Listee Features — History


Born in Berlin in 1951 to father Werner Ernst Strelau and mother Gerda Gertrud “Bargel” Strelau, Renate Strelau was encouraged and motivated by her parents’ emphasis on raising her and her brother equally—Klaus Strelau is now a continuing lecturer in the philosophy department of the University of California, Berkeley—during a time when male children were prioritized. Coming to the United States with her family in 1960, she began undergraduate study at UC Berkeley in 1969. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science at UC Berkeley in 1974. Ms. Strelau then began graduate studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., and achieved a certificate in Arabic language proficiency (written and oral)

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Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese is the president and chief executive officer of the Naper Settlement, an interactive outdoor history museum dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history of the Naperville area. The Naper Settlement, located on more than 13 acres owned by a public trust through the city of Naperville, began with Caroline Martin Mitchell’s historic home and the adjoining 13 acres of land, and has expanded to include more than 25 historically significant structures from the area. Ms. Tamayo-Calabrese along with the Naperville Heritage Society, a nonprofit organization, work through a public-private partnership to transform the museum into a campus of life-long learning, discovery and fun for all people. Here the stories of its change-makers, historic undertakings, and the ties to

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Domna C. Stanton, PhD, is an internationally recognized scholar of French language, history and culture with a focus on gender and class dynamics in the early modern period and the 17th century. Dr. Stanton’s work is considered foundational to the contemporary application of feminist theory to French history, and her research interests have spanned from in-depth study and critique of early female authors, issues of attribution and perspective in historiography and national identity, and early modern attitudes on race and slavery. She has been extensively published, with several seminal books in print, and has contributed articles and essays to numerous academic journals. Dr. Stanton is perhaps best-known as the author of the 1980 classic “The Aristocrat as Art: A Study

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Iris Engstrand


Iris Engstrand is an esteemed historian known for her work in defining and exploring the history of Spanish exploration and colonization of California and the American Southwest during the 1700s. She is the author of 21 books on Spain, California, and the American West, and has been extensively published, with dozens of book chapters, papers, and articles, including the Bolton Award-winning “Of Fish and Men: Spanish Marine Science during the Late Eighteenth Century” in 2000. Dr. Engstrand is considered an authority on many of the cultural and technological innovations of the period, and her books, including “San Diego: California’s Cornerstone” and “Spanish Scientists in the New World: The Eighteenth-Century Expeditions,” are widely regarded as groundbreaking cross-disciplinary analyses of a unique

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Judith Wightman


Supported by more than five decades of professional experience, Judith A. Wightman has been designated as the historian of the Town of Avoca, a village located in upstate New York, since 2010. Involved in the crafts business from 1993 to 2005, she previously found success at the Avoca Insurance Agency from 1971 to 1992. Ms. Wightman began her career as a secretary between 1965 and 1970, and a town clerk from 1970 until 1971. Ms. Wightman became involved in her profession because people from the town felt the previous historian was not doing his job well. She was further encouraged by several others to apply for the position and later accepted the entry position as an assistant to the historian.

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Judith-Rae Ross


Having accrued more than 40 years of expertise in the field of historiography, the Hon. Judith-Rae Ross, PhD, has garnered a laudable reputation as a historian, educator and writer. She attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and was proud to have succeeded as a woman in academia during a time when cultural expectations for women were limited. Dr. Ross earned a Master of Arts at Loyola University in 1971 and completed a PhD in history at the University of Illinois in 1978. From 1979 until 1980, Dr. Ross served as an instructor at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. She continued her career as a visiting professor at the University of

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Loving history for as long as she can remember, Rosemary F. Carroll, PhD, JD, grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where history was all around her. Going back to her mother and as far back as her grandparents, she recalled that they all also had a love for history. As a child, her and her parents would take trips to visit various historical places. She moved to Newport, Rhode Island, when she was 5 years old to a historical home built in the Gilded Age in 1743. She later moved back to Providence, which her grandfather always spoke about. Since 2001, Dr. Carroll has been recognized as a Henry and Margaret Haegg Distinguished Professor in History emerita at Coe College

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Dolores Van Rensalier


Born in New York in 1940 to white parents, but raised in California, Dolores M. Van Rensalier was shocked over the discovery of her black ancestry when she was 17. It shook her self-identity, but she knew beyond a doubt she had to openly honor all of her heritage; she couldn’t abandon those who were fighting for their civil rights. Ms. Van Rensalier thus set out on a healing journey of discovering her hidden roots. While raising two children from a previous marriage, she attended college at night while building a successful career in Los Angeles. She ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University in 1976. She also became a Certified Advanced Management Analyst

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Joyce Stevos


An educator for nearly five decades, Joyce L. Stevos, PhD, feels she was destined to pursue the field. She always enjoyed studying, particularly history, and she found being in front of students to be relaxing and fun. Her first position in the industry was social studies department head in the Providence Public School District, after which she advanced within the district to roles like teacher, social studies supervisor, and director of program and staff development. Dr. Stevos remains with the school as the director of strategic planning and professional development to this day. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College. Her areas of expertise are cultural diversity, discourse analysis, and youth civic engagement. One of the

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Dr. Anne Montague Blythe has approached everything she’s done with open-heartedness, generosity of spirit, and joy. And hard work and determination. She credits her professional success to these attributes. A 7th generation South Carolinian, she is currently focusing her attention on documentaries of, “The History, Mystery, Magic of the Dark Corner, South Carolina,” a virtually unknown aspect of South Carolina’s history and culture. Her previous experience as curator of the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, S.C., as well as educator in various public schools in South Carolina and several appointments abroad, have paved the way for these living history documentaries. One of the most memorable times of Dr. Blythe’s career was teaching in Hong Kong. Her students loved learning about

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