Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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America's History in the Making

Site and Series Credits


Kristian Berg
Kristian Berg is an experienced writer and producer of documentaries and non-fiction series television specializing in history, science, and children’s programming. Kristian served as a series writer for “American Passages: A Literary Survey,” a sixteen-part series for Oregon Public Broadcasting and Annenberg Media. He has written and produced for PBS series such as “History Detectives,” “Newton’s Apple,” “ZOOM!” and “DragonflyTV.” His historical documentaries for PBS and CourtTV include “The Dakota Conflict,” “Dakota Exile,” “The Scottsboro Boys,” and “The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann.” Mr. Berg wrote the video scripts for Unit 18, By the People, For the People and Unit 19, Postwar Tenstion and Triumph.

Janet Bixby
Janet Bixby is on the faculty, specializing in middle and high school social studies, at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has worked extensively with teachers and students on projects in both American history and civics across the country. She has significant experience both conducting research in these areas and developing professional development materials, often using digital technologies, for use in the field. Specifically, among other things, she was a researcher on the federally funded National Study of School Restructuring based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she coordinated the collection and assessment of social studies data; has written materials for the Oregon Historical Society’s Web page for educators; has conducted primary research on the civic engagement of urban youth in Chicago; and is co-authoring a book of qualitative studies of civic education both in and out of schools. As a teacher educator in a master’s of arts and teaching program, she works closely with teachers and teacher interns in public middle- and high-school social studies classrooms on an on-going basis. Professor Bixby advised on all facilitator guides and wrote the facilitator guides for Unit 5, Classroom Applications 1; Unit 11, Classroom Applications 2;Unit 14, Industrializing America;andUnit 18, By the People, for the People.

Bruce E. Larson
Bruce E. Larson is a professor of secondary education and social studies at Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education. He teaches courses in curriculum development, instructional strategies, assessment, and history/social studies teaching methods. His work has been published in journals such as Theory and Research in Social Education, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner, The Social Studies, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, and Social Education. He has also published numerous curriculum guides and contributed chapters in edited books that have to do with both teacher education and social studies education. His book on the effective use of instructional strategies (Instructional Strategies for Middle and High School, 2007) intends to help teachers purposefully select instructional strategies and valid assessment techniques. Mr. Larson advised on all facilitator guides and wrote the facilitator guides for Unit 12, Using Digital Technologies; Unit 13, Taming the American West; Unit 15, The Progressives; Unit 16, A Growing Global Power; Unit 17, Classroom Applications 3; Unit 19, Postwar Tension and Triumph;Unit 20, Egalitarian America; Unit 21, Global America;andUnit 22, Classroom Applications 4.

David del Mar
David Peterson del Mar is the author of several books, including What Trouble I Have Seen: A History of Violence against Wives and Environmentalism: A History of Nature Loving, and articles published in periodicals ranging from the Journal of Interdisciplinary History to Oregon Coast Magazine. He teaches a wide variety of history courses for older, nontraditional students at Portland State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Oregon. He is a board member of Uniting to Understand Racism and volunteers with DADS for Education. Mr. del Mar wrote the text chapters for Unit 2, Mapping Initial Encounters; Unit 3, Colonial Designs; Unit 4, Revolutionary Perspectives; Unit 6, The New Nation; Unit 7, Contested Territories; Unit 8, Antebellum Reform; Unit 9, A Nation Divided; and Unit 10, Reconstructing a Nation.

Melissa Gerr
Melissa Gerr is a writer, producer, and still photographer focusing on documentary and knowledge-based products. Her learning curve grew quickly while writing and producing for the Annenberg Media series Rediscovering Biology. She has also produced and directed for Spanish, French, and Italian foreign-language videos for McGraw-Hill Publishing Company and has also produced various programming for PBS stations in Minnesota and Oregon. Ms. Gerr wrote the video scripts for Unit 2, Taming the American West and Unit 3, Industrializing America.

Steve Greenwood
Steve Greenwood has worked in the fields of education and public history since 1985. For the past five years, however, his career has focused on museum education and curation, including history exhibits on Vancouver Barracks during World War II and Washington State’s largest wildfire, the Yacolt Burn of 1902. Mr. Greenwood co-authored the script for a documentary entitled The Yacolt Burn: Lessons Learned. Currently, Mr. Greenwood is the curator of Portland’s Wells Fargo History Museum, where he has contributed to Wells Fargo’s award-winning history blog, Guided by History. Mr. Greenwood wrote the text chapters for Unit 13, Taming the American West; Unit 14, Industrializing America; Unit 15, The Progressives; Unit 16, A Growing Global Power; Unit 18, By the People, For the People; Unit 19, Postwar Tension and Triumph; Unit 20, Egalitarian America; and Unit 21, Global America.

