Virtual talks remain the order of the day given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In March, I gave an online talk titled “Teaching Astronomy and Nineteenth-century American Catholic Higher Education” to members of the Madison Astronomical Society. The following month I presented a dissertation-related paper titled “Cattell’s Catholics: Who were these American Men (and Women) of Science?” given virtually at the 2021 Midwest Junto.
Also, in the Spring I was finally able to travel and utilize my 2020 Summer Award for Off-Campus Upper Division and Graduate Students travel grant from the Charles Redd Center at Brigham Young University for dissertation-related research. My proposal to explore “Early Science Education at St. Mary’s Academy in Salt Lake City, 1875–1900,” developed from seeing intriguing pre-1900 details about this school for young girls in newspaper articles that mentioned astronomy, physics, physiology, and other sciences. I enjoyed two days working the in Special Collections at BYU along with time in the Archives of the Catholic Church in Utah in downtown Salt Lake City where I found good material to help me decenter Protestantism in this one instance by looking at St. Mary’s to provide an example for my dissertation of Catholic higher education in an alternative religious context.