Speakers Index

A B C D E F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W Y Z

Lucy Adkins

Poet and MFA Candidate –

Lincoln, NE

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Lucy Adkins grew up in rural Nebraska, attended country schools, and received her degree from Auburn University. Currently she is working towards her MFA in writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her poetry has been published in journals which include Rhino, Northeast, South Dakota Review, Concho River Review, and several anthologies. Her chapbook, One Life Shining: Addie Finch, Farmwife was published in 2007 by Pudding House Press. In addition, she co-authored Writing in Community: Say Goodbye to Writer’s Block and Transform Your Life which won a Silver “Ippy” in the Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Timothy G. Anderson

Professor emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln –

Lincoln, NE

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Barry Anderson

Retired professor of Journalism and former radio and television producer –

Omaha, NE

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Jeff Barnes

Author –

Omaha, NE

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 A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Jeff Barnes is a former newspaper reporter and editor, trustee with the Nebraska State Historical Society, past chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and former marketing director for the Durham Museum.  He is the author of “Forts of the Northern Plains,”, “The Great Plains Guide to Custer,” and “The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill.”

Diane R. Bartels

Retired Teacher –

Lincoln, NE

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Diane Bartels is a lifelong Nebraskan who grew up wanting to fly airplanes. She earned her pilot certificate in 1966 and with that evolved a commitment to aerospace education and the preservation of Nebraska’s rich aviation heritage. In 1991, Diane was recognized as Nebraska’s Teacher-Scholar by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award made it possible for her to write and publish “Sharpie: The Life Story of Evelyn Sharp, Nebraska’s Aviatrix.” Diane belongs to several aviation organizations, has been published in journals and periodicals and has presented at national conferences. She served as principal consultant for the NETV documentary film “Sharpie: Born To Fly.”

Cherrie Beam-Callaway

Independent Scholar & Storyteller –

Fremont, NE

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Cherrie Beam-Callaway doesn’t lack for stories as she has spent nearly 25 years gathering and recording historic tales from Nebraska families. Cherrie boasts of being a “true Nebraskan,” as she has lived in both ends of the state and is a fourth generation farm girl. The pioneer stories are factual and reflect the diversity of the people and land from western to eastern Nebraska. Cherrie is an educational storyteller who speaks with an Irish brogue, dresses in period attire and delivers spell binding one-act plays that make audiences laugh and cry. Speaking for more than 35 years to all ages, her venues include elementary, especially 4th grade, through high school, libraries, museums, adult and youth church groups, senior centers, banquets and festivals. Cherrie traveled Nebraska as a storyteller on the wagon train commemorating the 150th birthday of the Oregon Trail. She is co-founder of John C. Fremont Days, one of Nebraska’s largest annual historical festivals, and founder of “A Day in the Past,” an annual day for 4th graders. She is recipient of a number of community and statewide awards for historical preservation.

Beverly Beavers

Teacher - Superior Public Schools –

Superior, NE

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Born and raised in Superior, Beverly Beavers was fascinated by the tale of the Superior girl who became the world’s highest paid female executive of her era.

Bill Behmer

Musician –

Lincoln, NE

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Bill Behmer is a founder of LAFTA, the Lincoln Association for Traditional Arts. He served as the organization’s artistic director for more than 10 years and received the 1998 Mayor’s Arts  Award from the Lincoln Arts Council for his volunteer work promoting old-time folk music. In addition to fiddle and harmonica, Bill plays the mountain dulcimer and is a three-time Midwest dulcimer champion. He has done extensive research into the history and playing styles of this American folk instrument.

Thomas Berg

History Lecturer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln –

Lincoln, NE

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A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Thomas Berg received his M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1999) in US military history under Pete Maslowski. Since 1999, Berg has taught at UNL courses in American history, European military history, US military history, and the Second World War. He hopes to add a course in the First World War as the centenary of America’s entry comes in 2017. Berg has received a high number of teaching awards at UNL, including the student body’s “Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Large-class)” in 2002 and was nominated for the same award in his first year of re-eligibility in 2005. He is also a long-time participant in UNL’s Advanced Peer Review of Teaching program. Berg is also one of the most popular instructors for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a nationwide organization whose UNL chapter is one of the most dynamic in the United States.  His topics range from America’s wars to presidential campaigns, from journalism to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Pat Boilesen

Independent Musician & Composer –

Albion, NE

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Pat is a native Nebraskan, a writer, and a musician with an interest in her historical heritage. She found that the old traditional songs that tell stories (ballads) often tell the story of our ancestors and how their trials and their endurance shaped life on the Plains. Pat began writing her own ballads, knowing that her stories will also help contribute to keeping our heritage alive. She writes of real people, places and events, past and present, some exciting, some sad, and some simply fun! In her presentation, Pat shares the old ballad with the new and lets her audience share in the story those ballads tell. She presents her program to suit any age group, making certain it is full of learning for school children, full of nostalgia for the adult, and thought provoking for all. Pat has won countless awards for her songwriting and poetry and conducts workshops at festivals and events across the plains. During the winter months, Pat’s workshops find her in Arizona.  She is a recording artist with international airplay, and videos of her songs can now be found on YouTube,  Pat will perform her original songs in the Dick Clark Theater in Branson, MO. in November of 2015.

www.patboilesen.homestead.com

Marci Broyhill

Prairie Poet & Storyteller –

Dakota City, NE

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Marci Broyhill, Prairie Poet & Storyteller grew up with burrs on her jeans along Cedar-Dixon County Line between Highway 20, Nebraska’s Cowboy Railroad Line and Highway 12, Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail. Marci visits small town museums, giving life to stories waiting to be shared. Marci has participated at poetry gatherings in six states. She has published two CDs of her original poetry. She balances her presentations with information, reflection and humor. Marci is a member Western Music Association and Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway Highway 12.

John Calvert

Professor of History - Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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Dr. John Calvert is Professor at Creighton University, where he teaches courses on medieval and modern Middle Eastern history. His research has focused on Islamic movements in the Middle East, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and radical jihadi groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, in addition to Britain’s imperial involvements in the Middle East in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Calvert’s most recent book, Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism, received critical acclaim. Dr. Calvert is interviewed regularly on Middle Eastern affairs by major world newspapers and has appeared in documentaries produced by BBC and National Public Radio.

Jack Campbell

Community Volunteer & Sowar Award Recipient –

Lincoln, NE

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Jack Campbell has served two terms on the Nebraska Humanities Council and, thereafter, the Nebraska Foundation for the Humanities, and was president of the foundation from 1993 to 1995. He is on the board of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, raising support for the Nebraska Humanities Council and the Nebraska Arts Council. Jack is a retired insurance executive, is active in civic organizations and is a board member of the Cooper Foundation. He received the Sower Award from the NHC in 2001 for his long-time activities and commitment to the cultural programs of the state.

Paul V. Campbell

Retired Professor Criminial Justice - Wayne State College –

Wayne, NE

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Paul Campbell has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology and social psychology from Utah State University. Paul has done research on emotionally disturbed teenagers, death row inmate families, gender socialization of careers among preschool, second-grade and fourth-grade students, cross-gender violence among pre-teens, rural crime reporting, campus violence, crime victimization of tourists and dating violence. For more than 20 years, he has been a volunteer for Haven House, a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter agency. On the Wayne State College faculty since 1980, Paul teaches about family violence, the war on drugs, rural sociology, juvenile delinquency and technology. He is a six-time nominee for the State Colleges Teaching Excellence Award, and students twice have selected him the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year.

