Presenter Bios

Thomas J. Adams, Ph.D. is a New Orleans-based historian, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and a consulting historian for Monument Lab. From 2014-2021 he was a tenured faculty member at the University of Sydney. His research focuses broadly on the history of work, political economy, inequality, and urbanism in the U.S. and Gulf of Mexico basin. His books include: Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity, Working in the Big Easy: The History and Politics of Labor in New Orleans, and the forthcoming The Servicing of America: Work, Political Economy, and the Ideology of Inequality in the Modern U.S..

Janet R. Daly Bednarek is a professor of history at the University of Dayton where she teaches courses in US urban history and the history of technology.  She is the author of America’s Airports: Airfield Development 1918-1947 (2001) and Airports, Cities and the Jet Age: US Airports Since 1945 (2016). She is currently at work on a history of Dayton, Ohio, focusing particularly on how city planning decisions, including the siting of highways and urban renewal projects, contributed to and/or reinforced the patterns of racial and class segregation seen in the city into the 21st century.

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home which was a finalist for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award and the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Donna M. DeBlasio is Professor Emerita of History and Applied History at Youngstown State University. Prior to coming to YSU in 1999, she worked for the Ohio Historical Society and Cincinnati Museum Center. She is the author of several publications on the history of the Mahoning Valley, especially working class housing and leisure, as well as Italian Americans. She is currently editor of the scholarly journal, Ohio History.

Michael Leverett Dorn (@mdorn) is an independent scholar and fulltime government records clerk in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, where he enjoys cycling and photography. He holds a Ph.D. in historical geography and the history of geographic thought from the University of Kentucky, and a library science master’s degree from Long Island University. He has recently presented his work at the Missouri Conference on History 2022, and his essays have appeared in Professional GeographerCaribbean GeographyThe Ephemera Journal (Ephemera Society of America); as well as the edited essay collections Places Through the Body (Routledge 1998), and Geographies of the Book (Ashgate 2010; Routledge, 2016).

Kristina Estle is the Director and Curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio. As a public historian, she strives to educate the general population on history to generate a deeper understanding and acceptance of all. She has created numerous programs and events, including the Black History Month In-House Program, Martin Luther King Lecture, a Virtual Presentation Series, Monthly Coffee Hours at the Museum, Juneteenth Celebration at Schuler Park, and Virtual Storytimes. She has also created a digital exhibition for the Museum and mapped 25 underground railroad stations in Belmont County, Ohio.

Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in historical geography at University College London, and an interdisciplinary host at the New Books Network. Her overarching research interest is in genealogies of security, surveillance and mobility. She is currently researching the US Passport Office’s role in governing Cold War travel. Alongside its administrative functions, the Passport Office played an active role in shaping policy approaches to – and popular understandings of – the travel of American citizens. Her previous research examined the establishment and growth of US Africa Command, and the construction of/responses to infectious diseases (especially Ebola) as a security problem. 

Jacob Harver is a recent MA grad from YSU and current PhD student at Kent State University. Finding the intersection of academic pursuits and long distance bike adventures is a passion. He is also a downtown Youngstown entrepreneur, with the Knox Building and Youngstown Pedicab.

J.T. Jamieson is a historian of the early and nineteenth-century United States and a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation research examines the relationships between American social and moral reformers and mass migrations in the first half of the nineteenth century. A forthcoming journal article, “Home Work: Religious Nationalism and the American Home Missionary Society,” will appear in Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal in 2023.

Andrew Klein is a PhD candidate in history at UCLA. His research explores the relationship between urban development, social movements, and US empire between the late nineteenth and late twentieth centuries. He has written about California cities for outlets such as The Los Angeles TimesThe Nation, and Jacobin, and co-authored a report on the history of homelessness in Los Angeles for the Luskin Center for History and Policy. 

Domagoj Krpan is a Croatian historian and philosopher. He received his MA in history and philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, University in Rijeka, Croatia. He has a broad area of interest in history, philosophy, and cultural studies. Currently, he is enrolled as a Ph.D. researcher in philosophy at the University of Rijeka.

