Ph.D. (1998) Indiana University, Bloomington. History.
Dissertation: “The Surest Foundation of Happiness: Education and Society in Franklin’s Philadelphia.”
M.A. (1988) Indiana University, Bloomington. History.
B.A. (1987) Manchester College, North Manchester, IN. History.
Certification in Interpretation, National Association of Interpretation, 2018.
Certificate in Excellence in Teaching, Schreyer Center, Penn State University.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2020-
Faculty Fellow. Researching and teaching interdisciplinary course within the University of Pennsylvania Medical School with Ezekiel Emanuel on Benjamin Franklin’s World as a part of Penn’s Paideia Initiative.
La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA, 2014-2017
Director of Public History and Assistant Professor of History. Taught courses in United States history, public history, African American history, and Philadelphia history. Research leave award granted 2016.
Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA, 2000-2014
Associate Professor of History and Humanities. Taught American history (surveys, colonial, revolutionary, early republic, Pennsylvania), public history, African-American history, cultural history, and interdisciplinary humanities. Promotion and tenure granted 2007. Full-year sabbatical 2008-2009.
West Chester University, West Chester, PA, 1999-2000
Instructor of History (full time). Taught U.S. History I, Transformations in American History 1600-2000, American Studies 200, American Colonial History (graduate/undergraduate).
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1995-99
Lecturer of History (part time). Taught Benjamin Franklin and His World, U.S. History I, and the American Revolution.
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, 1996-97
Visiting Instructor of History. Taught U.S. History I, U.S. History II, and graduate seminar on American Colonial History.
Indiana University-Bloomington, 1993-94
Visiting Lecturer of History, Taught U.S. History I.
Indiana University-Bloomington, 1992-93
Visiting Instructor of American Studies, Designed and taught Benjamin Franklin and His World.
Indiana University-Columbus, 1991-94
Adjunct Instructor of History. Taught U.S. History I and U.S. History II.
Taught course “An Enlightening Voyage: Franklin, Jefferson and the Ideas that Birthed America” aboard the Queen Mary 2, Philadelphia Landmarks/ RoadScholar program, July 2013.
Pennsylvania Humanities Council, 2000-2005, 2008-2015, Commonwealth Speaker.
Philadelphia Landmarks Elderhostel/Road Scholar Program, 1995-2002, 2014-2015
Lectured groups of Senior Citizens on Benjamin Franklin, William Penn, Colonial Daily Life, and Thomas Jefferson and the American West, the American Revolution and the Constitution.
Independence National Historical Park, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2014, 2015
Instructor of Park’s Teachers’ Workshop.
My books and other publications are available on Amazon.com!
Winterthur Library & Museum Research Fellowship in American Material Culture, 2020.
George Washington National Library at Mount Vernon, VA, six-month postdoctoral fellowship, 2019.
Omohundro Institute/Jamestown Rediscovery Research Fellowship, Williamsburg, VA, fall 2018.
International Center for Jefferson Studies research fellowship, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Charlottesville, VA, March 2018.
National Endowment for the Humanities $172,136 Landmarks of American History and Culture grant to fund “Benjamin Franklin and the American People” teachers’ workshops in the summer of 2016 in Philadelphia. Grant awarded August 2015.
La Salle University faculty/student research grant, summer 2016.
La Salle University summer research grants, 2015, 2016, 2017
National Endowment for the Humanities $180,000 Landmarks of American History “We, the People” grant to fund teachers’ institutes in the summer of 2011 in Philadelphia on “A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans.” Grant awarded August 2010.
National Endowment for the Humanities $168,012 Landmarks of American History “We, the People” grant to fund teachers’ institutes in the summer of 2010 in Philadelphia on “A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans.” Grant awarded August 2009.
National Endowment for the Humanities $175,000 Landmarks of American History “We, the People” grant to fund teachers’ institutes in the summer of 2009 in Philadelphia on “A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans.” Grant awarded August 2008.
Winterthur Museum and Library Research Fellowship, 2008-2009.
International Center for Jefferson Studies research fellowship, 2009.
Penn State Capital College Research Council Grant, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012.
National Endowment for the Humanities $210,000 Landmarks of American History “We, the People” grant to fund teachers’ institutes in the summer of 2007 in Philadelphia on “A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans.” Grant awarded August 2006.
National Endowment for the Humanities “We, The People” $69,800 Grant for “Benjamin Franklin and the American People” teachers’ workshop, held at Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, in July 2005. Grant awarded August 2004.
International Center for Jefferson Studies summer research fellowships, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Charlottesville, VA, 2002, 2004.
David Library of the American Revolution summer research fellowships, 1994, 2002.
Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1995-96.
McNeil Center for Early American Studies Dissertation Fellowship, 1994-95.
McLean Contributionship Fellow, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1994.
Mellon Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, 1994.
Albert Kohlmeier Fellowship for Teaching, Indiana University Department of History, 1994.
Research Prize, Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary Society, 1992-93.
