Foundations of U.S. History: Virginia History as American History is a Teaching American History grant that provides an exciting opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school teachers of American history to expand and improve their content knowledge of Virginia history and U.S. history and their instructional skills. . The program emphasizes the use of primary sources to strengthen historical thinking skills and enrich historical understandings.

A key component of the program is a two-week summer institute each year. Content areas of the summer institutes include Native American life in the Chesapeake, George Washington’s legacy, the American Revolution and founding documents, Slavery, the antebellum period, and the Civil War. Post-Civil War topics include Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, Industrialization and Modernization, Post-World War II America, and Civil Rights.

During the school year, teachers will develop activities and lesson plans that incorporate content and resources from the summer institute. Teachers also will participate in book discussion groups, film workshops, and a keynote lecture. Film workshops and keynote lectures are also open to all LCPS teachers.

This website will serve as an essential tool to help participating teachers accomplish the goals of this project. Components of the website include:

  • A schedule of workshops, site visits, and film and book discussion groups as well as a list of reading assignments and due dates.
  • A collaboration section in which participating TAH teachers will share information, resources, and responses within cohort groups.
  • A resources section with 6 web modules focused on helping teachers and students carefully analyze important documents in Virginia and U.S. history. This section will also list all workshop materials, such as articles, bibliographies, teaching strategies, and recommended classroom materials.
  • A units section that makes available the curriculum units participating teachers create that reflect their expanded curriculum knowledge, use of primary sources, engaging teaching strategies, and incorporation of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).


Project Team (click name for bio)
Historians (click name for bio)

Project Team

 (Project Coordinator) Sarah Whelan taught middle school and high school history in Alexandria City Public Schools for several years. She served as a department chair, team leader, and mentor teacher. She received the University of Virginia Curry School of Education's Outstanding Middle School Teacher Award in 2005, and the Del Ray Citizens' Association Excellence in Education Award in 2004. She served as a Master Teacher in "Creating a More Perfect Community", the Teaching American History grant for Alexandria City Public Schools. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in government and history, and a master's degree in teaching social studies.

 (Project Associate) Adam Turner is the project associate for Foundations of U.S. History, the Teaching American History Grant for Loudoun County Public Schools, as well as for Conflict and Consensus, the Teaching American History Grant for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mary Washington in 2007 with a B.A. in History and a secondary education license in History and Social Sciences with a Meritorious New Teacher Designation. He completed his undergraduate thesis on the eugenics movement in Virginia during the early twentieth century.


 (Instructional Supervisor, Social Sciences) William F. Brazier is an instructional coordinator for Loudoun County Public Schools, as well as an adjunct instructor at Northern Virginia Community College. Before becoming Supervisor of Social Science Instruction, he served as Social Science Department Chair at Stone Bridge High School for three years and as a member of the Social Science Department at Loudoun County High School for nine years. Before teaching, he was an analyst for the American Committee on US-Soviet Relations, and a Corporate Maintenance Supervisor for the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. Recently, he worked to develop skills articulation and curriculum pacing guides for history curricula in grades 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, and benchmark US History tests for grades 4, 6, 7, and 11. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College, an M.I.A. and Harriman Institute Certificate from Columbia University, a Teaching Certificate from George Washington University, and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from GMU.

 (Academic Program Director) Kelly Schrum is the Director of Educational Projects at the Center for History & New Media (CHNM) and Associate Research Professor at GMU. She has worked extensively in the areas of new media, history content development, and teacher training. She has authored numerous articles on history and new media, including “Surfing the Past Online: New Media and History in the Classroom,” in Perspectives (May 2003); “Making History on the Web Matter in Your Classroom,” in The History Teacher (May 2001); and “History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web,” in Social Education (April 2001). She has presented on teaching and new media for organizations such as the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the National Council for Social Studies. Schrum received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2000. Publications include Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls' Culture, 1920-1950,, “'That Cosmopolitan Feeling': Teenage Girls and Literacy, 1920-1970,” in Girls and Literacy in the U.S.: A Historical Sourcebook, and “'Teena Means Business': Teenage Girls' Culture and Seventeen Magazine, 1944-1950” in Sherrie Inness, ed., Delinquent Daughters: Twentieth-Century American Girls' Culture.


