Planning, Development and Preservation


Class of 2014

Kendy Altizer


BA. History and Anthropology University of Texas, Arlington

I grew up in a series of small towns on the coast of Texas; my dad was a minister and we moved every couple of years. One of the first questions I was always asked at the beginning of every ecclesiastical tour of duty was, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” My answer was always, “I want to dig in the dirt”. From the time I was three, you could find me in the front or backyard of whatever house we were living in at the time, digging holes, trying to find cool stuff.

After graduating from college with a double degree in History and Anthropology, I spent a number of years working in Cultural Resource Management in a variety of capacities in several different states. My focus was prehistoric archaeology and I spent many a happy day out on survey in remote areas of the United States documenting prehistoric and historic resources. I eventually began spending more and more time in the office writing reports and learning the business side of Cultural Resource Management. While I enjoyed the consulting aspect of archaeology, I found myself wanting a different challenge but I wasn’t really sure what that challenge might entail. During a vacation to the southeast in 2011, I had an epiphany while taking a tour at Drayton Hall. I was so inspired by the grounds and the building itself that I began to see historic preservation in a completely different way than my previous experience had allowed. Less than a year later, here I am in the Graduate Program for Historic Preservation in beautiful Charleston.

My focus in this program is the rehabilitation, conservation, and restoration of historic buildings and I hope to apply what I have learned in the program to archaeology as well. My thesis topic is the ruins of Peachtree Plantation, which was the home of Thomas Lynch Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The working title is, "A Signer Lived Here: the Conceptualization and Stabilization of Peachtree Plantation, St. James Parish, South Carolina." I am using archaeology to determine floor plan and possible room use for the structure. I will also be exploring conservation techniques to aid in the stabilization of the structure.

Kavan Argue

student photo Bachelor of Design in Architecture, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

I grew up in the small town of Jefferson, WI. Ever since I was younger I have had an interest in anything that had to do with architecture. I think all of the trips I took when I was younger to Europe and Central America really showed me how many ways one could look at and interpret something as simple as the basic necessity for shelter.

This ultimately led me to pursuing my undergraduate degree in architecture with a minor in geography. As I was going through my studies in Minnesota and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with architecture I found historic preservation. It was a perfect fit. I could continue my love of architecture in a way that incorporated my analytical thinking and documentation/research skills. I am very excited for the next two years here at the Clemson University MSHP program-- and everything that is to come.

Megan Funk

student photo Bachelor of Business Administration & Marketing, University of Kentucky

As an undergraduate student at UK, I dabbled in a few majors. My first choice, rather my parent’s first choice, was pre-pharmacy, but, although good at math and science, nothing about the major sparked my interest. My loves were creativity, art, design and the constant newness that comes from those fields. I also loved old structures and exploring forgotten spaces like my great grandmother’s farm house, still full of old trunks, dressers and hatboxes. The contents of these spaces had always intrigued me and made me curious to learn more about how people had once lived. Combining those two loves I switched my major to interior design and planned to do a focus in historic preservation. My coursework there exposed me to even more aspects of the built environment, including issues of sustainability and adaptive use. Through other events, I actually ended up with a marketing degree, but what I learned from my interior design coursework stuck with me. I watched as the downtown area of Lexington went through many changes, some of which promoted preservation and some of which ignored it altogether. After a year of working in various fields, I knew I wanted a more focused path and even more than that, I knew I wanted to work with preservation and be a part of the way in which it shapes and preserves the identity of places.

For my thesis I will be expanding on my interest in the preservation of downtown districts by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Kentucky Main Street program.  

Kelly Herrick

student photo Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Bachelor of Arts in History, Elon University

Originally from Morganton, NC, I recently graduated from Elon University with degrees in English Literature and History. I have always been fascinated by both the Victorian and Edwardian Periods in England and spent most of my undergraduate career in a relationship with Victorian literature and culture. Although I originally planned to pursue an advanced degree in literature, a semester I spent abroad in England caused me to change my mind. In England, I discovered that I had a desire to preserve and interact with history in a more direct manner than pure archival research. While abroad I also became enamored with the architecture of Europe, and I found myself taking multiple photos of various buildings and structures. Upon my return to America, I discovered that obtaining a graduate degree in Historic Preservation would not only allow me to preserve historical structures, but would also allow me to participate in a more hands-on form of history. Eventually, I hope to find a way to combine and celebrate my love of architecture, cultural history, travel, and perhaps even Victorian poetry!  For my thesis, I hope to investigate the economic effects and benefits the Huntingtons' building of Atalaya had on the development of Georgetown and surrounding counties, and to add to the greater story of how Northern money helping to revitalize Southern towns around the time of the Great Depression.

