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Chapman Center for Rural Studies


Chapman Center Faculty & Staff

Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Executive Director

Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow
Dr. 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. Her current project, titled Indian in a Bottle, is a study of early-twentieth-century Americans' fascination with the Indian "Medicine Man" and how Indians' symbolic relationship to "nature" was used to peddle patent medicines.

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 and Curriculum 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.


Tom Parish, Visiting Instructor, Digital Humanities

Tom Parish

Tom Parish has joined the Chapman Center for Rural Studies as a visiting instructor of digital humanities. His love of the Flint Hills and the History of Kansas shows through in his photography and research which often focuses on the remnants of people and places that have long since faded and are at risk of being erased.

His work is displayed in many regional galleries and he has won commissions from major galleries and museums including the Beach Museum of Art. A major grant from the Kansas Humanities Council made it possible for him to create an impressive and unique collection of photographs, audio, video and historical/archeological research regarding the native stone dugouts and root cellars that dot the Flint Hills of Kansas. This work is available to the public at www.flinthillshelters.com.

Other examples of Tom’s work can be found in his digital records of the tailings of the community, landscape, and people of Picher, Oklahoma, in the aftermath of unchecked lead mining. Tom earned his MFA in Photography and Digital Art from Kansas State University.


Allie Lousch, Administrative Specialist

Allie LouschAllie Lousch, our Office Manager, is a K-State alumna who recently returned to the Flint Hills after a few years with an international humanitarian organization based in North Georgia. Prior to leaving Manhattan, she facilitated area research, education, conservation, and civil/cultural initiatives. Working alongside the Chapman Center for Rural Studies is a new way for her to invest in and cultivate engaged and educated communities. You'll find Allie among friends/family, running, swimming, in the thick of adventures, on the Konza, and around a wide table full of conversation and good stories. 

Katie Goerl, Digital Humanities Research Assistant

Hayley Taylor

Katie Goerl is a master’s student in history and a graduate student in public administration at Kansas State University. Her thesis traces transformations in the history and memory of female adolescence from 1870 to 1940 through historic diaries.

She received her B.A. in women’s studies from K-State and has previously worked as a graphic designer, digital archivist, and editorial assistant for a peer-reviewed history journal. After completing her master’s degree and public administration certificate, she hopes to use her experience in the publishing industry and her passion for the digital humanities in the field of public history.





Emmalee Laidacker

Alex GoodEmmalee Laidacker is a sophomore in marketing and working toward a history minor. She is from Overland Park, Kansas.

Her younger brother is a freshman at K-State. My family has grown larger this fall as her parents are adopting. In Emmalee's free time, she enjoys movies, exploring Manhattan, and eating good food. Primarily, she "loves studying 20th century world history, but I have also become very interested in history closer to home, such as lost Kansas towns. The Chapman Center has been a great opportunity for me to study this further and contribute to the work already being done."


Trey Heitschmidt

Trey Heitschmidt

Trey Heitschmidt is a junior History major. She plans on graduating in December 2016; her current plans after graduation are to continue her education and attend graduate school – preferably somewhere warm and sunny.

She is currently working on an exhibit in collaboration with the Flint Hills Discovery Center featuring several lost towns throughout the expanse of the Flint Hills that K-State students and the Chapman Center have researched or will research. She is excited for all of the opportunities presented to her by the Chapman Center and can’t wait to see the doors it will open.

Trey has a passion for people and their stories. In her free time, she can be found curled up with a good book, adventuring through Manhattan, or playing with her dog, Maverick.

Kevin McKeon

Patrick Timothy MoranKevin McKeon is currently a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Vermont where he lived for 13 years, Kevin family moved to Texas five years ago. Luckily, he found K-State, "which has a beautiful campus, a great engineering program, and even greater people."

Kevin is working on many projects including creating a Swedish settlement landscape map primarily featuring the Flint Hills. His interests in history generally involve learning and uncovering unique and unknown pieces of history unknown to most people.

When I’m not working on my research, you can find me spending time with friends, playing sports such as basketball, or listening to music.

Michael Spachek

Michael SpachekMichael Spachek is a senior 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 as well as 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 switched 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 in a field relating to public history educating the public, preserving historic sites or doing research. 

 Group Staff

Office Assistant, Taj Brimmer, and Intern, Michael Spachek, work
to scan hundreds of historical photographs on loan
from the Wabaunsee County Historical Society and Greg Hoots.


Chapman Center Projects

Lost Communities

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