Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category


Spotlight: Deonte Hollowell

In Spotlight on March 22, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Deonte Hollowell

Deonte Hollowell, Spalding University

Today’s spotlight is on KATH Board member Deonte Hollowell who is our Private/Independent Universities Representative. Here are his answers to our request to tell us more about himself.

Current school: I am currently an Instructor of History in Spalding University’s School of Liberal Studies

Fields of interest: Policing, Urbanization, Housing, Education and Socialization…

When did you first develop an interest in history? As a child I could never accept that things just happened; I needed to know why. I was always wondering and questioning.  My academic interest in history was sparked by the late, great J. Blaine Hudson in my undergrad days at University of Louisville.  His historical storytelling reminded me of friends and family back home in Hopkinsville, Kentucky that I swapped stories with growing up (as we still do).  Looking back, I appreciate learning the importance of history in all human endeavors.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? I have not lost any interest for the topics I studied during grad school such as Hip Hop music and culture, the struggles of Black Studies on campuses and in communities, and urban activism.  However, lately I have been reading about various concepts of power as well as the interactions between indigenous Americans and colonial forces.

What projects are you working on currently? I am currently working on a project that investigates urban rioting, looting, and violence as responses to police violence.  I am also analyzing a theory called “the revolt of consciousness” which evaluates a person’s mindset prior to revolutionary action.  Finally, I have been working on a group project that focuses on the health and educational implications of the HOPE VI Project (now called “Choice Neighborhoods Project) in Louisville, KY.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? The most compelling historical text that I have read is Ivan Van Sertima’s They Came before Columbus which exams physical proof that ancient Africans visited the New World prior to Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage.  Van Sertima documents maps, statues, monuments, and botanical evidence – his work is groundbreaking in proving African contributions to the world.

What do you value most about the history profession? The history profession has offered me tons of flexibility in the studies that I am able to pursuit and the courses that I get to teach.

Other than history, what are you passionate about? Institution Building.  Teaching on the college level has blessed me with the opportunity to engage community necessity in a meaningful way.  I have developed various programs throughout my career that focus on enhancing the quality of life in communities.

Any final thoughts? The ancient Akan people of Ghana developed a term called “Sankofa” which means “to return and recover it” – it is the process of historical recovery.  The symbol of Sankofa is a bird looking back into its wings.  It represents the idea that “until you know where you’ve been, you won’t know where you’re going.”


Spotlight: Brent Taylor

In Spotlight on March 18, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor, WKCTC

Have you been wondering about this Brent E. Taylor, a history instructor at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, who is our current President-Elect?

Well, we got the scoop – straight from Brent himself. Check it out!

Current Position: History Instructor at West Kentucky Community & Technical College

Alma Mater: Murray State University

Fields of interest: Kentucky History, 20th-Century American History, Presidential History

When did you first develop an interest in history? I have always had an interest in it. I can remember my great grandmother showing me a picture, pointing to a photo and telling me that uncle so-and-so fought in the Civil War. I can also remember sitting at the foot of my grandmother’s bed listening to stories about the World War II Homefront.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? In graduate school, I never considered teaching Kentucky History. However, a frantic call from the Dean of Online Learning at WKCTC, changed all that when I was called upon to take over a class, mid-semester. It was a crash-course in the Commonwealth. Then later, I inherited a face-to-face course when a fellow professor retired. Standing in front of 30 students required a second crash course, and now Kentucky History is my pet project. Just yesterday I found myself reading about a court case called Louisville Railway Company v. Commonwealth. That would have never happened in grad school.

What projects are you working on currently? Right now I am building a collection of primary sources in Kentucky History for use in Kentucky classes (and also possibly American history classes). There’s everything in it from Daniel Boone to Freedmen’s Bureau ration documents, to a report by the Lexington Vice Commission.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? The Kentucky Historical Society has a site about Civil War era governors that is nice to check for updates.

Other than history, what are you passionate about? I like songwriting and fantasy football.

Any final thoughts? Encourage your colleagues to join KATH. There is strength in numbers.


