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UW American Heritage Center Announces Travel Grant Award Recipients

August 16, 2019
man at a desk with a computer and paper files
Michael Brose, director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University, researches post-1949 Chinese political affairs in the UW American Heritage Center’s Reading Room. He’s a recipient of a 2019 AHC travel grant. (Hanna Fox Photo)

Ten researchers from around the nation and beyond will connect with the University of Wyoming and advance their studies at UW’s American Heritage Center (AHC) as a result of grants from that premier historical archive.

The AHC recently awarded its 2019 travel grants to scholars exploring topics ranging from dude ranching to a 1940s art movement.

“It’s a diverse group with a broad range of interests. Our funding helps them do their work, and the AHC and University of Wyoming community are enriched by a stream of visiting scholars who bring their enthusiasm and expertise to our collections and campus,” says Ginny Kilander, reference services manager of the AHC. “Our travel grant researchers become AHC alumni ambassadors when they head home, forming an international community of advocates and boosters. We are pleased to bring scholars and collections together through this program, and are grateful for the many endowments that make this possible.”

Grants are awarded to recipients to carry out research using AHC’s resource material. Recipients are awarded up to $750 each to support travel and lodging costs. The grants are awarded annually, with funding from permanent endowments associated with UW’s world-class repository of manuscript collections, rare books and university archives.

The grant recipients are:

-- Michael Brose, director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University. His grant will use the Harold Hinton collection to research Hinton’s career as an expert on post-1949 Chinese political affairs.

-- Lynn Downey, an independent scholar and the former historian for Levi Strauss & Co. Downey will use material from the Eatons’ Ranch records, Burt Family papers and Wally Wales papers, along with additional collections, to research the history and popular culture of dude ranching.

-- Valeria Espitia, a Ph.D. candidate from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Espitia will use the Selden Rodman collection to research Rodman’s involvement with the Haitian Renaissance, an art movement that occurred in the 1940s.

-- Jennifer Helton, an assistant professor of history from Ohlone College. Helton will use the Clarice Whittenburg collection and Grace Raymond Hebard papers, among others, to research women’s suffrage.

-- Houston Johnson, an associate professor of history from the Virginia Military Institute. Johnson will use the Charles Horner and Eugene Vidal collections to research the federal Development of Landing Areas for National Defense program.

-- Jordan Keagle, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Southern California. Keagle will use the Charles Burdick and N.E. Corthell collections to research the ice industry in the western United States.

-- Dylan McDonald, an archivist and special collections librarian from New Mexico State University. McDonald will use the Floyd E. Dominy papers, Frank A. Barrett papers and Joseph C. O’Mahoney papers, along with a variety of other collections, to research the former Teton Dam in eastern Idaho.

-- Amy Offner, an assistant professor of history from the University of Pennsylvania. She will use the F. Taylor Ostrander collection, Robert George Blair papers and Seymour S. Bernfeld papers, along with multiple other collections, to research the mining company AMAX Inc.

-- Susan Schwartz, a materials writer for the ESL Nexus. She will use the Gladys B. Berry papers, B.C. Buffum papers and Mark A. Chapman collection, in addition to multiple other collections, to research the history of the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary.

-- Adam Sowards, a professor of history at the University of Idaho. Sowards will use the Orville A. Beath papers, Alan A. Beetle papers and Neal L. Blair papers, with additional collections, to research the history of Western public lands.

For more information about grants offered by the AHC, visit

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