Dream Team, Spring 2019

We can’t believe it is already another semester! And with a new semester comes a new team at the Chapman Center for Rural Studies. This semester CCRS has a big crew. Read on to learn about our talented team and the projects they will be pursuing.

Mitchell Alexander, History 650 Intern


My name is Mitchell Alexander, a History Major at Kansas State University. In my spare time I enjoy self studying history alongside my formal qualifications for the profession. I come from Overland Park, Kansas. You can bet that I’ll give the best work that I can produce for any current and future employment. I hope in the future that I can gain a nice career within the history field with a living wage be it in museums, libraries or anywhere else the major takes me!

Mitchell is working on digitizing the Adelaide Whisler collection. Adelaide kept a handwritten diary that provides insights into the daily life of pioneer Kansans through the early 20th Century. Mitchell will be working to scan high quality images of her entries and using Optical Character Recognition to transcribe her whimsical handwriting to a readable digital format. 

Julia Anderson, Research Intern

Julia Anderson, Secondary Education

Hello! My name is Julia Anderson and my major is Secondary Education with a focus on Social Studies.

I was raised in Kentucky but I lived in China for the last three years of high school. My parents both went to KSU and I have a lot of family in the area so that’s how I ended up here. I love learning about history and different cultures, along with helping kids and teenagers.

After I earn my teaching degree I hope to enter graduate school and pursue a masters in counseling so I can be a high school counselor.

Julia is working with Research Director Ginette Aley  to pick a lost town to research.

Katie Goldenstein, Research Intern

Katie Goldenstein, Secondary Education

My name is Katie Goldenstein. I am a junior from Augusta, Kansas, pursuing my degree in Secondary Education with a focus in Social Studies. I live in Manhattan, Kansas with my high school sweetheart – now husband, Jacob. I received my associates in liberal arts from Butler Community College where I also worked as their Marketing Photographer for two years and was awarded the Cron History Award of Excellence.

Participating in historical reenactments with my dad sparked an infatuation with history. My passion has increased with age and education.  At the Chapman Center, I am applying both my enthusiasm for history and visual arts talents to the Clyde Cessna Homestead project. I am currently developing branding for the project as well as pursuing fundraising opportunities. In addition to the Cessna Project I also tutor K-State athletes in history.

Outside of history, I have a strong passion for photography, oil painting, and interior design. My husband and I love to travel, hike, and camp. We are also big wrestling fans and were very involved in our little league wrestling club back in Augusta. I am the oldest of six kids, lover of all animals, and God Mother to two beautiful kidos.

One day, I hope to transfer my experience in History Education to museum work but right now I am having a great time in the College of Ed and am really looking forward to educating young minds in the near future.

Ethan Levin, Research Intern

Ethan Levin, History & Jazz Studies

I am a junior at Kansas State working on a degree in History and a minor in Jazz Studies. A Manhattan native, I have had a love for history all my life. As the current president of the Cool History Club, I enjoy meeting others that love learning about the past. In addition to history, I have a passion for music and play the electric guitar for several local jazz combos and rock bands in Manhattan. My claim to fame is playing “Eruption” by Van Halen blindfolded, one handed while drinking a glass of water, earning me the nickname “Guitar Guy” across the Greek Life community.

Since my freshman year I have worked at the Chapman Center and, among other projects, am the current lead researcher for the Clyde Cessna project, hoping to preserve his historic forty-acre farm. This encompassed building and managing the website for the Clyde Cessna Homestead Society. I have been researching Clyde Cessna since day one at the Chapman Center when the topic was assigned to me by chance. Since then I’ve gained a passion for Clyde’s story and love finding new aspects of it. For my internship this semester I hope to research Kingman County, Kansas. Kingman is not only the home of Clyde Cessna but where my grandmother grew up. I am excited for this semester and the continuation of research that I’m passionate about.

Ethan McCary, returning Research Intern

Ethan McCary, History & Political Science

We are excited to have Ethan McCary rejoin us this semester. Ethan completed a town study of Sylvia, Kansas. Check it out in our archive! He is continuing research on an even bigger project. It involves collecting many oral histories. So far, Ethan has interviewed several individuals including K-State President General Richard Myers!

My name is Ethan McCary. I’m from Salina, KS and am currently a junior majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. My obsession with history stems from the exposure I had to it as a small child. Reading books off my father’s and grandfather’s shelves about Military History and listening to family stories sparked this. Because of this, Military History is the subject that I hope to specialize in, in the future. Following graduation, I hope to attend graduate school, or pursue career opportunities. My other interests include Security Studies, Geography and Astronomy. My hobbies include Photography, watching college sports and my beloved Borussia Dortmund, as well as collecting items and documents with historical significance. Go Cats!

Sara Partin, Manuscript Designer/Editor

I am a sophomore majoring in English Literature. When I graduate in Fall of 2020, I intend to pursue a Master’s degree in English after which I hope to enter

Sara Partin, English Literature

the publishing field as an editor or the field of linguistics. A California native, I moved to Kansas in 2011 and have resided outside Wichita ever since. I am passionate about reading and writing and the talented people I am surrounded with every day. At K-State, I am the Panhellenic Delegate of my sorority Alpha Chi Omega. I am also a member of the Silver Key Sophomore Honor Society and the University Honors Program as well. Since late Fall 2018 I have been copy-editing and designing a manuscript for the Pat Sauble project. The manuscript tells the proud ranching heritage of a Kansas family with vibrant stories and captivating photos. I have been working closely with representatives from Mennonite Press, Inc, a commercial book printer for publishers, gaining hands-on experience in my field.

Emily Petermann, Student Office Staff/Pioneer Bluffs Project Lead

Emily Petermann
Emily Petermann, History & Anthropology

I’m Emily Petermann, a Sophomore double majoring in History and Anthropology, and double minoring in English and Classics. I’m a native Manhattanite, with family ties to rural Kansas. Spending my summers and weekends in rural Kansas has given me a great deal of respect for these small communities, and the belief that we should do everything we can to preserve their histories. In my spare time I love to read, take walks with my dog, bake, and have an interest in preservation- I recently took on the task of scanning and organizing family letters from WW2.

At the Chapman Center I help with day-to-day operations. In addition, I have been tasked with digitizing a collection of materials from Pioneer Bluffs aided by my experience working at K-State Library. Since the material is dated and some of the scrapbook pages brittle, I am learning techniques in preservation and conservation. I hope that these hands-on experiences will benefit me in my career. I plan to pursue a Masters in Library Science.

Christopher Simerl, Student Office Staff 

Christopher Simerl, Architectural Engineering

I am Christopher Simerl, a senior in Architectural Engineering from Topeka, KS. I enjoy courses in mechanical and electrical systems and plan to graduate in May 2020.

With knowledge gained from my degree, I hope to find a job restoring and repurposing historic buildings for posterity. I have been interested in historic preservation since I was a child when I first starting learning about the dismal state of many historically significant buildings around my city. I hope that with what I have learned at K-State, I will be able to prevent further decay and disrepair in the buildings that have made communities what they are today. At home, I enjoy watching movies, learning about vintage technology, and collecting vinyl records.

As a Student Office Assistant at the Center, Christopher helps lighten the workloads of the Chapman team in order to expedite research projects. He is currently aiding in the development of press release packets for our Kansas delegation to receive before Humanities Advocacy Day highlighting the importance of continued funding for the humanities. 

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