Deb Carpenter-Nolting

Writer & Songwriter –

Bushnell, NE

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Deb Carpenter-Nolting expresses herself in a number of ways. She is a poet, essayist, newspaper columnist, songwriter, performing artist, and teacher.Deb is the author of three books: Grizzly Attack in Colorado: The Ed Wiseman Story (P.L.A.N. Publishers 2013); Nature’s Beauty Kit (Fulcrum Publishing 1995); and Chadron (with Ken Korte and Composition I students. Arcadia Publishing 2004). She has published articles in Nebraska Life Magazine, Colorado Life Magazine, Plains Song Review, and Cattle Business Weekly. Many of her stories and poems can be found in anthologies. She has recorded several poems and songs. Some of her work has been featured on radio and television programs. Her most recent album is Windblown, produced by Martin Gilmore in 2012.

Deb has performed at a variety of venues, including libraries, museums, festivals, schools, poetry gatherings, brandings, cancer walks, conferences, banquets, and private events. She also conducts workshops for all ages. She has taught all grades, from one-room schools in rural Nebraska to high schools in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, to a tribal college in South Dakota and Chadron State College in Nebraska. Deb holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature and a Masters of Arts in Education. She is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and was awarded Instructor of the Year at Oglala Lakota College. Other awards include Master Storyteller (Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival) and Individual Fellowship Merit Awards from Nebraska Arts Council (Performing Arts: Composition 1996), (Literature: Fiction 1995).

James P. Cavanaugh

Independent Historian & Attorney –

Omaha, NE

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James P. Cavanaugh is a fifth generation Nebraskan, practicing attorney, and independent historian. He was elected to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in 2014. Jim currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Douglas County Hospital Foundation, Douglas County Health Center Board of Trustees and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency Board. He has served on the boards of directors of the Nebraska Repertory Theater, the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, the Center for Missouri Rivers Studies, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish American Cultural Institute of Nebraska and Justice for Our Neighbors. He holds degrees in history and law from Creighton University.  Jim has been a Humanities Council speaker since 2002.

Bill Clemente

Professor of English - Peru State College –

Peru, NE

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Bill Clemente earned a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Oregon and is a professor of English at Peru State College, where he has taught since 1993. Bill teaches a wide variety of classes, including creative writing and children’s literature. He also enjoys Caribbean literature and science fiction, on which he continues to publish articles. His hobbies are photography and bird watching—and toying with blogs and podcasts. You can see some of his bird pictures at the website listed above. In addition to working with college students, Bill has for the past 20 years given creative-writing sessions at elementary schools. “Feathers and Verses” combines creative writing with his hobbies. Bill also enjoys sharing his bird pictures and talking with adult groups.

Dawn R. Connelly

Art Teacher-Parkview Christian School –

Lincoln, NE

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Dawn Connelly has been teaching art education to all grade levels since 1979 in several public schools in Nebraska. She also was an art professor at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga., was an adjunct  professor for Southeast Community College, Nebraska Wesleyan University and The College of Saint Mary.  Her teaching experience extends to Stuttgart, Germany, where she taught on a military post. Presently, Dawn teaches K-12  art at Parkview Christian School, Lincoln, NE. She also has her own private art studio in her home called the “Art Academy” where she teaches private, semi-private art lessons and art workshops to students K-12. The program “The Burckhardts” developed from an art project in which 4th and 5th grade art students painted banners honoring notable Nebraskans’ from different ethnic backgrounds. Dawn and her family had spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Great Plains Museum in Omaha in 1999, researching an African American to honor on one of these banners when she came upon a photo of a beautiful black woman with a warm smile. Her name was Anna Burckhardt and she was a teacher and oil painter. When Dawn realized Anna’s husband, Rev. Oliver Burckhardt, was also a notable Nebraskan through his work with race relations, his connections with five governors and his religious contributions, she was convinced this couple needed to be honored. The Burckhardts contribution to the community is eulogized by their tombstones at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln. The headstones are inscribed “Rev. O. J. Burckhardt: Here Lies a Helper of Unfortunate Mankind” and ” Anna Burckhardt, The Artist: Here Lies the Helper of the Helper of Men.

Donald Costello

Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln –

Lincoln, NE

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Sara Brandes Crook

Professor of Social Sciences - Peru State College –

Peru, NE

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Sara Crook is a professor of Political Science and History at Peru State College. She has taught Nebraska History at the college since 1984. Dr. Crook served 6 years on the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Board of Directors, with 2 years as the President of that board. She also was on the Council for Humanities Nebraska for 7 years, including one year as the Chair. She currently is serving a 2nd term on the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission. The latest committee commitments will take her to Nebraska’s 150th Statehood Anniversary, as she serves as Chair on the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, on the Executive Committee for the Nebraska 150 Foundation, as well as the Sesquicentennial Committee at Peru State College which will also celebrate its status as Nebraska’s 1st college in the year of 2017.

 

Her love of Nebraska history and Nebraska politics goes back to her childhood. As a farm girl growing up in a country church and attending a one-room country school in the 1950s and 60s, she developed a deep appreciation for Nebraska, and its people, that continues to this day

Meenakshi N. Dalal

Professor of Economics - Wayne State College –

Wayne, NE

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Born an raised in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, Meena Dalal came to United States in 1972.  She received her Ph.D. from Northeastern University, Boston in 1984 in Economics.  She joined Wayne State College faculty in 1985.  She is a Professor of Economics at Wayne State College, NE.

Spencer Davis

Professor of History - Peru State College –

Peru, NE

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  • (402) 293-6713 (Home)

Spencer Davis has a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a doctorate from the University of Toronto. He has published articles on Olaudah Equiano and Ma Rainey and reviews in “Nebraska History”. His areas of specialization are Civil War and African-American history.

Darrel W. Draper

Living History Re-enactor –

Omaha, NE

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Darrel W. Draper, a fifth generation Nebraskan, retired Navy officer and University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate, uses his talents as storyteller and actor to educate and entertain. He has performed for national and state government agencies, museums, schools, youth groups, festivals and is a popular banquet and luncheon speaker. He specializes in costumed portrayals of historical figures that played major roles in the events that shaped our state and nation. He is considered an expert on the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition and has personally retraced thousands of miles of their trail by canoe and on foot.

Karen Wyatt Drevo

Librarian - Norfolk Public Library –

Norfolk, NE

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Seven generations of Karen Wyatt Drevo’s family have lived in Otoe County, Neb. Karen grew up on a farm north of Unadilla and received her early education in one-room Otoe County schools. She has degrees in English and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Norfolk, where she is a librarian at Norfolk Public Library. Her life-long interest in her family history was sparked by the family stories told by her grandmothers.

Lorraine J. Duggin

Poet, Writer, Lecturer & Folk Artist –

Omaha, NE

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Dr. Lorraine Duggin is a poet and writer who teaches language arts/writing to refugees, immigrants and international students in the English-as-second-language Department at Metro Community College in Omaha. She has been publishing her own poetry, fiction and essays for many years and has taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University as well as offering many readings and workshops throughout the Midwest.   She is a master artist with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artists in Schools/Communities program and also in the Iowa Arts Council’s AIS/C program. Duggin also dances with the Omaha International Folk Dancers and three other folk dance groups that perform in Nebraska and the region.  She has taught folk dancing from many cultures through the Presbyterian Outreach School for the Arts and through the Nebraska Arts Council.

Robert Dunne

Musician –

Omaha, NE

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Robert Dunne plays the didgeridoo (an Australian Aboriginal wind instrument), bullroar and clapsticks. He talks about Aboriginal traditions and explains how to play the didgeridoo. In 1995, Dunne became an old-time country music and pioneer exposition miscellaneous instrument champion. Dunne has performed with many international performers and was featured on the “best local recording of 1995” (Omaha World-Herald). Dunne carves his own instruments from wood, but he demonstrates how to make them easily from inexpensive materials such as PVC pipe, which can be decorated in Aboriginal style.

