Road through the fields of Bentonville
David Davis

Speakers & Historians Biographies

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Schedule and speaker lineup is subject to change

Keynote Speaker—Dr. Edward Ayres 

Edward Ayers is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, where he is President Emeritus. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2013. Ed served as president of the Organization of American Historians during the 2017-18 term. 

Ayers is one of the cohosts for BackStory, a popular podcast about American history. His newest book, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, has received the Lincoln Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Gettysburg College. 

Over four decades of work of writing history, experimenting with digital scholarship, collaborating in public history, and teaching and leading in higher education, Ed has tried to find new ways to connect people with the American past.


Speakers & 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 30 articles on the Civil War. He is the vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for 20 years. He has appeared on numerous productions shown on the BBC, C-Span, Pennsylvania Cable Network and on HISTORY, where, most recently, he was the chief consultant for “Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color.” Since 2010, he has been the director of history and education at the American Battlefield Trust, leading efforts to provide high-quality educational materials for classroom use and develop groundbreaking techniques for on-site and digital battlefield interpretation.


Stephanie Fitzwater Arduini 

Stephanie is the Director of Education at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA. Since 2002, Stephanie has worked across museum and informal education specialties, including costumed front-line interpretation, K-12 outreach education, adult programming, community partnerships, and outreach, professional development, and digital engagement. Her previous experience at institutions including the Pacific Science Center, American Alliance of Museums, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and Mackinac State Historic Parks unite a passion for creating engaging audience-centered programs with community relevance and professional best practices. She also currently serves on the board of the American Alliance of Museum’s Education professional network. She earned degrees from the University of Michigan and George Washington University.


Caitlin Avinger 

Caitlin has a B.A. in American History and Political Science from Arizona State University and a Master’s in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York at Oneonta. She has had years of experience in education, both in the classroom and within the museum setting. Caitlin moved from Houston, TX to Durham, NC with her husband and son in the summer 2017 and has been a full-time staff member at Duke Homestead State Historic Site since November 2017.


Tally Botzer

Tally is the Interpretation & Programs Specialist at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA. From growing up in Manassas to attending college in Fredericksburg and teaching elementary school in Richmond, she has always been surrounded by the Civil War. In her current role, she brings her pedagogical knowledge and passion for history together to help students and teachers see themselves as actors in their own history. 


Phil Caskey   

A Martinsburg, W.Va., native and a 21-year Morgantown, W.Va., resident, Phil Caskey is in his sixth year as a social studies educator at University High School in Morgantown where he teaches or has taught the subjects of American Civil War Studies, Honors Civics, Civics, and AP Research.

He is the 2016 American Battlefield Trust National Teacher of the Year and the 2017 West Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Teacher of American History. Caskey earned his master’s in secondary education, with an emphasis in the social studies, from West Virginia University (WVU) in December 2012. Before returning to school to further his education and change careers, Caskey worked in the WVU athletic department for 11 years as a sports information director, where he was an award-winning public relations/sports journalist and published author. He earned his first masters, in Sports Management in 2001, and his bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations in 1999, both also from WVU. He has also been a visiting instructor in WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sports Science Graduate Sports Management program since 2007. He has also presented on his Civil War teachings to multiple Civil War roundtable groups and 4H camps as well as presented on West Virginia in the American Civil War to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa.

His passions and interests are vast, which include the American Civil War, World War II, historical board and miniature wargaming, reading, traveling the world, seeing his favorite band Pearl Jam live in-concert, and spending time with family and friends.


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.


Katie Doherty

Katie Doherty is an 8th-grade teacher at a small, rural middle school in Antrim, New Hampshire. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Keene State College in 1992 and Master's Degree in Education from Plymouth State College in 2007. Her 26 years of teaching has developed her (some would say obsessive) fascination with the Civil War. Bringing the Civil War to life with stories, research, and pictures from her National Parks trips has helped students appreciate New Hampshire's role in our national story. 


Robert M. Dunkerly

Robert M. Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research.  He holds a degree in History from St. Vincent College and a Masters in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.  He has worked at nine historic sites, written twelve books and over twenty articles.  His research includes archaeology, colonial life, military history, and historic commemoration.  He is a past President of the Richmond Civil War Round Table and serves on the Preservation Commission for the American Revolution Round Table-Richmond.  He has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society.  Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.  He has visited over 500 battlefields and over 1,000 historic sites worldwide.  When not reading or writing, he enjoys hiking, camping, and photography. 


