sean plottner lives in South Strafford, Vermont, with his wife and two children. He is the editor of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. He is a recent member of The Friends of the Morrill Homestead, which works to preserve the legacy of Justin Morrill and his Gothic pink palace. The Homestead regularly hosts students from Land Grant schools across the country and hosted a Symposium last year to celebrate the Sesquicen-tennial of Lincoln's signing of Morrill's legislation. Vermont's oldest state historic site, the Homestead also offers a wide range of fascinating public programs, from garden restoration to watercolor workshops to the annual 19th century apple festival. For more information, go to www.morrillhomestead.org.
tom isern is professor of history and University Distinguished Professor at NDSU. He earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University.
He is the author or co-author of six books about life on the Great Plains of North America, including Dakota Circle: Excursions on the True Plains. He is best known across North Dakota for his weekly feature, Plains Folk, on Prairie Public radio. He has received five major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and also has won the Peltier Award for Innovative Teaching and the Fargo Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Professorship. He is president of the Western Social Science Association and is founding director of the NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal.
brianna mcdaniel graduated from NDSU in 2011 and is teaching English and speech in Beach, North Dakota. As you'll read in her essay about the transition from student to teacher, she grew up in Bismarck, not always as outgoing as she has become. These days, she is well known among her wide group of friends for her acumen as a grammarian, and for being a good sport with her students, as shown in this social media post from a few weeks ago: "... got my face covered in whip cream at a pep rally at work today, then received a round of applause for taking dead last in the contest. Seems like a fairly typical work day for an adult."