(Senior Historian) Roy Rosenzweig is College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History at GMU, where he also is the director of CHNM. Recent publications include The Park and the People: A History of Central Park and The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life. He was the lead author of the CD-ROM, Who Built America? Other books include Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920 and edited volumes on history museums, history and the public, history teaching, oral history, and recent history. He recently served as Vice-President of the Research Division of the American Historical Association and recently won the Richard W. Lyman Award (awarded by the National Humanities Center and the Rockefeller Foundation) for “outstanding achievement in the use of information technology to advance scholarship and teaching in the humanities.”

(Professional Development Consultant) Hugh T. Sockett is Professor of Education at GMU based in the College of Arts and Sciences. Before coming to GMU in 1987, he was Dean of Education at the University of East Anglia (UK) and Professor and Director of the Institute of Continuing Education at the New University of Ulster based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. At GMU, he was founding director of the Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD), later merged into the Institute for Educational Transformation (IET), which he devised and directed from 1991 to 1998. He has published numerous articles and six books, including The Moral Base for Teacher Professionalism, and Transforming Teacher Education with Betsy Demulder, Pamela LePage, and Diane Wood. He is also President of The Urban Alternatives Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs a major community project in south Arlington, Virginia.



Ira Berlin, prize winning author and historian, has written broadly on the history of slavery and emancipation in the United States and the larger Atlantic world. Berlin is the founder of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which he directed until 1991. The project's multi-volume Freedom: A Documentary history of Emancipation (1982, 1985, 1990, 1993) has won numerous prizes. Berlin’s publications include Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South and Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in Mainland North America He is currently the Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland.

Christopher Hamner is an assistant professor of history at GMU and a specialist in U.S. military history.  Dr. Hamner is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College and earned his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina.  He has been a fellow at the John M. Olin Center for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and at the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History.  His research interests focus on social and comparative aspects of military history, and he has written extensively on the factors that motivated soldiers on the battlefields of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Second World War.


Peter Henriques received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia, and he is presently Professor of History, Emeritus, at GMU. He taught American and Virginia history with special emphasis on Virginia and the American Revolution and the Virginia Founding Fathers. Publications include Realistic Visionary: Essays on the Life and Character of George Washington, The Death of George Washington: He Died as He Lived, and a brief biography of George Washington for the National Park Service. Henriques is also the editor of the local history journal, Northern Virginia Heritage. A member of both the editorial board for the George Washington Papers and of the Mount Vernon committee of George Washington Scholars, he is a frequent speaker at Mount Vernon and Gadsby's Tavern.

Warren Hofstra is Stewart Bell Professor of History at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.  He holds an M.A. degree from Boston University and the PhD. from the University of Virginia.  In addition to teaching in the fields of American social and cultural history, he directs the Community History Project of Shenandoah University.  His publications include The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley; A Separate Place: The Formation of Clarke County, Virginia;and the edited volumes, George Washington and the Virginia Backcountry, After the Backcountry: Rural Life in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1800-1900, and Virginia Reconsidered: New Histories of the Old Dominion. Current work focuses on the Shenandoah Valley from the late eighteenth century to the 1950s when wheat farming and flour manufacturing created a distinctive landscape and way of life.


Rhys Isaac is an emeritus professor at LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor in the History Department of the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1959, Rhys went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His specialty is the American Revolution in Virginia. He entered the field with a series of articles in the William & Mary Quarterly that won a number of prizes, and his book, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740 - 1790 won the Pulitzer Prize in History. His other specialty is a variety of ethnographic (or anthropological) narrative that he and some colleagues – dubbed by Clifford Geertz "the Melbourne Group" – have developed as their contribution to historiography. Isaac has lately published a book developed out of the wealth of narrative and cosmological revelation in one of America’s most remarkable long-kept diaries – the 1752-to-1778 legislative and plantation journals of a Northern-Neck-of-Virginia planter grandee: Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom: Revolution and Rebellions on a Virginia Plantation.

