Sean Jacobson

Sean Jacobson

Sean Jacobson

Program: Joint Doctorate in Public History and American History


Office: Crown Center 557

Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30 - 4:00 PM or by appointment

Advisor: Dr. Ted Karamanski

File Attachments:
  1. JacobsonS_CV JacobsonS_CV
  2. JacobsonS_Writing_Sample JacobsonS_Writing_Sample
    "Western's New Deal: The Shaping of College Heights During the Great Depression," Honors Thesis project at Western Kentucky University


Doctor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago (ongoing)

  • Joint Program in Public History / American History

Master of Arts, Loyola University Chicago, 2019

  • Public History

Bachelor of Arts, Western Kentucky University, 2016

  • History / Broadcasting (TV/Film Production)
  • Minor in Latin American Studies

Research Interests

Major Fields: Public History; US History

US History Comprehensive Exam Fields: 19th Century US; 20th Century US; American Religion

My research interests span multiple topics within American History and Public History. Within American History, I am interested in 19th and 20th century American social and cultural history, American Christianity, America in the world, and the intersections between faith and public memory. At present, I am researching the responses of white and indigenous Christians to the 1830 Indian Removal Act and its aftermath effects on American Protestantism and racial justice.  Previous projects have included topics such as American missionaries in the Middle East, humanitarian responses to the Armenian Genocide, the New Deal in higher education, and memory in the built environment.

Specific to Public History, I am interested in "sites of conscience" and museums that address more difficult subject matters, such as slavery and genocide, among other tragedies and atrocities. I have previously created a podcast miniseries on genocide memorials in the Chicago area and wrote a journal article-length narrative on the history of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

Teaching Experience

Discussion Section Instructor

  • Western Civilization I (Fall 2018)

  • Western Civilization II (Spring 2019)

  • American Pluralism (Fall 2019)

Teaching Assistant (Grader)

  • Western Civilization I (Fall 2017)

  • United States since 1865 (Spring 2018)


Scholar of the College, Highest GPA in Potter College of Arts & Letters, Western Kentucky University (2016)

Summa Cum Laude, Western Kentucky University (2016)

James Poteet Award for Contributions to Historical Field, Western Kentucky University (2016)

Arndt M. Stickles Award for Excellence in History, Western Kentucky University (2016)

Best Documentary Award, WKU Film Festival (2016)

John Lynn Award for Excellence in Public Speaking, Western Kentucky University (2013)

Cherry Presidental Scholar, Western Kentucky University (2012-2016)


Chocolate is a Fighting Food: Chocolate Bars during the Second World War,” O Say Can You See?, Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog, October 24, 2016.

Buried Treasure on College Heights: The Story of the 1937 Cherry Time Capsule,” SPIRIT, WKU alumni magazine, Winter 2016: 17-19.

Service and Volunteer Work

Loyola History Graduate Student Association

Treasurer, 2018-2019

Loyola HGSA Conference Co-Chair, "Building Bridges", 2018

American Historical Association

Worker, Local Arrangements Committee Office, 2019 Annual Meeting

Conference Papers

"Light Unto the Nations: Jewish Survivor Leadership at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center," 16th Annual Loyola History Graduate Student Association Conference, Chicago, IL (November 2019)

  • Panel: "Jewish Refugee and Holocaust Survivor Experiences"

"Nominating the Historic Petersen Farm, Preserving McHenry County History," 21st Annual Conference on Illinois History, Springfield, IL (October 2019)

  • Panel: "Identifying, Evaluating, and Documenting Agricultural History in Illinois"

"Sacred Spaces of Diasporas: Podcasting on Genocide Memorials in Chicago," 31st Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, Grand Rapids, MI (October 2018)

  • Panel: "Exhibiting Faith Through Public History"

"American Public Memory of Mass Atrocities," History Graduate Colloquium, Western Kentucky University (February 2017)

"Western's New Deal: The Shaping of College Heights During the Great Depression," WKU Student Research Conference, Western Kentucky University (March 2016)

  • Session winner for best presentation

"From Demon Rum to God's Great Gift: American Evangelical Perceptions of Alcohol," History Undergraduate Reserach Conference, Western Kentucky University (April 2015)

  • Conference winner for best presentation

Unpublished Work

"Western's New Deal: The Shaping of College Heights During the Great Depression," Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects, Paper 607. Available on WKU TopSCHOLAR. 

Public History Projects

Co-Author and Consultant, Historic Petersen Farm National Register of Historic Places Nomination, McHenry, IL

  • Property recommended for NRHP listing by IL Historic Sites Advisory Council, October 2019

Co-Author and Editor, Italian American Veterans Museum Revitalization Report, Stone Park, IL

  • Spring 2019

Interviewer and Transcriber, Happy Medium Ventures Oral History Project, Chicago, IL

  • November 2018

Producer, Host, and Editor, Testimony Podcast Series

Interviewer and Transcriber, RACE: Are We So Different? Visitor Evaluations, Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL

  • June 2018 - July 2018

Interviewer, Immigrant Advocacy History Project, Chicago, IL

  • April 2018 - June 2018

Videographer, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church Oral Histories, Chicago, IL

  • October 2017

Researcher and Docent, The Riverview at Hobson Grove, Bowling Green, KY

  • October - December 2016

Researcher and Contributor, Printing Press Plaza Program, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

  • June - August 2016

Creator, Speakeasy Bartender Historical Interpretation, Frazier History Museum, Louisville, KY

  • June - August 2014

Creator and Director, "Buried Treasure on the Hill," Documentary Short, Bowling Green, KY

Creator and Director, "Buried Treasure on the Hill," Documentary Short, Bowling Green, KY

Short documentary on a little-known time capsule that encapsulates public memory of Western Kentucky University's founder.


Pritzker Military Museum & Library (Summer 2018)

  • Reference Intern
  • Chicago, IL

WKU Library of Special Collections (Spring 2017) 

  • Connie Mills Special Collections Internship
  • Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

National Museum of American History (Summer 2016) 

  • Intern, Office of Education and Public Engagement
  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Frazier History Museum (Summer 2014) 

  • Intern, Historical Interpretations
  • Louisville, KY
Author: Sean Jacobson
Last modified: 2/23/2020 7:10 PM (EST)