Spring, 2022 — The inaugural GenEd Teacher Fellowship Program is well underway! After a rigorous selection process, a group of highly qualified secondary-level educators from fourteen U.S. states has been selected!
Education Director Sara Cohan led the first meeting of the 2022 GenEd Teacher Fellows. The educators introduced themselves and discussed their inspiration and path to becoming teachers and their interest in teaching about genocide. The group will embark on a ten-day intensive professional development program in Armenia in July 2022, based at the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute. Upon their return to the U.S., the GenEd Teacher Fellows will carry out their professional development activities for other teachers.
The GenEd Teacher Fellows have a wide range of backgrounds and strong credentials, not only including years of teaching but also experiences like working with the U.S. Fullbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, or creating curricula for school districts, consulting for state departments of education, teaching Advanced Placement courses, and other valuable expertise.
Considering each teacher instructs up to 100 new students yearly, and each GenEd Teacher Fellow will train a group of other educators, the GenEd Teacher Fellowship Program will significantly impact the expansion of genocide education.
“I’m so gratified to see the number and caliber of educators who applied for the first GenEd Teacher Fellowship Program. Meeting our newly selected GenEd Teacher Fellows via Zoom has deepened our confidence that these educators are truly committed to genocide education and will make the most out of our institute in Yerevan and our future collaboration” – Sara Cohan, GenEd Education Director.
GenEd’s working partnership with the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute has progressed as we prepare for the upcoming phase of the GenEd Teacher Fellowship Program in Armenia in July. AGMI scholars will speak to the GenEd Teacher Fellows on topics of research there, including the memorialization of genocide, exemplified by the Armenian Genocide Monument adjacent to the AGMI facility, where the Teacher Fellows will engage in morning workshops and gain insight into the museum’s operations and invaluable artifacts and historical materials.
Justin Bilton (MA) is an English teacher at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he has created a Genocide Studies course, facilitated a genocide studies exhibition, and he and his program have been featured in articles on genocide studies in The Atlantic and The Hechinger Report. Bilton has also trained other teachers in the implementation of English curriculum.
Eric Bowers (IN) is a teacher at Penn High School located in Mishawaka, Indiana, which has an enrollment of 4,000 students. Holding degrees in Social Studies Education and. History, Bowers currently teaches AP European History and AP U.S. History, the Model UN Sponsor, the Social Studies Academic Coach, and advises the Armenian Club.
George Dalbo (WI) teaches AP World History, World History, and a Genocide and Human Rights elective course at Clinton Community High School, in Clinton, Wisconsin. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Studies Education and Human Rights at the University of Minnesota and served as the coordinator for his district’s implementation of the Holocaust and Genocide education and Indigenous
Jessica DePamphilis (MA) is an English teacher at Watertown High School in Watertown, Massachusetts. She’s enrolled in a doctorate of education program at Northeastern University. With deep roots in the Watertown community, she has been teaching about the Armenian Genocide through English literature for seven years.
Kevin Dockery (TN) teaches AP European History, AP World History, and AP US Government and Politics at Fred J. Page High School in Franklin, Tennessee, where he also serves as Social Studies Department Chair as well as a sponsor of the school’s Model United Nations advisor and Youth in Government advisor.
Kerri Flynn (MO) has been teaching about human rights and genocide for 24 years and has created a Human Rights and Genocide course at her school, Washington High School near St. Louis, Missouri. She developed curriculum and teaches a course on Human Rights and Genocide. Kerri says she’s looking forward to learning about the Armenian Genocide from Armenians.
Rob Hadley (AK) is a Teacher Trainer in Bethel, Alaska, training native Alaskans interested in education. An educator for more than 20 years, he was a 2001 U.S. Holocaust Museum Fellow, has consulted for the USC Shoah Foundation, and served on the Board of the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center. He holds a Master’s Degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Mary Johnson, Ph.D., (DE) began her teaching career as a Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher in Northern Nigeria. From 1983 – 2020, she was the Senior Historian for Facing History and Ourselves, facilitating seminars and workshops, writing curricula, and conducting research. Currently, she is an affiliate and adjunct professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University in New Jersey.
Jackie Kemper (PA) teaches social studies at the Christian School of York, in York, Pennsylvania. An educator for 26 years, she teaches Honors World History, Holocaust Literature, Honors Modern 20th Century, and a WW2/Holocaust elective. She has a Master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and has created three genocide courses. She also serves on the Teacher’s Advisory Council for Penn State’s Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Initiative.
Jeffrey Lewis (CT) teaches high school history and psychology in Stonington, Connecticut, including a course Modern World History: Government, Nationalism, Human Rights & Globalization. A passionate believer in global education, Jeff participated in the Goethe-Institut’s Transatlantic Outreach Program in 2019. He also has coached competitive interscholastic debates.
Manuel Lopez (CA) is completing his 30th year in public education. He teaches and chairs the Social Studies department at Alisal High in Salinas, California. He has taught all secondary social studies courses and has led curriculum and staff development projects. Lopez has participated in study tours including those hosted by Fulbright-Hays in Morocco and China, and by the National Endowment for the Humanities in South Africa.
Sigrid Olsen (OR) teaches at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon. Since meeting a genocide survivor in 1978, she has taught about genocide and includes novels, poetry, art, and witness testimony in her curriculum. She has participated in numerous national and international teaching seminars, including the World Affairs Council seminar on Russia and the former Soviet States.
Amy Perkins (MI) is a 20 year veteran Social Studies teacher currently at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan. She frequently travels overseas, increasing her understanding of history through first-hand experiences that she incorporates in her classroom teaching, and recently created an exchange program between her students and peers in Germany.
Kelly Rosati (VA) has been teaching history for 22 years at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia. In 2017 she traveled to Rwanda to study its history, the Rwandan Genocide, and the state of Rwanda today. She holds a Master’s in Education as well as a Master’s in Educational Leadership with a concentration in History.
Allison Weller (NY) teaches Advanced Placement U.S. History and serves as the Middle School Social Studies Chairperson at Copiague Middle School, in Copiague, New York. An active member of numerous professional organizations, Allison has given presentations at the annual National Council for the Social Studies conference and for the New York Council for the Social Studies’ Human Rights Committee, where she currently serves as Vice President of Policy and Administration.