Spotlight: Kate Hesseldenz

In Spotlight on March 14, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Kate Hesseldenz 2016

Kate Hesseldenz

Next up in our series of Spotlight posts is the KATH Board representative for Public Historians: Kate Hesseldenz, Curator & Development Assistant at the Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. Here’s her answers to our questions:

Current school and alma mater/s: I am a public historian, a curator, at Liberty Hall Historic Site in Frankfort. I received my BA in Art History (1991) from Indiana University, Bloomington and my MA in Anthropology/Museum Studies (2001) from the University of Denver.

Fields of interest: Kentucky history and Early American history

When did you first develop an interest in history? In college, in my first semester at IU, I took an art appreciation class which I loved. This experience began my lifelong interest in both art and history.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? My degree is in Anthropology so I didn’t study history in grad school, but I began working at the Kentucky Historical Society after graduate school. I began learning Kentucky history then, although I grew up in Kentucky and had previously worked at the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology at UK, so I already had a base knowledge of prehistoric and historic Kentucky.

What projects are you working on currently? In addition to a wonderful decorative arts collection at Liberty Hall, we also have a library and archives. In an effort to raise awareness and scholarship about the Brown family, who lived at Liberty Hall, we are currently (through a grant-funded project) working to catalog and digitize this collection. Very little scholarship has been done on John Brown, who was one of Kentucky’s first U.S. Senators. Brown also worked for many years for Kentucky statehood. Working behind-the-scenes in Washington prior to 1792, he helped to establish Kentucky as a state. By digitizing our archival collection and creating an online catalog, we are hoping to entice Kentucky history scholars to choose Brown as a research topic. We will begin making the collection accessible online in the summer of 2016.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? I just read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I thought it was such an amazing book. Having read Seabiscuit, I knew Hillenbrand was a good writer and with this book she did not disappoint. The story of Louis Zamperini’s survival amidst major adversity was truly riveting—a real page-turner!

Other than history, what are you passionate about? Art, reading, cooking, yoga, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Any final thoughts? With falling attendance at historic sites, there is much discussion amongst historic house professionals about how to stay relevant. Many of us don’t visit or support the local treasures in our own backyards. If you don’t already, please visit/support Kentucky’s historic house museums—many are doing interesting programs, re-inventing the tour experience, and creating new exhibits or interpretative spaces.


Spotlight on Robin West

In Spotlight on March 7, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

Robin West 2016

Robin West, Ph.D.

Dr. Robin West, Assistant Professor of History at Madisonville Community College, was elected last fall as KATH’s new representative for Kentucky community and technical colleges. We asked him to tell us more about himself and let the KATH membership know more about him.

What is your current school and alma mater/s: Faculty member at Madisonville Community College since 2011; PhD, Indiana State University; BA, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

What are your fields of interest: The American Revolutionary Era and Constitutional history; African-American History; 19th Century European “Isms” and their relationship to WWI & WWII.

When did you first develop an interest in history? While I have had some amazing history teachers in my life, I attribute my interest in history to my Mom. As a young boy growing up in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Mom often took me to the home of Henry S. Lane and the Lew Wallace study. I remember the sense of awe I felt walking through these places as I gazed in wonderment upon all the things that seemed so old. These were my first experiences with things historical and seeing them stimulated a fascination and love for history that continues to inspire the same sense of wonderment that I felt as a young child.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? This is a hard question given that I never really focused on any one topic or issue to begin with. That said, I think there are two areas that I have given more attention to in my reading and teaching in more recent years. Prior to coming to MCC, I had the opportunity to teach a humanities course, The Humanities in the Western Tradition. This is when I fell in love with the humanities and first began to see the connection between the events of history and the products of history. It was fascinating to see how philosophy, literature, religion, art, architecture, music, history and language represented a cultural expression of the experiences of different civilizations. The humanities, if you will, allowed me (and my students) to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us and, our contemporaries as well. Over the past several years I have also become very interested in the relationship between ideas and the events of history. In particular, the isms of the 19th century and the coming of the World Wars is an area of focus. I like to tell my students, that “ideas and theories become experiments when removed from the written page and are implemented in the real world of human events;” and sometimes, as WWI and WWII demonstrated, experiments can have tragic consequences. As a teacher of history, I think it absolutely critical that my students see and understand the connection between the abstract world of ideas and theories to the concrete events of history.