 

Charlotte M. Endorf

Independent Scholar & Author –

Hadar, NE

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Charlotte Endorf is a lifelong Nebraskan.  As a member of Toastmasters International she earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award twice.  She specializes in speaking to elementary schools, women’s groups, museums, town festivals, senior centers, nursing homes and libraries throughout Nebraska, accurately describing the story of the platform girls of the Canteen, Annie Oakley and the Orphan Train.  Charlotte  and her daughter, Sarah, have published ten books.  She has developed three documentaries that keep history alive, and a CD with an actual Orphan Train rider after they made a trip to New York City to uncover her records dating back to 1917.    She was selected as Nebraska’s 2011 Mother of the Year.  She is an avid reader and enjoys listening to books on CD while she journeys in every direction, thousands of miles each year—to share her stories.  Charlotte and her husband Kevin started the second Little Free Library in Nebraska in their own front yard.  It is one of the largest in the nation and one of the few that includes an active Culture Club.

Bob Ferguson

Independent Scholar –

Lincoln, NE

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Bob Ferguson has a B.A.in History and an M.A. in Education from the University of Rochester, N.Y. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, taught high school social studies, and recently retired as the Program Assistant for Humanities Nebraska. He has been a stamp collector for many years.

Dr. Richard Fruehling

Physician –

Grand Island, NE

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  • (308) 384-9296 (Home)

Dr. Richard Fruehling set up and served as director of Grand Island’s family practice residency program, which was the first residency in the Rural Health Education Network. Fruehling’s program has graduated highly qualified physicians into rural practice, the vast majority of whom are now practicing in Nebraska.

Bill Ganzel

Author & Photographer –

Lincoln, NE

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Bill Ganzel is the author of the book “Dust Bowl Descent.” In the book, he tracked down some of the same people and places that were first photographed during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Through his contemporary photographs and oral history interviews, an audience can get a sense of what it was like to live through one of the most desperate times in our nation’s history. Ganzel is the owner of The Ganzel Group Communications of Lincoln.

Jose Francisco Garcia

Cultural Historian –

Omaha, NE

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Jose Francisco Garcia is of the 3rd generation descended from a Mexican family who moved to Kansas City, Mo., during the early 20th century. A retired Union Pacific employee and long-time Chicano activist, Jose has studied the movement of people out of Mexico into North America and the effects of this migration on the established culture, particularly in the heartland of America.

Linda Garcia-Perez

Storyteller & Retired Children's Librarian –

Omaha, NE

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Bruce Garver

Professor Emeritus of History - UNO –

Omaha, NE

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tp://www.unomaha.edu/history/garver.php

Nancy Gillis

Former Director John G. Neihardt Historical Site –

Walthill, NE

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Nancy S. Gillis is the former Executive Director of the John Neihardt State Historic Site and the Neihardt Foundation’s Institute for Vision and Learning. Nancy joined the Foundation as Assistant Director in May 1997 and retired in 2014, joining its Board of Directors, and speaks to schools and civic groups on Neihardt’s work and a variety of related topics. Since 1992 she has served as faculty at Wayne State College, Northeast Community College, Nebraska Indian Community College, and Little Priest Tribal College teaching Native American History and Cultures, U.S. History, World History, Anthropology and Sociology.

Of Cherokee and Choctaw heritage, Gillis moved to Nebraska in 1987 to work with the Winnebago people for the Reformed Church in America and has served as their delegate to its Native American Council and the Commission for Race and Ethnicity.

Maisha Godare

Islamic Speakers Bureau of Nebraska Coordinator and President of the Heartland Muslim Women’s Network –

Omaha, NE

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Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey

Storyteller –

Lincoln, NE

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Joyzelle Godfrey is a retired college professor who taught Lakota Studies for Sinte Gleska University in South Dakota as well as English and Writing.  Her storytelling is based on the historical culture of her tribe and the information collected by the well known author and ethnographer Ella Deloria who wrote the historical novel Waterlily and who is Godfrey’s Dakota grandmother.  The first of Deloria’s anthropological textbooks, Dakota Way of Life, is edited by Godfrey and published in conjunction with Mariah Press of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Deborah Greenblatt

Independent Scholar & Musician –

Avoca, NE

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Deborah Greenblatt has been teaching, performing, composing, recording and writing professionally since 1971. She is a master artist with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist in the Schools/Communities Program. Deborah was the first woman to win the Nebraska State Fiddling Championship, the first woman to win the Mid-America Fiddle Championship and is a member of the Mid-America Old-Time Fiddler’s Hall of Fame. She performs with her husband as Greenblatt & Seay, and with the Greenblatt String Trio.  She is a consultant for the Denison School of Strings in Iowa and past president of the Nebraska American String Teachers Association.

Leonard J. Greenspoon

Professor of Jewish Civilization, Theology & Classics - Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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Leonard Greenspoon holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University. He lectures on a variety of topics related to the Bible and to Bible translation, including Jewish translations, from the earliest to the most recent. In addition, Greenspoon is an authority on religion and popular culture, with an emphasis on the Bible in comic strips and elsewhere in newspapers and on the ancient world in modern media (including films, art, television and literature).

Suzanne Gucciardo

Volunteer Interpreter at Fort Atkinson State Historic Park –

Fort Calhoun, NE

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Donna Gunn

Lincoln, NE

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Donna Gunn, artist-educator and founder of Focus On Piano, LLC, is dedicated to actively engaging music lovers of all ages, at all stages. Music on the Trail is an interactive experience that invites audience members to re-visit timeless folk songs and daily life on the Oregon Trail. From here, Donna segues seamlessly into classical genre music based on those folk songs.  Her fortepiano and period-performance practices research is global in scope taking her to The Netherlands, Italy, and Hungary. Her work has culminated with the 2016 publication of Discoveries from the Fortepiano with Oxford University Press. She holds a M.M. in piano performance and pedagogy.

Robert Haller

Professor of English Emeritus - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Bob Haller has retired from UNL, where he was a member of the English Department, fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies and director of Medieval and Renaissance studies. He maintains a program of writing and research, and is currently working to explain and elaborate the contributions of Hartley Burr Alexander to the culture of the Great Plains, beyond serving as “thematic consultant” for the Nebraska State Capitol.

Twyla M. Hansen

Nebraska State Poet –

Lincoln, NE

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Twyla Hansen is Nebraska’s State Poet, and co-director of Poetry from the Plains: A Nebraska Perspective website. Her newest book of poetry is Rock•Tree•Bird (Backwaters Press 2017). Her writing has been published in periodicals, anthologies, newspapers, and more, including Midwest Quarterly, Nebraska Life, Organization & Environment, Prairie Fire, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, Poetry Out Loud Anthology, National Treasures of the Great Plains: An Ecological Perspective, and The Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Her BS and MAg are from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Twyla was raised in northeast Nebraska on land her grandparents farmed in the late 1800s as immigrants from Denmark.

Vicki Troxel Harris

Independent Scholar –

Broken Bow, NE

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Bill Hayes

Director of the Mayhew Cabin & John Brown's Cave Museum-Nebraska City, NE and 10 year plus member of the MRB Lewis & Clark Center Reenactors Corps in Nebraska City, NE –

Nebraska City, NE

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Donald Hickey

Professor of History - Wayne State College –

Wayne, NE

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Don Hickey is a professor of history at Wayne State College. Called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker, Don is an award-winning author who has published eleven books and more than a hundred articles, mainly on the War of 1812 and its causes. He is best known for The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial edition (2012). For promoting public understanding of the War of 1812, Don received the Samuel Eliot Morison Award from the USS Constitution Museum in 2013.

