Dr. Ann McCleary, the public history coordinator, came to the University of West Georgia in 1997 to begin the public history program. She has over thirty years of experience working in museums, historic preservation, and humanities organizations. Dr. McCleary teaches the courses in museum studies, material culture, American architecture, and folklife as well as the introductory public history course.
Dr. Keith Hebert joined the History Department in 2009. An undergraduate alumnus of the University of West Georgia, he has worked as the state historian at the Georgia Historic Preservation Office and brings a strong background in cultural resource management and local and regional history. Dr. Hebert teaches courses in archives, digital history, oral history, Civil War battlefield interpretation, and the introductory public history course and spearheads the program's digital indicatives.
Students taking courses in the Museum Studies program also learn from and network with professional staff at the Atlanta History Center. Dr. Gordon Jones, Senior Military Curator, serves as the Atlanta History Center Museum Studies coordinator and helps to teach two of the museum studies classes: Museum Exhibits and Museum Administration. Kate Whitman, the Vice President of Public Programs, assists with the Museum Education and Interpretation class. Other staff members share their areas of expertise with the class.
Aaron Richardson at the National Park Service Southeast Regional teaches the Advanced Archives Practicum. He has extensive experience in archive management and is currently coordinating the archives program for the Southeast Region.
Several other West Georgia faculty members have background, interest, and experience in public history activities, such as Dr. Keith Bohannon, our Civil War historian, who often works with the National Park Service.
Our public history program prides itself on offering opportunities for students to work closely with our faculty and to engage in real-world public history projects and scholarship. Students build networks of professional staff through their classes and internships that will assist them in their future careers.