Western Regional Director of Indiana State Historic Sites
Mike Linderman, Western Regional Director for ISMHS began working for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites in 1993. In his first position, he served in a unique role as interpreter for the archaeology dig at the Lanier Mansion SHS twenty years ago. In 1994 he became the Assistant Site Manager at the Lanier site. While at Lanier, he oversaw Pigeon Roost SHS in Scottsburg, Indiana, a site that is now owned by the Scott County Historical Society.
In 1997 Mike transferred to T.C. Steele as the Assistant Site Manager and spent 2 years in that role. He briefly was responsible for the operations at Limberlost SHS during a time when the site was between Managers. In 1999 he was promoted to Site Manager at Angel Mounds SHS. In 2009 he became the Western Regional Director for ISHS, again working with T.C. Steele, Vincennes SHS, New Harmony SHS and Corydon Capitol SHS. Mike is based at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site.
Cate Whetzel is the Program Developer at T.C. Steele State Historic Site, responsible for creating new site events and programs, and maintaining and expanding annual programs. She assists with the day-to-day site operations of the site, updates social media, and partners whenever possible with local arts organizations, museums, and non-profits. She adds inventory in the museum shop, searching for new and original pieces from local artists, and merchandise tied to Steele and the site’s mission. Cate wrote and managed the grant that recreated T.C. Steele’s Traveling Studio Wagon, and continues to run the site’s Artist in Residence program, for which she supports the Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites grant-funded programming offered by Indiana artists at T.C. Steele.
Cate started at the site in 2015, and prior to that worked as a freelance editor, and taught American Literature, Creative Writing, Post-Colonial Literature and Poetry at an independent high school in metro Detroit. She has served as Poet in Residence in five Chicago schools through the Poetry Center of Chicago’s Hands on Stanzas program, and has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Indiana University, Bloomington. She lives in Bloomington with her husband Ben Debus, and their two adorable children.
Laura McCracken has been an Intermittent interpreter since 2018 and lives in Brown County. She and her husband, Kevin, have settled on Hickory Hill near Yellowwood State Forest and land where generations of Kevin’s family lived. Laura has been coming to Brown County all her life, she loves outdoor activities, namely hiking, kayaking, exploring back roads, and gardening; and has earned both Indiana Master Naturalist and Indiana Master gardener certifications. She is a full-time English teacher at Northside Middle School in nearby Columbus, an art lover with a deep and abiding drive to make art.
Laura received her M.Ed. from Walden University and her English undergrad degree from IU. She especially loves using art as a writing prompt with her students and looks forward performing a rousing rendition of James Whitcomb Riley’s “When the Frost is On the Punkin”—a yearly tradition for her students after the first frost each fall. Luckily, their three grown children live close enough to visit Hickory Hill often. The McCrackens have a scruffy little Chihuahua-poodle mix named Go, and two black cats, Jinx and Enzo. They also have two hens, Mrs. Bok Bok and Lil’ Red. Laura is excited about contributing to the Brown County community and eager to take her interpretation skills to the next level at T. C. Steele State Historic Site.
Todd Kassim moved to Bloomington with his wife Heather, who started a position at Indiana University. Todd is an Episcopal priest having served in Maryland and Washington, D.C. most recently, but also in Colorado and New Jersey. He grew up in the Adirondacks of New York and is quickly falling in love with southern Indiana. Todd and Heather have an 8 year old son who loves, among other activities, canoeing, hiking, and birding. They enjoy discovering new wonders around the area and seeing the beauty around them from the perspective of Theo and Selma.