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 Introduction to Public History course.
Ms. Keri Adams is Assistant Director and Manager of the Center for Public History, teaches the Public History Internship class, and is the Undergraduate Public History Certificate advisor. Ms. Adams earned her M.A. in History concentrating in Public History with a Museum Studies Certificate from the University of West Georgia. She co-directs Center for Public History's West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail project in addition to contributing to and developing other Center projects and initiatives.
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.
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.