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Chapman Center for Rural Studies

Welcome to the Chapman Center homepage!

Students of our undergraduate digital humanities research lab gain professional experience as they research, write, and publish Kansas history. Visit our digital archive of small town research papers here. Launch your research by visiting our resource page or arrange a visit to our Center at Kansas State University.

New Faces- Summer Interns 2017!



 Catherine Strayhall

My name is Catherine Strayhall, and I’m from Shawnee, Kansas. I graduated from K-State this past May with a Bachelor of Arts in English, focusing on Literature and Creative Writing. I enjoy reading, travel, and fan conventions, and I’m a huge Kansas City Royals fan. This summer I’ll be editing and writing in conjunction with the student research currently being conducted on a local ranch. My work will connect to Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas and the style in which the settlers of Kansas were described in Cutler’s volume. After I complete my work with the Chapman Center, I hope to find work in fields such as writing, publishing, museums, or libraries, and will consider grad school as another path in the future. 



Erin Comfort

My primary project this summer is working with Eric Gudenkauf in strategic planning at the Blue Rapids museum. We hope to get them on the right track in developing their collections, financial plan, and overall strategy for continuing to stay in business. I am also a supervisor at Just Salad, and in my spare time I may be found planning my wedding, reading Time and National Geographic, studying Arabic, or writing a letter to my mom.


 Shaun KnippShaun

 Shaun Knipp is a senior in Secondary Education: Social Studies who will be graduating in the fall of 2017. This is his second term working with the Chapman Center of Rural studies. His work includes interviewing and transcribing interviews with various people who have lived in the lower McDowell creek area for some time to tell us about the history of the community and a particular piece of property. He is also working with a team on this project where the other half works on the personal biographies of all the past owners since the 1870s.



 Daniel Dissmore

Daniel Dissmore is a 2017 graduate of the Kansas State University with degrees in Music and in History.  Those two subjects form the core of Daniel's interests and pursuits, as he aims to develop a career in History while also performing on his trumpet.  For the last two years, he has led a jazz quintet - Daniel Dissmore and the Jazz Ambassadors - showcasing the diversity and variety of America's music in the Little Apple.  Though he has graduated university, he will be continuing his artistic learning and development throughout his life, with the next stop being Kansas City.  As his future unfolds, he hopes to be leading a band while also being active in public history, among other pursuits.



 Katherine Sundgren

My name is Katherine Sundgren and I am a junior at K-State majoring in History, minoring in Classical Studies and working on a Primary Text certificate. I have lived in the country between several small towns my entire life and I love the sense of community and family that they provide! The area where I grew up is gorgeous in all seasons, so country and farm photography is one of my favorite hobbies. I was a twelve-year member of the Riley Rascals 4-H Club, which is the local Riley, Kansas club. I was also a ten-year member of the Straight Shooters, the Riley and Pottawatomie 4-H shooting club, where I participated in archery. I am now gladly giving back to the Straight Shooters by being a leader. I attended the small, rural Riley County High School where I was active with the school chapter of FFA. For the Chapman Center, I helped to finish up a couple collections by digitizing and organizing them, but my main focus this summer is working on the FFA project. The project will include helping to digitize and organize the FFA collection.



 Eric Gudenkauf

Hi I'm Eric Gudenkauf, I just received my BA in Anthropology and a minor in History through Kansas State University. This summer, I will be working alongside Erin Comfort, as we head to Blue Rapids. In Blue Rapids, we plan to utilize various techniques to ensure this museum's survival and generate more patronage. 



 Ethan LevinEthan

My name is Ethan Levin and I am one of the summer interns. I am a history major with a jazz studies minor and I will be a sophomore next school year. For my project I am applying to grant historical status to the homestead of Clyde Cessna. Cessna was a pioneer in early aviation and was the founder and president of Cessna Aircraft. I will be researching though books and academic journals as well as online census data and photographs in order to tie in what makes both the man and his home important.



Jackson Stevens 

I am currently a Junior studying Pre-Law and Advertising with a Minor in Political Science. I was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas. My goal is to attend Law school to study Corporate Law with an emphasis in contracts, negotiations, and mergers. I am very active on and off of campus within Greek Life, K-State New Student Services, the Student Governing Association, and the InterFraternity Council Judicial Board, an internship with K-State Athletics, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and volunteer work at the Flint Hills Breadbasket.






 Have you visited our blog,"The Rural Telegraph," featuring original student research or swung by the Chapman Center for Rural Studies on Facebook and Twitter? #MakeHistory and come on by.


"On the Brink of Medical Change..."
Lost Kansas Communities Student Returns to Serve. Meet Tyler Funke

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channelYou'll find video trailers for the Going Home exhibit, historical conversations, student projects, and more! Join the Chapman Center for Rural Studies on YouTube

Chapman Center Intern & 2016 K-State Graduate Leaves Written Legacy
Anthony’s study of the vanished community of Magic, Riley County, Kansas, appears in the May issue of Kansas Kin... Learn More!

Passion for History Evident in Student's Small Pox Research
In “The End of an Old Enemy: Smallpox in Clay County from 1900-1925,” Shannon Nolan discusses the devastating effect the epidemic had on the small communities in Clay County Smallpox in Clay County

Spring Break in Western Kansas with New Friends
While K-State students searched for their Spring Break refreshment, the Chapman Center’s Executive Director headed west to forge new connections on behalf of Chapman Center for Rural Studies’ research. What did she find?

Student's Determination Opens Doors in Research
During the lengthy and complicated research process, all students are faced with obstacles of some form, but the roadblock Rachel surmounted was quite significant. She visited the Pearl three times... Read more

Oronoque: Out of the Ashes
“What comes to mind when you think of northwestern Kansas? Is it the rolling hills, prairie grass, fields of wheat and corn, or flowing streams? This paints a scene of Oronoque, Kansas. Discover more


History in Action: Students help restore Maple City School House
Students in Dr. Bonnie-Lynn Sherow's History of American Agriculture and Food class recently traveled to Maple City, Cowley County, Kansas, to help restore the town site's school houseLearn more here

Explorations in Public History
Spring 2015 
Dr. Lynn-Sherow led her Public History class through several collaborative projects exploring Lost Kansas Communities, historic preservation, digital humanities, museum curation, and even WikipediaDiscover more
 A Rediscovered Legacy
Thanks to diligent research by Chapman Center Intern, Michael Spachek, the once forgotten history of a substantial group of Wabaunsee County black farm families has been brought to life. Read more

Adams' Collection Research Honors Family
Jessica Hermesch worked with a donated collection of military records to build a service narrative of George Adams, Sr., World War I soldier. Read more

Field Research and the Chapman Center for Rural Studies
Learn how History comes to life and students explore Kansas history. Read more
In Loving Memory of Mark A. Chapman (1943-2014)
We lost a very close member of the K-State family early April 18, 2014. Mark A. Chapman passed away at 71. Read more

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies is an undergraduate research-based center that provides hands-on experience in doing the real work of historians. We are located in 111 Leasure Hall in the heart of the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kansas.

Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Call us at 785-532-0380.

Search through the Chapman Center's on-going project, the Lost Town Digital Archive: Lost Kansas Communities.

For more information, email us or email the Executive Director, Professor Bonnie Lynn-Sherow.

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