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About Me


I am a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana and have lived here most of my life.  I grew up hearing so many great stories about this area’s history and its people.  Cemeteries are an overlooked and underappreciated repository of such stories and can serve as a connection between the past and present.  Unfortunately, neglect of both individual graves and entire cemeteries threatens to erase the stories of our ancestors and the link between the community and these important sites.

I wish to address the problem of neglect by providing a professional grave cleaning service that is also respectful of the special, often sacred nature of cemeteries.  I try to hold to the belief that the gentlest method is the preferred method; therefore I do not use harsh cleaning methods such as bleach, acids or power spraying.  Instead I use a biocide that interacts with and kills biological growth that can have harmful effects on the gravestone.

The integrity of the resource and its physical condition are of paramount importance.  I believe that making something “look pretty” is not in and of itself a reason for cleaning unless it leads to the long-term preservation of the marker or monument.

Education

B.A., Liberal Arts, Humanities and Social Thought concentration, 1999
Louisiana Scholars’ College, Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Thesis Title: “One Could Laugh Were It Not Such a Farce: Adolf Hitler as a Military Commander”

M.A., Heritage Resources, 2010
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Thesis Title: “Recommendations for Preserving Cemeteries in Natchitoches Parish: A Guidebook”

Relevant activities:

Salvage work after fire at Kate Chopin House
Grave cleaning at American Cemetery, Catholic Cemetery, and Breda Cemetery, all in Natchitoches, LA
Organized and led another grave-cleaning activity at the Catholic Cemetery
Documenting graves at Oakland Cemetery in Shreveport, LA and St. Savior Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA
Tour guide, NHF Haunted History Tour at the American Cemetery, 2009 & 2010

Professional Experience

May 2007 – July 2008
Project Manager, Content Editor
Capitol Advantage, LLC
Fairfax, VA  22031

My duties included setting timelines for completion of company projects and managing them from inception to completion.  I was responsible for all content appearing on the company’s public website, congress.org.  I composed and sent out the Congress.org Weekly Newsletter to a mailing list of over 350,000 subscribers.  I also compiled weekly reports on website metrics.

September 2001 – May 2007
Local Editor, Research Department
Capitol Advantage, LLC
Fairfax, VA  22031

As Local Government Editor, I maintained a database of local government officials and their contact information.  Upon assuming this post the number of officials in the database was around 25,000.  When I left the post the number had grown to over 40,000.  I also fact-checked and proofread information for the company’s main publication, “Congress at Your Fingertips.”  During this time I became proficient in the use of Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel.

March 2000 – September 2001
Legislative Research Intern
Cassidy & Associates
Washington, DC  20005

My job here was to conduct research on issues and legislation.  I also attended and took notes on congressional hearings.

Additional Experience

August 2008 – May 2009
Graduate Assistant, Cane River National Heritage Area

During my assistantship I synthesized existing research and conducted new research dealing with the Church Street Bridge project in downtown Natchitoches. I also organized and executed an inventory of the office’s on-site assets.

Summer 2009
Internship, Save Our Cemeteries, Inc.

During my internship here I researched and wrote a document with recommendations concerning cemetery preservation.  Organizations wanting to engage in cemetery preservation activities can use this document as a reference for proper cleaning techniques and organizing their own cleanup activity.  I also participated in a cemetery documentation project that recorded thousands of names and dates from tombs in St. Louis Cemetery #2 in New Orleans, LA.

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