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2022 Virtual Teacher Institute: Hosts, Presenters & Historians Biographies

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Caroline Janney

Caroline Janney is the John L. Nau III Professor of the American Civil War and director of the John L. Nau Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia (UVA). A graduate of UVA, she worked as a historian for the National Park Service and taught at Purdue University before returning to UVA in 2018. An active public lecturer, she has given presentations at locations across the globe. Janney is the past president of the Society of Civil War Historians and a series editor for the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America series. She has published seven books, including Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (2013) and Buying and Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America (2021).

Dr. Jonathan W. White

Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University. He is the author or editor of 13 books that cover a variety of topics including civil liberties during the Civil War, the USS Monitor and the Battle of Hampton Roads, the presidential election of 1864, and what soldiers dreamt about. He serves as vice chair of The Lincoln Forum, and on the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council, and in 2019 he won the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award—the highest honor bestowed upon college faculty by the Commonwealth of Virginia. His most recent book is A House Built By Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House. 

 

Presenters & Historians

Garry Adelman

A graduate of Michigan State University and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Garry Adelman is the award-winning author, co-author or editor of 20 books and 50 Civil War articles. He is the vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for 25 years. He has conceived and drafted the text for wayside exhibits at ten battlefields, has given thousands of battlefield tours at more than 60 sites and has lectured at hundreds of locations across the country including the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. He has appeared as a speaker on the BBC, C-Span, Pennsylvania Cable Network, American Heroes Channel, and on HISTORY where he was a chief consultant and talking head on the Emmy Award-winning show Gettysburg (2011) and Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color (2015). He works full time as Chief Historian at the American Battlefield Trust. 

Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini

Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini is the Deputy Director and the Director of the Edward L. Ayers Center for Civil War & Emancipation Studies at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond and Appomattox, VA. In that capacity, she oversees the museum's interpretation through its education, programming, exhibits, and collections. Stephanie has worked in museum and informal education for two decades, fostering learning in museums through everything from costumed interpretation and K-12 outreach education, to professional development and community partnerships. She currently serves on the board of the American Alliance of Museum’s Education professional network. She has a Master’s degree in the Museum Education Program from George Washington University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Michigan.

Claire Bellerjeau

Claire Bellerjeau is the co-author of Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution: The True Story of Robert Townsend and Elizabeth, published in May of 2021. Bellerjeau has established a non-profit organization called Remember Liss, with the mission to educate the community about the extraordinary life and times of an enslaved Black woman from New York named Elizabeth, or Liss. She formerly served as Historian and Director of Education at Liss’s birthplace, Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay, New York, and has been researching the Townsend family and those they enslaved for over seventeen years. In 2015, during a research visit to the New York Historical Society, she discovered what may be one of the earliest poems ever written by Jupiter Hammon, America’s first published African American writer. She has developed educational programs on the subjects of slavery in New York and the American Revolution on Long Island and is currently co-authoring a new young adult book to share Liss’s story with students aged 9 - 12.

Sarah Kay Bierle

Sarah Kay Bierle graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a BA in History, works in the Education Department at American Battlefield Trust, and volunteers as managing editor at Emerging Civil War. She has spent years exploring ways to share quality historical research in ways that will inform and inspire modern audiences, including school presentations, writing, and speaking engagements. Sarah has published three historical fiction books and her first nonfiction book, Call Out The Cadets: The Battle of New Market, is part of the Emerging Civil War series.  

Todd W. Braisted

Todd W. Braisted is an author and independent researcher on the American Revolution, specializing in Loyalist studies. He is a Fellow in the Company of Military Historians, a past-president of the Bergen County Historical Society and the Brigade of the American Revolution. He currently serves as a history advisor to both New Jersey’s Crossroads of the American Revolution and the Revolution New Jersey Advisory Council as well as the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission and other organizations.

Johnny Carawan

Johnny Carawan serves as the trail administrator for the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail and works to raise awareness for the hard-history connected to the Revolutionary War.

Phil Caskey

Phil Caskey currently teaches West Virginia Studies to eighth-graders at Westwood Middle School in Morgantown, W.Va. A nine-year public school teaching veteran, he is the 2016 American Battlefield Trust Teacher of the Year, the 2017 WV DAR Outstanding Teacher of American History, and the 2019 WV American Legion Educator of the Year (K-12). During his career, he has taught West Virginia studies, American Civil War studies, Civics, Honors Civics, World History, and AP Research. 

