Having honed a unique skill set over the past 34 years since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware, I'm an experienced, award-winning researcher, writer, documentarian and storyteller. My major was Communications, with a concentration in mass communications. But I have always shared a passion for learning, researching and presenting history topics-something instilled by family members, past teachers and places having lived and visited since childhood.
I took several “history” courses in college, but graduated one credit shy of earning a minor in the concentration area. I love the roles of detective and instructor, and have greatly admired the production style of legendary filmmaker Ken Burns, a true inspiration dating back to my college days.
After 17 years spent developing television programming for locally-originated cable television channels throughout Maryland and Virginia, I followed by creating marketing tools and managing grant projects for national and state designated byways and heritage areas. The opportunity to celebrate the 250th anniversary of my hometown of Frederick (Maryland) in 1995 led to several opportunities for storytelling, principal among them my first long-form video documentary, a ten-hour epic entitled Frederick Town. More recently, I helped produce commemorative products and special events related to the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and the bicentennial observance of the War of 1812. For the last seven years, I have served as full-time historian and preservation manager for Frederick's Mount Olivet Cemetery. This historic "garden cemetery" began in the 1850s and is one of the largest in Maryland with over 41,000 interments. Since 2016, I have been researching the lives of former Frederick residents buried here. I write and publish these biographies in a weekly internet blog entitled "Stories in Stone." I frequently speak about these individuals while conducting walking tours or presenting lectures throughout the community.
Over the years, I have chronicled the life of national figures, local heroes and others just as important in the form of ancestors, relatives and neighbors. Ordinary, average human beings-all having fascinating stories to tell as the beauty truly rests in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. Other subject journeys have ranged from early transportation modes to local myth-busting, the geology of Maryland to the struggles of native aboriginal peoples. In 1998, I traveled to San Diego and received my first national award for a six-hour documentary entitled Up From the Meadows: A history of Black Americans in Frederick County, Maryland. Along the way I have performed genealogical research on my own family and countless others, consulted on research projects for authors and historians, helped design and produce museum quality interpretive exhibits and have written history articles for both print and internet publication.
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Check out a feature story on HSP in the Frederick News-Post (December 6, 2015 edition):