Originally from the Denver area, I moved to Pueblo in 2012 to pursue a bachelor's degree from Colorado State University-Pueblo and to be closer to my extended family. While at the university I learned a great deal about Southern Colorado's unique history, and I was introduced to the staff at the Steelworks Center of the West, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving documents and artifacts from the region's industrial past. After completing a one-semester internship in the organization's archives I returned as a volunteer, and I completed a number of research projects based on the archives' resources over the course of the following semesters.
While at CSU-Pueblo I was also introduced to concept of digital humanities, an academic field concerned with the application of modern digital tools and methods to traditional humanities disciplines such as literature, history, and philosophy. After putting some of these concepts to use in projects that combined my work in the classroom with that at the Steelworks Center, I became fascinated with using modern technology to study, understand, and interpret past events. Immediately after graduating from CSU Pueblo in 2015 I was offered the position of Archives Manager at the Steelworks Center of the West, where I remained for the next three years.
While working at the Steelworks Center I became fascinated with local history, and the cultural and social diversity that developed in Pueblo as a result of industrialization. I assisted scholarly and genealogical researchers, recorded oral histories, guided interns and students, provided tours of the archives, created marketing and interpretive materials, built and maintained their official website, digitized and preserved thousands of documents, and much, much more. In January of 2017 I was asked to step in as Interim Executive Director, a position that I maintained for nearly a year before making the decision to pursue my Master's Degree. I stayed on as Archives Manager part time for several more months, and I still volunteer my time with the organization today.
My wife, son, and I decided to move from Pueblo to Colorado Springs in May of 2019 to be closer to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS), and to pursue a wider range of employment opportunities. We fell in love with the city almost immediately, and we spend most our weekends hiking, fishing, shopping, and hanging out at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (when we're not studying, of course). My wife has just begun working on her Master's Degree at UCCS, just as I am about to complete mine, and my son is excited to attend eighth grade at a new school in the fall. We are thankful for the amazing opportunities that we have been given and for the wonderful people that have helped us on our journey, and we are excited to see what the future holds for us here in our new hometown!
My colleague and I, Victoria Miller, had the opportunity to write a book on the history of CF&I for Arcadia Press' Images of America series, which was published in 2018. In it we discuss the 130+ year history of the steel mill in Pueblo, along with its impact on the social and cultural makeup of the region. We selected various historical photos to include in the book, and we were even allowed exclusive access to take photos of the mill in 2017.