T. Mills Kelly is the Associate Director of CHNM and Assistant Professor of History and Art History at GMU. He was a Pew National Fellow with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1999. His writing on the scholarship of teaching and learning has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education and Academe. In January 2005 he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, the state’s highest award for faculty excellence. In April 2005 he received George Mason University’s Teaching Excellence award.  He is the author of several articles on Czech, Czechoslovak and Habsburg history as well as the forthcoming Without Remorse: Czech National Socialism in Late-Habsburg Austria. Dr. Kelly speaks regularly on campuses around the country about teaching and technology.

Sharon Leon is a Research Assistant Professor at CHNM. She received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and her doctorate in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include the study of race and gender in the history of religion and the history of science. Her work has appeared in Church History and the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.


Suzanne Lebsock is Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers.  Her first book, The Free Women of Petersburg. Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860 (1984), won the Bancroft Prize.  She is also author of “A Share of Honour”: Virginia Women, 1600-1945 (1985) and coeditor, with Nancy A. Hewitt, of Visible Women: New Essays on American Activism (1993).  From 1992 to 1997 she held a MacArthur Fellowship, and she has recently completed A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial (2003), the story of three African American women who in 1895 were accused of ax-murdering a white woman.

Wendi Manuel Scott is an assistant professor of world history at GMU.  Her fields of teaching strength are African Diaspora, Caribbean, and women's history in the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora. From 1998-2000 she was a fellow of the national program Preparing Future Faculty (PFF). Prior to joining GMU, she taught African Diaspora at Howard University and Coppin State College.

Danielle Moretti-Langholtz is the director of the American Indian Resource Center at the College of William & Mary. She pursued her graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and received her Ph.D. in 1998. In addition to her research interests in the political resurgence of contemporary American Indian communities, she founded the Virginia Indian Oral History project, and directed and produced the award-winning documentary In Our Own Words: Voices of Virginia Indians and created a CD-ROM on Virginia Indian history and culture. Moretti-Langholtz and Sandra Waugaman are co-authors of the book We're Still Here: Contemporary Virginia Indians Tell Their Stories. Most recently she has served as an advisor on educational outreach to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.


Allison O’Connor works full-time as a digital history designer and educator at CHNM. Prior to joining CHNM, she taught web design at the college level and worked in electronic publishing for several years. She also is a PhD student in history at GMU. Her research interests include the hearth in the American home, the use of new media technology in the study of history, and 18th-century daily life. She earned a Bachelor's degree in history and Italian from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University.

Michael O’Malley received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. He taught at New York University and Vassar College before coming to GMU in 1994. His specialty is 19th- and 20th-century cultural history. Publications include Keeping Watch: A History of American Time and writings on the history of timekeeping technology, the evolution of movie narrative, the practice of digital history, and on the history of ideas about money and value. He is at work on a book about the history of American money. Other research interests include the history of the corporation and the history of recorded sound. He has also worked extensively in new media and history.

Adam Rothman teaches history at Georgetown University. He specializes in the history of the United States, slavery, and the Atlantic World in the 19th century. He is the author of Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South as well as other essays and reviews. He received his B.A. at Yale and his Ph.D. at Columbia.


Zachary Schrag received his BA from Harvard University and his PhD from Columbia University. A specialist in 20th-century cities, technology, and public policy, he has published articles in Technology and Culture, Washington History, and the Journal of Urban History as well as his recent book, The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro. Schrag has taught full time at Baruch College, City University of New York, and at Columbia University. In 2004 he joined the George Mason University faculty as assistant professor of history.

Rosemarie Zagarri received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1984. The author of The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States 1776-1850 and A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution, she is also the editor of David Humphreys' "Life of General Washington with George Washington with George Washington's 'Remarks.'" She has published articles in The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, American Quarterly, and Reviews in American History. In the spring of 1993, the Fulbright Commission appointed her Thomas Jefferson Chair in American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 1997-98, she received a research Fellowship for College Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is currently working on a project dealing with gender and the first political parties.