Matt Holland

Author –

Omaha

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Yvonne Hollenbeck

Independend Scholar –

Clearfield, SD

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Yvonne Hollenbeck is an award-winning quilter and the nation’s top award-winning cowgirl poet as well as one of the most published. Yvonne presents an entertaining trunk-show of approximately 40 family quilts made on the prairies of Nebraska, spanning 5 generations, providing a glimpse of life during the past 130 years through patchwork. She also presents a separate program of cowboy poetry, reflecting the life of a rancher’s wife.

www.yvonnehollenbeck.com

Gail Geo. Holmes

Middle Missouri Valley Historian –

Omaha, NE

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Dan Holtz

Retired Professor of English - Peru State College –

Nebraska City, NE

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Dan Holtz is a recently retired professor of English at Peru State College, where he taught from 1987 to 2016. He is the recipient of the 2000 Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award and the 2015 Addison E. Sheldon Award for the preservation and interpretation of Nebraska history. He is also a past president of the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Historical Society and currently serves as a member of the Nebraska 150 Foundation, a statewide committee involved in planning Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial celebration/commemoration.  He has performed and presented programs for civic, historical, and literary organizations across Nebraska as well as at the Nebraska State Capitol, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, Scottsbluff National Monument and the John Neihardt Center.  Additionally, he has appeared at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and at the Bob Devaney Center for the state quarter dedication ceremony in 2006.  In June of 2016, he released his second CD, “All Original, All Nebraska,” a collection songs he wrote about people, places, and events in Nebraska.

Ron Hull

Senior Advisor to Nebraska Educational Telecommunications & Professor Emeritus of Broadcasting - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Ron Hull’s broadcasting career began in 1955, when he helped establish the eighth educational television station in the United States: KUON-TV at the University of Nebraska. For many years he was program manager of the Nebraska ETV Network and later was appointed station manager of KUON-TV and associate general manager of the Network. He served for 18 months as the television programming advisor to the government of South Vietnam in 1966-67, and during the 1980s was the program fund director at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. From 1996-1999 he was an executive in the programming department of PBS in Washington and left that position in 1999 when he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and taught international broadcasting at Cheng Chi University in Taipei, Taiwan. He returned to NET and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received the 2000 Sower Award in the Humanities.

Renae M. Hunt

Scholar, Educator –

Grand Island, NE

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Renae Hunt is a native Nebraska farm girl. She graduated from Stromsburg High School and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Utah State University. She attended Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., and is a qualified American Sign Language interpreter. She has been an active historical re-enactor and worked as a museum educator for several years. She traveled on the Mormon Trail in 1997, and followed the Lewis and Clark Trail as a graduate student in summer 2003. In 2002, she co-founded Traveling Historical Programs Inc., which presented hands-on living history programs and has done educational programs in a tri-state area. She has also been a visiting professor at several colleges and universities.

Janet Jeffries

Historian and Lecturer –

Crete, NE

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Native Nebraskan and descendant of Czech immigrants, Janet Jeffries has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Her areas of study include Nebraska history and the state’s architectural history, Czechs in Nebraska, Czech costumes and folk art, genealogy, and other related topics.  Jeffries directed a Czech studies Elderhostel program at Doane University for 18 years, owns a Czech costume collection that is exhibited periodically, and regularly leads tours to the Czech Republic.  She also serves on the Czech Heritage Program Advisory Committee at UN-L. Jeffries is president of the Crete Heritage Society, and does exhibits and programming for that organization. She is the author of several articles on Crete and Doane University history, and wrote a pictorial history book Crete, released by Aracadia Publishing in their Images of America series.   Jeffries, also a musician, performs a variety of music, including old time traditional and Czech, both solo and with The Kramer Sisters. Her professional career has been spent at the Nebraska State Historical Society, Doane University, and Berggren Architects.

Andrew Jewell

Professor UNL Libraries, Editor –

Lincoln, NE

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A lifelong Nebraskan, Andrew Jewell is the editor of The Willa Cather Archive. He has published several articles on Cather and American literature and is the co-editor The Selected Letters of Willa Cather (Knopf, 2013). He is a professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries.

http://cather.unl.edu (Willa Cather Archive)

Donald-Brian Johnson

Author –

Omaha, NE

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Helen Waring Johnson

Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Artist –

Geneva, NE

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Helen studied piano starting age 4 with her grandmother who graduated from the UNL School of Music in 1918 with a Piano Pedagogy Degree. Helen is a classically trained vocalist who studied voice and piano in Germany, she was a 2 year member of The Young Nebraskans, a singing group out of Doane College that toured and performed overseas. She is a past member of the UNL School of Music – University Singers who traveled to NYC & performed on stage at Carnegie Hall, she performed with the Lincoln Light Opera, performed on stage in productions at the Lincoln Community Playhouse and performed in 2 separate years Solo Vocal Shows sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council. Helen has been a piano, voice and guitar teacher. Waring Johnson graduated from UNL with BA in English with an emphasis on poetry writing and a Vocal Music Minor studying formal voice training, music composition and musical theatre. She was the sole editor of The Phantom issue of LAURUS, the UNL undergraduate creative writing magazine, published in 2003. Helen also had a solo vocal jazz performance with the UNL Jazz I Band.

For the past 5 years, Helen has been a professional performer in an entrepreneurial solo show called “Helen’s Musical Hats! Show”. With her variety of musical shows Helen Waring Johnson has entertained over 700 audiences in 120 towns and cities across Nebraska, Iowa and Florida. The Nebraska State Fair has hosted Helen with her Musical Hats to perform on Older Nebraskans Day at the Fair for the past 4 years.

Nancy B. Johnson

Independent Scholar of Great Plains & Women's Studies –

Central City, NE

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Barbara Johnson

Independent Scholar –

Aberdeen, SD

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Barbara Johnson holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut and has taught at a number of colleges and universities. She is a member of Aberdeen’s Shakespeare Club, the oldest continuous meeting in Aberdeen.

Nolan Johnson

Archaelogist - Nebraska State Historical Society –

Lincoln, NE

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Nolan Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and a master’s of professional archaeology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He works at the Nebraska State Historical Society, doing archeological surveying, report writing, mapping and cataloging.

Matthew "Sitting Bear" Jones

Storyteller –

Lincoln, NE

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Matthew “Sitting Bear” Jones is a Kiowa/Otoe-Missouria Indian of Oklahoma and has been involved in the revival of the rich oral tradition of storytelling for more than 20 years. He received a associate degree from Haskell Indian Junior College, a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University and a master’s degree from the UNL in anthropology and adult education. Matthew has worked on many television scripts for NET Television and has won several awards for his work. He has served as a consultant on films, including “Dances With Wolves.”

Patrick Jones

Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln –

Omaha

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Patrick D. Jones is an Associate Professor of History and Ethnic Studies (African and African American Studies Program) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, though he lives in Omaha with his wife and two daughters.  Among his publications are,  The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee (Harvard University Press) and In Their Own Image: Artifacts from the Great Plains Black History Museum (Donning Company Publishers).

Peggy Jones

Associate Professor Black Studies - UNO –

Omaha, NE

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Peggy Jones is an associate professor and former interim Chair of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Black Studies Department. She is also the Associate Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program. She received an individual artist fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council for her play, “The Journey,” about Aaron Douglas.

Jeff Kappeler

Research Historian and Activist –

Valley, NE

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  • (402) 807-6574 (Home)

Jeff Kappeler, a native Nebraskan, became interested in the state’s history before the age of 10 and this topic has been a life long pursuit. Jeff graduated from Midland Lutheran College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and taught for several years. He has served as curator of exhibits at John Brown’s Cave Museum in Nebraska City, has taught Elderhostel sessions through Midland College and has independent research projects on a continuing basis to gain a better understanding of 19th century life in Nebraska. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Dodge County Historical Society/May Museum in Fremont.

