Stephen Westich is a second-year Ph.D. student of medieval art history at Rice University with a special interest in architecture. His interest in the study of art led him to complete his B.A. in art history at Wheaton College (IL) and, furthermore, an M.A. in art history at Indiana University. His M.A. thesis focused on the Gotlandic picture stones and how their visual motifs relate to textual referents as both are passed down in various ways through the centuries. His dissertation work will involve situating the medieval stave churches of Norway in an international context by examining the various influences that converge in the creation of these buildings.