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Staff

Heart Mountain in the background under a blue sky filled with fluffy clouds, with a corner of the barrack in the foreground

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has a varied and dedicated full-time and part-time staff, with backgrounds in museums, education, history, communications, preservation, and design. Read below for role descriptions, staff biographies, and contact information.

©Ted Brummond, UW Photo Services

Aura Sunada Newlin


Executive Director

aura@heartmountain.org

The Executive Director oversees the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, representing the organization on a national and international stage, managing the staff, and coordinating with the Heart Mountain Board of Directors. She spearheads our grant writing and implementation and collaborates with all departments to ensure consistent policy and communications, sound museum practice, and general operations that live up to the Foundation’s mission.

Aura Sunada Newlin is a fourth-generation Wyomingite, fourth-generation Japanese American, and Executive Director for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF). Her heritage involves intertwined stories of imprisonment at Heart Mountain and Tule Lake; segregated military service; and hardships suffered by railroaders who were fired because of their Japanese ancestry. Aura was elected to the HMWF board of directors in 2013 and served as board secretary for eight years. She is also on the board of directors for the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and was a founding member of the National Steering Committee for Tsuru for Solidarity. She previously taught Asian American Studies courses at the University of Wyoming and was a tenured faculty member in
sociology and anthropology at Wyoming’s Northwest College.

Aura earned a BA in ethnomusicology from the University of Wyoming and an MA in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University. Now focusing on the anthropology of law, she is a PhD candidate at Case Western Reserve University. Aura’s work has been profiled by the Women in Wyoming podcast and gallery exhibit; the University of Wyoming’s Featured Alumni series; and Wyoming PBS. She was named statewide Faculty Member of the Year by the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees in 2018 and received the Community Member Award of the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice in 2021.

©Akiko Photo

Rebecca McKinley


Deputy Director

rebecca@heartmountain.org

The Deputy Director focuses on the musem aspect of the Foundation, including our education, public, and member outreach efforts and planning our annual Pilgrimage. She oversees and coordinates with the Director of Interpretation & Preservation, Collections Manager, Education Manager, and Membership & Development Manager.

Rebecca McKinley joined the Heart Mountain’s leadership in May of 2023 as the Deputy Director. She brings a wealth of museum, collections, and development experience supplemented by an academic background in anthropology and bioarchaeology. Rebecca worked previously as Special events Coordinator and Donor Advisor at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody; Curator and then Interim Executive Director of the Washakie Museum & Cultural Center in Worland, WY; and Collections Intern for the Meeteetse Museums in Meeteetse, WY. Originally from Oregon, Rebecca has lived in Wyoming for the past seven years.

Logan Christie


Director of Operations

logan@heartmountain.org

The Director of Operations oversees the financial operations of the Foundation and general running of the buildings and facilities including the Interpretive Center and other structures around the Heart Mountain site.

Logan Christie joined the Heart Mountain team in February 2023 as Director of Operations. Logan is a third-generation Wyomingite, life-long Cody boy, and University of Wyoming graduate with a stint of work in New York City. For the past 13 years he has worked in the juvenile justice arena, serving most recently as the Youth Services Coordinator for Park County. Logan’s background includes criminal justice administration and IT. Logan chairs the Wyoming State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice, which advises the state on a variety of topics including alternatives to incarceration for youth. Logan is the son of award-winning landscape artist Reid Christie, he has an encyclopedic memory for sports (all types) and music (all genres), and he has a 9 handicap on the golf course.

Ray Locker


Director of Communications & Strategy

rayl@heartmountain.org

The Director of Communications & Strategy focuses on projects produced through the Mineta-Simpson Institute, coordinates with the Executive Director on grants, and collaborates with the Graphic Design & Brand Manager on the magazine, marketing and general communications strategies.

Ray Locker is the Director of Communications and Strategy for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. He has created the Foundation’s workshop for educators sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and overseen the publication of books by the Foundation. Before joining Heart Mountain, Ray spent 36 years as a reporter and editor at news organizations including USA TODAY, the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Tampa Tribune. He is the author of two books, Nixon’s Gamble and Haig’s Coup, which detail the history of the Nixon administration.