Lindsay Lanois

student photo Bachelor of Arts in Art History, The University of the South

I grew up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Maryville, Tennessee, where I was lucky to experience one awesome aspect of the National Park Service -- the parks themselves! After studying art history in another set of mountains at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, I spent two years baking in various restaurants. I'm excited to turn my attention to something new, and the Clemson/College of Charleston program provides a great opportunity to turn my appreciation for great architecture and landscapes into a hands-on field of research and practice. Preservation fascinates me due to its countless influences, components, and applications in the world, and I'm so excited to delve deeper into all these elements over the next two years. Outside of school, I enjoy yoga, hiking, and baking all the time. Though I'm certain my academic thoughts will evolve (and maybe condense!) as the program continues, I currently find myself interested in public policy, education programs, rural vernacular architecture, and preservation within the National Parks. My thesis will explore early twentieth century tourism and the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through the lens of the LeConte Lodge.

Lindsay Lee

student photo Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Rutgers University

Born and raised in a small historic New Jersey town, it seemed natural that I end up on the path of preservation. My grandmother grew up, and later my mom and aunts, in a three story Victorian in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. For years I rummaged through the closets, and pried open cabinets racked with anticipation for what I might find. Equally so, our family vacations without fail, almost always involved a stop at a historic house museum or Landmark, which I loved.

When it came time for college, I was positive that I wanted to take the track of architecture, and rebuild these structures from my memories that I loved so much. However, with a last minute decision, and an admittance that math is by far my worst subject, I instead found myself on the path to preservation. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, a minor in Anthropology and a Certificate in Historic Preservation. While my degree required I take an array of classes, I took advantage and thrived off of every historic architecture class available.

After two internships and 6 months of studying everything there was to offer in Florence, Italy, I was lucky enough to get a job working as an archaeologist for a Cultural Resource Management firm immediately following graduation. Based out of Trenton, New Jersey I was able to really get a feel for the archaeological aspect of preservation, spending two years outside digging in the field and doing both graphic work and report production. While I loved my job I always knew that grad school and building preservation were out there waiting for me. I have a serious passion for the American City and believe New York is the most magical place on Earth, but I really look forward to immersing myself in the different but exciting preservation scene in the South and Charleston in particular. Overall I’m just the curious kind of person who can’t just look at an old structure from the outside without wanting to sneak around and see what kind of bones, and secrets, it’s hiding inside. For my thesis, I plan to work on A Preservation Plan for the Tabby Floor Ruins at the Miller Archaeological Site at Charles Towne Landing.

Valerie McCluskey Valerie McCluskey

Bachelor of Arts in History, Bachelor of Arts in Scandinavian Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College
I grew up in the upper Midwest, and with two civil engineers as parents, had the opportunity to visit a number of significant architectural and engineering-related sites during my childhood, always having a particular interest in ecclesiastical structures. After undergraduate graduation, I interned and then worked for the Minnesota Transportation Museum in Saint Paul, MN. In the fall of 2011, our site, the Jackson Street Roundhouse, was chosen for the National Trust’s ‘Partners in Preservation’ program, and I realized that I enjoyed my work revolving around this project more than anything else I was doing. After recognizing that I could further my education and knowledge of historic preservation by going back to school, I applied to a number of master degree programs, but Clemson, with its well-rounded approach, was the best fit for me.

My academic and professional interests are in architectural glass design and conservation, more specifically stained and leaded glass. I spent the summer of 2013 interning with Charleston Architectural Glass and gained a better understanding of both current as well as historic methods of production and design (and also realized how much I like working with my hands!). My master’s thesis will look at stained and leaded glass of the ecclesiastical and cemetery structures of Charleston as representative of the larger material culture of the city from approximately 1875-1930.