Beth Harrington
Beth Harrington is an award-winning independent producer, director, and writer. She has been making media professionally since 1977 and often focuses on work that explores American history, music, and culture. She has worked on several productions with OPB and PBS, including NOVA, Frontline, and History Detectives. She has also written for various history series for OPB and Annenberg Media, including episodes of Bridging World History and America’s History in the Making. Her most recent independent production is Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, a music documentary about the pioneering women of rock and roll. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public communications from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in American studies from University of Massachusetts–Boston. Ms. Harrington wrote the video scripts for Unit 20, Egalitarian America and Unit 21, Global America.

Donna Matrazzo
Donna Matrazzo specializes in writing for history, science, and museum productions. Her work has appeared on PBS, the Discovery Channel, HGTV, and regional networks. Historical works range from Adventures and Great Undertakings at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Earth Lodge at the Plains Indian Museum, a John Steinbeck biographical film for the National Steinbeck Center, and Reel Cowgirls at the National Cowgirl Museum. Other work includes an interactive exhibit of histories of women physicians for the National Institutes of Health, and a Houghton-Mifflin educational film series including Civil War diarist Mary Chesnut, Holocaust survivor Gerda Klein, and Sioux author Zitcala-Sa. Her films have won more than three dozen national and international awards. Ms. Matrazzo wrote the video scripts for Unit 2, Mapping Initial Encounters and Unit 3, Colonial Designs.

Ryan Lepicier
Ryan Lepicier began his broadcast career as a TV news reporter/anchor before embarking on a career as a producer/writer. His work on the OPB series American Passages: A Literary Survey received the gold award at the Chicago International Film Festival television awards. He also worked as producer/writer on OPB’s Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature series. Mr. Lepecier currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is the production manager for the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office.
Mr. Lepicier wrote the video scripts for Unit 7, Contested Territories and Unit 8, Antebellum Reform.

Lynn Torrance Redlin
Lynn Torrance Redlin has been writing award-winning documentaries and scripts for film, video, multimedia, and Web business communications since 1980, creating broadcast and non-broadcast presentations for clients such as Oregon Public Broadcasting, Nike®, Intel® Corporation, and the Northwest Museum of Art. Ms. Redlin is a lifetime member of the Media Communications Association International, and is involved with the Oregon Media Production Association, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences–Seattle Chapter, and the Association of Women in Communications. Ms. Torrance Redlin wrote the video script for Unit 10, Reconstructing a Nation.

Paul Ringel
Paul Ringel is an assistant professor of American history at High Point University in North Carolina and specializes in nineteenth-century cultural history. He has taught American history to undergraduates for the past eight years at Brandeis, Harvard, Emmanuel College, and High Point University. He is also the historical content advisor for “The Time Warp Trio,” an animated children’s television show broadcast weekly on NBC and Discovery Kids. His Web experience includes writing and editing the content for several of the companion Web sites to McGraw-Hill’s American History textbooks. Mr. Ringel wrote the content for the Web interactives.

Eric Slade
Eric Slade is an independent producer/director in Portland, Oregon. He worked as a producer on the OPB/Annenberg Media series Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives and as series producer/director for OPB/Annenberg Media’s Bridging World History. Mr. Slade also produces for the PBS series, History Detectives. His independent documentary Hope Along the Wind had its PBS premiere in June of 2002 and has screened at dozens of national and international festivals. Mr. Slade wrote the video script for Unit 9, A Nation Divided.

Steve Wright
Steve Wright is a writer and producer based in Austin, Texas. He uses diverse writing styles to develop both short-form and long-form projects, including documentaries, news magazine-style programs, multipart instructional videos, and other projects for television, businesses, universities, associations, and state agencies. He is a former television news reporter at CBS and NBC affiliate stations, and received the Associated Press’s top honor for best documentary in the state of Texas. Mr. Wright wrote the video scripts for Unit 4, Revolutionary Perspectives; Unit 6, The New Nation; Unit 15, The Progressives; and Unit 16, A Growing Global Power.

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Program Host

Pat Kruis
Pat Kruis documented history as it happened as a journalist for over fifteen years, spending most of that time reporting for KGW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon. She has written and co-produced full-length plays based on the stories of people who lived during World War II. Ms. Kruis hosted the video series.

