Dr. Ginette Aley joins the Chapman Center as Research Director after more than 15 years as a college educator. This includes having taught courses at Virginia Tech, Drake University, the University of Southern Indiana, Washburn University, as well as online courses for Purdue University before beginning her association with KSU fall 2017. She is currently also the Associate Editor for Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Her love of the Midwest and Great Plains and the region’s students is reflected in her work.
She was born in Maine to an Air Force father and French-Canadian mother. Aside from about 9 years in Virginia, Dr. Aley has lived longest in the Midwest and considers Iowa her home. She credits her family’s move from northern Illinois to Colorado when she was 12 years as awakening her interest in land use and rural history. Later, she chose to study under noted agricultural historian (and KSU alumni) Prof. Doug Hurt for her Ph.D.
Professionally, Dr. Aley is a 19th century U.S. historian specializing in the nation’s agrarian past. Her dissertation focused on native-white relations and westward expansion in the Old Northwest, particularly as they impacted women and families. This resulted in several peer- reviewed, published essays. On the basis of this expertise, she was asked to contribute 2 essays on Confederate Virginia’s home front during the Civil War for William C. Davis and James I. Robertson’s Virginia at War series, the 1864 and 1865 volumes. Dr. Aley was then approached by an editor for a corresponding book on the Midwestern home front which became her co- edited (with Dr. J. L. Anderson) volume, Union Heartland, published in 2013 by Southern Illinois University Press. This was the first regional historical perspective of the Midwest’s home front during the Civil War. Her current research examines pioneering women and their health, Midwestern Civil War soldiers’ views on encountering the Confederate South, and Amish farming practices.
Assuming the role of Research Director for the Chapman Center allows Dr. Aley to continue in her passion for mentoring student research projects. She was 1 of 3 founding editors for Amalgam, an undergraduate research journal at the University of Southern Indiana. This experience fits perfectly with the Chapman Center’s digital archive. She has also evaluated MA theses for the MAGS award (Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools), and teaches an online thesis proposal writing course for APUS. Dr. Aley looks forward to a very positive and productive association with the Chapman Center. She is already settling in and directing this semester’s intern research projects. Our student researchers will benefit from Dr. Aley’s breadth of experience in research, editing, writing, and mentorship.
Welcome, Dr. Aley! We are glad to have you.