Institute Directors & Team

Institute Directors and their Distinguished Team


Baker Headshot
Dr. H. Robert Baker –Co-Director

Georgia State University
College of Arts & Sciences, History Department

Dr. Baker is an associate professor of History specializing in legal and constitutional history. He is the author of The Rescue of Joshua Glover: A Fugitive Slave, the Constitution, and the Coming of the Civil War, winner of the Gambrinus Prize, and Prigg v. Pennsylvania: Slavery, the Supreme Court, and the Ambivalent Constitution. Together, these books treat comprehensively the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the fugitive slave clause. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has held a Fulbright scholarship and a Newberry Library short-term fellowship, and has received grants from the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation and the American Historical Association to support his research. He offers specialized classes on the Founders’ Constitution, Bills of Rights in the Atlantic world, and co-teaches a course on Anglo-American legal history in the Georgia State University School of Law. In his role as co-director for the NEH Institute, Dr. Baker will provide the historical expertise for the creation of curriculum content.


Dr. Chara Haeussler Bohan – Co-Director

Georgia State University
College of Education & Human Development, Department of Educational Policy Studies

Dr. Chara Bohan is a professor of education who specializes in education history and the teaching of history. She has authored approximately 100 publications. Her books include, Go to the Sources: Lucy Maynard Salmon and the Teaching of History, and the forthcoming co-authored book with Drs. H. Robert Baker and LaGarrett King, Teaching Enslavement in American History: Lesson Plans & Primary Sources. Co-edited books include, Histories of Social Studies and Race, 1865-2000; Clinical Teacher Education: Reflections from an Urban Professional Development Network; and American Educational Thought: Essays from 1640-1940. She has facilitated two Teaching American History grants and this is her third NEH summer institute for teachers. In 2016, she won the Distinguished Faculty Award from the GSU College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Bohan’s published work on race and women in the history of education, as well as the use of primary source documents in the teaching of history make her well-suited to co-direct the institute. Dr. Bohan will co-direct the institute with Dr. H. Robert Baker.



Dr. Rhonda Kemp Webb – Grant Coordinator

Georgia State University
Cobb County History Teacher

Dr. Webb is an educator with 26 years of experience who has been recognized for her success through honors including the American Association of Teaching and Learning’s John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award and her school’s Teacher of the Year Award.  Dr. Webb has also worked with the Georgia Department of Education on US History curriculum development.  She serves as Lassiter High School’s Department Chair of the Social Studies and has coordinated the school’s Advanced Placement program. Dr. Webb earned a Ph.D. in education from Georgia State and is currently pursuing a second masters degree in history. Her research has been published in the American Educational History Journal and the International Handbook of Progressive Education.  She was also invited to present her work on Civil War history at the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Dr. Webb will advertise registration, select participants, coordinate logistics, assist participants during their stay in Atlanta, and build the institute’s website.



Mr. Curt JacksonGrant Intern

Georgia State University Doctoral Student

Curt Jackson is currently working on his Ph.D. in 20th century U.S. and urban history  His planned dissertation explores the relationships between the cultural production of Pittsburgh’s nightlife subcultures, the corporate appropriation and commodification of subculture, and gentrification in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While working on his master’s degree, he assisted and led teams in the development of several digital map historical research projects for ATLMaps including the 1960s Atlanta Sit-Ins walking tour, the Great Speckled Bird social map, and the Democratic Socialists of America National Convention walking tour of Atlanta. Currently, he mentors undergraduates in various history digital mapping and archival projects for Georgia State University’s EPIC program. He is also a co-author and research assistant for the forthcoming 1960s Atlanta Sit-Ins Reacting to the Past role-playing history game.


Mr. Matthew Shiloh Grant Intern

Georgia State University Doctoral Student

Matthew Shiloh is currently working on his PhD in the field of Educational Policy Studies. He is interested in the ways that K-12 educators teach enslavement, particularly in public schools located in the former Confederacy, as well as the ways that southern school boards are now limiting that teaching. He has been teaching U.S. History in an Atlanta area high school for eleven years, where he has been the Advanced Placement coordinator and was recognized with his school’s Teacher of the Year award. He has collaborated with students in his school’s Black Student Union to create student-led workshops on the history of voter suppression in the south, the 400th anniversary of enslavement, and the connections between the protests of the civil rights era and those of today. He was a teacher participant in the Courting Liberty NEH institute in 2018 and enjoyed it so much he is now helping to coordinate it.