Brittany McKee

Brittany McKee  Bachelor of Arts in History, College of Charleston

I graduated from the College of Charleston in May of 2011 with a degree in History and a minor in Historic Preservation and Community Planning. I have always had an interest in history that stems from the many history-centered vacations my family went on while I was a child. I discovered Historic Preservation late in my college career but fell in love with the field while taking a class on the documentation of historic properties. While at the College of Charleston I interned with the Historic Charleston Foundation where I primarily assisted with inspections of the foundation’s easement properties. In the fall of 2011 I began a planning program at Clemson University and while I loved my experience there it made me see that my true interests were in historic preservation and architectural history. I would like to combine my interest in both planning and preservation in my future career. I am thrilled to be back in Charleston and a part of the program! My thesis will evaluate the domestic cistern in Charleston, SC as a method of disease control and a predecessor to the public water system.

Erin Morton

Erin Morton  Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History, NC State University

I grew up in the small town of China Grove, North Carolina in the western Piedmont. I graduated from N.C. State (Go Pack!) in 2011 with degrees in Bioarchaeology and History. During that time, I went on my first dig to Thailand and realized that, for all practical purposes, I would never be able to devote a career to the physical pains and demands of archaeology. Sifting through dirt all day helped me to realize that instead of recovering lost remains from the ground, I should take on the task of preventing structures from entering into the archaeological record at all. Knowing since high school that any work I wanted to do would require a Master’s degree, I joined up with the Clemson/College of Charleston program in Historic Preservation. I’ll be using this next year to hone in on just how I want to use the degree, but in addition to the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, I am eyeing the National Park Service and the global aspect of historic preservation existing in the UNESCO World Heritage Center. My thesis will explore the economic impact of the North Carolina Mill Rehabilitation tax credit.

Melissa Roach

student photo Bachelor of Arts in History, College of the Ozarks

I grew up in Springdale, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Business Administration from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. I love the Arkansas Razorbacks, coffee, the St. Louis Cardinals, history, Italy, the Netherlands, reading, traveling, and World War II veterans. I am fascinated by Historic Preservation because I can study people’s interaction with their surroundings and in return, how those relationships affect cultural heritage. I am a major nerd who loves research, and I hope to work either as an architectural historian or in an educational setting, teaching children with hands-on history. In my thesis, I will examine the effects of the Crosstown, the common name for the section of Highway 17 that cuts across the Charleston peninsula, on the  surrounding neighborhoods.

Leigh Schoberth

student photo Bachelor of Arts in Art History, University of Michigan

I believe it was my hometown that inspired my decisions to study Historic Preservation. Growing up in a community that prides itself on the preservation of its historic homes granted me an early exposure to the importance of conserving a community’s heritage. It was in my hometown that I had the chance to witness my first restoration project, a historic theater. Part of the restoration was a process to uncover the original colors that illuminated the sculptural reliefs that adorned the walls. Upon its completion the interior space was transformed from the monochrome that I had grown used to seeing into a space vibrant with color. Through travel I was able to visit numerous historic sites, increasing my passion for historic architecture.

My undergraduate studies began in architecture, but my love of history began to shape my interests, leading to my transfer to History of Art. By the end of my undergraduate studies, I knew that I wanted to bring these fields together by continuing my education in Historic preservation.

For my thesis I will be returning to what first inspired me to pursue historic preservation, historic theatres.  My thesis has two objectives, first to establish the historic and cultural significance and integrity of historic theatres in Detroit, Michigan.  Secondly to help prioritize and better inform preservation efforts of these structures. 

Katherine M. C. Schultheis

Katie Schultheis Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation and Community Planning, College of Charleston

Graduating from the College of Charleston in 2008, my undergraduate studies culminated with an independent study on architecture in nineteenth century literature.  My BA thesis assessed the theories of architectural critic Andrew Jackson Downing under the direction of Ralph C. Muldrow. In 2006, I began work at the Preservation Society of Charleston as The Fall Tours Intern and after graduation was promoted to Finance and Board Relations Manager.  Beyond my administrative role, my work at the Society involved writing articles for their magazine Preservation Progress, researching historic properties, architectural photography for tours and surveys, and assisting with tours and event planning.  After work hours, I furthered my knowledge and passion for cemetery conservation under the direction of Dr. Robert Russell, assisting with various projects throughout downtown.

