Presenters, Guides & Historians Biographies
2023 National Teacher Institute
More Bios and Speakers to Come!
Rick Atkinson (Event Keynote)
Rick Atkinson is author of The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777, the first volume of his intended Revolution Trilogy, a history of the American rebellion through 1783.
He is also author of the Liberation Trilogy, a narrative history of the liberation of Europe in World War II. The first volume, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, received the Pulitzer Prize and was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal.
Atkinson is also the best-selling author of The Long Gray Line, a narrative saga about the West Point class of 1966, and Crusade, a narrative history of the Persian Gulf War. He also wrote In the Company of Soldiers, an account of his time with General David H. Petraeus and the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He is the lead essayist in Where Valor Rests: Arlington National Cemetery, published by National Geographic in 2007.
Atkinson’s awards include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for history; the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting; and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service, awarded to the Washington Post for investigative articles directed and edited by Atkinson on shootings by District of Columbia police officers. He is the winner of the 1989 George Polk Award for national reporting, the 2003 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award, the 2007 Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense, the 2010 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, the 2013 New York Military Affairs Symposium award for lifetime achievement, and the 2014 Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for lifetime achievement from the Society for Military History. In December 2015 he received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. In 2019 he was named a Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellow of the Georgia Historical Society.
Atkinson has served as, the Gen. Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College, where he remains an adjunct faculty member. He is a Presidential Counselor at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Born in Munich, Germany, Atkinson is the son of a U.S. Army officer and grew up on military posts. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from East Carolina University and a master of arts degree in English literature from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky (Thursday Keynote)
Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Chervinsky is the author of the award-winning book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, co-editor of Mourning the Presidents: Loss and Legacy in American Culture, and is working on a forthcoming book on John Adams. She regularly writes for public audiences in the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Bulwark, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, NBC Think, and the Washington Post.
Presenters, Guides & Historians
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.
David Armenti is the Vice President of Education & Engagement at the Maryland Center for History and Culture, where he has worked since 2013. David is a Baltimore native, who received his B.A. in American History and American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree Loyola University. Before joining MCHC, he served as a research archivist for the Maryland State Archives’ Legacy of Slavery Project, documenting historical examples of resistance among enslaved African Americans in Maryland. He specializes in bringing the state’s unique history to life, using primary source collections to guide inquiry-based learning on topics such as African American history, the US Civil War period, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Ranger Bethany Bagent has worked on the National Mall since 1999, the last few years serving as an education specialist. She is originally from Illinois and has degrees in history and environmental sciences.
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.
Courtney Cauthon, M.A.
Courtney did her undergrad work in Montana, and earned her Master’s Degree in North Carolina but now calls Carlisle, PA home. Courtney is the current President of Historic Carlisle, Inc. and has given lectures and interactive talks on fashion history from coast to coast and from elementary schools to the University level. As a Civil War reenactor and historical costumer, she not only teaches about the Victorian era but lives it on a daily basis. Courtney owns The Barefoot Historian & Co. in the Historic District of Carlisle, PA—where she and her partner, Chris Jones, specialize in historical tours & lectures, custom costuming, and tintype photography.
Dan Davis, Senior Education Manager at the American Battlefield Trust. He is a native of Fredericksburg, VA where his love for the Civil War began on childhood trips to local battlefields. Dan 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.
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 educational programs, professional development, tours, and interpretation, he lectures for National Park Service sites, historical societies, and Civil War roundtables. Codie is a founding contributor to the collaborative digital project “Pennsylvania in the Civil War” and writes book reviews for Civil War Monitor magazine.
Jefferson Gray is a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, who handles white collar and public corruption cases from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore. He studied history at Yale University, where he was awarded an undergraduate prize in American history, and later received additional degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard Law School. He has published a number of historical articles and book reviews in Military History Quarterly, The Federal Lawyer, and other publications. He is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland U.S. District Court’s Historical Society, and he chaired the committee that created the permanent exhibit at its Baltimore Courthouse entitled “The Court in the Civil War Era, 1840-1880,” using original court records, newspaper articles, contemporary prints and photographs, and other archival materials.
Janet is a Talented and Gifted Coordinater at Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
Phillip S. Greenwalt
Phill Greenwalt, full-time contributor to Emerging Civil War and co-founder of the Emerging Revolutionary War blog. Currently, he is a Supervisory National Park Ranger of the Catoctin Mountain Park. Prior to his current position, Phill spent seven years a historian with the National Park Service at George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Thomas Stone National Historic Site. Phill also served as a Supervisory National Park Ranger of the Shark Valley District of Interpretation and Visitor Services of Everglades National Park. He started with the National Park Service as a historical interpreter intern at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He has also had the honor to be on official details for the Sesquicentennial of the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the Bicentennial of the Battle of Fort McHenry and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
He is also the co-author of Bloody Autumn: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor, and Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville (all three with Daniel Davis). He is the co-author of A Single Blow: The Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Beginning of the American Revolution April 19, 1775, and author of The Winter that Won the War: The Winter Encampment at Valley Forge, 1777–1778.
Phill graduated from George Mason University with an M.A. in American History and also has a B.A. in history from Wheeling Jesuit University. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.
Lynn Heidelbaugh is a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, where she specializes in the history of the U.S. Postal Service. Ms. Heidelbaugh has served as lead curator for several exhibitions, including My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I, for which she received a Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Award in 2018. Her writings about the museum’s Civil War collections include essays for Every Stamp Tells a Story (Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2014) and Smithsonian Civil War (Smithsonian Books, 2013); and, she is co-editor of Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family (Indiana University Press, 2022).
James F. Horn
Jimmy Horn is an interpretive park ranger at Hampton National Historic Site and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. He received a bachelor's degree in History with a concentration in the Civil War and 19th Century America from Shepherd University. Jimmy has served an 11 year career in the National Park Service that includes historic sites such as Antietam National Battle Field, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. He currently serves as the fee program manager and special park uses coordinator in the division of interpretation for the Baltimore Area Parks.
Richard Houston taught high school history from 1978 until 2021, when he retired from Monomoy Regional High School on Cape Cod. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He earned his Master’s Degree at Boston College and has done additional graduate work at Clark University. He has won numerous awards for his teaching, including 2006 Massachusetts Outstanding Teacher of American History, Daughters of the American Revolution, 2012 Gilder Lehrman Massachusetts American History Teacher of the Year, 2019 American Battlefield Trust Teacher of the Year. He teaches all levels of US History I and US History II at Monomoy Regional High School.
Robert "Brandon" Hulette
Mr. Hulette is a native of Franklin, TN, and has held a Commission in the Medical Service Corps, U.S. Army Reserve for the past 16 years. He is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy and has degrees in both Biological Science and Environmental Policy from the University of Tulsa and attend graduate schools in Public Health and Epidemiology at the George Washington University, and completed his Master of Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. He is Board-certified in Biological Safety Microbiology, is a Registered Sanitarian, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management, as well as being a FEMA-Certified Continuity of Operations Planner and Advanced EMT. He completed the ISDA/Johns Hopkins Infection Control Fellowship and was a Volunteer Research Fellow in Microbial Ecology at the NIH. As a civilian Mr Hulette has worked in corporate, government, and consulting contexts, primarily in healthcare and R&D. He holds academic appointments at Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College and has published numerous academic articles.
Dr. Stacy Curry-Johnson
Dr. Stacy Curry-Johnson is the Geospatial Librarian and Lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Stacy has a BS in Geography from Appalachian State University, an MS in Geographic and Cartographic Science from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from UNC Greensboro. She is currently the Geospatial Librarian and Lecturer in Anthropology teaching GIS and Remote Sensing courses. At Vanderbilt, she conducts geospatial research, provides project consultations, and designs curriculum and instruction with wide-ranging interdisciplinary reach. One area of expertise is in historic mapping projects, geophysical surveys, and three-dimensional modeling of historic sites. Stacy is a Co-PI with Brandon Hulette on the Battle of Nashville Mapping Project.
Bruce Lesh was a high school teacher and social studies department chair for twenty-two years in Baltimore County Public Schools, where he taught American history, world history, and Advanced Placement United States Politics and Government. A past president of the Maryland Council for the Social Studies and vice-chair of the National Council for History Education, Bruce published three units on teaching American history using primary sources through the Center for Learning. He has also been published several times in the OAH Magazine of History and written book reviews for The History Teacher. He cofounded and served as a member of the board of directors for the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In 2008 he was recognized as the precollegiate Teacher of the Year by the Organization of American Historians and in 2013 was named Maryland Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Bruce received his bachelor's degree in history and political science from Salisbury University and his master's degree in history from Villanova University. Bruce is a lifelong resident of Maryland and enjoys reading, exercising, coaching, and being a dad and husband.
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.
Lina Mann first joined the White House Historical Association in 2017 as American University’s Public History fellow and came onboard as a historian in March 2020. She is interested in many different aspects of White House history, including her latest research on the enslaved individuals that built, lived, and worked in the White House. As a lifelong Marylander, she also researches local and regional history. Previously, she has worked with the National Park Service and the Maryland Historical Society. Lina received her Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Museum Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2016 and earned her Master of Arts in Public History from American University in 2019.
Shannon McLucas is an interpretive park ranger working at Baltimore Area National Parks including Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historic Site, and The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. 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 a digital media coordinator and develops interpretive programs and media, and curriculum-based education programs.
Kathy Misek is a 24-year veteran teacher from Texas. Certified in both ELAR and social studies 6-12, Kathy has endeavored to include writing skills in her lessons. Cherishing those moments when students see the connections to our past and make it come alive to them, especially through thoughtful analysis, is her primary motivation. She grew up an army brat and attributes her love for history to the Fort Huachuca, Az., post museum in 3rd grade. “Seeing the manikin of the Buffalo soldier was impressive enough, but when we went to the post cemetery and saw the graves of the actual buffalo soldiers buried there, history came alive!” Historical people, places, and events allow students to analyze humanness. Who are we? Why are we here? These are the fundamental questions her students use to guide their historical analysis throughout the year. Making history relevant and interesting is her main objective.
Thomas Paone curates the lighter-than-air collection, including balloons, blimps, and airships, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Paone's research focuses on ballooning in the Civil War, as well as the use of airships and blimps in America. He is coauthor of Milestones of Flight: The Epic of Aviation with the National Air and Space Museum and Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family.
Kevin Pawlak is a Historic Site Manager for the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and works as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield. Kevin also sits on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.
Previously, Kevin has worked or completed internships at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, The Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and the Mosby Heritage Area Association.
Kevin is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, published by The History Press in 2015 and the co-author of To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign.
He has also authored “‘The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy’: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War” in Turning Points of the Civil War, part of Emerging Civil War’s Engaging the Civil War Series with Southern Illinois University Press.
Steve Phan serves as the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Camp Nelson National Monument in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Robert (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 – Social Studies 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 (then the Civil War Trust) in 2004, was awarded the American Battlefield Trust Chairman’s Award in 2010, and was 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 married to his wife Maureen, and they have five children ranging from 17 – 25 years of age.
Phoebe Sherman is the student and teacher programs manager at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. After earning her master's degree in Public History from American University, Sherman taught social studies and language acquisition at a public high school in Washington, D.C. As a classroom teacher, she received district level awards in highly effective teaching and peer awards in staff leadership. Sherman also served as a district-level social studies fellow, designing curriculum and assessments for multilingual learners. With a progressive career in education, Phoebe Sherman values student centered and inquiry-based learning though an inclusive, collaborative, and equity driven approach.
Dr. Julie Shively
Dr. Shively has taught students for 23 years at every level of K-12 education and in every subject, including special education and gifted. She has also led high schools as a principal for eight years. Julie’s passion for integrating history into every content area shows her students and teachers how decisions from the past continue to impact the present, and that even the smallest decision has a cascading effect. An Air Force veteran and former pilot, Julie has been recording historical activities of the Maryland National Guard since 2021 as its civilian Command Historian. She has written a number of articles for the military, has published two history travel books, and is currently working on a book for the Maryland National Guard that celebrates a combined fifty years of state partnership with Estonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be published in the spring.
Timothy "Tim" H. Smith
Timothy H. Smith has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park for over 25 years and is Director of Education at the Adams County Historical Society. He has been involved with ACHS since the late 1980s, when he began volunteering as a research assistant. Smith is the author of ten books and numerous articles about the Civil War, the Gettysburg Campaign, and a host of other local history topics. He is a historical consultant for the American Battlefield Trust and a frequent lecturer at Civil War Round Tables and Seminars, and appears regularly on the Pennsylvania Cable Network’s Battle Walks Series.
Sharon Jackson Tice
Sharon Jackson Tice teaches 8th grade American History at Downingtown Middle School in Downingtown, PA. She has served in various leadership roles including K-12 Curriculum Leader and Instructional Coach for her school district. She has advanced degrees in education and history from West Chester University and Temple University as well as a Pennsylvania K-12 Administrative Certification. In addition to her teaching duties, Sharon is an active volunteer for and member of the Gettysburg Foundation, Adams County Historical Society, and Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center, where she currently serves on the Teacher Advisory Panel. She participates in Living History events for the Civil War and Vietnam era.
Kristopher D. White
Kris is the deputy director of education at the American Battlefield Trust. White is a graduate of Norwich University with an M.A. in Military History and California University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History. He served as a ranger-historian for nearly five years at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. White is the co-founder and chief historian of Emerging Civil War and co-creator of the Engaging the Civil War Series, 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.
Matt is a career educator, having taught middle school history in Baltimore County, Maryland for the last 19 years. He holds two degrees from Towson University in history and social studies education. Throughout his career he has had the opportunity to serve as a curriculum writer, social studies department chair and team leader for the Teaching American History grant. He regularly hosts professional development sessions on using technology in the classroom. Matt enjoys combining digital tools with storytelling to help make history come alive for his students. When not in the classroom, Matt volunteers as a Battlefield Ambassador at Antietam National Battlefield and enjoys spending time outdoors (particularly on battlefields) with his wife Leanne, two middle-school aged children and his aptly named canine, Grant.
More guides, presenters & historians will be announced soon.