Patricia Cecil

Patricia Cecil is the Specialist Curator for Faith, Religion, and WWI at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. As a member of the museum and memorial's education department, she looks forward to sharing about classroom resources that explore the early 20th Century.  

Bryan Cheeseboro

Bryan Cheeseboro works for the National Archives with the records of the Civil War. He is a reenactor with Company B, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He has been featured on American Battlefield Trust’s Zoom Goes the History series and Antietam Live: programs. He has written for The Emerging Civil War blog. His presentations to various Round Tables include Volunteers, Substitutes, and Drafted Men: Enlisting in the Civil War: The Grand Reviews of the Civil War; and The 1st United States Colored Infantry.  He is also a board member of the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis is a native of Fredericksburg, VA where his love for the Civil War began on childhood trips to local battlefields. He is a graduate of Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in Public History. Dan has worked as a Ranger/Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Site and the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War and is a regular contributor to Emerging Civil War. He currently resides in Fredericksburg. 

Dr. Iris de Rode

Dr. Iris de Rode is a Dutch historian who specializes in the French participation in the American Revolution. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris 8, based on the personal papers of François-Jean de Chastellux, and teaches at Sciences Po in Paris.

David T. Dixon

David Dixon earned his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. His first book, The Lost Gettysburg Address, told the unusual life story of Texas slaveholder Charles Anderson, whose speech followed Lincoln’s at Gettysburg, but was never published. It turned up 140 years later in a cardboard box in Wyoming.

David has given more than 100 talks to diverse organizations across the country. He appeared on Civil War Talk Radio, numerous podcasts, and academic conferences. He hosts B-List History, a website that features obscure characters and their compelling stories. You may download free pdf versions of his published articles on that website at www.davidtdixon.com. David’s newest book, published by the University of Tennessee Press, is the biography of German revolutionary and Union General August Willich. 

Michael P. Dyer

Michael P. Dyer is the Curator of Maritime History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA. With degrees in American History and American Studies, he has published two books and numerous articles, and has created many museum exhibitions over a career spanning 25 years. “All Hands” will be on exhibit from August 2023-February 2024.

Codie Eash

Codie Eash serves as Director of Education and Museum Operations at Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center in Gettysburg, and is a 2014 graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor degree in communication/journalism and held a minor in history. In addition to museum tours and interpretation, he lectures for National Park Service sites, historical societies, Civil War roundtables, educational groups, and other organizations. He has published articles and essays in local newspapers, regional magazines, and national history journals. Codie is a founding contributor to the collaborative project Pennsylvania in the Civil War; writes book reviews for Civil War Monitor; and maintains the Facebook blog "Codie Eash - Writer and Historian," which primarily focuses on the Civil War era. 

Ana Edwards

Ana Edwards is the Education Programs Manager at the American Civil War Museum within the Edward L. Ayers Center for Civil War and Emancipation Studies. She supervises the education outreach and onsite programs for K-12 public, private, and home school learners, and teacher professional development programs. In her five years at ACWM she has worked on visitor engagement, interpretive planning, and interpretive training for visitor engagement and education staff. Ana has been a Richmond-based public historian and community organizer since 2005. She holds a Master’s degree in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was the recipient of the inaugural VCU History Department Alumni Achievement Award in 2021 for her contributions to public history and advocacy for social justice.

Michael Hensinger

Michael Hensinger is an educator who has been teaching students of all ages since 2011. He graduated from DeSales University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, later earning his teaching certification at Kutztown University.  He has experience working within the classrooms of both public and private schools, as well as collaborating with other education professionals to develop their instructional practices.  While a teacher, Michael helped introduce a Geography Bee, pilot a grant-funded STEM program using the TechyKids coding platform and collaborated with other professionals to launch school and district-wide 1:1 technology initiatives. His passion for history led him to his current position as the Manager of School Programs at the Museum of the American Revolution where he is responsible for training and developing museum educators, fostering relationships with K-12 professionals and organizations, and contributing his experience to program and curriculum development.  He is a board game enthusiast and novice archer. Michael currently resides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Melissa and their rambunctious dog Fiona. 

