Project Historians

  • Views: 31 Douglas Brinkley

    Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University. He completed his bachelor's degree at Ohio State University and received his doctorate in U.S. Diplomatic History from Georgetown University in 1989. Dr. Brinkley is contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly, he is also a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Club. In a recent profile, the Chicago Tribune deemed him "America's new past master." Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year.  In his most recent work, Cronkite, Brinkley traces Walter Cronkite's story from his roots in Missouri and Texas through the Great Depression, during which he began his career, to World War II, when he gained notice reporting with Allied troops from North Africa, D-day, and the Battle of the Bulge.  Epic, intimate, and masterfully written, Cronkite is the much-anticipated biography of an extraordinary American life, told by one of our most brilliant and respected historians.

  • Views: 30 Randall Buchman

    Randall Buchman is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Defiance College and City Historian, City of Defiance . He specializes in Ohio Valley American Indian studies, and has worked at prehistoric sites in Ohio and Indiana. He recently taught Native American History at Bacone College and Indian College in Oklahoma.

  • Views: 29 Dr. David Skaggs

    Dr. David Curtis Skaggs is a Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University. He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 1966.  Dr. Skaggs’ research and teaching concentrated on colonial and revolutionary America and United States military history.  He is the author of Roots of Maryland Democracy, 1753-1776 (1973), Thomas Macdonough: Master of Command in the Early U.S. Navy (2002), Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage and Patriotism in the Early U.S. Navy (2006) and principal co-author of A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign, 1812-1813 (2000).  The latter was a History Book Club alternate selection; it and the Perry biography won the North American society of Oceanic History’s prizes for naval history.  He is currently writing an analysis of the military career of William Henry Harrison.

  • Views: 38 Eric Hemenway

    Eric Hemenway works in the Cultural Preservation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Northern Michigan. The majority of his work centers around retrieving human remains and sacred objects under NAGPRA. He has worked with the tribes in Michigan on 11 successful recommendations for disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains from the NAGPRA Review Committee and has had 11 repatriation claims for human remains, sacred objects, funerary objects and objects of cultural patrimony go through successfully. He currently sits on the NAGPRA Review Committee, Emmet County Historical Commission and LTBB Youth Cultural Advisory Committee.

  • Views: 43 Dr. Larry L. Nelson

    Larry L. Nelson is past chief administrator of Fort Meigs State Memorial in Perrysburg, Ohio, and an assistant professor of history at Bowling Green State University, Firelands Campus. Dr. Nelson, author and editor of five books and writer of several articles on topics relating to Ohio history and military history, is a former site manager of Fort Meigs State Memorial.

  • Views: 39 Gerard T. Altoff

    After serving a four year tour of duty with the US Coast Guard, which included a WestPac cruise to Vietnam, Gerard T. Altoff joined the US National Park Service in 1972. He held positions at Zion National Park, in Utah, then Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota followed by Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial Superintendent in Put-in-Bay Ohio. Amongst My Best Men: African Americans and the War of 1812 (1996), Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie (1999), and Deep Water Sailors, Shallow Water Soldiers (1988) were all written while he lived on the island. All three are essential books on the The War of 1812 and expertly cover the Battle of Lake Erie subject area.

  • Views: 30 Dr. Bruce W. Bowlus

    Early in graduate school, Professor Bruce Bowlus, Ph.D., became fascinated with the development of shipping on the Great Lakes. He pursued this interest both in research archives around the Great Lakes and beneath the waters of the Lakes themselves among the thousands of shipwrecks located there. His research has been presented in numerous papers delivered at regional and national conferences and published in a variety of journals. In June of 2010, McFarland published his book, Iron Ore Transport of the Great Lakes: the Development of a Delivery System to Feed American Industry. He also served as a resource for the 2005 PBS special, “Lake Erie: Ohio’s Great Lake.” Bowlus holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wittenberg University and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University.

  • Views: 35 Dr. Andrew Cayton

    Dr. Andrew Cayton is a Distinguished Professor of History and Affiliate of the American Studies Program at Miami University in Miami, Ohio. Dr. Cayton teaches the history of 18th century North America and the British Empire. His current research projects include Imperial America, 1672-1764 (with Fred Anderson of the University of Colorado, Boulder), a volume in The Oxford History of the United States. Another book project is Love in the Time of Revolution.

  • Views: 26 Sue Judis

    Sue Judis is the Chief of Interpretation at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial.  She has participated and shared her knowledge of local history in several public media documentary projects including, Road Trip: Put-In-Bay and Lake Erie: Ohio’s Great Lake. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.

  • Views: 23 Dr. Pete Wilhelm

    Dr. Wilhelm is retired from NSCC, and now works at the college part-time doing the War of 1812 related material.

    He taught History 101 and 102 (survey), Geography of US and Canada and World Geography, History of the Old Northwest Territory, and the Narrative Literature of the Old Northwest Territory at Northwest State Community College for 27 years. Also History of the Americas from 1995 – 2001 at Defiance College, Global Civilization in the Adult Ed program at Defiance College from 2007 to the present.

    Wilhelm was co-sponsor of two Indian Removal Conferences (2006 and 2012) that covered the 1830 Removal Act and the forced removals of the 1820’s. Both included chiefs and official representatives from the tribes involved. Both were a successful. Grants from the Humanities Council supported both conferences.



  • Views: 29 Rick Finch

    Rick Finch is site manager of Fort Meigs. Previously, Mr. Finch worked at Living History Farms, a 550-acre site in Urbandale, Iowa, containing three working farms that demonstrate agricultural techniques from the 1700s, 1850, and the 1900s. He left a job as director of historical interpretation at Living History Farms to join Fort Meigs because he wanted to be closer to relatives in Michigan and have a position without so many administrative responsibilities. Mr. Finch said he is hoping to continue raising money for the Fort Meigs capital campaign. The site plans to raise $1.5 million to help pay for new equipment and displays. He also wants to better publicize Fort Meigs to increase the number of visitors.

  • Views: 41 Blanca Alvarez Stransky

    Blanca Alvarez Stransky is the superintendent of the Perry's Victory and Peace Memorial National Monument. Stransky is also working to partner with groups in the United Kingdom. She has set plans in motion to "entice and engage youth, as well as historians."
    Stransky, whose 24-year career with the National Park Service includes the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, Denali National Park in Alaska and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska, wants Americans to own their history and feel excited.