Visiting Assistant Professor
Michelle Follette Turk, Ph.D. is a historian of occupational health and the state of Nevada. Her work examines labor, hazards, and health and safety programs in southern Nevada from early building of the railroad through dam construction, chemical manufacturing during World War II, nuclear testing, and hospitality employment. Turk authored Gambling with Lives: A History of Occupational Health in Greater Las Vegas, Expanded and Revised Edition, (Reno and Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 2020), as well as scholarly articles and lectures on occupational health history, the Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas medical history. She earned her doctorate in the history of the twentieth century American West with specialties in public history. Turk teaches in the Department of History and Honors College at UNLV, and is the Associate Editor of the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. She serves on the Board of Directors of Preserve Nevada, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Nevada’s cultural, historical, and archeological heritage that is housed on the UNLV Campus as part of the Department of History and the Public History Program. Turk is the primary historian and curriculum designer for the VR Hoover Dam prototype, a virtual reality game exploring the history and construction of the Hoover Dam funded by a Digital Projects for the Public grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the granddaughter of Kirk V. Cammack Jr., M.D., the second board-certified surgeon in Nevada and cofounder of the Lion’s Burn Care Center at University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas.