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Staff and Participants

Project Co-director Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D., is professor of history, former department chairperson, and director of the Berkshire Center for the Study of Local History and Culture at MCLA. For the past eight years, she has researched local history in Berkshire County. She has published and presented on oral history research, African Americans and their sense of place in the American West, African American women's clubs in Missouri and Washington State, and the Mississippi civil rights movement.

Project Co-directorRichard Courage, Ph.D., is professor of English at Westchester Community College of SUNY where he teaches composition and literature courses, including African American literature. He has published and presented on African American narratives, teaching writing, distance learning, and teaching nontraditional students. Since 2002, he has been a release-time Assessment Fellow helping guide WCC through its SUNY assessment mandate. He has significant K-12 staff development experience through the Teachers College Writing Project and Hudson Valley Writing Project and was formerly a high school English teacher.

WEB Du Bois

Curriculum Development Specialist Roselle Chartock, Ed.D., is professor of education at MCLA. She was a social studies teacher at Monument Mountain High School for fifteen years and previously a middle and elementary school teacher. She is the editor of Educational Foundations: An Anthology and co-editor of Can It Happen Again? Chronicles of the Holocaust. She had special responsibility for providing an overview of the curriculum development process and guiding the rest of the staff as they mentor individual curriculum projects.

Secondary Grade-level Coordinator Don Pecor holds degrees in history and is a retired teacher from Drury High School in North Adams, Massachusetts. He also is an adjunct assistant professor at MCLA in the history department. He lead breakout groups for secondary teachers at the colloquium and follow-up workshops to consider the curricular implications of the information presented.

Elementary Grade-level Coordinator Claudette Webster holds degrees in education and is a writer and former public school teacher. She lead breakout groups for elementary teachers at the colloquium and follow-up workshops to consider the curricular implications of the information presented.

External Evaluator Joanne Falinski, Ph.D., is assistant professor of education at Pace University. She was formerly an elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal involved in the teaching and supervising of all curriculum areas. For many years, she was director of the Westchester Putnam Writing Project and its successor the Hudson Valley Writing Project, working with teachers from kindergarten to college to strengthen the teaching of writing in their classrooms.

Consulting Scholars and Public History Educators

Note: Our consulting scholars and public history educators have contributed to the genesis of this project by giving related public talks, leading workshops in schools, conducting walking tours, participating in the UHVAAHT board, contributing the results of their research to the draft Trail guide, and, most recently, reviewing the project proposal itself.

Barbara Bartle is a former high school teacher who teaches courses at Berkshire Community College on the civil rights movement and the Harlem Renaissance. She has conducted archival research on local African American history and made presentations on the life of James Van Der Zee, the Underground Railroad, and African American women in Berkshire County.

Mark Carnes, Ph.D., is professor of history at Barnard College, general editor of American National Biography, coauthor of The American Nation, developer of the FIPSE-supported Reacting to the Past pedagogy and text series, and author of Novel History, Mapping America's Past, Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, and other works in American social history. He will delivered a keynote address, "African American Biography: Intersections of the Local and National," at the September 2006 conference.

Bernard Drew is past president of the Berkshire County and Great Barrington Historical Societies, recent scholar in residence at the Sheffield Historical Society, and author of several books and monographs on local history and popular culture, including a guide to sites in Great Barrington associated with Du Bois. His latest book is Origins of the African American Community in Sheffield, Great Barrington, and Stockbridge. He delivered a talk based on that book at the July 2005 colloquium and also led a tour of the Du Bois walking tour in Great Barrington.

James King is an assistant professor of English and African American studies at Simon's Rock College of Bard. He has published and presented on the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Charles Chesnutt. He is currently completing a dissertation on Black Madness: Insanity and Resistance in African American Literature. He presented an overview of the Harlem Renaissance at the July 2005 colloquium.

Michael Kirk is a film producer who has recently completed a documentary on Samuel Harrison. The film will be aired on PBS' American Experience Series in February 2005. Michael led one of the four follow-up workshops after the Summer 2005 colloquium.

Nancy Muller, Ph.D., teaches anthropology at MCLA and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her doctoral dissertation topic was W.E.B. Du Bois and The House of the Black Burghardts: Land, Family and African Americans in Berkshire County. She spoke on the early history of African Americans in Berkshire County at the July 2005 colloquium.

Robert Paynter, Ph.D., is professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of Models of Spatial Inequality: Settlement Pattern and Social Process and co-editor of The Archaeology of Inequality: Material Culture, Domination and Resistance and Lines that Divide: Historical Archaeologies of Race, Class, and Gender. He is currently working with Warren Perry on a book on the archaeology of African American sites throughout New England and New York.This work was the basis of his colloquium presentation on the everyday life of African Americans in the Northeast.

Alex Willingham, Ph.D., is professor of political science and chair of African American studies at Williams College. He is editor of Beyond the Color Line: Race, Representation and Community in the New Century and Communities in Crisis: Appalachia and the South. He works on issues of representation and inclusion in American politics and is currently exploring the politics of the death penalty and U.S. census. He made a presentation, "The Modern Civil Rights Movement from Du Bois to King," at the July 2005 colloquium.