Brad Kellogg

Author –

Wakefield, NE

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Brad Kellogg & Raija Weiershauser  perform a variety of “Living History” shows, which are popular with Historical Societies, schools, Chautauqua’s and civic organization banquets and luncheons.  They are regular presenters at the John G. Neihardt Center and portrayed John & Mona Neihardt at the 50th Anniversary of Neihardt Day. Kellogg’s book “The Aisles of the Forgotten Graveyard” is historically based on one hundred year old stories of those buried in our cemeteries, some of which they also portray in their various performances.

Michael Kelly

Assistant Professor of Law - Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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Michael Kelly is Associate Dean and Professor of Law at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska. Professor Kelly is president of the U.S. National Chapter of L’Association International du Droit Pénal, a Paris-based society of international criminal law scholars, judges and attorneys founded in 1924 that enjoys consultative status with the United Nations. His research and teaching focuses on the fields of international and comparative law and Native American law. He is the author and co-author of four books and over thirty articles and book chapters in these areas, and his widely-cited work is among the top 3% downloaded from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Jerome Kills Small

Instructor of Language, Philosophy and Native Amercan Thought - USD –

Utica, SD

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Jerome Kills Small is an Oglala Lakota from Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  A 1997 graduate from the University of South Dakota, with an M.A. in Selected Studies, and retired after 20 years at USD.  He taught Lakota Language, American Indian Thought, Siouan Tribal Culture, Early Native American History. He is featured in the book, Wounded Warriors: A Time for Healing, and has a story in the Silver Anniversary Anthology published by the SD Humanities Council.  Mr. Kills Small has parts in the videos: Sucker Punched, Nagi Kicopi (Calling Back the Spirit,) Lost Landscapes, and Bones of Contention: Repatriation and Reburial (BBC.) Jerome is a storyteller for public schools, museums, and colleges. Jerome translates, explains, and sings Lakota ceremonial, sweatlodge, powwow, rabbit, round dance, warrior, vision quest, and sundance songs.  He sings with the Iron Wing Singers of Wagner, SD.  He is a powwow organizer, announcer, arena director, and helps in conducting Lakota ceremonies. He portrayed Tecumseh, a Shawnee Chief and British General.  He also portrayed Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman, the first Dakota Medical Doctor.  Mr. Kills Small is on the board of Directors for the Native American Advocacy Program, www.lakotanaap.org.

Richard Kimbrough

Instructor College of Business Administration - UNL –

Crete, NE

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Richard Kimbrough teaches part-time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the College of Business Administration. He is a native Nebraskan, having grown up on a farm near Big Springs. He has taught for more than 50 years in schools ranging from Nebraska to Illinois to California to several republics of the former Soviet Union. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney with advanced work from the University of California, the University of Maine, and Duke University. He is the author of 11 books, including a national prize-winning juvenile novel. In 1991 he was one of 17 American educators to receive the Leavey Award for Excellence in Education presented through the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Pa.

Thomas N. King

Professor of Instructional Design - Doane College –

Crete, NE

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Thomas N. King has degrees in history and secondary education from Westminster College in  Fulton, Mo., and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University. He teaches a Civil War course for Doane College in Crete.

www.tnking.com

Brian Kokensparger

Assistant Professor of Computer Science - Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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Lisa Kramme

Independent Scholar –

Fremont, NE

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Christopher Krampe

Director of Fine Arts, College of Saint Mary –

Omaha

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Marie Krohn

Writer of Histories and Biographies –

Neligh, NE

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Author and historian Marie Krohn has spent her career as an educator, researcher, and reporter. Her written works have appeared in journals, magazines, and newspapers nationwide. She is among the foremost experts on the fascinating and notable life of another Nebraska native, Louise Pound.

Lowen Kruse

State Senator –

Omaha, NE

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State Sen. Lowen Kruse grew up and farmed in Howard County. He graduated from Boelus High School, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Garrett Seminary on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, Ill. He has served as United Methodist pastor in Buffalo, Custer and Douglas counties, as a church consultant for Nebraska, and as a district superintendent in northeast  Nebraska and Omaha. He served in the the legislature 2000-2008.

Jody Lamp

Co-Founder and Author of American Doorstop Project/Nebraska's Agricultural History –

Scottsbluff, NE

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Terry Lane

Independent Scholar –

Lincoln, NE

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Terry Lane has portrayed Buffalo Bill Cody since 1998 and has been the official Nebraska State Buffalo Bill and the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism “Nebraska Bill” since 2001. Lane’s education is in U.S. history. Lane appears nationwide with his 1st person stage play “Meet Buffalo Bill”.

Carole Levin

Professor of History - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Betty Levitov

Professor of English - Doane College –

Lincoln, NE

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After a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University in Maryland and graduate work at Columbia University in New York, Betty Levitov lived, taught, and traveled in West Africa.  A professor at Doane College beginning in 1983, Betty began leading travel/study courses to Africa. In 2007, the University of Nebraska Press published Levitov’s travel memoir about taking students to Africa, titled “Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari.”

Helen M. Lewis

Instructor of English & Humanities - Western Iowa Tech College –

Sioux City, IA

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Helen M. Lewis teaches English and humanities at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa. She received her degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park. While teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, she received a 1990 NEH Summer Fellowship to study women Romantic poets at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. An active public speaker in humanities, Lewis’s topics cover such areas as square dancing and women’s studies through art, Westerns and British Romanticism. Since 1999, Lewis has portrayed Jane Addams for Chautauqua and humanities audiences from Oklahoma to North Dakota. She also has developed a portrayal of Nebraska native Grace Abbott.

Sharif Z. Liwaru

President, Malcolm X Memorial Foundation –

Omaha, NE

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Sharif Liwaru joined the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in 1992 and has been president since 2005. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Black studies. He is an assistant director in the student organizations and leadership programs office responsible for the university’s organizations and cultural programs and is the liaison between community organizations and students. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in non-profit management.

Preston Love Jr.

Adjunct Professor of Black Studies, University of Nebraska-Omaha –

North Omaha Community

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Preston Love Jr. was formerly an IBM marketing executive and Atlanta’s commissioner of planning under Mayor Andrew Young. In 1984 he became the national campaign manager of the Jesse Jackson for President campaign. Preston is a community activist, Adjunct Professor at UNO, Author of Economic Cataracts (2015), and black History lecturer

Thomas J. Lynch

Director of Community Programs, Marketing, and Communication, Boys Town –

Boys Town, NE

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Following graduation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Tom Lynch became a museum associate in the newly opened Boys Town Hall of History museum. Today he is Director of Community Programs for Boys Town; Chair of the Servant of God Father Edward Flanagan Cause for Beatification: and volunteer coordinator for Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home.

Stuart C. Lynn

Independent Scholar –

Omaha, NE

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David Marsh

Musician –

Denton, NE

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Marla Matkin

Independent Scholar & Performer –

Hill City, Kansas

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Marla Matkin comes by her love of history honestly, having been born in Dodge City, Kan., and raised nearby. She could never seem to get enough of the legend and lore surrounding the region and its people. This deep connection to the area can be traced back to her great-grandparents who homesteaded in Southwest Kansas in 1876. Add to this her love of drama, and she makes a compelling case for the ladies she portrays. A graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in education, she is inspired to instruct as well as entertain audiences throughout the Midwest, West and most recently at the Smithsonian.

