Student Spotlight

Nick Heitkamp   ~  Student Assistant

I’m originally from the Mojave Desert, and being a student at Sonoma State University and living in the North Bay has opened my eyes to a completely different lifestyle

I entered S.S.U. as a freshman history major with a passion for American history and a plan to finish my B.A. two semesters early – a decision that has led to one of the most challenging yet enriching accomplishments of my college career. I plan to complete a Ph.D. program and eventually teach at a public university.

My research interests include early twentieth century American culture, environmental history with a focus on the ways in which humans and landscapes interact over time, and Southern California urban development before 1920. I am particularly interested in issues that pertain to the West and, more specifically, California. When I’m not nose-deep in an intriguing monograph or archival newspaper, I enjoy playing the oboe and making homemade jam.

Journal entry (1938) from the James Modini Papers, SSU Library Special Collections

Working in the Library’s Special Collections department, I see myself as a piece of a larger puzzle that tries to connect people with history in intriguing, vivid ways. Whether it is a journal such as Jim Modini’s with its amazing insight into Sonoma County’s ranching past, a captivating interview, or a telling photograph, these sources weave Sonoma County’s past into a complex, historical tapestry. Being a part of interpreting and making available those windows into the past has truly been an enriching experience for me. ~ Nick Heitkamp