Jen Knutson

Jen Knutson is the assistant director of the University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum. She received her B.A. from the University of North Florida in Anthropology and is nearly finished with her master’s thesis for the University of West Florida in Anthropology, with an Historical Archaeology focus on Campbell Town, an 18th century French Huguenot colony in British West Florida. As a public archaeologist, she is a Project Archaeology master teacher and curriculum editor as well as the vice-president of the Florida Anthropological Society. She lives in Mobile, Alabama with her husband and their two dogs and two parrots.

Dr. Chris Mackowski

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War. He is the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie, and the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press. Chris is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, and historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Chris serves on the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Warren Marcus

Warren Marcus is a retired educator who taught middle and high school for 17 years and worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for 26 more. He graduated from Brown University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and teaching at two schools in Massachusetts. Warren developed a successful and well-regarded senior history elective on Twentieth Century Issues, including sections on the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, Nuclear Weapons, and later, the Balkan Wars, and apartheid.  In 1992, he was a national finalist for Social Studies Teacher of the Year in a program coordinated by the Disney Channel. During his many years at the USHMM, Warren coordinated and directly presented teacher training programs onsite and around the United States for thousands of teachers.  Thousands more viewed an online version of his workshop on teaching about the Holocaust responsibly.  He developed lessons and learning tools for classroom, online, and Museum use. Warren also co-taught volunteers and staff to be docents for the main exhibit as well as temporary exhibits. 

Shannon McLucas

Shannon McLucas is an interpretive park ranger with the National Park Service at Baltimore Area parks, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, and Hampton National Historic Site. She received her master’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and served as a research fellow at American University. As an historian and preservation advocate, she has published research on a variety of topics in United States political history. She currently serves as coordinator for the Volunteers-In-Parks program, and develops interpretive programs and media, and curriculum-based education programs.   

Evan O’Brien

Evan O’Brien has served as the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Creative Manger since the museum’s opening in 2012 and has overseen the creation, development, and management of museum exhibits, performances, and public programs. Having created and managed historical tours and experiences for almost 20 years, Evan specializes in the blending of theatrical performance and storytelling with historical information to provide educational and entertaining experiences for audiences and students from around the world. 

Steve T. Phan

Steve T. Phan is a Park Ranger and serves as the Chief of Interpretation at Camp Nelson National Monument. A military history scholar of the Civil War era, Phan’s research focuses on military occupation, operational command, African American soldiers and refugees, and fortifications during the Civil War. He was nominated for the National Park Service Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation in 2019 and 2020. He holds a master’s degree in American History from Middle Tennessee State University.    

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include two books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, as well as six editions of the Tracing Your Ancestors series from Morsehead Publishing. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Webinars blogs. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture. 

Cecily Zander

Cecily Zander is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, TX. She received her PhD in American History from Penn State in 2021. Her research and teaching interests include the Civil War era, American military history, memory, and popular culture. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “The Long War for the American West,” based on her Penn State dissertation.

Hosts & Moderators

Sarah Kay Bierle

Sarah Kay Bierle graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a BA in History, works in the Education Department at American Battlefield Trust, and volunteers as managing editor at Emerging Civil War. She has spent years exploring ways to share quality historical research in ways that will inform and inspire modern audiences, including school presentations, writing, and speaking engagements. Sarah has published three historical fiction books and her first nonfiction book, Call Out The Cadets: The Battle of New Market, is part of the Emerging Civil War series.  

Dan Davis

Dan Davis is a native of Fredericksburg, VA where his love for the Civil War began on childhood trips to local battlefields. He is a graduate of Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in Public History. Dan has worked as a Ranger/Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Site and the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War and is a regular contributor to Emerging Civil War. He currently resides in Fredericksburg. 

Dr. Chris Mackowski

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War. He is the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie, and the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press. Chris is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, and historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Chris serves on the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Kris White

Kris is a senior education manager at the American Battlefield Trust. White is a graduate of Norwich University with an M.A. in Military History, as well as a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History. For nearly five years he served as a historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. White is the co-founder of Emerging Civil War and is also the co-creator of the Engaging the Civil War Series, which is a partnership between Southern Illinois University Press and Emerging Civil War. An award-winning speaker and editor, White has authored, co-authored, or edited nearly two-dozen books; and he frequently leads tours in the United States and abroad.

 

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