John R. Legg is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at George Mason University. He specializes in the history of the American West, Native American history, public history, and digital humanities. His dissertation uses ethnohistory to examine the spatial movement of Mdewakanton Dakota people during the nineteenth century. Particularly he examines how Dakota used the U.S.-Canadian borderlands as a strategic tool for diplomacy, kinship, trade, warfare, and survival after Minnesota’s U.S.-Dakota War. Most recently, John was awarded the Phillips Fund for Native American Research from the American Philosophical Society and a Dissertation Research Scholarship from George Mason’s Office of the Provost.

Ronald Marvin, Jr. holds a B.A. in History and Anthropology from the University of South Dakota and an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Nebraska. He served with the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm and has previously worked as a field archaeologist for the National Park Service. Marvin is currently the Director/Curator of the Wyandot County Historical Society, Managing Partner Liaison with the Ohio History Connection at Indian Mill, and serves as a Regional Representative with the Ohio Local History Alliance. He has published numerous articles and books about local history in northwest Ohio.

A Brandeis University graduate, followed by graduate studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jeff Marx has published a number of articles centering on Jewish life during the late 19th century, including a history of the Grand Street Boys Club of New York, and the Touro and Leeser Jewish agricultural colonies in Kansas. Called by one Philadelphia paper, “the premier authority of cream cheese history,” he has published and lectured on its creation, distribution, and branding. He is currently finishing work on his first book, a history of “Abie the Agent,” the first Jewish comic strip in America.

Kevin Moskowitz is a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington. His dissertation, “Detroit Muscle: Automobile Manufacturing and the Middle West, 1920-1960s,” inspired by William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis and Donald P. Hughes’ Networks of Power, examines the emerging networks of suppliers, assembly lines, and transportation linkages that formed the largest industry in North America for much of the twentieth century. Beyond his dissertation, Kevin specializes in the digital humanities, and is in the process of developing content for online undergraduate lessons in the history of technology and science.

Viktoryia Paliakovich is a graduate student at Youngstown State University from Belarus. She is pursuing a MA in American Studies and besides English speaks Russian, Belarusian, and a little bit of German and Spanish. Viktoryia got her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Teaching English and German, and did vocational retraining in Journalism. She hopes to combine her previous education, work and volunteer experience by interning at Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor.

Christine A. Rizzi is an assistant professor of history at Broward College in Davie, Florida. She earned her PhD from the University of Mississippi in 2019. Her dissertation explored the role of mobility in the American colonization of Florida in the 19th century. The manuscript based on her dissertation is currently under contract with University Press of Florida under the title Permitted to Roam at Large: Mobility and the American Colonization of Florida, 1810s-1890s. Portions of her research appeared in the 2017 special issue of the Florida Historical Quarterly. Her next project will analyze the contested uses of canoes and waterways in the Native South.

Jeff Schramm, PhD is an associate professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO. His regular courses taught at Missouri S&T are Architecture, Technology and Society 1750-present, History of Technology, and United States history 1877-present. He has been recognized for his exceptional teaching with several teaching awards. Primarily a historian of modern industrial technology, his scholarly research to date has been on transportation and specifically 20th century railroads. His book, Out of Steam: Dieselization and American Railroads, 1920-1960, was published in August 2010. It is an examination of the transition from steam to diesel motive power on the railroads of the United States. He is a sought-after book reviewer for works on railroads and transportation topics and previously served as the book review editor for the Journal of Transport History. His current major research project is a history of the United States Bureau of Mines. He has presented widely on aspects of the Bureau and published an article on the Bureau of Mines Synthetic Liquid Fuels plant at Louisiana, MO. Dr. Schramm participates in many campus programs including the Center for Science, Technology and Society and the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence. He is an advisor for several student organizations including Kappa Kappa Psi, the St. Pats Board, and KMNR 89.7fm, the student radio station. Occasionally he even takes over the airways as a DJ.