What projects are you working on currently? Because my primary focus is teaching, most projects that I am working on involve implementing innovative teaching methodologies into the classroom. Right now I am on the first go round of implementing the “flipped classroom” approach in my History of Europe: Mid-17th Century to the Present. It is a work in progress.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? I guess I could have included this in the changing interests section, but I didn’t. In times past, I have never been overly interested in the American Civil War; during the past two years that has changed. I would like to recommend three books to my fellow historians: Freedom’s Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War by Guy Gugliotta; Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year by David Von Drehle; and Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. You will find all three of these books hard to put down; they provide three outstanding examples of the way history should be written.

Any final thoughts?

“How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” Thomas Jefferson

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Daniel Webster


Spotlight: Leslie McCarty

In Spotlight on March 2, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Leslie McCarty

Leslie McCarty at the WWII memorial in Owensboro holding photos of her husband’s grandparents.

Get to know your KATH Board Members! Here’s a spotlight post on Leslie McCarty, the Librarian/Archivist Representative. She is the Kentucky Room Manager at the Daviess County Public Library in Owensboro, KY.

Current School and alma/mater: I received my Masters in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University in 2008. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts. I majored in History and minored in broadcasting.

Fields of Interest: American History–World War II, Civil War, early 20th Century, Jewish History, Kentucky history, genealogy.

When did you first develop an interest in history? I became very interested in genealogy and local history when I was a teenager. I always wondered how my family came to Hardin County, KY and was curious about the cultural context in which my ancestors lived. Learning that I was at least a 6th generation Kentuckian, this because a source of pride and I developed a love of Kentucky and local history. The concepts and events behind historical events always came easy for me to understand, and it helped me to appreciate other cultures and to have a deeper understanding of the why in our daily lives. This was extremely fascinating to me when I took Kentucky history and American History classes in college. In 2000 I was commissioned by the Fort Duffield Heritage Committee to interview West Point town historian Richard Briggs about life in the 20th century in West Point. These interviews culminated into a book called Driftwood on the River: Life and Times of West Point in the 20th Century.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? Because of my connection with the Kentucky Room, and I have done many presentations in the community focused Owensboro history. Working as Kentucky Room Manager has given me the opportunity to use the library’s video and audio equipment to do oral histories with WWII and Korean War veterans. I have also filmed many local events and have been able to do behind the scenes documentaries about them. I am still interested in the context behind an event, but it is more personal because I have heard so many oral histories. Also, part of my job is adult program coordinator. I have hosted many speakers from different walks of life. Two of my favorite speakers have been Holocaust survivors. Their stories have had a major impact on me, especially because these two speakers have become dear friends. Their connection to that part of history makes it tangible.

What projects are you currently working on? I am working with a local committee to honor the 20-year anniversary of the clean-up of Greenwood Cemetery, which is a historic African-American Cemetery in Owensboro. We will have a small program and dedication of a marker, bench and tree in the cemetery to honor those who contributed to the clean-up. This will be my ninth year as lead researcher for Voices of Elmwood. Voices of Elmwood is a community presentation about the lives of those buried in Elmwood Cemetery. We research those buried in Elmwood, take the research and turn it into a five-minute monologue, and in September the public can pay to ride a hay wagon through the cemetery and “visit” 10 performers who tell the story as if they were that person. People are in period costumes. We have done 90 stories. This is partnership with the Owensboro Museum of Science and History and Theatre Workshop of Owensboro.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? One of my favorite books is called Passing for Black: The Life and Careers of Mae Street Kidd. She was an innovative businesswoman, a civic leader, and a skilled politician. She had a distinguished career in public relations, served in the Red Cross during World War II, and was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1968 to 1984, representing Louisville’s 41st state legislative district. During her tenure in elective office, she was known for her sponsorship of landmark legislation. House Bill No. 27 which became law in 1972 created the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) which promotes and finances low-income housing in the state. In 1974, this particular bill was officially designated as the “Mae Street Kidd Act.”

