Chapman Center Faculty & Staff

Bonnie Lynn-Sherow Director

Bonnie Lynn-SherowDr. Lynn-Sherow was awarded her PhD in American history from Northwestern University in 1998 and is currently an associate professor and Director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at Kansas State University.

Her book, Red Earth: Race and Agriculture in Oklahoma Territory was published by the University of Kansas Press in 2004. Professor Lynn-Sherow has published extensively in North American agricultural history, North American Indian history and environmental history.

Professor Lynn-Sherow serves on the Editorial Review Board of the University Press of Kansas and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Flint Hills Discovery Center.


M.J. Morgan Research Director

MJ MorganDr. Morgan, pictured on the left, received her MFA in writing and publishing from the University of Alaska and a Ph.D. in American history from University of Cincinnati. She has written and published two books Land of Big Rivers: French and Indian Illinois, 1699 - 1778 Southern Illinois University Press 2010 and Broughton Kansas - Portrait of a Lost Town 1869 - 1966, University Press, 2010.

Since 2005, she has directed The Broughton Project at KSU and guided the creation of a written history that included student work in cartography, photography, oral history and the acquisition of local and regional historical materials.

Dr. Morgan has presented her work to the Kansas Museum Association in 2006 and at the Kansas Conference for the Social Studies in 2007. She taught research methodology to Kansas teachers through NEH's Teaching American History program in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Her most recent presentation focused on teaching history to visual learners through images.


Amanda Dempster Senior Administrative Assistant

Amanda DempsterAmanda Dempster, pictured with her husband, recently graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in both History and Sociology. Her capstone research paper, "The struggle for past glories: Pope Pius XI‟s use of terminology to combat anti-clericalism," was accepted into K-Rex (The K-State Research Exchange) the University’s digital "institutional repository" of Faculty/Graduate Student scholarly research.

Because of her interest in History, the Chapman Center for Rural Studies was a natural place to gravitate toward. She is new to the Chapman Center office and is excited to be a part of such unique research.

Originally from New Jersey, but having grown up in Marysville, KS, Amanda got married only a week after her graduation and now lives in Manhattan with her husband and their two dogs, a Siberian Husky and a Black Labrador. 


Office Assistants


Joshua PeifferJoshua Peiffer 

Joshua Peiffer is currently a senior, majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. He enjoys running, golfing, and he rowed on the K-State Men’s Crew Club for his first two years in college. A self-accepted history nerd, he also loves reading about politics and history. His favorite time period is the Napoleonic Wars but, as a native of Wichita, he is also interested in the 19th century history of Kansas. After he graduates this May, 2014, he plans on working in Governmental Affairs in the private sector but for now, will take life as it comes.

Brianna Chatmon 

Brianna Chatmon is a sophomore at Kansas State University. She is currently double majoring in Sociology and Social Work with a minor in American Ethics. She is an involved campus leader with a heart of service. When she is not busy with academics she always finds a way to reach back into the community and help others. Brianna is a Kansas City native, but plans on working in small/rural towns to alleviate poverty and unequal access to education, health care, and healthy food. Her unique interest in working with small/rural towns makes her a great addition the Chapman Center.

Our office assistants often work long hours, and facilitate a smooth running Chapman Center to everyone's delight. Joshua and Brianna help hold the Chapman Center together and we thank them for their diligent work.


Brunswick Research Staff

Katie Goerl Graduate Researcher

Katie GoerlKatie Goerl a second-year graduate student, pursuing her Master of Arts in History. She completed her undergraduate career at Kansas State University, earning a Bachelors Degree in Women's Studies with a background in gender history and a particular interest in diaries. She worked as an undergraduate Chapman Center intern in Fall 2011 and completed a study of one-room female schoolteachers in Wabaunsee and Pottawatomie Counties entitled, "School Mother: The Female, One-Room Schoolteacher in Wabaunsee and Pottawatomie Counties, Kansas." Katie is excited to be a part of another research project for the Center. In her free time Katie loves to cook and hang out with her cat at her home in Manhattan, KS. 


Ryan Bach Graduate Research Assistant

Ryan PortraitRyan Bach is a second-year graduate student, pursuing a Master of Arts in History. His position is to assist Katie Goerl in this year's Brunswick Research Project. Ryan is new to the Chapman Center for Rural Studies but he seems to fit right in. His interest in working at the Center stems from his overall love of nineteenth century American history and he is excited for the opportunity to dig further and focus on Kansas. Originally from California where he completed his undergraduate degree at California State University in Sacramento, Ryan now lives in Manhattan while working toward his Masters Degree. When he isn't at the Center Ryan spends his times researching Union Soldiers' votes in the critical election of 1864 as well as playing with his hound, Winston.


Haley Claxton

Haley ClaxtonHaley Claxton  Pictured here (left) with her sister, Courtney, in front of the Claxton Fruitcake company in Claxton, GA, Haley is a senior History major and English minor. Finding out that there was a town that shared her family name was the highlight of her summer whirlwind tour of the South with her family! (Though it was named only after being told that the original name, "Hendricks," was already taken, and there is much dispute about who "Claxton" may have been, it was still exciting for her to find a personal link to history.) When not spending time traveling this summer, she studied for the Law School Admissions Test. Haley hopes for a future law career that includes following in the footsteps of Indiana Jones (but in a business suit) to ensure historical artifacts can be acquired by museums so they can be more easily shared with the public. Along with reading and studying immense piles of books on presidential assassinations and public memory of historical events, Haley spends time as a member of the KSU Mock Trial Team, Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, and Mortar Board Senior Honorary.Haley can't wait to get started on a new and exciting internship with the Chapman Center!

Jessica Hermesch 

Jessica Hersmesch

Jessica Hermesch is a junior in public relations with a minor in history and is returning for a second semester as a Chapman Center Intern. This fall, Hermesch is researching the Underground Railroad through Nemaha County, Kansas. She is also researching the life and military involvement of George Adams Sr., a WWI veteran with multiple descendents who have been involved in both K-State and the US military. Jessica is a member of the K-State chapter of PRSSA, and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications Ambassadors. She also works as a Tutor Coordinator in K-State’s Writing Center. After graduation, Jessica hopes to work in the public relations field, preferable in event planning.

Michael Spachek

Michael SpachekMichael Spachek is a junior majoring in history. He grew up interested in history specifically the first hundred years of the United States centered on the Revolutionary and Civil War eras and World War II. Michael’s interest in the Civil War took off in high school when he visited Gettysburg and Fords Theater in Washington D.C. Michael is in his first semester as a history major since switching from wildlife biology after taking a course on African American Kansas and being accepted as an intern at the Chapman Center. His research uses his experience with maps, topography, and historic map interpretation. After graduating Michael hopes to go to graduate school for public history and work at a historic site educating the public as well as maintaining and researching public history.

Blake Latchman

Matthew LeverichBlake Latchman, from Chicago, IL, will graduate this May with a BA in History. Blake is currently seeking full time employment after graduation, but with no concrete plans, he is excited to find out where he will land. Blake intends to study urban planning in graduate school, and hopes to become a city planner. Blake has a passion for food, travel, design, and fashion. This photograph with his pal FDR was taken in Washington DC this past summer over the 4th of July weekend.


Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains Editorial Staff

Managing Editor Dr. James Sherow

Consulting Editor Dr. Virgil Dean

Associate Editor Dr. Suzanne Orr

Book Review Editor Dr. Derek Hoff

Graduate Editorial Assistant Tim Gresham

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