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Created under the auspices of a 2016 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The HistoryMakers Higher Education Advisory Board consists of academic administrators, scholars, faculty, librarians, archivists, and digital humanities experts. The goal of this Advisory Board is to forge a relationship between The HistoryMakers and the higher education community, as well as to increase awareness and usage of The HistoryMakers archive and The HistoryMakers Digital Archive in academia. This includes uses both inside and outside the classroom, distance learning and online education, public programming, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), course management systems, digital humanities projects, exhibitions, research projects and other scholarly pursuits. 

The work of this advisory board focuses building a sustainable presence for The HistoryMakers in college and university research and teaching, and will develop a community of engaged academic users. Representatives from each of The HistoryMakers more than fifty college and university partners make up the advisory board, and to date, three in-person meetings have been held – April 2016, February 2017, and February 2018 – with a fourth meeting upcoming. The HistoryMakers Higher Education Advisory Board is organized into three subcommittees:

Members of The HistoryMakers Teaching & Learning Committee represent faculty and administrators from a broad range of subject areas and disciplines. Ranging from academic deans to professional organization administrators and doctoral fellows, the Teaching & Learning Committee seeks to frame The HistoryMakers interaction with scholars and its engagement with trends and concerns in the scholarly arena.

Projects of the Teaching & Learning Committee have included the integration of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive into courses at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the University of Richmond on African American experiences with the law, Sociology, and classical theatre, respectively. Examples can be browsed, by subject discipline, under RESEARCH & INSTRUCTION.

American Historical Association

-James Grossman, Executive Director

Arkansas State University

-Cherisse Jones-Branch, James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Endowed Professor of History

Boston University

-Walter Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership

-Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor, Sociology and African American Studies

-Susan Mizruchi, Director, BU Center for the Humanities

Brandeis University

-Anita Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women's Studies

-Joel Christensen, Associate Professor of Classics

-Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Carnegie Mellon University

-Shawn Alfonso-Wells, Adjunct Professor of History

-Richard Scheines, Dean, Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences

-Steven Schlossman, Professor of History, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dominican University

-Donna Carroll, President

-Douglas Keberlein Gutierrez, Associate Professor – History

-Chavella T. Pittman, Associate Professor of Sociology

Emory University

-Kali-Ahset Amen, Assistant Director, James Weldon Johnson Institute

-Michelle Y. Gordon, Senior Lecturer in the Department of African American Studies

-Dwight McBride, Provost

Florida Memorial University

-Tameka Bradley-Hobbs, Assistant Professor of History

Harvard University

-Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy

-Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies

Howard University

-Greg Carr, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Chair of the Department

-Lorenzo Morris, Professor of Political Science

Johnson C. Smith University

-Marsha Rhee, Associate Professor of English, Director, Rhetoric & Writing

Lesley University

-Kazuyo Kubo, Associate Professor

New York University

-David Levering Lewis, Professor Emeritus

-Pamela Newkirk, Professor, Journalism

Northwestern University

-Jonathan Holloway, Provost             

Rice University

-Marcia Walker-McWilliams, Associate Director, Programs for the Center for Civic Leadership

Savannah State University

-Kisha Cunningham, Assistant Professor, School of Teacher Education

Simmons College

-Janie Ward, Professor and Department Chair, Africana Studies

-Jessica Parr, Lecturer of History

Smith College

-Paula Giddings, Elizabeth A. Woodson Professor Emerita of Africana Studies

Texas Southern University

-Brittany Slatton, Professor of Sociology

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

-Kevin Butler, Associate Professor of History

University of Illinois at Chicago

-Jane Rhodes, Department Head, Professor of African American Studies

University of Richmond

-Patrice Rankine, Dean, School of Arts & Sciences & Professor, Classics

Virginia Commonwealth University

-Nicole M. Turner, Assistant Professor, Department of History

Members of The HistoryMakers Digital Humanities Committee are made up of librarians, faculty, and researchers, focused solely on exploring methods to provide more context for The HistoryMakers collection, and to provide further entry points for students and researchers, using cutting edge digital techniques and data analytics. Led initially by work produced out of the Yale University Digital Humanities Lab, this committee works collaboratively across institutions to conceive and implement projects that offer new ways of understanding and engaging with The HistoryMakers content, and that will surface latent themes and characteristics of the Collection.

Examples of the Digital Humanities Committee’s work include a text-modeling experiment using transcripts from The HistoryMakers Collection ( generated by Yale University’s Digital Humanites Lab. The 25-topic model used machine algorithms to explore themes based on word frequency and co-occurrence. Further examples can be found under RESEARCH & INSTRUCTION.