This summer I worked for Baltimore Heritage, where I coordinated a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Edmondson Village neighborhood in West Baltimore.  My summer in Baltimore was interrupted with a trip to England as part of the Victorian Society in America’s London Summer School program.  Nearly a three-week tour of London with excursions to dozens of other places, the VSA program was a priceless experience full of private tours, lectures, and museum visits.  My thesis will be Charleston in the Golden Age of Mourning: The Architectural History of Victorian Funeral Parlors.  By determining the physical location of active funeral parlors in the city during the Victorian Era, I will define the specific functions of these spaces and uncover the social and class distinctions amongst them.  I aim to discover and interpret the social roles that this specific building typology played in Victorian Charleston and the affect funeral parlors and morgues had, if any, on the city’s development.  

Will Smith

student photo Bachelor of Arts in History, Virginia Tech

I grew up in Richlands, Virginia in Southwest Virginia. I received my undergraduate degree in History from Virginia Tech. I became interested in preservation when I was in middle school. I attribute most of this interest to the trips my family took to historic sites and museums. After high school I attended Virginia Tech and majored in history. While in Blacksburg, I helped put together a walking tour of the campus. After I graduated, I took a year off and among other things worked as a collections intern at a small regional museum. While interning I rekindled my passion for preservation. I realized that I wanted to have a more active role in the preservation community. The active role that the Clemson/College of Charleston MSHP program takes in the community fits that desire. My thesis will develop a survey of existing hand-painted commercial advertisements in the low-country and compare  the methods used to preserve them.

Class of 2015

Claire Achtyl

Claire Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design, University at Buffalo

I grew up outside of Rochester, New York with two parents that were very much involved in the health care system as Nurse Practitioners.. so I knew exactly what field I did not want to go into. I had a broad range of interests in high school, and it wasn’t until I went to Belgium and France when I was 16 that I figured out I wanted to do something architecture related. I went to University at Buffalo as an Architecture major and it didn’t take long to figure out that I was out of place. My peers had dreams of designing the next skyscraper or museum and I just said, “you see that 150 year old building over there? I want to restore that.” So I switched my major to Environmental Design after a year in Architecture. I loved Urban Planning and getting the broader focus of cities and how they grow and adapt to changing times or why they decline. In Urban Planning, I had the chance to focus on Historic Preservation as a sector of planning in some of my classes. I didn’t have the chance to take a class in Historic Preservation until after I had to make decisions about grad school. I was “that girl” who went up to the professor after class and told her I was going for my Masters in Historic Preservation before I had even started the class. Luckily, it worked out and I was given the chance to go straight from my undergraduate studies to my graduate studies in beautiful Charleston. I had visited Charleston when I was younger and it just stuck with me that I loved this city, so what better place to study than the place that peaked my interest in architecture in the first place!

Amber Anderson

Amber Bachelor of Arts in Art, Bachelor of Arts in History, The College of Idaho

I was born and raised in Ontario, Oregon and earned my undergraduate degree from The College of Idaho in 2010. While the term “historic preservation” didn’t cross my path until after college, I have always been interested in public history and the structures associated with it.  My favorite childhood memories involve exploring the remains of an abandoned mining town where my great grandfather once worked. Beginning with these early encounters, my fascination with the tangible connections to the past only continued to grow. 
After graduating from college, while beginning work in both office management and retail, I set out to find a field that incorporated both of my majors and had essentially decided to apply for architectural history graduate programs.  When a random internet search landed me on the website of a historic preservation program, I had one of those light bulb moments.  I knew I had to know more and, as a result, began volunteering with Preservation Idaho and interned for their Education Committee, attended a National Trust Conference, and participated in the University of Oregon’s Pacific Northwest Field School.  Though I never saw it coming, two years later I couldn’t be happier to be studying in such a preservation minded city as Charleston.  While my post-graduation plans are almost entirely open at this point, I currently see myself most drawn to the documentation aspect of preservation.

