Since 1980, Mary Thompson has worked at George Washington's Mount Vernon in several capacities: Historic Interpreter (1980); Curatorial Assistant (1980-1986); Curatorial Registrar (1986-1998); Research Specialist (1998-2008); and Research Historian (2008-present). She is currently responsible for research to support programs in all departments at Mount Vernon, with a primary focus on everyday life on the estate, including domestic routines, foodways, religious practices, slavery, and the slave community. She has lectured on a variety of subjects, ranging from family life and private enterprise among the slaves at Mount Vernon, to slave resistance, the diet of the Mount Vernon slaves, Christmas at Mount Vernon, religious practices in the Washington family, and funeral and mourning customs in George Washington's family. Mary has also authored chapters in a number of books, as well as entries in encyclopedias, and a variety of articles. Mary has a B.A. in History, with a minor in Folklore, from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and an M.A. in History from the University of Virginia, where her thesis dealt with the relationship between colonists and Native Americans in Georgia and the Carolinas in the mid-18th century. Before joining the Mount Vernon staff, Ms. Thompson worked as a volunteer at two United States Army museums and as a field researcher on a grant project, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to identify practitioners of traditional folk crafts in central Alabama.