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Program Narration

Lew Frederick
Lew Frederick’s direct involvement in the Civil Rights Movement placed him at the center of history for a time in Atlanta, Georgia (Frederick, et al vs. the Atlanta Board of Education). He taught history and other classes at a K–12 alternative school in Portland, Oregon. He reported present history for KGW-TV for seventeen years. For over a decade, Mr. Frederick was the chief spokesperson for the Portland public schools. He is a PhD candidate in Urban Studies/Speech and Communication at Portland State University, researching how the coverage of science and television news affects the economy of a region.

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Production Credits

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is an award-winning producer of educational content with expertise in both traditional and new media approaches to formal education, community outreach, and television production.

OPB has produced many series for Annenberg Media, including American Passages: A Literary Survey, a multimedia series for college students; Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature, a professional development workshop series for teachers on interdisciplinary approaches to American literature; Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives, a series to help in-service teachers update their content knowledge in the life sciences; and Bridging World History, a professional development course for high school teachers and students.

OPB produces Web sites, teachers’ guides, and other curriculum materials to accompany textbooks and PBS broadcast series. Working in close concert with national academic experts, and advisory boards, OPB’s staff has produced curriculum materials in the humanities and sciences for a variety of grade levels and teacher professional development.

Bergmann Graphics
Bergmann Graphics is a creative partnership built on strong production values and inspired by a love of design. Since 1994, Tim Bergmann and Cassie Caldwell have built visual communications for a wide range of small business and non-profit clients. Their mission is to provide integrated solutions for print, interactive, and time-based media through creative concepts, dynamic imagery, and technical expertise. Bergmann Graphics produced the program design for video, print, and Web, as well as the interactives.

RMC Research Corporation
Clients have included several federal agencies and departments, including the United States Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Labor; the Center for Mental Health Services; the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Offices are located in New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, and Oregon. RMC Research Corporation performed the formative and summative evaluation for the series.

Red Door Films
Red Door Films is a Portland, Oregon-based production company, originally founded in 1989 as David Poulshock Productions, Inc. Mr. Poulshock is an award-winning producer, writer, and director of the WEE SING children’s series, distributed by Universal Home Video. Red Door has produced numerous commercials, infomercials, and corporate films for clients, ranging from Goodwill Industries and the Oregon Lottery to Hewlett-Packard and View-Master 3-D. Mr. Poulshock served as chairman of the 2005 Willamette Writers Conference, is a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Academy, and is on the adjunct faculty of the Art Institute of Portland. In 2006, Red Door Films, led by Mr. Poulshock, filmed several reenactments, and served as lead writer and director on eight video episodes for America’s History in the Making.

Tweak Interactive
Founded in 1999, Tweak Interactive is a marketing design and usability services firm. Their professional team is composed of designers, developers, writers, and usability experts all trained and experienced in the practice of user-centered design. Tweak has served such notable companies as Unicru, Tripwire, Hollywood Entertainment, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, InfoSpace, Wells Fargo, United Healthcare, and Serena Software. Tweak conducted the usability study for the America’s History in the Making Web site interactive tools. 

Production Team

Executive Producer: Meighan Maloney
Series Producer: Sam Ward
Senior Project Director: Catherine Stimac
Senior Project Manager: Doug Brazil
Production Managers: Candice Coleman, Joshua Wolfe
Multimedia Producers: Hillary Brown, Heather Chambers, Shervin Hess, Sean Hutchinson, Renato Rodriguez
Web Developers: Heather Young, Ben Kerney, John Kin
Associate Producers/Researchers: Stewart Boyles, Mike Crockett
Archivist: Mary Hager
Production Coordinator/Associate Producer: Laurance Johnson
Production Assistants: Melissa Gorgon Clark, Sho Ikeda, Rainy Knight, Sanghee Lee
Director of Photography: Harry Dawson
Video/Online Editors: Tom Babich, Bruce Barrow, Pamela Chipman, Cathie Clifford, Lisa Suinn Kallem, Jerry Pratt, Wendy Morgan
OPB Executive in Charge of Production: Jack Galmiche
OPB Executive Vice President National Productions: David Davis
OPB Director of Engineering, IT: Dave Fulton
OPB Production Services: Howard Beckerman, Bill Dubey, Milt Ritter, Gary Schiedel
Additional Graphics: Chris Marron
Program Theme Music: Cal Scott
Lead Text and Web Editor: Jennifer Ingraham
Text and Guide Editors: Margot Chase, Joanna Present-Wolfe

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