Shannon Devlin


Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Pennsylvania State University

My desire to attend Graduate School for Historic Preservation sprung forth from a love for awe-inspiring architecture, as well as from my college career.  However, figuring out that’s what I wanted to do wasn’t as easy as I just made it sound!  I grew up in State College, Pennsylvania; always described as “where Penn State is” since not many people know the town away from Penn State. 
I graduated from Penn State in December of 2011 with a degree in Art History; but when I started I had no idea what I wanted to study.  I knew I loved old buildings – the architecture as well as the history – but I never realized I could actually pursue that as a career path.  I stumbled upon an Architectural Survey class in the Art History department my second semester and I was hooked.  I love the symmetry and beauty of Renaissance art and architecture, so that was my focus, but I still did not want to do Art History as a career.  And then one day it dawned on me that I could do Historic Preservation as a career.  I could work with those old buildings I love!  After my realization, I began to tailor my remaining semester to preservation.  I interned with the Centre County Historical Society (CCHS) where I accessioned and catalogued architectural drawings of a local architect.  Also that semester I took a hands-on class in 19th century Pennsylvania architecture and restoration where I was able to help restore a log house in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, and explore many of the architectural gems in the area.  Restoring that log house, exploring Pennsylvania architecture, and working with the CCHS archives, made me realize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I wanted to do that in some facet or another for the rest of my life.              
As a final project in the restoration class Professor Dick Pencek and the Art History Department co-sponsored a trip to Charleston to give me the opportunity to research southern architecture, and that was when I knew I wanted to attend graduate school here. I fell in love with Charleston and am so excited to be able to spend my next two years here!   

Jackie Don


Bachelor of Science in Archaeological Science, Pennsylvania State University

In fifth grade, I was assigned a research project to find information on anything that fascinated me and to share with the class. While my friends were reading about dolphins and Care Bears, I was researching the Seven Wonders of the Ancient and Modern world.  Many blank stares and some awkward clapping later, I realized my interest in history and monumental architecture was fairly unique. This discovery sent me on a path towards Archaeology. 
I decided to attend Penn State University because it has one of the only archaeological programs separate from Anthropology in the United States. My love of Nittany nation soon followed. While studying at Penn State, I took the opportunity to go on a field school to Mendes, Egypt. The artifacts we found were amazing but I also really enjoyed my assigned mission: to find the western wall of a small temple to a Fish goddess.
Fast forward a couple years to graduation in May 2012. I decided to take a year to get some field experience working as an archaeologist in Cultural Resource Management. For the past year, I have worked on digs throughout the Midwest and North Dakota. As much as I love archaeology, digging along pipelines with no goal or purpose was not exactly the path I wanted to continue on. Always knowing I wanted to go back to school as soon as possible, I sent most my applications to Archaeology Ph.D. programs. While applying and looking at my favorite sites and geographical areas, I realized how much I loved the ancient or historic built environment. Fifth grade me had known especially with all the trips to Williamsburg I had begged my parents to go on much to the dismay of my siblings. But my 22 year old self had forgotten.
From here I started looking into historic preservation and found the Clemson/Charleston program. I had visited Charleston twice before and had instantly admired the preserved town feel. There was no better place I could think of to pursue my interests in preservation. I hope to combine my passion for archaeology and historic preservation in work with house museums and recreated towns like Williamsburg.

Alison Dunleavy


Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

I have always loved old things. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois, learning about history and art from my frequent childhood trips to the many museums and theaters in Chicago (the Field Museum is my favorite, I love the way it smells). My first semester at SIU was spent hand drafting in the architecture department where I realized I didn’t want to draw straight lines all day and promptly switched my major to my real love, ceramics. I had always been interested in early renaissance and medieval art, and after my first medieval art history class, I was hooked. I studied for a semester in Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where I was surrounded by all of the things I had seen in my art history books. Walking through the streets of Florence every day forced me to look at remnants of the past and to consider how they influenced the future of the city. It was truly an amazing experience.
After graduation, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I loved working with my hands and making art, but I was also interested in the scholastic rigors of art history. I took a job as a picture framer at a local art supply/framing store in Chicago where I learned about conservation framing. The combination of the hands on work and the scientific aspect of conservation, along with my experiences in Florence led me to explore historic preservation. My art installations had focused on the way people interact with a space; studying the history of people’s interactions with buildings is an aspect of preservation that fascinates me. I hope to learn much more about the roles that people played in shaping a building’s use while here in Charleston.