Cally Steussy portrait

Cally Steussy, Ph.D.


Director of Interpretation & Preservation

callys@heartmountain.org

The Director of Interpretation & Preservation handles exhibit planning and creation, public programming, and monitoring the status of the historic buildings.

Cally first came to Heart Mountain as a graduate student in 2015. “Growing up in Indiana, I never learned about this history in school, but my graduate advisor knew about the site, and she knew that I spoke Japanese. So she basically picked me up by the scruff of the neck like a kitten and told me to go visit.” That first visit became the core of Cally’s PhD work, officially completed in August 2022, two years after she was hired by the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation as Museum Manager. Today Cally is the Director of Interpretation & Preservation.

Miranda Bickford Portrait

Miranda Bickford


Collections Manager

miranda@heartmountain.org

The Collections Manager oversees the care and preservation of the Foundation’s collections, coordinates traveling exhibits, and assists in the creation of in-house exhibits.

Miranda grew up in Carl Junction, Missouri then moved to Oklahoma for college where she worked with the Cherokee, Keetoowah, Caddo, five Apache Nations and Greenwood Massacre descendants. Throughout both her Bachelors in History and American Indian Studies as well as her Masters in Museum Science and Management, Miranda made working with minority communities and their artifacts a priority. She has a passion for uplifting minority voices in museum spaces and history, returning artifacts to their rightful cultures as well as helping communities preserve and share their history with others. 

With Heart Mountain Interpretive Center being the seventh museum she’s worked in, she has worked with a variety of objects including prehistoric stone tools, Indigenous ceremonial garb, historic buildings, modern art, and now the various WWII Era objects in the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation collection. 

At the Interpretive Center, Miranda oversees the Foundation’s Collections: Permanent, Education, Reference, and prop ensuring their care and preservation for generations to come as well as all artifact donations. Additionally, she manages our traveling exhibits, tracking all artifacts and exhibit loans, and assists with the creation of our own exhibits ensuring the stories and objects she oversees are given a voice within the museum.

Michael McDaniel


Membership & Development Manager

michael@heartmountain.org

The Membership & Development Manager handles donations, fundraising, and member relations, and manages Pilgrimage event registration.

Michael joined the Foundation in August 2023. He has lived in Wyoming for 39 years and holds a BA in Social Science and an MA in Political Science from the University of Wyoming, in addition to being a current doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration. Michael’s research focuses on exclusionary policy, paternalism, and hate speech. He is dedicated to examining social issues from the ground up and reimagining Wyoming and a world of greater understanding. Michael is using his role to build relationships in which the key component is restorative justice and a dedication to educating future generations on the dangers of racism and the erosion of civil liberties in times of unrest.

Tracey Rosenlund


Governance & Leadership Coordinator, Office of the Chair

tracey@heartmountain.org

The Governance & Leadership Coordinator supports the Executive Director and the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, liaising between the two entities and collaborating on event planning, enabling communications and operations of the Foundation.

Tracey joined the Foundation in August 2023. Her background includes experience in marketing and communications, administrative support, and community organizing. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wyoming. Tracey is committed to community service, with her passion projects including disability support services, public health, community-centered criminal justice reform, and animal rescue.

Sybil Tubbs


Education Manager

sybil@heartmountain.org

The Education Manager oversees Heart Mountain’s education and outreach programs, leading in-person and virtual school groups, coordinates our annual educator workshops, and ensuring that our educational materials and messaging follow best practices and reflect the Foundation’s mission.

Sybil came to Heart Mountain in June 2022 for a one-year service position through the Americorps VISTA program. In June 2023, she joined our full-time staff as Education Manager. Her role allows her to connect with teachers and students from around the country, and gain new skills in many areas of the museum field. She is excited to expand the educational materials and programs offered at Heart Mountain! Sybil is from Cullman, Alabama, and holds a B.A. in Public History from Athens State University and a M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Kate Wilson


Graphic Design & Brand Manager

katew@heartmountain.org

The Graphic Design & Brand Manager oversees and creates visual communication materials related to the Foundation and Interpretive Center, including the magazine, Kokoro Kara, the website, and all marketing, fundraising, exhibit, and event materials.