I also recently watched Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. You may not agree with his politics, but he has a remarkable story of how he overcame obstacles to become a doctor. I also loved the movie Men of Honor about the first African-American to graduate the Navy diving program. (I must love Cuba Gooding, Jr.!)

Other than history, what are you passionate about? I am very passionate about honoring veterans. My dad served for two years in the Marine Corps, so I was around veterans growing up. I have become involved with Honor and Remember, who gives flags to the families of soldiers who were Killed in Action. For three years this organization has helped plan the Kentucky Remembers 5K race with Kentucky Gold Star Mothers. I recently became a board member of the Brandon Scott Mullins Foundation. Brandon was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. I have been a guardian for two Honor Flights. My other passion is television, professional wrestling and my two pugs, Murphy and Pumpkin.

Any final thoughts? Get to know your community. So many people that you are not aware of had made amazing contributions either in their profession or in military service. Never forget those who came before you. They are the reason you have freedom.




KATH blog

In Spotlight on December 30, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth

We just got in our Annual Report from WordPress about those who visited the website. Here’s some highlights:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Wordpress statistics for in September 2015

click thumbnail to see larger image

The busiest day of the year for the KATH website was September 22nd with 82 views. The whole month of September was busy though with 186 visitors from all over the world who viewed multiple pages and posts on the site. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see the site’s statistics for the month of September.

Our website’s top referring sites in 2015 were:

Where did the viewers come from? They came from around the world – and there were 78 countries in all! Most visitors came from the United States, but Brazil & Italy were not far behind.



In Spotlight on October 19, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

A message from Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

Last everybody heard, Frederick Douglass had taken the original Seneca Falls Declaration to his print shop in Rochester to publish it in The North Star

Help us find the Declaration of Sentiments: Share a tip or an untold story.

@USCTO @WhiteHouseOSTP #FindTheSentiments

***** Editor’s Note *****

While this is a wonderful idea to find the original document, I wonder if, in the project Smith described in her post that they are working on for the display in the Rotunda, that we’re focusing too much on Seneca Falls as an origin of a political movement and not enough on the National Woman’s Rights Convention held October 23–24, 1850, in Worcester, Massachusetts? on Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who goes on to support white supremacy in voting rights) and not enough on Lucy Stone or Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis?


CFP: History Teacher

In Spotlight on September 3, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: ,

The History Teacher invites papers on topics related to learning objectives and assessment in K-16 history classrooms for a special issue to run in 2016.

Learning objectives and assessment models can offer considerable potential for helping educators understand, deliver, improve, and judge the effectiveness of history teaching and learning. In recent years, we have seen a surge in new and revised assessment models in history education including, Common Core’s Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies, the recent extensive redesign of the Advanced Placement courses, the creation of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, and the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project.

This special issue seeks to explore new and revised history instruction models and raise questions about the role of learning objectives and assessment in history education. The special issue welcomes papers related but not limited to:

  1. Contemporary Views of Assessment in History Classrooms
  2. New Approaches, Methods & Techniques in Evaluation and Assessment
  3. Learning Outcomes, Curriculum Design & Evaluation
  4. The Reliability of Assessment in History Education

The History Teacher is the most widely recognized journal in the United States supporting all areas of history education, pre-collegiate through university-level, with practical and insightful professional analyses of both traditional and innovative teaching techniques. The History Teacher is one of the key journals in the field of history education and research.

Manuscripts are due by November 15, 2015.

Contact Info:

The History Teacher Society for History Education, Inc.
California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601 

Contact Email:



Timothy Peterson wins NARA’s Clements Innovation in Education Award

In Spotlight on July 9, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: ,

Tim Peterson holding Clements award with David Ferriero and Bess Clements Abell

Tim Peterson (right) with Clements’ daughter, Bess Clements Abell (left), and US Archivist David Ferriero (center). Photo by Taylor McClure, UKPR.

On July 8th, the National Archives, in conjunction with the UK Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, presented the inaugural Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers to Timothy A. Peterson. Mr. Peterson teaches AP World History, US History, AP Human Geography, AP European and AP US History at Taylor County High School.

This award was announced at the KATH Annual Meeting last year (see the meeting agenda here). See more about the inaugural award ceremony at UK yesterday in the UKnow press release.

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