Michael F. McDonald

Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller –

Yankton, SD

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Michael McDonald hails from Yankton County, S.D., growing up on a couple of farms with six brothers and a sister. He is a Vietnam era veteran, a graduate of the University of South Dakota, and is the Yankton County Veterans Service Officer. He and his wife, Deb, are parents of three, grandparents of three, and live in Yankton.

Jim McKee

City of Lincoln Historian –

Lincoln, NE

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Jim McKee is owner of Lee Booksellers. He is the author of more than 1,400 articles and books on Lincoln and Nebraska history and  numismatics including “Lincoln: A Photographic History,” “Visions of Lincoln,” “Lincoln: The Prairie Capital,” “Havelock: A Photo History and Walking Tour,” and “Remember When.” His weekly history column has appeared in the Lincoln Journal-Star Sunday newspaper since 1993. He has been a local history adjunct professor at Southeast Community College in Lincoln since 1970. He presents about 50 talks a year to church, civic, professional and  historical groups.

Sue McLain

Collector of Vintage Clothing –

Beatrice, NE

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Sue McLain, owner of Yesterday’s Lady, a vintage fashion museum/store in Beatrice, has been traveling the Midwest since 1991 sharing her extensive collection of clothing from 1840 through 1980 and teaching groups about the history of fashion. Sue has been collecting fashions since 1985 and they are currently housed in an 1887 historic building in downtown Beatrice. Her collection is so large, she can do multiple presentations, each focused on a particular type of clothing, such as beachwear, evening wear or lingerie.

www.yesterdayslady.com

Patrice McMahon

Assistant Professor Political Science - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Patrice McMahon is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the causes and effects of identity on international relations, transnationalism, democracy promotion, and human rights. Her recent publications include Getting its Act Together? The International Community and Statebuilding (Routledge 2012)l; and Taming Ethnic Hatred: Ethnic Cooperation and Transnational Networks in Eastern Europe (Syracuse University Press, 2007).

Gwen Meister

Folklorist –

Lincoln, NE

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Gwen Meister is a folklorist with a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. An active member of the American Folklore Society since 1991, Gwen was folk arts coordinator for the Nebraska Arts Council in Omaha for more than four years. Now she is executive director of the Nebraska Folklife Network in Lincoln, a statewide non-profit organization that creates educational materials on Nebraska’s ethnic cultures for use by classroom teachers across Nebraska. (See Humanities Nebraska Cultural Encounter Kits.) Gwen works closely with both newer immigrant groups and established ethnic organizations in her work of documenting, promoting and presenting the ethnic cultural traditions in Nebraska.

Lyn Messersmith

Cowboy Poet & Freelance Writer –

Alliance, NE

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Lyn Messersmith is a third-generation Cherry County rancher and a freelance writer who has fed a lot of hungry cowhands and has been one herself. She holds a degree in mental health and has worked in that field and as curator of the Cherry County Historical Museum. Lyn enjoys passing on the oral traditions of the cattle industry and has been featured at Cowboy Poetry Gatherings all over the West, as well as in Canada. Her belief that we are who we are because of where we’ve been, has involved her in an ongoing quest to explore pioneer women’s diaries and the lives of historical figures.

Barbara Eymann Mohrman

Educator/Author –

Elkhorn, NE

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Wynema Morris

Independent Scholar & Associate Fellow - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Wynema Morris is a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and lives on the Omaha Reservation at Walthill. She is an active speaker and teacher regarding traditional, historical and political issues of American Indians. She is an associate fellow for the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a former executive tribal administrator and vice chairman of the Omaha tribal government, she speaks on a wide range of subjects regarding American Indians. Morris received both her BS and her MA from the Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, Ariz., where she grew up on the Navajo Reservation.

Gene O. Morris

President, Morris Media –

McCook, NE

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After 45 years as a newspaper publisher and Chamber of Commerce executive, Gene O. Morris has embarked on a career as a writer, speaker and media consultant, after 17 years as publisher of the McCook Daily Gazette.

Kathy Nelson

Former Assistant Library at the Stromsburg Public Library and Author –

Stromsburg

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Kathy Nelson is a former assistant library at the Stromsburg Public Library. When she moved to Nebraska in 1982 she heard the story of George Flippin who, as it was told to her, is famous for being the first African American to play football for Nebraska in the 1890’s, is in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, went on to become a doctor in Stromsburg, had the first automobile in Stromsburg,  and is the only black person to be buried in the Stromsburg Cemetery. As an assistant librarian Nelson researched old newspapers, court records, and other primary documents. She was able to separate fact from fiction and pieced together the story of four generations of Flippins who lived in Stromsburg, a white, mostly Swedish community, from 1900-1929.  Her book, “More than Football: George Flippin’s Stromsburg Years” has been selected as one of the 150 notable Nebraska books celebrating Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of statehood in 2017.

Greg Nestroyl

Living History Re-enactor –

Omaha, NE

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Nestroyl, an Omaha native, has always had an interest in local and American history. Following in the footsteps of leaders like Abraham Lincoln, he has become a self-educated historian. Reading and absorbing topics in special areas of interest in the history of America’s West including American Indian wars, the Civil War, and westward expansionism has become Nestroyl’s passion. Nestroyl has participated in training by the Douglas County Historical Society and the Lewis and Clark Training Academy.

Fred Nielsen

History Lecturer -UNO –

Omaha, NE

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Fred Nielsen earned his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. A member of the history department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha since 1992, he has taught numerous courses, including environmental history, “The Civil War and Reconstruction,” “America in the Sixties,” and “American History Viewed Right and Left.” From 2001 to 2006, he was an interviewer on “Talking History,” a nationally syndicated radio program.

John Mark Nielsen

Excutive Director, The Danish Immigrant Museum –

Blair, NE

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John Mark Nielsen is executive director of the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa, and emeritus professor of English at Dana College. In 2012 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark bestowed on him “Knight of the Order of Dannebrog” for building relationships between Denmark and the United States. A 1973 Dana graduate, Nielsen received his M.A. from Creighton University and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 1977 he was awarded a Marshall Fellowship for study in Denmark, and in 1983-84 he was a Fulbright lecturer in American literature at several colleges in Denmark. During that time he was a consultant to the National Museum of Denmark in preparing “The Dream of America,” an exhibit on Danish emigration to the United States. In 1999 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named him the 1999 Nebraska professor of the year, and in 2000 he was a Fulbright senior lecturer in American literature at Mercy College of Calicut University in India.

Dawn Nielsen

Teacher –

Blair, NE

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A 1974 graduate of Dana College, Dawn Nielsen is a retired teacher having taught 12th grade English and English literature at Blair Community High School for thirty-five years. In 1977 she received a Marshall Fellowship for study in Denmark, where she worked with a number of Danish children’s theaters. In May 1989, she was selected by the students of Blair High School to receive their teacher of the year award, and in June 1992, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars named her a distinguished teacher. She is and has been an active board member of the Blair Historic Preservation Alliance and the Washington County Historical Society.

Patricia Pixley

Independant Scholar –

Omaha, NE

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  • (402) 571-2742 (Home)

Patricia Pixley’s interests include the study of antiques, furniture refinishing and teaching. Pixley’s classes include art history, painting and drawing, history and appreciation of antiques and picture framing. She has researched Midwestern wallpapers for publications including “Sautter House Five: Wallpapers of a German-American Farmstead,” published by the Douglas County Historical Society.

Oscar Rios Pohirieth

Musician –

Lincoln, NE

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Oscar Rios Pohirieth is a professional musician and has performed throughout Mexico, the United States and Europe. With over 30 years of experience, he specializes in the music of the Andes. Pohirieth is also a traveling and teaching artist through the Nebraska Arts Council and Humanities Nebraska.

