds of public history and environmental history. At West Virginia University, I worked with professors and fellow graduate students on public history projects such as the West Virginia glass industry and Jack Roberts Park. A project on Morgantown’s Sunnyside neighborhood soon developed into my MA thesis, which looked at changes in the neighborhood’s culture, housing, and approach to development. In the summer of 2016, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where I worked on education programs, exhibit development, and book projects. Furthermore, I spent a few weeks of this summer traveling Europe with my sister and witnessing an incredible array of historic sites, cultures, and stories. Whether I was spending time in the mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, working on “America’s Front Yard” in the country’s most-visited museum, or traveling the world, I have learned a lot about the power of place. My studies over the past few years have solidified a passion for cultural landscapes and understanding sense of place and identity.
Clio turns the physical, ever-changing landscapes of our world into a virtual museum, where we can document and discover the past around us. There are currently around 30,000 Clio entries on historical sites, museums, monuments, landmarks, and other sites of cultural or historical significance. One of my favorite features of Clio is the Time Capsule category, which encourages users to create entries for sites that no longer exist. Each Clio entry includes a concise, scholarly narrative and informative resources such as photographs, maps, primary sources, books, articles, videos, and credible websites. These entries are created by individuals, organizations, teachers, and students, building not only a collection of entries but a community of engaged users. I first learned about Clio and the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program through my colleagues at WVU. I heard nothing but accolades, which motivated me to pursue AmeriCorps after graduation. I am thrilled to serve with a nonprofit that is promoting historical scholarship and community engagement on a creative digital platform. I also appreciate the philosophy of its founder, Dr. David Trowbridge of Marshall University, that success is not measured by clicks or downloads but by interaction with historical and cultural resources. This commitment to education and public accessibility gives so much meaning to my everyday work.
A northern California native, Kyle Warmack has had a passion for history all his life. This love of history led him to work in the film industry, first in receiving his education at the UCLA School of Film, Theater and Television, then for ten years as gaffer (Chief Lighting Technician) on a wide range of screen projects.
Kyle first fell in love with the history of West Virginia while working in the state on two feature films several years ago. When he was looking for an opportunity to give back through service in 2017, the positions offered by the Preservation Alliance proved to be an ideal chance to spend more time learning about the Mountain State's rich past while contributing to this unique and special place. While serving as a Preserve WV AmeriCorps member with the Clio Foundation, he has the excuse to talk about history with anyone and everyone in the state...and he's going to try to do just that!
My name is Rebekah Valentine. I am currently serving as a Preserve WV AmeriCorps member at the Waldomore, which is affiliated with the Clarksburg/Harrison County Public Library. During my service year, I will organize and inventory artifacts, create an exhibit, assist with tours, and recruit and train volunteers.
My name is Elizabeth Satterfield, and I am serving with the West Virginia Association of Museums. I am studying history at West Virginia University, with emphases in historic preservation and West Virginia history. Currently, I am researching Swiss settlement in Randolph County, WV, for my senior capstone in addition to creating an exhibit for WVU’s library based on summer research on the Sunnyside neighborhood of Morgantown
When I heard about Preserve WV AmeriCorps positions in Morgantown, I quickly applied, hoping to expand my experience and network within the preservation field. I accepted a position with the West Virginia Association of Museums to learn more about the administrative side of museums, how to write grants, and improve my event planning skills. I am also excited to contribute to a stronger museum community within the state through educational workshops and accessible resources. I am looking forward to meeting many new people through the Preserve WV program and participating in service projects across the state.
I was able to have many opportunities at Ohio University. This summer I worked archeological dig in Wayne National Forest near Athens, Ohio. My final spring semester I also was able to create an exhibit at the Kennedy Art Museum at Ohio University, along with the rest of my Museum Studies class. Depending on each student’s interests, we selected to participate in a specialist group correlating with museum departments and staff positions. These included education, design, and registration/installation. I was a part of the registration/installation group where I worked hands on with the objects for the exhibit and the installation process. It was a great experience where I was able to really learn all that goes into getting an exhibit completed from start to finish. I also worked in the Digital Archives at Alden Library at Ohio University where I gained experience with photo digitization, working with online archives, and using social media for historically organizations. Lastly, I held a semester long internship at the Athens County Historical Society and Museum in Athens, Ohio. There I had hands on training with historical objects, including textile, photos, and paper documents
My name is Joseph Obidzinski, but most people just call me Joe. I am serving as the AmeriCorps Member with PAWV and will be responsible for managing the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail. I hail from a suburb of Detroit called Livonia. The love that I developed for history made my choice to major in history during my time at Grand Valley State University (located just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan) a “no-brainer”. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2006. During my time there, I was introduced to the field of Public History. This introduction made the direction of my life’s work clear. Shortly thereafter, I undertook a series of internships to further my professional skill set. These included serving as a collections intern at both the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During that time, I also served as an intern to a former professor who chaired a committee of organizations throughout west Michigan to commemorate the bi-centennial of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, called “Remembering the Crossings”. All of those experiences helped to broaden and shape my understanding of the past and how we simultaneously interact with and are affected by the past.
Preserve WV Stories