Bios and Contacts


Elaine Carey (  is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, and she holds the Lloyd Sealy Research Fellowship at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is the author of Plaza of Sacrifices: Gender, Power, and Terror in 1968 Mexico (2005) and the award winning Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime (2014). She is also co-editor with Andrae Marak of Smugglers, Brothels, and Twine: Transnational Flows of Contraband and Vice in North America (2011) and the editor of the textbook Protests in the Streets: 1968 Across the Globe (2016). As a historian who researches crime and human rights, she has served as an expert witness in courts across the United States, and she has consulted for radio, film, television, archives, libraries, and museums.  From 2013-2016, she was the Vice President for the Teaching Division of the American Historical Association (AHA).

Kathryn Shaughnessy  ( is an Associate Professor and Librarian at St. John’s University in Queens, NY.  Her research focuses on the ethical dimensions of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) access  and ICT-literacy in education & library environments. As a Senior Fellow for the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, she works with CTL faculty and students to integrate ICT-literacy and promote the open-scholarship ecology in higher education teaching, research, service and lifelong learning.  As a Senior Fellow for the University’s Vincentian Center for Mission and Society, she serves as an expert for the Holy See Mission to the United Nations, covering agenda items dealing with ICTs, Development, Women, and Education. She is the a co-chair of the OPEN-SIG at Metro (NY Metropolitan Library Council), Co chair of the ACRL/NY Distance Learning SIG, an Executive board member of the national Catholic Library Association, and continues to serve as a New York State representative for the Digital Public Library of America.



Franky Abbott works as the Curation and Education Strategist for the Digital Public Library of America. In this capacity, she leads DPLA education initiatives with teachers and students in K-12 and higher education and collaborates on digital exhibition curation. Franky came to DPLA on an American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellowship in 2013 with experience as a project manager in digital humanities and digital publishing. Additionally, she has worked in education research and as a K-12 classroom teacher. Franky has a PhD from Emory’s Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts in American Studies.

Eric Contreras is the Interim Acting Principal of Stuyvesant High School. He began his career as a bilingual social studies teacher in the Bronx, where he was a founding member of the Academy of the Arts at Taft High School. He was also a founding member of the Queens High School of Teaching where he served as Assistant Principal and Principal. HE also served as the Executive Director of Social Studies at the New York City Department of Education. The social studies department guides, implements and supports, curriculum development, instruction, professional learning, and partnerships throughout the 1,700 New York City public schools.

April Lynne Earle is a member of the Library Faculty at Farmingdale State College. In addition to her primary role as the cataloger, she provides reference service and information literacy instruction. She received her MLS in 2009 and an MA in Public History in 2016 from St. John’s University. The focus of her studies was on the creation, use, and accessibility of oral histories. Her real joy is helping other research their family history. She hopes her work helps people connect to the past in a more personal way through the stories of those who have gone before us.

Natalie Milbrodt leads Queens Library’s Metadata Services division, responsible for the system’s cataloging and digitization efforts as well as the Queens Memory program. Queens Memory hosts engaging community history events and collects oral histories, photographs and other mementos from residents for the library’s digital archives. Milbrodt graduated in 2000 from Michigan State University with a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and a Specialization in Film Studies and earned her MLIS in 2011 from Queens College, CUNY. Before joining the library profession, she worked for film production, design and marketing firms in both creative and management roles.

Joe Schmidt taught Secondary Social Studies in the New York City Department of Education. He transitioned into administration in the NYC DOE central office. Currently, Joseph is the citywide Senior Instructional Specialist for High School Social Studies. In addition, he is working on a Masters in Global and Comparative History at Rutgers University. His advisor is Michael Adas. Of particular professional and academic interest is the role of historical thinking and understanding in a Global History setting.



Professor Sheau-yueh Janey Chao is currently a Faculty Librarian at the William and Anita Newman Library, Barnard M. Baruch College (CUNY). Her scholarly interests focus on Asian studies, Chinese family history and genealogy, Chinese immigration, library services to the multilingual and multicultural populations, and Overseas Chinese studies. She has taught family history courses in Utah Genealogical Association, Family History Expos, and as well as presented lectures in national and international conferences on the topic of Chinese family history and genealogies.

Andy Mink  is the Vice President of Education at the National Humanities Center located in Durham, North Carolina. Previously he served as the Executive Director of LEARN NC at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 after working for 11 years as the Director of Outreach and Education for the Virginia Center for Digital History and then the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. With all organizations, he designs and leads professional development programs for K-12 and university educators that focus on hands-on instructional models. He is currently registered as a Master Teacher with the Organization of American Historians in their Distinguished Speaker Program and also serves on the Executive Board of the National Council for Social Studies and the Board of Trustees for National Council for History Education. He states, “all of these projects, near or far, were influenced by the lessons I learned and the experiences I shared as an eighth grade teacher.”

Philip Misevich is assistant professor in the History Department at St. John’s University. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University in 2009. A recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Public Library and Fulbright-Hays, Misevich’s research focuses on the coerced migration of Africans throughout the Atlantic world.  He is co-Principal Investigator of the African Origins database ( and a steering committee member of Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database ( Misevich is co-editor of The Rise and Demise of Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Atlantic World (University of Rochester Press, 2016).



Ashley Bozian is a Ph.D. student in history at St. John’s University. Her dissertation research, currently in progress under the advisement of Dr. Nerina Rustomji, focuses on women in the Armenian Apostolic Church. Ashley received her B.A. in history and music (2009) and an M.Ed. (2014) from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. She holds an M.A. in music history (2012) from Hunter College, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the Armenian ethnomusicologist and liturgical composer Komitas Vartabed.

Matthew Halikias is working on his Ph.D. in history at St. John’s University. His dissertation is primarily focused on the transnational relationship between political parties in Italy and political organizations in the United States during the period of the Cold War. He is currently working under the advisement of Dr. Mauricio Borrero. Matthew earned his M.A. in history from George Mason University and his B.A. in both History and Political Science from Rutgers University.

Dean Guarnaschelli teaches German language and culture in the Massapequa Public Schools and is also an adjunct instructor at Hofstra University. He is a doctoral student in the World History department at St. John’s University and maintains an interest in European cultural history. The focus of his dissertation is German author and artist Lothar Günther Buchheim and his relevance to youth opposition in National Socialist Germany. Dean is co-presenter for the teacher training sessions for the NHPRC Queen’s Immigration Project.

John Ronzino is currently a Ph.D candidate in history at St. John’s University. His research interests have focused on nationalism, educational history of New York, and Malcolm X’s role in the Civil Rights movement. Dr. Lara Vapnek is his advisor. John has also been a teacher for the NYC Department of Education since 1999. He has taught his entire career at Flushing High School. Over the past sixteen school-years John has taught both levels of Global History, AP World History I & II, U.S. History, and Economics.

Gengwu Wang is a graduate student in Department of History at St. John’s University. He earned his bachelor degree of History in Museology from Sichuan University in China in 2013. With honor, he was one of a few selected students in an exchange program to transfer to the University of Washington in my junior year, where he received extensive academic and experimental training, and also started my study on Chinese American history at the same year. In the same year, he worked at the Wing Luke Asian Museum cataloging 342 letters received by a Chinese American family in Seattle from 1912 through 1938. After graduation, he worked as an accounting audit, however, to continue the research on Chinese American History had been lurking in his mind. Thus, in 2015, he returned to the States and continued his study at St. John’s University. He has taken courses on historical method, historiography, US history and the Atlantic World, and finished a literature review of Chinese American history. Recently, he has received and accepted the PhD offer from University of Minnesota and will start his PhD process in the fall 2017.