Kate started working at Heart Mountain in August 2014. After a break in 2015 to complete her Master’s degree, she re-joined the staff in November 2016 and has worked full-time for the Foundation since then. Kate was born in Powell, WY, to parents transplanted from New York & Connecticut who fell in love with the West. After leaving the area to earn her B.A. in History from Occidental College in Los Angeles, she returned to Powell to complete an A.A.S. in Graphic Design at Northwest College. Kate has also earned a CELTA certificate in Boston, a Post Graduate Diploma in Communication Design from the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland, and a M.A. in Museums, Galleries, and Contemporary Culture from the University of Westminster in London, UK. In addition, she has worked and lived in Ireland, South Korea, and Canada.

Inheriting her love of travel and multicultural experiences from her parents and family, Kate enjoys drawing inspiration from a wide variety of cultures, time periods, geographic settings, films, photographs, literature, artwork, and the natural world for her work. Growing up in Powell with Heart Mountain on her doorstep, her interest in World War II and twentieth century history was sparked at an early age. As an adult, she made it her goal to combine her passions for history and visual arts in the museum setting.

Kate currently works remotely for the Foundation from New Zealand, where she has lived since November 2019 with her partner.

Johnny Tim Yellowtail


Historic Site Caretaker

johnnytim@heartmountain.org

The Historic Site Caretaker maintains the grounds, monitors our historic structures, and leads guided tours of the barrack, hospital complex, memorial honor park, and guard tower in the summer season.

Johnny Tim joined the Heart Mountain team in January 2022. He is a member of the Apsáalooke nation, commonly known as the Crow nation. Johnny Tim is a Men’s Traditional Dancing Champion who has represented Apsáalooke traditions in Spain, Canada, and at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He is also trained in archaeological monitoring and twice helped repair the roof tarp on the Heart Mountain root cellar when full restoration was delayed during the pandemic.

In his role as Historic Site Caretaker, Johnny Tim is tending to the physical, historical, and spiritual dimensions of this land that is sacred to Japanese Americans and Indigenous peoples alike. He is also serving as tribal liaison as the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation seeks to deepen our connections with the Indigenous peoples that have called this place home.

Carter Reed, J.D.


Community Projects Specialist

carter@heartmountain.org

The Community Projects Specialist develops and maintains relationships with neighbors surrounding the Heart Mountain site to facilitate the preservation of the land and to enhance partnerships and dialogues with the local community.

Carter was born and raised in Cody, Wyoming. The grandson of Caucasian locals who homesteaded in Heart Mountain barracks after World War II, he grew up learning about the site. He has volunteered or worked at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center during the summers on and off since 2012. 

After attending Northwest College in Powell, Carter finished his undergraduate education at California State University, Long Beach. Throughout college, he competed in speech and debate. This inspired him to attend the University of Nebraska College of Law, where he competed in moot court and graduated with distinction in 2020. After a short time practicing civil law back in Wyoming, Carter became a PhD candidate in Rhetoric & Political Communication at the University of Kansas in 2022. His primary research interest is in the rhetoric of national identity regarding the human and constitutional rights abuses committed against Japanese Americans during their wartime incarceration and afterwards. 

Since 2023, Carter has been working summers as a project specialist with the local community. He is helping develop relationships between the Foundation and our neighbors. Ultimately, the Foundation hopes to work with our local friends to preserve the land of the Heart Mountain incarceration site.

Visitor Services


Our Visitor Services staff welcome visitors to the Interpretive Center, providing a comprehensive introduction to the history of Heart Mountain & the Japanese American incarceration, and the museum & historic site layout.

Marla Barngrover

Anna Clifton

Augusta Larsen

Bonnie Sauceda

Isabel Taylor