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Project Team

Project Leaders

Thomas Cleary : Principal Investigator/Library

Thomas Cleary

Principal Investigator/Library

Thomas Cleary is an Assistant Professor Archivist/Librarian at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. He received his MLS at Queens College, CUNY, and MA in Liberal Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY, specializing in Digital Humanities. His research interests are in computational text analysis and data visualization, particularly with the goal of making archival collections more accessible and understandable. His current work is available on CUNY Academic Works.

718-482-5434 | tcleary@lagcc.cuny.edu

Molly Rosner : Project Leader/LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

Molly Rosner

Project Leader/LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

Dr. Molly Rosner is Director of Education Programs at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at the College. She works with faculty to incorporate the archival collections into curricula and runs grant-based extracurricular student projects. Her programming helped secure a one million dollar grant from the Robert D. L. Gardiner Foundation for the archives to continue their work with students. She regularly leads Oral History workshops and archives orientation sessions with students and faculty. As an adjunct at NYU, she is well-versed in the theory and practice of public history work. She received her PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University- Newark, her MA in Oral History from Columbia University.

(718) 482-6067 | mrosner@lagcc.cuny.edu

Tomonori Nagano : Project Leader/ELA

Tomonori Nagano

Project Leader/ELA

Dr. Tomonori Nagano is a Professor of Japanese and Linguistics at LaGuardia Community College. He received his Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center and his MA in TESOL from New York University. His research interests are second language acquisition and Japanese as a heritage language. He has published in various linguistics/applied linguistics journals such as Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Modern Language Journal, and Foreign Language Annals (See https://www.t-nagano.com/publications/ for the publication list). Dr. Nagano is a certified tester and rater for ACTFL's OPI and AAPPL (Japanese) and is currently serving as an executive board member for the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) at MLA.

718-482-5484 | tnagano@lagcc.cuny.edu

Liv Veazey : Research Assistant

Liv Veazey

Research Assistant

| olivya.veazey19@lagcc.cuny.edu


Michele Piso Manoukian : Center for Teaching & Learning

Michele Piso Manoukian

Center for Teaching & Learning

(718) 482-5483 | mpisomanoukian@lagcc.cuny.edu

Michelle Rendón Ochoa : CTL/LaGuardia Humanities Alliance

Michelle Rendón Ochoa

CTL/LaGuardia Humanities Alliance

Michelle Rendón Ochoa (she/her/ella) is a first-generation Colombian-American educator who spent her formative years navigating between the vibrant landscapes of Medellin, Colombia, and New York. With over a decade of experience, she has taught English and Spanish Language Arts across K-12 settings, all while serving as a dedicated mentor to BIPOC youth at her alma mater in Freeport, NY. Michelle is passionate about crafting curriculum deeply rooted in the ethos of critical and abolitionist teaching praxis. Currently pursuing her PhD in Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY, she is on a mission to blend community-based research, arts-based methods and the co-creation of digital archives within the classroom. Her commitment extends to preserving and reshaping the counter-narratives of the Latinx community in suburban Long Island, a vital endeavor she aims to interweave into curricula.

| mrendon@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Seminar Participants

Kelly Aliano : English

Kelly Aliano


Kelly I. Aliano teaches in the English Department and works as the Manager of Education Special Projects at New-York Historical Society. She is the author of two books, Theatre of the Ridiculous -- A Critical History (McFarland, 2019) and The Performance of Video Games (McFarland, 2022). She serves as the Member-at-Large for Focus Groups for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Kelly has participated in numerous CUNY-sponsored workshops and is very grateful to be part of this learning community.

(718) 482-5656 | kaliano@lagcc.cuny.edu

Jayashree Kamble : English

Jayashree Kamble


Jayashree Kamblé is Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, where she teaches composition and literature courses. After completing her second book, Creating Identity: The Popular Romance Heroine's Journey to Selfhood and Self-Presentation (Indiana University Press, 2023), she is now working on a history of BIPOC romance novels. She writes creative non-fiction about her family's experiences with caste discrimination. and hopes to expand it to oral histories of an earlier generation of anti-caste community members.