Pohirieth helps his audiences learn information about unique instruments that they have often never seen or heard before. He analyzes the history, development and playing techniques of various Native Andean instruments such as the Zampoñas (Andean Pan Pipes), the Quena (a recorder-like flute) and the Bombo (drum from African influence) to name a few. Through this process, Pohirieth hopes to create curiosity, cooperation and collaboration for exploring new music and culture. In addition, Pohirieth finds that performing in Nebraska creates cultural bridges to Latin America and fosters an understanding of Andean cultures

Mary Kay Quinlan

Associate Journalism Professor -UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Ella and Samuel Rathod

Independent Scholars –

Hastings, NE

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Charles E. Real

Adjunct History Instructor -Metro Community College –

Omaha, NE

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Chuck Real has an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he majored in history and political science, and a graduate degree in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He taught high school history and government in the Albion Public Schools and recently retired as vice president for corporate services of Omaha-based Continental General Insurance Co. He teaches both credit and non-credit business and history courses at Metropolitan Community College, including American history and history of world civilizations.

Laureen Riedesel

Director Beatrice Public Library –

Beatrice, NE

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  • (402) 223-3584 (Work)
  • (402) 228-2433 (Home)

Dorothy Rieke

Writer –

Juilian, NE

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After graduating from Nebraska City High School at the age of 16, Dorothy Rieke began her career as a teacher in a rural school. Later, she completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Peru State College and additional courses from the University of Nebraska and the University of Oklahoma. She taught in high school for nine years and spent more than 30 years teaching English in the Auburn Middle School. Voted teacher of the year, she retired after 44 years. She is a freelance writer of nostalgia, travel, religious and food articles. She is published in more than 50 magazines.

Robert C. Ripley

Capitol Ambassador –

Lincoln, NE

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  • (402) 471-0419 (Work)
  • (402) 488-5131 (Home)

Robert Ripley is a native of Lincoln and a registered professional architect.

Doug Rung

Independent Scholar –

Geneva, NE

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  • (402) 759-0597 (Cell)

Doug Rung was born in Lincoln and received a bachelor’s degree in education with majors in history and geography and a master of education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He taught social studies courses for 28 years in Geneva Junior-Senior High School. Rung worked for M-C Industries (Sunflower Marketing) in Geneva for 10 1/2 years before retiring in 2007. He is currently the president of the Fillmore County Historical Society and is a member of a Civil War re-enactors unit. He has traveled in a covered wagon on the major immigrant trails in Nebraska and recently followed part of the Lewis and Clark Trail from Nebraska to Idaho. He is a member of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Stuhr Museum, and the Gettysburg Battle Foundation.

Marge Saiser

Poet –

Lincoln, NE

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Marjorie Saiser is the author of five books of poetry. Her book, Lost in Seward County, is on the Nebraska 150 List for the Sesquicentennial. She co-edited a book of writings by women on the Great Plains and a book of interviews featuring Nebraska writers who teach. Her poems are found in American Life in Poetry, The Writer’s Almanac, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, Chattahoochee Review, Nimrod, Rattle, Rhino, and other publications. Saiser’s awards include four Nebraska Book Awards and the Literary Heritage Award. Her website is poetmarge.com

Ben Salazar

Publisher -Nuestro Mundo Newspaper –

Omaha, NE

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  • (402) 731-6210 (Work)

Omaha businessman Ben Salazar is a native of Scottsbluff. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and his juris doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Salazar is a Chicano activist, having worked with Nebraska organizers of farm workers since the late 1960s. He has worked with such diverse organizations as Legal Aid in Phoenix, where he represented the elderly and disabled; Lincoln Action Program; Chicanos por la causa; the public defender’s office; and the Arizona attorney general’s office. He is the publisher of Nuestro Mundo, a Spanish-English newspaper in Omaha. He is also a mediator and continues in his role as an advocate for Latinos and Spanish-speaking people.

Kurt Sandquist

Adult Ministry Pastor -Lincoln Berean Church –

Lincoln, NE

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Chris Sayre

Musician –

Lincoln, NE

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Lincoln native Chris Sayre has been performing music professionally for over 40 years. He has dedicated much of that time to the promotion and preservation of traditional folk music from Western Europe and North America. His awards include three time Folk Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year and Hall of Fame recipient, as well as several first-place finishes in contests throughout the Midwest. Presenting on Button Accordion, Concertina, Dulcimer, Guitar, Mandolin and saw, Chris endeavors to leave his audience with a greater appreciation of who we are and where we came from.

John Schleicher

Associate Professor, Special Collections Librarian –

Omaha, NE

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John Schleicher is a native Nebraskan born in Superior and raised in Plattsmouth. He graduated from Hastings College with a bachelor’s degree in social science and education and received a master’s in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was exhibits and programs assistant at Western Heritage Museum in Omaha from 1990-1992, then was executive director of the Dodge County Historical Society and director of the May Museum in Fremont from 1992-1994. From 1994-2002, he was the education and statewide services coordinator in the museum division of the Nebraska State Historical Society. He has been involved with several historical and preservation organizations, including the Preservation Association of Lincoln, the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, the American Association for State and Local History and the Nebraska Museums Association.

David Seay

Independent Scholar & Musician –

Avoca, NE

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Combining his passions for music, history, and storytelling, David has presented HN Speakers Bureau programs since 1997. He is a master artist with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist-in-the-Schools Communities Residency Program and performs with his wife, Deborah Greenblatt, in the popular musical duo Greenblatt & Seay, which has participated in the Nebraska Arts Council’s Touring Program for more than 30 years. David plays over a dozen instruments, teaches private music lessons, and conducts workshops in harmonica.

Wally A. Seiler

Independent Scholar –

Alliance, NE

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  • (308) 762-4693 (Work)
  • (308) 760-4693 (Cell)

Wally Seiler is a businessman, past chair of the Nebraska Library Commission, and past winner of a nationwide Mark Twain look-alike contest at Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angels Camp, Calif.

Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Independent Writer & Teacher –

Lincoln, NE

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Karen Gettert Shoemaker is the author of the novel The Meaning of Names (Red Hen Press, 2014) and Night Sounds and Other Stories (Dufour Editions, 2002; UK edition – Parthian Press, 2006). She has published stories in the Prairie Schooner, the London Independent, The South Dakota Review, Fugue, Kalliope, and others. Her stories and poems have been anthologized in A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers; Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace; An Untidy Season; and Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry. She has received fellowships to Brush Creek Ranch Artist Colony and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. She is the recipient of a Nebraska Center for the Book Award for Fiction; two Independent Artist Fellowships from the Nebraska Arts Council, and a Nebraska Press Award for Feature Writing.  She is a faculty mentor with the University of Nebraska MFA in Writing Program.

Paul Siebert

Independent Scholar –

Lincoln, NE

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For over 30 years, Paul Siebert’s quality blend of live Family Entertainment has delighted thousands with his unique style and vast repertoire.
A multi acoustic instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, Paul is equally at home on concert stage, elementary school classroom, living history events, corporate dinners, senior communities, weddings or just an evening around the campfire with friends. Paul features the Hammer Dulcimer, guitar, banjo, button accordion plus numerous instruments along with vocals, specializing in strolling, playing live or using wireless mikes
on his own sound system. Each presentation is carefully crafted to suit the specific age group, special interest, unique to each venue.

