Get to Know Brad Winn

As part of btw’s Profiles of interesting people, we present the transcript of an interview with Brad Winn. Brad has a life-long love of history and uses his social studies training as a staff member for a Lewis and Clark historical site in Hartford Illinois. Recently, Brad fulfilled a dream by taking his own modern-day journey along the path of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s exploration into the Louisiana Territory.)

Personal Background

btw: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brad Winn: I was raised in Springfield, Illinois (the Land of Lincoln) surrounded by historic places and museums. My parents began taking me to historic sites at a young age and I can vividly remember a trip to Tennessee to visit several Civil War sites while in Junior High.

btw: What sort of hobbies do you have? What do you do for fun?

Brad Winn: I am a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan and since moving to the St Louis area I have been a partial season ticket holder since 2006. I love to read–something learned at an early age that has served me well in my careers. I think the first serious history book I read (The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara) was given to me by my father. I enjoy traveling, but also make it a point to explore my own community. Often folks never take the time to see the treasures they have in their own backyards.

btw: Please, tell us about your education and training that helped you in the work that you do.

Brad Winn: I first wanted to study veterinary medicine but I always had an active interest in history.  I think I was truly hooked during my freshman year, U.S. History survey course. Dr. Dan Hockman challenged and encouraged his students to love and appreciate history. During my Junior year, I switched majors to American History. I received my B.A. in History from Eastern Illinois University in 1993 and received my M.A. in History in 1997 from Georgia Southern University.

I would not be where I am today if not for the faculty, staff and fellow graduate students at Georgia Southern.  The encouragement of my graduate director Dr. Alan Downs and professors like Dr. Charles Crouch helped me to improve and develop the skills and passion I have for history and more importantly the value of sharing that with others.

btw: Where do you work?

Brad Winn: While studying at Georgia Southern, I began working at Ft. McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill, GA as a Historic Interpreter. When I moved back to Illinois in 1998 I worked as a Program Manager for Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Petersburg, IL. In 2001 I became the Site Manager at the new Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, IL. I also began teaching History and Computer Literacy in 1998 at the local community colleges, first at Lincoln Land and now at Lewis and Clark Community College.

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