(718) 349-4066 | jkamble@lagcc.cuny.edu

Demetrios Kapetanakos : English

Demetrios Kapetanakos


(718) 482-5670 | dkapetanakos@lagcc.cuny.edu

Christine Marks : English

Christine Marks


Christine Marks is Professor of English and Co-Director of the Liberal Arts: Health Humanities option at LaGuardia Community College. She received her PhD from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Her monograph I am because you are: Relationality in the Works of Siri Hustvedt was published by Winter (Heidelberg University Press) in March 2014, and she co-edited the volume Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt's Works: Interdisciplinary Essays (with Johanna Hartmann and Hubert Zapf; De Gruyter 2016). Christine has taught courses in composition, cultural studies, American literature, and world literature at LaGuardia, Johannes Gutenberg University, Wagner College, Hunter College, and Columbia University.

(718) 482-6105 | cmarks@lagcc.cuny.edu

Nichole Shippen : Social Science

Nichole Shippen

Social Science

Nichole M. Shippen (she/her) is Professor of Political Science at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, where she teaches courses in political theory. She is the author of Decolonizing Time: Work, Leisure, and Freedom (2014) and “‘For Free and Useless Studies’: Critical Reflections on the End of Work and Study” (2023). She is the recipient of a Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship (2022) for her current book project, Decolonizing Bordertown Violence: Settler Colonialism, Strategies of Elimination, and Indigenous Resistance, which draws from archival research and oral history interviews from the Wind River Reservation and its surrounding bordertowns, located in the U.S. State of Wyoming.

(718) 349-4085 | nshippen@lagcc.cuny.edu

Laura Tanenbaum : English

Laura Tanenbaum


Laura Tanenbaum is a Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College where she teaches composition, literature and creative writing. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature at New York University in Comparative Literature. Recently she has focused on creative work, publishing poetry and short fiction in a range of journals including Rattle, Catamaran, Aji, Dialogist, Cleaver Magazine, and many others. She has also published numerous book reviews and essays in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Dissent, Jacobin, and elsewhere, with a particular focus on feminist history, memoir, cultural history, and teaching. She has long integrated oral histories and interviews into her teaching and recently became involved in an oral history project at her synagogue, and is interested in deepening her understanding of the practice of oral history and how to meaningfully engage students in its creation. She also serves as the chapter chair of LaGuardia's chapter of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY's union of faculty and professional staff.

(718) 482-5747 | ltanenbaum@lagcc.cuny.edu

David Whyne : Health Science

David Whyne

Health Science

(718) 482-5986 | dwhyne@lagcc.cuny.edu

Natalie Willens : ELA

Natalie Willens


Natalie Willens (they/them) is an artist and educator originally born and raised in NYC. They have been designing and teaching arts-integrated curriculum for the last 15 years in contexts ranging from early childhood classrooms to elementary school libraries to university level arts and literacy courses. In their own work they use multiple exposure photography and poetry to explore gender identity, race privilege, and gentrification. They are a core member of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) at LaGuardia Community College and created the Arts Activist working group for faculty and students, which explores ways to use art-making to influence structural changes and personal healing. Natalie holds an advanced certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy from the CUNY Graduate Center and is pursuing a PhD in the Urban Education department where they are exploring the role of archiving in activism and ways to co-create arts-based archives that animate LGBTQ+ histories - and futures - with students.

| nwillens@lagcc.cuny.edu

Invited Speakers

Bridget Bartolini :

Bridget Bartolini

Bridget Bartolini is an oral historian, educator, socially engaged artist, and writer who specializes in New York City history, place-based storytelling, and narrator profiles. Bridget has conducted oral history interviews for the Columbia Center for Oral History Research's NYC COVID-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Queens Memory's COVID-19 Project, Educational Alliance's Nonagenarians in the NORC, and family clients. She served as an audit editor for Columbia's Obama Presidency Oral History. Her thesis project, 34th Avenue Oral History, was awarded the 2021-2022 Public Humanities Fellowship from the SoF/Heyman Center and the Public Humanities Grant from Humanities New York. Inspired by her love for New York City and belief in the power of storytelling as a tool for social justice, Bridget created the Five Boro Story Project in 2013 to produce community programs that bring New Yorkers together through sharing personal stories and art inspired by our neighborhoods. She has produced more than eighty community events with the Five Boro Story Project and has led numerous workshops on oral history, storytelling, advocacy, and social change. Before studying in Columbia's Oral History MA program, Bridget earned a Masters in Community Education and a Bachelors in East Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese language.


