Our Staff

ABOUT Our Staff
Our staff
Amy Cao

Amy Cao

Collections Manager & NAGPRA Specialist

Phone: 970-247-7030
Email: arcao@fortlewis.edu

Amy Cao joined the Center of Southwest Studies team in 2018. As Collections Manager, she works hands-on with the museum collections: processing acquisitions, performing preventative conservation, prepping art and objects for storage, research, and exhibition, and everything in between. As NAGPRA Specialist, Amy coordinates the Center’s and FLC’s NAGPRA projects, serves to fulfill their ethical and legal requirements, and supports the Center’s commitment to an integrated and collaborative approach to working with Indigenous collections and communities. Amy also facilitates academic use of the collections by providing curriculum and research support and training undergraduate student interns in all aspects of collections care and management. Amy has worked in the museum field for over eight years and holds a B.A. in Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Southern University at New Orleans.

Gretchen Gray

Gretchen Gray

College Records Manager & Library Specialist

Phone: 970-382-6951
Email: ghgray@fortlewis.edu

As a Fort Lewis College alumna (‘08), Gretchen Gray returned to the Center of Southwest Studies in 2019. In her role as Archives Specialist, Gretchen manages the College’s institutional records and is responsible for maintaining appropriate retention schedules in compliance with legal regulations. She oversees the transfer of historically significant archives to the Center’s permanent collections. As Library Specialist, Gretchen assists in the management of the Delaney Research Library, providing access to students, faculty, and other researchers. She also supervises and trains undergraduate student interns and student workers in all aspects of archival arrangement, processing, and management. Gretchen has worked in cultural heritage management and archives for more than ten years and holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology & Human Services from Fort Lewis College and a M.A. in Cultural Heritage Management with an emphasis in Digital Curation from Johns Hopkins University.

Nik Kendziorski

Nik Kendziorski

Archives Manager

Phone: 970-247-7126
Email: Kendziorski_N@fortlewis.edu

Nik Kendziorski has worked with the Center of Southwest Studies since 2000 and joined the staff full-time in 2006. As Archives Manager, Nik oversees the care and management of archival collections including photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, maps, oral histories, and digital archival materials. Nik connects researchers with the Center’s archival collections, providing access and support to the Fort Lewis College community as well as the general public. He supervises interns, work-study students, and volunteers working hands-on in the archives, and collaborates with faculty from various academic departments to integrate archival materials into coursework. Nik has worked in the public history, museum, and archives field for twenty-five years and completed a B.A. in History from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Wyoming.

Malorie King

Malorie King

Center of Southwest Studies Fellow

Email: msking@fortlewis.edu

Malorie King is of the Mescalero Apache People, born for the Red Running into the Water Clan. As a first-generation college graduate and recent alumna of Fort Lewis College, Malorie holds a BA in Native American and Indigenous Studies with a minor in Heritage Preservation from the Department of History. As the 2024 Center of Southwest Studies Fellow, she collaborates with museum staff on exhibition planning and programming. In addition, Malorie helps facilitate educational outreach, creating online interpretive materials to enhance public engagement with the Center's collections. Committed to bridging academia and the broader community, she is dedicated to making cultural heritage more accessible. Through her multifaceted role, Malorie is actively involved in developing and executing collections-based experiential learning opportunities for Fort Lewis College students, exemplifying her commitment to education, cultural representation, and the dynamic intersection of museum practices and community engagement.

Rachel McGaw

Rachel McGaw

Administrative Assistant

Phone: 970-382-6923
Email: rmmcgaw@fortlewis.edu

Rachel McGaw has worked as the Administrative Assistant for the Center of Southwest Studies since 2022. Rachel provides behind-the-scenes support for all Center activities and is the primary contact for reserving space for academic and public programs and meetings. She has worked in an administrative capacity off and on for eight years. Rachel holds a B.S. in Human Services with a High-Risk Youth concentration and a B.A. in History from Metropolitan State University of Denver, as well as an M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University.

Dr. Cory Pillen

Dr. Cory Pillen


Phone: 970-247-7359
Email: cjpillen@fortlewis.edu

Cory Pillen joined the Center of Southwest Studies as Director in 2022. In this position, she is responsible for the Center’s fiscal health and oversees its mission and long-term vision, which includes managing the Center’s operations and professional staff and working with staff and faculty to develop exhibitions, programming, and an institutional plan for collections management. In addition to serving as the Center’s Director, Cory is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art & Design and an affiliated faculty member in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Fort Lewis College, where she has worked since 2014. Cory earned her Ph.D. in Art History, with a minor in U.S. History, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Her recent book project, which addresses posters produced by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the 1930s and early 1940s, was published by Routledge in March 2020 as a part of its Research in Art and Politics Series.


Delaney Library: Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm or by appointment
Exhibit Gallery: Mon - Fri 1 - 4 pm or by appointment

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Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive Durango, CO 81301

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Parking: During the Fall and Spring terms, you can purchase parking passes online. Parking is free after 3:30 p.m. and during the summer, May to August.


Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7359

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