Alumni Profile: Kacie Lucchini Butcher (M. HSPH '19)

HSPH Track: Historic Preservation/Public History
HSPH Alumna Kacie Lucchini Butcher

Read about HSPH alumna Kacie Lucchini Butcher ('19). She is now a Public History Project Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Why did you choose HSPH?

I chose the program because it had the flexibility that would allow me to experiment and find my voice as a public historian. I liked that the program had many fellowship and internship opportunities that added to my resume—I think this is why I got my current position. The program and its leadership were honest in their view of the scholars they hoped we would become: radical, inventive, boundary-pushing, rule breaking. That is what I had envisioned for my work as well. The stars all aligned!

What do you do in your current position?

I am currently the Director of the UW-Madison Public History Project. The Project is a multi-year Chancellor initiative to uncover and give voice to histories of racism and discrimination at the university. The Project will culminate in a physical exhibit in the fall of 2022, a digital exhibit website, a series of events and public programming, and curricular materials - all of which will encourage the campus community to reflect on the history of the university. So, as most public historians will tell you, I am a jack of all trades! Mostly it's a lot of project management but on any given day I could be presenting to classes, writing exhibit text, organizing events with student organizations, meeting with designers, managing social media accounts and the Project newsletter, building a press kit, etc. The list goes on and on!

In what ways did the HSPH program prepare you for your current position?

The HSPH program gave me the opportunity to practice my craft before working in the field. By the time I started my current position, I had already written an exhibit, worked with a design team, presented to the public, collaborated with various community partners, organized a fundraising public event, managed a communications plan/social media, helped to build a website, etc. These are all skills I learned in classes, internships, or fellowships, and skills that I use nearly every day. Without the program, I would’ve been left to learn those skills on the job (which of course I still am learning all the time at work) but I came into my job with a leg up having done this before. It was also what made me competitive on the job market. My resume was not solely academic but a list of practical experiences, projects, and collaborative partnerships from my time in the program.

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