Boston University

-Vika Zafrin, Digital Scholarship Librarian

Carnegie Mellon University

-Mike Christel, Teaching Professor

Howard University

-Lopez Matthews, Digital Production Librarian

Michigan State University

-Brandon Locke, Digital Social Science and Humanities Specialist

Rutgers University

-Krista White, Digital Humanities Librarian and Head, Media Services    

Stanford University

-Hannah Frost, Services Manager, Stanford Digital Repository & Media Preservation Lab

-Glen Worthey, Digital Humanities Librarian Co-Lead of The Center For Interdisciplinary Digital Research

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

-Harriett Green, English and Digital Humanities Librarian

University of Iowa

-Sarah E. Bond, Assistant Professor in Classics

-Dan Johnson, Digital Preservation Librarian

-Thomas Keegan, Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio                

University of Richmond

-Lauren Tilton, Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities

Yale University

-Peter Leonard, Director, Yale University Digital Humanities Lab

-Catherine DeRose, Digital Humanities Lab Manager

Members of The HistoryMakers Library & Archives Committee are made up of librarians, archivists, and library administrators at each of The HistoryMakers partner institutions. Rather than serving solely as a database for partner institutions, The HistoryMakers also seeks to facilitate connections that will enrich the physical collections of partner libraries, as well as exploring mechanisms for connecting The HistoryMakers oral history interviews with other oral history collections or supporting contextual materials.

Projects of the Library & Archives Committee have included working with The HistoryMakers on the re-institution of a training program for minority archivists at Yale University, Harvard University, and Emory University; facilitating the donation of the personal papers of HistoryMakers like Angela Davis (Schlesinger Library), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Northwestern University), and Senator Emil Jones (University of Illinois, Chicago) to institutional repositories for preservation. 

Boston University

-Vita Paladino, Director, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

Carnegie Mellon University

-Erika Linke, Associate Dean of Libraries & Director of Research and Academic Services

Columbia University

-John Tofanelli, Research Collections and Services Librarian for British & American History & Literature

Cornell University

-Eric Acree, Director John Henrik Clarke Africana Library

Emory University

-Yolanda Cooper, University Librarian

Harvard University

-Marilyn Dunn, Executive Director, Arthur Schlesinger Library

Howard University

-Alliah Humber, Head of Acquisitions & Serials

Johnson C. Smith University

-Nooma Monika Rhue, Director of Library Services

Northwestern University

-Kathleen Bethel, African American Studies Librarian

-Charla B. Wilson, Archivist for the Black Experience at Northwestern   

Princeton University

-Steven Knowlton, Librarian for History and African American Studies

Rutgers University

-Consuella Askew, Director, Dana Library

University of Chicago

-Brenda Johnson, University Librarian

University of Pennsylvania

-Nicholas Okrent, Coordinating Bibliographer and Librarian for the Humanities

Virginia Commonwealth University

-John Ulmschneider, University Librarian


The HistoryMakers 3rd Annual Higher Education Advisory Board Meeting – Reaching Faculty & Students

February 11-12, 2018; New York City

48 Attendees from 30 of 35 subscribing institutions.


  1. SHARE ways that they have already used The HistoryMakers Digital Archive in the classroom;
  2. ENGAGE in brainstorming around increasing penetration within the classroom and in academic research;
  3. CONCEIVE of a use for The HistoryMakers Digital Archive in classroom instruction or digital humanities research; and
  4. COMMIT to incorporating The HistoryMakers Digital Archive into their classroom instruction or research.

To read the meeting minutes and report, click HERE.

The HistoryMakers 2nd Annual Higher Education Advisory Board Meeting – Reaching Institutions & Libraries

February 5-6, 2017; New York City

40 Attendees from 19 of 19 subscribing institutions.

Focus Questions:

  1. How can The HistoryMakers Digital Archive be integrated into research, teaching and learning across academic disciplines?
  2. How can The HistoryMakers continue to secure further subscriptions to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive sustainably?

To read the meeting minutes and report, click HERE.

The HistoryMakers 1st Annual Higher Education Advisory Board Meeting – Reaching Higher Ed

April 25-26, 2016; New York City

23 Attendees from 9 of 10 subscribing institutions.

Focus Questions:

  1. Who should The HistoryMakers target in the following communities at your institution or others?
    1. Faculty
    2. Students
    3. Administration
    4. Alumni
    5. Lifelong Learners
    6. Library/Archives
  2. What organizations/conferences should The HistoryMakers engage with?

To read the meeting minutes and report, click HERE.