Staff and Scholars

Who will be leading the workshop?


"The directors could not have been better. They were experts in their fields and kept us engaged fully with their lectures and workshops and with visiting faculty." –2019 Summer Scholar

Kevin Sheets

Dr. Kevin B. Sheets (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is a 19th century American cultural and intellectual historian and chair of the history department at SUNY Cortland. He is the editor of the two-volume Sources for America's History published by Bedford/St. Martin's Press in 2014, with revised editions in 2017 and 2020. He has published articles on topics in American cultural history, including in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His current research investigates the history of memory training systems and the nineteenth century science of the mind. In addition to co-directing eight National Endowment for the Humanities projects with Dr. Randi Storch, he also served as project director for three U. S. Department of Education Teaching American History grants, administering $4.2 million in grant funding for teacher professional development.

Randi Storch

Dr. Randi Storch (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), is a leading labor historian and recipient of the 64-campus SUNY System highest honors including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor. She is author of Red Chicago: American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-1935 and Working Hard for the American Dream: Workers and Their Unions, World War I to the Present. Her research has been featured on Chicago Public Radio. Dr. Storch has also co-directed with Dr. Sheets seven NEH programs to help teachers rethink how they incorporate the Gilded Age and Progressive Era into their classrooms. 

Visiting Faculty

  "The guest speakers were some of the best I've ever heard and had varying expert knowledge about different aspects of the region in the areas we studied." –2019 Summer Scholar

rebecca edwards

Dr. Rebecca Edwards (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is the Eloise Ellery Professor of History at Vassar College and author of Angels in the Machinery: Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to the Progressive Era and New Spirits: Americans in the Gilded Age, 1865-1905. She has been involved in NEH workshops for teachers and is a frequent lecturer for K-12 teacher workshops, including TAH grants. She is co-author of the popular college and AP History textbook America's History published by Bedford/St. Martin's Press.

Dr. Philip Terrie

Dr. Philip Terrie  (Ph.D., George Washington University) is a Professor Emeritus from Bowling Green State University and is a leading scholar on the cultural history of the Adirondacks. He is the author of several books including Forever Wild, A Cultural History of Wilderness in the Adirondacks and Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks.

Dr. Scott Manning Stevens

Dr. Scott Manning Stevens (Ph.D., Harvard University) is an Associate Professor of Native American Studies and English at Syracuse University. He is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk nation, serves on the Adirondack Experience Board of Trustees, and co-authored Why You Can’t Teach United States History Without American Indians(University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Connor Williams

Connor Williams, Historian, Great Camp Sagamore. Tangentially, Connor’s connections to Sagamore go back to its start; he is of distant relation to Sagamore’s architect and first owner William West Durant. Far more importantly, stewarding Sagamore by helping visitors find enduring human experiences within the complexity of its multilayered past represents all those aspects of history Connor finds most compelling. A formally trained historian with years of teaching and public history experience including service to the United States Congress, Connor is forever excited to share Sagamore’s evolving stories to an ever-expanding group of visitors, members, patrons, and friends.

Support Team

Gonda GebhardtGonda Gebhardt M.S. Ed SUNY Cortland) is the project coordinator who manages workshop logistics and is the primary contact for participants. She dedicated to creating an organized program and meeting each participant's needs to ensure an overall memorable experience. Gonda has managed three previous NEH workshops and is SUNY International Programs Office Associate Director Emerita.

Rhonda Pitoniak

Rhonda Pitoniak (M.S.Ed, SUNY Cortland) is the Director of the William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education, overseeing operations at the Camp Huntington and Antlers sites.


Kat Chambers joined OCM BOCES in 2022 as a Teacher Trainer for Professional Development, specializing in Humanities, Social Studies, and Literacy. Prior to joining the OCM team, Kat was part of the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Professional development unit as an instructional support specialist and learning coach, and a secondary social studies teacher for fourteen years. She is a facilitator for the New York State Leadership groups in Literacy & Social Studies.  Kat earned both her BS in Adolescent Education Social Studies and her MS in Literacy Education B-12 from SUNY Cortland in addition to earning a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Oswego. What Kat enjoys most about her role is building relationships with educators as she provides regional training and coaching.


Forever Wild has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Contact Us

Project Coordinator:
Gonda Gebhardt

History Department
Old Main, Room 212-B
SUNY Cortland
P.O. Box 2000
Cortland, NY 13045-0900

Phone: 607-753-5918