Project Historians (2009-2010)


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fall_icon.gifRobert J. Allison, Ph.D.

Suffolk University
allison_headshot.jpgDr. Robert J. Allison chairs the History Department at Suffolk University, where he has taught since 1992. He also teaches at the Harvard Extension School, offering courses in American Constitutional History, Colonial America, the American Revolution, and the History of Boston.
His books include Stephen Decatur: American Naval Hero (2004), The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World 1776-1820 (2000), A Short History of Boston (2004), The Boston Massacre (2006), The Boston Tea Party (2007). He has also edited books on Revolutionary America and the Early American Republic in the American Eras series, and on twentieth-century political and social history in the History in Dispute series, and he edited an edition of The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African for the Bedford Series in History and Culture.

Dr. Allison is vice president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, where he organizes the annual graduate student forum; he is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and he is president of the South Boston Historical Society. He also serves on the education committee of the USS Constitution Museum, is on the board of governors of the Shirley Eustis House, the board of directors of the Bostonian Society, and he is the consulting historian to the Commonwealth Museum.

Dr. Allison finished his undergraduate education at the Harvard Extension School, and received his doctorate in the History of American Civilization from Harvard in 1992. He received the Petra Shattuck Distinguished Teaching Award from the Harvard Extension School in 1995, and has received both the Distinguished Service Award and the Outstanding Faculty Member award from Suffolk’s Student Government Association.

Dr. Allison was the co-director of the Voices Rising Project (2006-2009), the Teaching American History Grant that preceded this project.


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Robert Bellinger, Ph.D.

Suffolk University
bellinger_ba_historian.jpgBob Bellinger is Associate Professor of History at Suffolk University, where he is Director of the Black Studies Program, and the Associate Academic Director of the University’s Dakar, Senegal Campus. Dr. Bellinger received his Ph.D. in American History from Boston College, and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. At Suffolk, he also serves on the Board of Directors of Afriterra Inc., which oversees the largest collection of African maps in North America. He also oversees the Collection of African-American Literature at Suffolk University’s Library, in collaboration with the Museum of African-American History, Boston, and the Boston African-American National Historic Site.

Dr. Bellinger has contributed scholarship to the Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights From Emancipation to the Present, as well as the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. He served as a consultant for the Roxbury Heritage State Park’s Advisory Planning Committee, and the Boston Athenaeum Library’s Abolitionist Project planning committee. Recognized as an innovator in multi-ethnic education, Dr. Bellinger has conducted lectures and workshops on the importance of multi-culture history in general, and African-American history in particular, on educational pedagogy at Dean College, Amherst College, and Tufts University. Dr. Bellinger is a member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the American Historical Association, the African-American Historical and Geneaological Society, the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, and the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora.

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Debra Block, Ph.D.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
Debra Block is both an academic and an educator. Her scholarly work is in the field of US Social History of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her specialization is the history of immigration and ethnicity. She brings her understanding of the various forces of social history (gender, family, education, and social welfare) to her analysis of the creation, development and persistence of ethnic group formation and identity. Her doctoral dissertation, “Virtue Out of Necessity: A Study of Jewish Philanthropy in the United States from 1890-1917,” was awarded the Grenzenbach Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, by the Council for the Advancement and Study of Education (CASE), in 1999.

Debra has also been an educator for 25 years. Over the years, she has taught history, English, math and even one semester of Latin. Her students have ranged from fourth graders to graduate students. She has taught at many institutions including the Dalton School, Bunker Hill Community College, Clark University, and the University of Pennsylvania. She was at the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA from 1995 to 2006 where she chaired the history department.

Since 2001, Debra has worked as an independent educational consultant. She provides support to schools, libraries, museums, archives and research foundations in a variety of ways. She writes curriculum, trains teachers and supports the induction of new teachers. She provides assistance for exhibits both as an historian and an educator. She works towards partnerships between institutions and organization, currently pursuing the professional development of Boston Public School teachers through the branch libraries in Boston. Her clientele includes the Boston Public Library, the Old State House Museum, the Mandel Center for Jewish Education, and various local institutions.

She has a Masters in education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania.


summer_icon.giffall_icon.gifKerri Greenidge, ABD

Boston University
greenidge_headshot.jpgKerri Greenidge is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Boston University, where she is studying the political consciousness of New England’s African-American community between the end of the Civil War and the Great Migration. In 2006, she published Boston’s Abolitionists, a popular work for teachers and students examining the history of Boston’s ante-bellum abolition movement. She works as a Teaching Fellow at Boston University, as historian for the Boston History and Innovation Collaborative, and teaches the history of American Reconstruction, and African-American Studies, at Suffolk University. She has also taught at Northeastern University, where she taught African-American History, and helped organize the 2007 Civil Rights Conference with Northeastern University Law Professor Margaret Burnham.

She has been featured in the Boston Globe, on NPR’s Morning Edition, on Chronicle, and at the University of New Hampshire’s Blacks in New England Conference. Prior to her work in the private sector, Ms. Greenidge was an historical interpreter at Boston African-American National Historic Site, a branch of the National Park Service.

fall_icon.gifRonald E. Grim, Curator

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library
grim_headshot.jpgRonald E. Grim was appointed Curator of Maps for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library in January 2005. He assumed this position after working 33 years for the Federal government with the nation’s two largest map collections at the National Archives and the Library of Congress. His most recent position was Specialist in Cartographic History in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, where he served as the Executive Secretary of the Philip Lee Phillips Society, a friends and support group for the Division. He also served as the Vault Curator, overseeing the conservation, cataloging, scanning and exhibition of the Division’s cartographic rarities and treasures.

