The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

History: Public History: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Galler

Second Advisor

Dr. Jason Eden

Third Advisor

Thomas Steman

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

WWII, Students, Public History, Historical Interpretation, Pedagogy, Public Programming


This is a three-part project centered on the research, historical interpretation, and effective public history programmatic practice focused on the student experience at St. Cloud State during World War II. The project presents historical research and analysis of the student experience, primarily on the actions and reactions to wartime homefront realities, for the campus community throughout the war era. Centering itself in public history, the analysis is then interpreted in the form of a public program based on effective pedagogical practice. In the final chapter the public program is then rationalized, with the pedagogical practices found within the program grounded in interpretive theory and public history practice. This project demonstrates the historical interpretive process: research and analysis, interpretation, and interpretive theory and pedagogy.


This project, which is the culmination of work over the past five years, would not have been possible without the support of many individuals. Specifically, it is my privilege to thank my thesis committee. Dr. Galler read and reread countless drafts of this work and patiently worked with me to blend the thesis requirements with public history practices, Dr. Eden who has put up with me changing the final project requirements several times now, and Tom Steman whose expertise with St. Cloud State records and willingness to continue to provide professional and personal support over the last several years has helped me in countless ways. The committee’s flexibility and support are the only reason I was able to complete this work.

Additionally, I would like to thank my colleagues at the Minnesota Historical Society, specifically my team at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum and the various organizations I have the privilege to work with in the Partnership Sites Network. Your talent, expertise, and dedication to your communities are a constant source of inspiration and motivation.

And lastly, and most importantly, this work is dedicated to my family. My husband John was always my first proofreader, encouraged me when my ideas were still forming, and willingly spent the first few years of our marriage traveling with me to conferences, historic sites, and other professional development opportunities. Evelyn, everything I do is for you, it is my sincerest hope that my work as a public historian helps create a world that is more equitable, accessible, and just.



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