Research Grants from Indiana University Graduate School, Department of History, American Studies Program.
Founder and Coordinator
“Remember the Women” initiative to commemorate and celebrate the history of Women in Early America, 2016-present. Successfully nominated Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker for a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker, dedicated fall 2019. Successfully nominated Ona Judge, 2020, marker dedication pending. www.rememberthewomen.org
National Constitution Center July 2 anniversary program, 2014, 2016-2019.
James Monroe’s Highlands
Member of consulting team of historians to evaluate and recommend plans for reinterpretation of historic site, 2018.
Participated in History of London Architecture course, London, October 2017.
National Constitution Center summer historic theater competition and production, Philadelphia, 2015-2017.
Interviewed by Adam Boulton on Barack Obama’s presidential legacy, Sky-TV (U.K.), January 17, 2017.
Project Director and Principle Investigator
“A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans,” one-week summer workshops for K-12 teachers from across the United States, funded through a Landmarks grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, summers 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016; Website: www.teachingfranklin.org.
“Benjamin Franklin and Inoculation,” Elana Gordon, “The Pulse,” National Public Radio, April 2015.
“Benjamin Franklin’s London” on Chef Walter Staib’s “A Taste of History,” PBS, 2015.
“Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Benjamin Franklin,” The History Chanel, February 27, 2012.
“Benjamin Franklin’s Pirate Fleet” documentary, The National Geographic Channel, Ted Poole, producer. Original air date April 6, 2011.
National Park Service
Academic Partner, 225thAnniversary of the American Revolution, 2000-2001. Member of the committee on the NPS Revolutionary War Web Resources.
Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA, 1998-present
Research projects on the history and interpretation of Independence National Historical Park; Volunteer in the Park; historical consultant/volunteer for various projects; volunteer house guide at Independence Square and the Deshler-Morris House; Twilight Tour guide of the park.
Historic Philadelphia, Inc.
Director of Programs and Development in city-funded public history agency during the administration of Mayor Edward G. Rendell, 1998.
The Powel House, Philadelphia, PA, 1996-98
Historic Site Manager and Director of Programs of eighteenth-century house museum.
Monroe County Bank, Bloomington, IN, 1991-92
Contract historian for research and writing of history of locally-owned institution. Hometown Banker: A Centennial History of Monroe County Bank (Privately Published by Bank, 1992).
American Historical Review, Bloomington, IN 1990-91
“His Final Chapter: Benjamin Franklin’s Busy Final Five Years,” Benjamin Franklin House, London, UK (via zoom), May 23, 2020.
“The Long Goodbye: Benjamin Franklin’s Death and Creating the American Identity,” Benjamin Franklin House, London, UK, April 17, 2019.
“Interpreting Anglo-American Historic Sites: 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities,” Historic Royal Palaces Research Lecture, Hampton Court Palace, UK, April 15, 2019.
“Telling the Whole House: Race, Class, and Complicating Narratives of America’s Historic Spaces, University of Virginia School of Architecture, February 13, 2019.
“Complicating the Story: Changing Interpretations of Early American Historic Sites,” College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, November 15, 2018.
“A Rare Commitment: The Friendship of George Washington and Elizabeth Willing Powel,” presented to the 2018 George Washington Symposium ‘“A Sensible Woman Can Never be Happy with a Fool’: The Women of George Washington’s World,” Mount Vernon, November 2, 2018.
“Colonial Philadelphia,” presented to the Gilder Lehrman Teachers’ Workshop “The Thirteen Colonies,” July 25, 2018.
“Whose Rule? Whose Law? Law, Culture, and Society in Colonial and Early National Philadelphia,” National Constitution Center Teachers’ Workshop on the Rule of Law, July 23, 2018.
“The Front Lines of Early American History: Complicating (and Improving) the Interpretation of Anglo-American Sites,” International Center for Jefferson Studies, March 13, 2018.
“Colonial Philadelphia,” presented to the Gilder Lehrman Teachers’ Workshop “The Thirteen Colonies,” July 26, 2017.
“Philadelphia and the Road to the Convention”, presented at the summer teachers’ workshops of the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia,
July 2 and 9, 2017.
“Benjamin Franklin and the Middling People,” presented at the annual symposium celebrating Franklin’s Birthday, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, January 13, 2017.
“Colonial Philadelphia,” presented to the Gilder Lehrman Teachers’ Workshop “The Thirteen Colonies,” July 30, 2014, July 29, 2015.
“Benjamin Franklin, Libraries, and Enlightened Philadelphia,” Special Libraries Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, May 12, 2015.
Moderator, panel on Seminary Ridge Museum and the Public Memory of the Civil War, Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Conference, Gettysburg, October 18, 2013.
“Picturing Penn: Politics, Pacifism, Portraits, and the Battle for Pennsylvania’s Cultural Heritage, 1700-1776,” Columbia University Seminar in Early American History, New York, September 10, 2013.