John Simmons

Attorney and Adjunct Professor of History -Western Nebraska Community College –

Scottsbluff, NE

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Randall Snyder

Freelance Musician –

Lincoln, NE

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Randall Snyder is a composer and jazz musician living in Lincoln, NE. and teaches at Peru State College. He was born in Chicago in 1944 and studied saxophone with his father, a professional jazz musician. In high school he received a scholarship to the Stan Kenton Band Camp and in 1962 was honored with a Downbeat magazine Student Hall of Fame award. He attended Quincy College and the University of Wisconsin, receiving a Ph.D. degree in 1973. He has also received fellowships to study Korean music at the Traditional Performing Arts Institute in Seoul. Snyder has taught courses in jazz, ethnomusicology and rock and roll at UNL. Some 100 of his of pieces have been published, with several commercially recorded. His orchestral and chamber music has won several composition contest prizes and in 1992 Snyder was the recipient of an NEA grant as composer-in-residence with the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. His music has been played by various chamber ensembles, symphonies and jazz orchestras. The Nebraska Arts Council has given him several fellowships. He also has been active as a jazz performer, appearing as bassist in two documentary films with Kansas City pianist Jay McShann.

Joe Starita

Professor -College of Journalism and Mass Communications -UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Joe Starita is the author of “I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice”, Nebraska’s reading choice for the 2012 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. Before joining the journalism faculty in 2000, Starita spent 13 years at the Miami Herald, where he served as the paper’s New York bureau chief from 1983-1987. Interested in American Indian history and culture since his youth, Starita returned to his native Nebraska in 1992 and began work on a three-year book project about five generations of an Indian family. “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge – A Lakota Odyssey” was published in 1995, has been translated into six foreign languages and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Mary K. Stillwell

Independent Scholar & Writer –

Lincoln, NE

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A native Nebraskan, Mary K. Stillwell has studied writing in both New York and on the Plains and has published poetry in a wide variety of journals. Her most recent book of poem, Maps and Destinations, was published in 2014 by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press (Texas). Stillwell’s An Introduction to the life and Work of Ted Kooser was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2013. That same year, her chapbook of poems, Fallen Angels, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her first book of poems, Moving to Malibu, was published by Sandhills Press. Stillwell, whose dissertation was on the work of four contemporary Nebraska poets, holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was co-editor of Nebraska Presence, an anthology of contemporary Nebraska poets, published in 2008 by Backwaters Press.

Robert Stoddard

Professor Emeritus of Geography and Asian Studies -UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Robert Stoddard and his wife, Sally, who have worked and traveled in South Asia from the 1950’s to 2000, can share experiences and observations about India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. A talk, accompanied by slides and a question-and-answer format can emphasize various aspects of culture and socio-economic characteristics of one or more of these South Asian countries.

Phyllis R. Stone

Elder of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe –

Lincoln, NE

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Phyllis Stone is an elder of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, served on the Nebraska Indian Commission, and was named Outstanding Indian Woman of Nebraska in 1985.

Michelle Troxclair

Wordsmith –

Omaha, NE

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The Wordsmiths are Felicia Webster, Michelle Troxclair, “Nabraska,” Ty Harper, Devel Crisp, Shakura Huggins and music/sound guru Christine Loehr. They have collectively done Spoken Word in the Great African Oral Tradition for 30+ years.

Les Vilda

Independent Scholar & Ambassador of the Sante Fe Trail –

Wilber, NE

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Les Vilda is a graduate of Doane College in Crete and has been a featured performer in more than 750 living-history reenactments in 24 states. He portrayed a Fort Hayes buffalo hunter in the movie “Dances With Wolves,” has canoed 2,500 miles on the Missouri River and 500 miles on the Mississippi River, and has traveled more than 2,000 miles along the Santa Fe Trail.

John Walker

Musician & Retired Professor of Philosophy -NWU –

Lincoln, NE

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A transplanted Okie who now calls Nebraska home, John Walker has been performing his brand of country-blues music since the 1960s. His musical roots go back to Bob and Johnny Lee Wills, Woody Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter, Bukka White, Brownie McGhee, and numerous small-town Oklahoma churches where he grew up singing songs like “What a Friend,” “Oh Happy Day,” and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” His own songs reflect that upbringing in their laid-back accessibility and Southern rural themes. They combine foot-stomping rhythms with smooth melodies and expressive lyrics, all to the accompaniment of a unique finger-picking guitar style. He has played in auditoriums and bars and churches and festivals and living rooms and hay fields across the country. John is a long-time traveler with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Touring Artists program and has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as Nebraska’s representative to the center’s State Days concert series.

C.A. Waller

Musician –

Lincoln, NE

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Felicia Webster

Wordsmith –

Omaha, NE

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The Wordsmiths are Felicia Webster, Michelle Troxclair, “Nabraska,” Ty Harper, Devel Crisp, Shakura Huggins and music/sound guru Christine Loehr. They have collectively done Spoken Word in the Great African Oral Tradition for 30+ years.

Raija Weiershauser

Author –

South Sioux City, NE

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Brad Kellogg & Raija Weiershauser  perform a variety of “Living History” shows, which are popular with Historical Societies, schools, Chautauqua’s and civic organization banquets and luncheons.  They are regular presenters at the John G. Neihardt Center and portrayed John & Mona Neihardt at the 50th Anniversary of Neihardt Day. Kellogg’s book “The Aisles of the Forgotten Graveyard” is historically based on one hundred year old stories of those buried in our cemeteries, some of which they also portray in their various performances.

Joan Wells

Independent Scholar & Honoree to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame –

Lincoln, NE

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Joan Wells is a native Nebraskan and holds a B.A. in Physical Education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney with additional course work in Adult Education and Sports Studies. Joan has toured with her trick roping and western music for the National School Assemblies Agency of Hollywood,CA and won the title as Women’s World Champion Trick Roper at the Will Rogers Trick Roping Contest in Claremore, OK. In 1989 she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth. Joan continues to perform for western theme events, conventions, schools, stage shows, and wild west show re-enactments.

David Wells

Independent Historian –

Omaha, NE

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Phil Wendzillo

Director of Cultural Affairs -Ponca Tribe of NE –

Crofton, NE

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Kenneth Winkle

Professor of History - UNL –

Lincoln, NE

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Kenneth J. Winkle is professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published three prize-winning books in the field of 19th century U.S. political, social, cultural, and military history–”The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio” (Cambridge University Press), “The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln” (Taylor Trade Publishing), and “The Oxford Atlas of the Civil War” (Oxford University Press). His books have won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award, the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award, and the Allan Sharlin Award of the Social Science History Association. Winkle has published his research in numerous history journals. As a public speaker, he has addressed the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Annual Lincoln Colloquium, the Abraham Lincoln Institute, and Civil War roundtables nationwide and has spoken at the Library of Congress and the Gettysburg Battlefield. Winkle has taught more than a dozen courses in 19th century U.S. history, family history, community history and quantitative methods.

Eileen Wirth

Professor of Journalism Emeritus, Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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James S. Wunsch

Professor of Political Science - Creighton University –

Omaha, NE

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  • (402) 551-1426 (Work)
  • (402) 280-2836 (Home)

James Wunsch is professor of political science, department chair, and director of the African studies program at Creighton University. He has studied, lectured and researched in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Swaziland. Wunsch is a former USAID officer and Fulbright Fellowship holder.

Janie York

Independent Scholar –

Omaha, NE

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Edward Zimmer

Preservation Planner, Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department –

Lincoln, NE

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Ed Zimmer has been the historic preservation planner for the Lincoln Planning Department since 1985. He emphasizes outreach through illustrated talks, walks, and bike and bus tours. He has also been an adjunct instructor for the UN-L College of Architecture. He is a native of Omaha and spent a decade studying and working in Boston, earning a Ph.D. in American studies from Boston University in 1984. While in Massachusetts he freelanced as a researcher and writer for clients including Peabody Museum at Harvard University and the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.


News

Aug
24

Omaha’s Todd Simon to receive 2017 Sower Award

Humanities Nebraska announced that Todd Simon, a prominent Omaha business and civi