He is the author of numerous books on historical geography, including Journeys of the Imagination: An Exhibition of World Maps and Atlases (Boston Public Library, 2006), and Boston and Beyond: A Bird’s Eye View of New England (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, 2008). He has also participated in numerous workshops for K-12 teachers and students focusing on the use of historical maps online for use in social studies curricula, including a Scholars in the Schools Program in Kansas City, sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates.

summer_icon.gifJoseph McCarthy, Ph.D.

Suffolk University
mccarthy_ba_historian.jpgDr. McCarthy is Emeritus Professor of Education and Human Service, and History, at Suffolk University, where he has been an innovator in Education for over thirty years. After receiving his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Education from Boston College in 1972, Dr. McCarthy became assistant professor of Education at Suffolk in 1973, and Professor of History in 1983. Through his long and distinguished career he has received numerous awards and accolades from both his peers in the field of education, and from his students. This list includes Who’s Who in American Education, an Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and nominations for the Star Teaching Award from the Evening Division Student Association and the Undergraduate Student Government Association.

Dr. McCarthy’s scholarship has appeared in numerous journals and reference works, including the Encyclopedia of New England, the Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, and Grand Warfare, as well as Seventeenth Century News, the newsletter of the New England Historical Association, and the Catholic Historical Review. He has served as a consultant for the Beacon Hill Institute, MacMillan New Media, the Cambridge Public Schools, and Salem State College. A member of numerous boards dedicated to the history of New England and education, Dr. McCarthy has served on the Book Prize Committee of the New England History Association, the American Historical Association Press Committee, and the Book Prize Committee of the Northeast Popular/American Culture Association, of which he was also president.

fall_icon.gifEdward T. O’Donnell, Ph.D.

Holy Cross College
Dr. O’Donnell is Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is a renowned speaker and author. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from Columbia University (1995). He is the author of many scholarly articles and several books, including Ships Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum (2003), which tells the story of one of the worst disasters in American history and its impact on a vibrant ethnic community. He most recently co-authored Visions of America: A History of the United States.

Dr. O’Donnell is also a professional speaker, delivering history-themed presentations before thousands of educational, business and non-profit organizations since 1991. During his years in New York City, O’Donnell also led more than 2,000 walking tours through New York City’s ethnic neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Little Italy and Harlem. Since 2001 O’Donnell has served as lead historian for several Teaching American History grants. He has also made countless professional development presentations for TAH grant programs from New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Florida, and Virginia.


summer_icon.giffall_icon.gifPatricia A. Reeve, Ph.D.

Suffolk University
reeve_headshot.jpgDr. Patricia Reeve is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Suffolk University. Her teaching reflects her interests in social and political history, as well as her research on gender, workers, medicine, and law. She teaches American History; U.S. Women’s History; Workers in America; Death, Disease and Healing in American History; and Unraveling Selfhood.

Her current project is a history of social and legal meaning-making about industrial accidents from 1830 to 1912, with a focus on the perspectives of wage earners, reformers, the reading public, and the Massachusetts judiciary and legislature. She is the author of “Industrial Disaster, Meaning Making and Reform: Readings of the Collapse of the Pemberton Mills, 1860” in Working Disasters: The Politics of Recognition and Response, (2006); entries in Class in America: An Encyclopedia, (2007); “The Fruits of Our Labor: Women and the U.S. Labor Movement,” in Social Policy Journal (1993); and “Coalition Building for Community-based Labor Education,” in Policy Studies Journal (1989-90).

Dr. Reeve has longstanding affiliations with a variety of worker advocacy and education programs. Currently she is a program consultant to On Equal Terms, Susan Eisenberg’s installation marking the 30th anniversary of the Executive Order mandating gender equity in hiring and training in the U.S. building trades, which opened at Brandeis University in October 2008, and at Suffolk University on April 1, 2009.

She is also the coordinator of Suffolk University’s collaborations with the Tri-City Technology Education Collaborative and affiliated school districts in Everett, Malden, Medford, and Revere. Current projects include “Voices Rising”: Assimilation and the American Experience, funded by a Teaching American History Grant (2006-2009), as well as the Technology Enhancement Project (2007-2009).

fall_icon.gifWarner Sollors, Ph.D.

Harvard University
Werner Sollors earned his Dr. phil. degree at the Freie Universitat Berlin in 1975 and taught at Berlin, at Columbia University, and at the Universita degli Studi di Venezia. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1983 and holds the Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Chair as Professor of English and Professor of African American Studies.

He has served as chair at numerous institutions, including Harvard’s Committee on Higher Degrees in the History of American Civilization (1997-2002), Ethnic Studies Department (2001-2004), and the Undergraduate Studies Department of English and American Literature and Language (1997-2001). He is a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the author of many definitive books and articles in the field of ethnic studies and American Literature, including Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Literature and Culture (1986), and Neither Black Nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature (1997) and a book-length contribution on "Ethnic Modernism" volume 6 of Sacvan Bercovitch's Cambridge History of American Literature (2003).