Michael Hardy 

Michael C. Hardy is a widely recognized expert and author on the American Civil War. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and was named North Carolina Historian of the Year in 2010. His work has appeared in national magazines, and he blogs regularly at Looking for North Carolina’s Civil War. When he is not researching and writing, Michael and his family volunteer as interpreters at several historic sites in western North Carolina and East Tennessee.


Patrick Jacob

Patrick Jacob is from North Little Rock, AR. He is a chief warrant officer two (CW2) in the Arkansas Army National Guard, and currently serves as an instructor at the Professional Education Center at Camp J.T. Robinson; he is the former Special Emphasis Program Manager for African American history for the Arkansas National Guard. Patrick also serves part-time as an adjunct professor at Central Baptist College in Conway, AR, as well as a docent and educator at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center—an African American history museum—where he researches and specializes in Civil War history. Additionally, he is the current co-chair of the Education Committee at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Patrick graduated from Central Baptist College in 2010 with a B.S. in Organizational Management; Webster University in 2012 with an M.A. in Human Resource Management; Pulaski Technical College in 2013 with an A.A.S. in Military Technologies; and Liberty University in 2015 with a post-graduate certificate in School Leadership.


Kacy Kalell 

Kacy has been a high school history teacher for the eight years, and she has spent the last five years teaching at Milton High School. She previously taught at Blue Hills Regional Vocational School in Canton both schools are situated just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. While studying abroad in Italy, Kacy also taught English at a local elementary school.  Her passion remains with US History, specifically the American Revolution, and she is lucky enough to live in the city where it all began. In addition to teaching, she has also served as the Debate Coach at Milton High School for the past five years, where students research, write and debate current events. Kacy received her undergraduate degree in History at the University of New Hampshire and went on to receive a Masters of Education at the University of Massachusetts. More recently, she received her Administrator's license from Bridgewater State University. 


Peter J. Kapas

Peter J. Kappas is the grade 8 US/Pennsylvania History teacher at Freedom Area Middle School, Freedom, PA.  A veteran teacher of thirty-one years, thirty of which have been in grade 8.  A 1988 graduate of Edinboro University of PA, Peter has taught in the DuBois Area, Beaver Area, Community College of Beaver County, Freedom Area Schools, all in Pennsylvania.  A long time living historian with the Penna. 63rd Regiment Company C Reenactors Peter has delivered Civil War living history programs for various National Park sites such as Gettysburg, Antietam, and Ft. Washington Military Parks, state parks such as Carnifex Ferry, West Virginia, Old Economy Village, Pithole Village, and the Old Stone House in Pennsylvania to name a few. 


Barbara Kay 

Barbara Kay taught history for 34 years, in Missouri, Illinois, and West Germany.  She was a National Board teacher 2003-2013. Since retiring, Barb now gives first-person portrayals of fifteen different historical women to schools, churches, and civic groups.  “So, I am still teaching history - I just don't have to grade papers.”  For the last four years, she has served as a speaker for the Illinois Humanities—"Road Scholar" program.  According to Barb, “My poor husband helps out and he makes a dandy Civil War soldier when we go to schools for our Civil War Camp program.”


Charles Knight 

Charles Knight is Curator of Military History at the North Carolina Museum of History. He is a native of Richmond, VA, and is a graduate of Bridgewater College. He has worked in museums and historic sites for more than 20 years, including at New Market Battlefield, the Douglas MacArthur Memorial, and the Arizona Capitol Museum, and has spoken to audiences across the country. He has written articles for numerous magazines and journals, and his first book Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market was published in 2010; he is currently working on a biography of Confederate general and railroad baron William Mahone, and a day-by-day reference book on Robert E. Lee.


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.


Tyler Madison

Tyler Madison has been a teacher and coach at Walnut Middle School in Grand Island, NE for 15 years; the last five have been spent teaching 8th grade American History. He is a leader of the school’s DC Diplomat group, a select group of students who spend part of their spring break touring the DC area, to experience the places they’ve learned about in class. In 2018, he was awarded the American Battlefield Trust Teacher of the Year award. Tyler prides himself in developing a love for history in his students through hands-on activities and engaging class discussions.


