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CPN member, Cultural Heritage Center Director earns Doctorate Degree

Kelli Mosteller, a member of the Ogee and Weld families and director of the Cultural Heritage Center, earned a Ph.D. in Native American history from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mosteller began college in 2000, attending Oklahoma State University and earning her Bachelor of Arts in history in 2005. From there, she attended the University of Texas and enrolled in the UT History Masters/Ph.D. program.

“I didn’t take any breaks from school, so my undergraduate and graduate work has been constant for the past 13 years,” said Dr. Mosteller. “After the coursework the research and writing becomes very self-driven and you really need to be passionate about what you’re doing.”

Mosteller wrote her dissertation on Citizen Potawatomi Nation history from 1861-1891 and focused on the CPN response to allotment and citizenship policy.

“Growing up and learning about CPN history I knew that this was an important time for CPN,” said Dr. Mosteller. “These policies and our responses to them have shaped who are and I really wanted to dig into that.”

Mosteller received multiple grants to conduct research and spent time at the Smithsonian, the Newberry Library, the Kansas Historical Society, the National Archives annex in Ft. Worth, and at the CPN Cultural Heritage Center.

“I spent hours digging through boxes and microfilm in the basements of these huge libraries,” added Dr. Mosteller. “The documents aren’t in the best condition and it was sometimes difficult to decipher the handwriting.”

Mosteller will extend the project to include CPN history through 1934 and hopes to have the book published in the next four years.