Regina Carra : American Folk Art Museum

Regina Carra

American Folk Art Museum

212-595-9675 | rcarra@folkartmuseum.org

Natalie Milbrodt : Queens Public Library

Natalie Milbrodt

Queens Public Library

Natalie Milbrodt is an information professional and content developer with over a decade of experience working in small business, academic, cultural heritage and library settings. She currently manages a Metadata Services division within a large public library's Technical Services department. She oversees archival digitization and the creation and management of metadata for the library's physical and digital collections. This includes the preservation of intangible cultural heritage and local history on behalf of the library's community-driven digital archives initiative, the Queens Memory Project. She holds a bachelor's degree in Humanities and a master's degree in Library and Information Studies with a concentration in Archives and Cultural Heritage.

| natalie.m.milbrodt@queenslibrary.org

Ross Perlin : Endangered Language Alliance

Ross Perlin

Endangered Language Alliance

Dr. Ross Perlin is a linguist, writer, and translator from New York City - Lenapehoking.

As a linguist, he serves as co-director of the non-profit Endangered Language Alliance (https://www.elalliance.org), where since 2013 he has overseen research projects focused on language documentation, mapping, policy, and public programming. Himalayan languages are a focus – for his PhD, he created a trilingual dictionary, a corpus of recordings, and a descriptive grammar of Trung, an endangered language of southwest China, based on several years of fieldwork. He also teaches linguistics at Columbia.

As a writer, he has written on language, labor, and China for The New York Times, The Guardian, and Harper's, among other places, and he published a book on unpaid work and youth economics (Intern Nation). He has given talks to students, scholars, employers, career counselors, union members, activists, and politicians at venues as different as the Googleplex, the UK Parliament, and the Economic Policy Institute, as well as universities and colleges across America. TV and radio appearances have been on MSNBC, CBS, Fox, BBC, and NPR, among others. His new book "Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York" is coming out in February 2024.

As a translator, he works primarily from Chinese into English. He translated Liao Yiwu's Bullets and Opium (2019) and Chen Guangcheng's The Barefoot Lawyer (2015). He has recorded two Yiddish-language video series for The Forward and translated essays, stories, and poems as a National Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow.

Dr. Perlin has a BA from Stanford, an M.Phil. from Cambridge, and an MA from the University of London (SOAS), the last two thanks to the British people as a Marshall Scholar. His PhD in Linguistics is from the University of Bern in Switzerland. He was a 2023 New Arizona Fellow at New America.

| perlin@elalliance.org

Johnathan Thayer : Queens College

Johnathan Thayer

Queens College

Prof. Johnathan Thayer teaches classes based on his experiences in the field of professional archival and public history work, with a focus on fundamentals of archival practice, including archival appraisal and documentation, access systems, digitization, local public history, and the preservation of cultural heritage materials. His approach to teaching archival theory focuses on answering the question “Why do archives matter?” and translating the discussions that follow into opportunities for archival advocacy. Potential topics include the relationship between archival access and political power, archival records as potential tools for accountability and justice, archival ethics, and intersections between community archives, public history, and social memory.

His research interests include intersections between maritime, labor, and urban history; archival advocacy; rethinking “archival literacy”; and critical approaches to archival education. In addition to work on publications and conference presentations, he has coordinated student-led collaborations with Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground and Documentation Services at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He is also the lead researcher on Mapping New York City's Sailortown, which uses digitized archival material and data visualization to represent the cultural palimpsests of New York's historical waterfront. Other projects include the Seamen’s Church Institute’s American Merchant Marine Veterans Oral History Project, a publicly accessible digital archive consisting of over 800 audio clips from interviews with more than 70 veteran merchant mariners. Beginning in 2010, he has been the lead archivist for the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Digital Archives, which hosts more than 12,000 digital archival items.

(718) 997-3757 | jthayer@qc.cuny.edu