Derek Maxfield

Derek Maxfield is an associate professor of history at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY, where he is also coordinator of the college’s Historical Horizons Lecture Series. In 2013  Maxfield was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities for his work coordinating the college’s programs related to the Civil War sesquicentennial.  He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from SUNY Cortland and a Master of Arts degree from Villanova University. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Buffalo, where he is ABD (all but dissertation). Among Maxfield’s research interests are 19th-century politics and culture, especially Victorian death ways and the Civil War.

Maxfield has written for Emerging Civil War and Emerging Revolutionary War and has a new book expected out in the Summer of 2018 about Northern Pow camps and the Elmira, NY, prisoner of war camp, published by Savas Beatie.


Peter Miele

Pete Miele is Chief Operating Officer and Director of Education at Seminary Ridge Museum and an Instructor in the History/Philosophy Department at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his current position, he worked at Seminary Ridge Museum as both Visitor Services and Education Coordinator and Visitor Services Assistant and was employed for two years at Northern Valley Regional High School District in Old Tappan and Demarest, New Jersey.  He is a 2014 graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Arts in Applied History and a 2011 graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education. His interests include museum education, historical empathy, shared authority, and 19th industrial history. 


Nicole Osier 

Nicole Osier, a former elementary teacher and Senior Manager of Education at the American Battlefield Trust now works as an independent contractor creating educational resources and historical content for non-profits and museums. After a four-year stint in Helsinki, Finland, Nicole now lives in Connecticut where she spends most of her time imparting wisdom on her two sons, Sam and Wesley.


James A. Percoco

James A. Percoco is a nationally recognized history educator with 35 years of classroom experience and author of whom David McCullough says, “Teachers like Jim Percoco are national treasures. The real secret to the Percoco Classroom magic is that unbeatable combination of a love of teaching with an all-out love of his subject.” From 2014 – 2018 he served as the Teacher-in-Residence for the American Battlefield Trust. Currently, he teaches at the Loudon School for the Gifted in Ashburn, Virginia, where he is the History Department Chair.

A prolific speaker, Percoco demonstrates how to use historic sites and museums as adjuncts to his teaching and has modeled his approach in countless in-service programs nationally.

Percoco is a Gilder-Lehrman Teacher of the Year (Virginia) and was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2011.


Bob Rinehart 

Bob Rinehart was born in York, PA and graduated from West York High School (1983). He worked in television production for eight years after graduating from High School. During this time, the station (Cable-4-York) and Bob earned several awards for Excellence in their productions. Bob has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from York College of Pennsylvania (1994) and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Loyola College of Maryland (2001). He was named Preservation Teacher of the Year by the American Battlefield Trust in 2004, was awarded the American Battlefield Trust Chairman’s Award in 2010 and named the Gilder / Lehrman Maryland Teacher of the Year in 2014. Bob has volunteered for the American Battlefield Trust since 2004 for both the Summer Teacher’s Institute and the member Annual Conference. He is engaged to be married, and they have five children ranging from 13 – 21 years of age.


Katharina Schlichtherle 

Katharina Schlichtherle is the assistant principal for the high school and head of the social sciences department at the German International School in Oslo / Deutsche Schule Oslo Max Tau in Norway.

She graduated with Masters of Arts in English Language and Literature as well as History from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Christian Albrechts Universität Kiel in Germany. Before moving to Oslo, she has taught AP classes in both History and English at the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium Geesthacht, Germany, for ten years.

In her current position, she has designed and implemented the American history curriculum, which includes a ten-day trip to the United States during which the students deepen their understanding of issues covered in class and work with American historians. In the fall of 2018, she prepared and worked with 11 students from Oslo on the Seminary Ridge Museum’s new program “Investigating Monuments”.

Her interests include historical empathy, social history of the 19th century, African American history and culture, education through travel, and the history of Civil Rights.


Douglas Ullman, Jr. 

Doug was the Digital Content Producer for the American Battlefield Trust, playing a key role in the creation of history content on the website, including the Civil War In4 and War Department video series, battle apps guides, and history articles.  Apart from his work at the Trust, Doug is an independent historian focusing on the Twelfth/Twentieth Army corps as well as a part-time music teacher in Arlington, Virginia.  He is a graduate of New York University's Steinhardt School of Education and Culture. 


Kristopher D. White 

Kris is the 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 staff military 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 is the author and co-author of numerous history-related articles.