Katie Dykens


Bachelor of Arts in Art History - Public Art and Architectural Culture, University of San Diego

I have lived in many places: most recently San Diego, but I have also spent time in Iowa and Michigan. As a high school student and even later in college I had wide-ranging interests, from biology to history to art and literature, but eventually decided on pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Art History with an emphasis in Public Art and Architectural Culture at the University of San Diego.  I have had a variety of jobs, ranging from working at the San Diego Natural History Museum to the City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department, where I conducted legislative research and analysis in sustainability issues.
My interests in historic preservation currently focus on vernacular architecture and the intersection between sustainability and preservation, but I hope to learn a great deal in the next two years which may result in an entirely new direction. I love the puzzle-solving aspects of historical research and embrace the idea of being able to connect with other intellectually curious people in my career. My hobbies include sewing from vintage patterns, hiking and maintaining salt-water aquaria, although I had to leave my tank behind when I left San Diego.  Living in Charleston is a brand-new experience for me and I am very excited about being able to explore such a historically provocative city.

Elizabeth Hannon


Bachelor of Arts in History, Cedar Crest College

I have been exposed to the wonders of the past for as long as I can remember.  Older
homes and buildings are a natural part of the landscape in the area of northeast Pennsylvania where I was raised.  As a young girl I loved exploring old structures.  Thinking about the history old buildings can tell has always fascinated me.  I became interested in continuing my graduate education in the field of historic preservation after careful career planning.  As an undergraduate I eagerly pursued a degree in American history.  However, it was not until my senior research seminar that I got the opportunity to marriage my love of historic architecture and history studies. 
While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I began working at the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania,  as a historical interpreter and researcher.  Asa Packer was a highly esteemed industrialist, politician, philanthropist, and the founder of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Packer, along with prominent Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan, designed a grand Italianate villa in 1860.  The mansion, which still contains the original contents, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.  Over the past two years I’ve had the opportunity to care for and clean the home’s furnishings and fixtures, as well as maintain it’s exterior structures.  I found this introduction to nineteenth century construction methods and building materials intriguing.  This was my first hands-on experience with preservation.  My work with the Packer Mansion solidified my desire to pursue a degree in historic preservation.
I am greatly looking forward to the educational opportunities that the Clemson/College of Charleston MSHP program has to offer.  Charleston’s rich history and dedication to preservation makes this a wonderful learning environment.  I see the city as a place where I can nurture and grow my preservation career over the next few years.

Lauren Hoopes


Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Pittsburgh

I hail from Downingtown, Pa, a suburb within an hour’s drive west of Philadelphia.  My Undergraduate work took me across Pennsylvania to the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa where I worked towards my Bachelor of Arts in History.  I was studying the World Wars believing I would go into teaching, but I managed to almost always slip an art history, photography, or architecture class in as an elective.  During my senior year at U of Pitt an opportunity finally presented itself to study abroad in London, a place I had dreamed about since, well, forever.  I was to study over there for my Fall Semester and return to finish up my Undergrad degree in the Spring Semester and then begin thinking about how to pursue my teaching career.  One of the best trips of my life, I discovered that when looking through my camera at the thousands of pictures I had taken, over three-quarters of them were of building ornamentation, gardens settled beneath sprawling castles, and history-laden brick work.  I had always been unsure about becoming a teacher and that trip assured me I wasn’t up to the task.  My love of photography, travel, and historic places was exponentially strengthened while studying abroad in London and during my last semester at the University of Pittsburgh I began my new journey towards Historic Preservation.  Academically speaking, I have been partially working towards this throughout my academic career, but my interests have been steering me towards this career for my whole 23 years.

