College of Arts & Sciences Support and Development Award

Three flights deep into my research on western American Scandinavian immigrants, I think it’s high time to express my gratitude to West Chester University’s College of Arts & Sciences for awarding me a Spring 2015 CASSDA Grant — it is on the CAS’s dime that I am able to fly back and forth to Denver all winter/spring to conduct my research in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska.

So far, coolest thing: Swedish Crosses Cemetery in Dawson County, NE. I am–and have been–drawn to these three Berg children. The novel I am completing, which is the crux of the grant I wrote for this CASSDA, in many ways starts with these children, their parents, and these crosses. I am not seized as much by the gravestones/gravemarkers themselves, though I appreciate that I should be, but the way in which these artifacts have been preserved–and the way they endure out in NE today, thrust through the very heart of this country’s land–this is what really drives my imagination.  It’s really something.  I find it hard to manage in the novel.  But it’s coming together.

More updates on this throughout the winter/spring.

Thank you again, WCU CAS!