Taylor Johnston Taylor Johnston

Bachelor of Arts in History and Comparative Literature, University of Georgia

As an individual always interested in the Arts and creative endeavors, it was initially hard for me to define what I wanted to do with myself when I graduated from the University of Georgia. With a Bachelor of Arts in History and Comparative Literature, I could certainly find some sort of academic path to take in the professional world; however, I wanted to be able to fuse my creative passions with some sort of practicality. That being said, the program in Historic Preservation at Clemson University and the College of Charleston has provided me a path with which to direct my slightly unusual interests—learning everything from historic materials and methods of construction to Historic Preservation Theory and its research methods, I couldn’t be excited for what’s to come next.  I’d like to apply what I’m learning to rehabilitation and restoration contracting, but then again, there are so many other fields of study, research, and application that the program could guide me until then! Outside of school, I have a jewelry business that keeps me pretty busy. Otherwise, I’m a football enthusiast (Go Dawgs!), an avid runner, a junk collector, and a lover of the culinary arts. If I don’t have my face in a book these days, you can probably find me in any of local eateries around town.

Frances (Frankie) Pinto


Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

When I was a child we lived many places, traveling for my Dad’s job, but no matter where we were we always taught that we were from South Carolina, Charleston specifically. It’s not a far stretch as my grandfather was born on Anson Street and my dad grew up west of the Ashley. Even when I lived elsewhere I spent every summer in the low country, often working downtown. I wasn’t quite sure what to do after I finished my undergrad, working as an architect seemed like it would wrong Charleston somehow. I almost stumbled into Historic Preservation by accident. My brother tells people that “old stuff’ makes me happy. So why not study “old stuff” in a place I love? I am jealously protective of my Charleston, even with all its faults. My uncle says that once you take that first breath off the salt marshes, Charleston gets in your blood and never lets go; people that are from Charleston never leave and people that aren’t never stay. When not studying I volunteer with a local search and rescue group, I am a “victim” for training search dogs; otherwise I spend as much time as possible on the water; tubing, fishing, and kayaking.

Sarah Sanders


Bachelors of Arts in Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington

I have always considered myself lucky to have spent the entirety of my twenty-two years in the same 1850s farmhouse in Mansfield, Ohio. Growing up on a small farm in the Midwest was as you might expect: corn, cows, the county fair and drive your tractor to school day, and I loved every minute of it. Although I didn't appreciate it at the time, I had the blessing of great parents who loved to pack my two sisters and me into the backseat of our car and we would traverse all over the country in pursuit of historic houses, museums, battlefields...you name it. I think it was this wide exposure at a young age that got me hooked on history. It was on one of these many trips that I ventured to the fair state of Virginia for the first time and visited James Madison's Montpelier during the early days of the house’s restoration. After seeing what was going on with the project, I knew that was what I wanted to do- I wanted to spend my life working with historic buildings.

After doing a bit of research during my senior year of high school, I discovered the field of historic preservation and I was enamored with the idea. I did some extensive digging into undergraduate programs and decided to head back to Virginia to pursue my Bachelors of Arts in Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. During my time as an undergrad I had some awesome opportunities to work two summers as a NCPE intern with the National Park Service, one summer in Jackson, Wyoming and the other in Omaha, Nebraska. I also had the chance the summer of my junior year to work for the British architectural firm Purcell in their cultural heritage sector. These experiences made me realize I was headed in the right direction- I love being out in the field and working with historic structures and that is something that I hope to continue to focus on during my time here in Charleston. So after graduation this past spring, I packed my bags and headed to the deep south to indulge my inner preservation nerd for two  more years while I work to complete my masters.

Justin Schwebler


Bachelor of Arts in History, Northern Kentucky University

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but raised across the river near Union, Kentucky. Even as a young child I had an early appreciation for history, running through Gunpowder Creek playing “Indians” with my sister and our friends, while always looking forward to family vacations in historical cities like Williamsburg, St. Augustine, and of course Charleston. My love of history grew throughout my early education, and also with the stories of my own family lineage. Fast-forwarding a few years I decided to follow my passion and seek a BA in History at Northern Kentucky University after a few fruitless years at the University of Louisville as an “undecided” major. This was a life changing period for me as I came to see history as more than just a reading hobby, but as an avenue I wanted to pursue for my career.
Struggling to find a way I could actively work in a historical field aside from teaching, I came across the MSHP program at Clemson/College of Charleston while randomly browsing their website and I was instantly hooked. I’m looking forward to working hands on in our historical built environment, taking on an active role in documenting and preserving history in a way I couldn’t have imagined even a short time ago. Outside of school I am still an obnoxious history buff, but mostly I enjoy hiking, fishing, kayaking etc. I also have a fascination with the arts and dabble in painting and photography. I’m unsure of where the MSHP program will take me, but there are a great number of opportunities in the preservation field back home in Cincinnati, although I would also love a chance to work within the National Park system, especially out west.

Melanie Weston


Bachelor of Arts in History, Mills College

Born and raised in rural, central Maine, I’ve had a personal interest in historic preservation since childhood. Growing up in an early 19th century farmhouse, issues of rehabilitation and preservation were always on my mind. Throughout my life, I constantly found myself drawn to older buildings, but not knowing that preservation was even a field of study I could go into, I sought my undergraduate degree in history from Mills College in Oakland, California. With an emphasis in American history and a minor in anthropology, I graduated in 2012 and then took a year off from school. During that time, I dabbled in archaeology (an amateur passion of mine), completing a two week field school at a Paleo-Indian site in Northern New Hampshire, and worked at bakery located in an old bank building (adaptive reuse at its best). Besides history and archaeology, my other interests include archival science, country music, long road trips, cactus gardening, and furniture restoration. While I am unsure what area of historic preservation I would like to go into for the long haul, I am certain these next two years will help me to see where I will fit best.

Laura Lee Worrell


Bachelor of Science in Building Construction and Design, Virginia Tech

I grew up in Suffolk, Virginia, in an old farm house that my dad had remodeled in his twenties. I often explored neighboring farm houses and sheds that were left to the elements, curious about who had lived in them, where they had gone, and how they had built the structures. Most of my family vacations growing up consisted of visiting historic places such as Jamestown, Monticello, Charleston, and many more. When I was 16 years old I met a former Clemson/College of Charleston Historic Preservation graduate. That meeting with her was a defining moment for me when I realized I could do this, something I was fiercely passionate and curious about, for a living.
I attended Virginia Tech were I majored in Building Construction and Design and received a minor in Real Estate. I got to help build log cabins, work with amazing construction industry professionals, and learn from talented professors who were experts in various fields. With the knowledge and skills I have obtained from my undergraduate degree, I am ecstatic to begin my next chapter here at Clemson University/College of Charleston MSHP program.

Quan Zhou


Bachelors of Archaeology, Northwest University, China

I am a student who graduated from Northwest University, Xi'an City,Shaanxi Province China with a Bachelor of Archaeology. Xi’an, where I lived, is a city with strong cultural atmosphere and magnificent historical heritage. This city has many different museums like Xi'an Museum, Shaanxi History Museum, and so on. Since I was young, I always went to the museums and I was instilled the importance of cultural heritage by local people’s increasing awareness of heritage preservation in daily life.  I started my college life as an archaeology major student and my interest to historic preservation increased day by day by studying a wide variety of relevant disciplines. The learning of archaeology is an enjoyment and pursuing a career of historic preservation deeply rooted in my heart.
Charleston has its unique architectural environment and the web of family linkages associated with this historic architecture. I'm excited to study and live here!

I grew up in the upper Midwest, and with two civil engineers as parents, had the opportunity to visit a number of significant architectural and engineering-related sites during my childhood, always having a particular interest in ecclesiastical structures. After undergraduate graduation, I interned and then worked for the Minnesota Transportation Museum in Saint Paul, MN. In the fall of 2011, our site, the Jackson Street Roundhouse, was chosen for the National Trust’s ‘Partners in Preservation’ program, and I realized that I enjoyed my work revolving around this project more than anything else I was doing. After recognizing that I could further my education and knowledge of historic preservation by going back to school, I applied to a number of master degree programs, but Clemson, with its well-rounded approach, was the best fit for me.

My academic and professional interests are in architectural glass design and conservation, more specifically stained and leaded glass. I spent the summer of 2013 interning with Charleston Architectural Glass and gained a better understanding of both current as well as historic methods of production and design (and also realized how much I like working with my hands!). My master’s thesis will look at stained and leaded glass of the ecclesiastical and cemetery structures of Charleston as representative of the larger material culture of the city from approximately 1875-1930.

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