Hartford Heritage Project Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is comprised of representatives from key partner institutions in the Hartford Heritage Program, experts in learning community pedagogy and programming, and academics who specialize in Hartford or Connecticut Studies. Advisory Council members collaborate with the Program Coordinator and Humanities Chair on programming, educational, and fundraising issues, as well as the direction and growth of the Endowed Hartford Heritage Program and assessment of its effectiveness. Advisory Council members guide and support the Program Coordinator in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations relevant to Hartford Heritage course development, student engagement, and fundraising. Advisory Council members serve in a volunteer capacity.

The following individuals serve on the advisory council:

Brian Cofrancesco, School and Online Program Coordinator, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Click here for bio

Brian Cofrancesco is a Program Coordinator at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and is responsible for school and online programs. He joined the Stowe Center team in 2011 as a Historic Interpreter and has also worked in the Collections Department. He holds a Bachelors of Architectural History from the University of Virginia, serves on the board of the Meriden Historical Society, and serves on a committee for the Victorian Society in America. He has worked as a Historic Interpreter at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and as a Curatorial Intern at the Fralin Art Museum at the University of Virginia.

Emily Dunnack, Connecticut Historical Society Click here for bio

Emily Dunnack, Head of Education Programs at the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) in Hartford, CT has worked in museum education over 12 years and has been at CHS for 10. She has a B.A in Art History from the University of Massachusetts and is working towards her Master’s in Education in the Leadership in Museum Education program at Bank Street College. Emily was a 2012 participant in the American Association of State and Local History’s Seminar for Historic Administration and a 2011 participant in the Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship for Museum Leaders at the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

Sheryl N. Hack, Executive Director, Connecticut Landmarks Click here for bio

Ms. Hack, Connecticut Landmarks Executive Director since August 2005, has extensive experience in managing historic properties and collections. A graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and New England College’s MS in Nonprofit Management, she previously worked at Canterbury Shaker Village in NH. At CTL, Ms. Hack has focused on planning and implementing initiatives aimed at forwarding a community and audience-focused 21st century vision for Connecticut Landmark’s 12 properties statewide.

Craig Hotchkiss, Director of Education, Mark Twain House and Museum Click here for bio

Craig Hotchkiss has been the Education Manager at the Mark Twain House & Museum for over five years, prior to which he was a high school history teacher for 33 years. He has been the director of several NEH Landmark Summer Teacher Workshops, and this past summer was co-director of an NEH Summer Teacher Institute. He holds a BA in American History from Bates College, an MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a Sixth year Certificate in World History and MA in American Studies, both from Trinity College.

Edgar Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Urban Research, Education & Training Click here for bio

Edgar Johnson, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Research, Education and Training which serves Hartford’s large West Indian community, and he is Executive Editor/Producer of the West Indian American, Connecticut’s first newspaper serving the West Indian community. He has directed local and national research projects on practical benefits for the growth, education, and economic development of the Greater Hartford Community. He oversees various programs, including the West Indian American New Indian/Caribbean Organization and the West Indian American New Arrival Immigrant Program, Caribbean Family Resource Center Program. He is a native of Jamaica, Dr. Johnson has an undergraduate degree from Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica and an M.Div., M.A., and Ph.D. from Andrews University.

Brenda Miller, Executive Director, Hartford History Center Click here for bio

Brenda J. Miller is curator of the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library. Her responsibilities include connecting the community to heritage resources while maintaining, securing, and preserving the library’s special collection and archive, in all its formats, for future generations. She holds a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and a MA in American Studies, Museums, Archives and Communities from Trinity College, Hartford. She is a member of the Connecticut Explored editorial team (a magazine focused on Connecticut history); and serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and on the Connecticut Olmsted Heritage Alliance. She was recently chosen as one of twenty-four candidates nationwide to take part in the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education at the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.

Jack Mino, Coordinator, Learning Communities Program, Holyoke Community College Click here for bio

Jack Mino, Coordinator of the Holyoke Community College Learning Communities Program, is Professor of Psychology and what might be called “Interdisciplinary Human Studies.” He co-founded the Learning Communities Program at Holyoke Community College (HCC), Reuniting the Arts and the Sciences: Learning Communities in the Sciences and Humanities, with a $100,000 grant from NEH/NSF/FIPSE. He was the HCC Program Evaluation Coordinator for the Washington Center Learning Communities Dissemination Project which involved 20 adopting institutions nationwide working collaboratively to strengthen their LC programs, share best practices, and assess their efforts, and collaborated with James Dutcher to obtain a $100,000 grant to introduce learning communities statewide across public higher education institutions. In 2006-07 Jack was selected as a Carnegie Scholar to investigate how students construct interdisciplinary knowledge. Jack currently serves as a mentor to Capital Community College’s Hartford Heritage Project Team.

Johanna Plummer, Director of Education, Wadsworth Atheneum Click here for bio

Johanna Plummer, Georgette Auerbach Koopman Director of Education, has more than 14 years of experience in museums and universities. She came to the Wadsworth Atheneum in 2009 following seven years as the Curator of Education at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She has a BA in the History of Art from University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University.

Jennifer Roberts, Director of Education, Hartford Stage Co. Click here for bio

Jennifer Roberts is in her fifth season at Hartford Stage, having previously held the position of Education Associate for Literary and In-School Programs. Before coming to Hartford Stage, she worked as the Resident Teaching Artist at George Street Playhouse and served as the Artistic Director of the Papermill Children’s Theatre in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Her work as a director and playwright has been recognized by the Austin Circle of Theatres and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Her essay on the future of theatre and education, “Changing the How”, was published in the November 2008 issue of TCG’s American Theatre magazine. She received a Masters degree of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin.

Andrew Walsh, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Trinity College Click here for bio

Andrew Walsh, Ph.D., is associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life at Trinity College, where he teaches in the Cities Program. His Harvard doctoral dissertation (1996), “For Our Cities Welfare: Building a Protestant Establishment in Late Nineteenth Century Hartford,” addressed religious and demographic change in the period when Hartford was emerging as a significant American manufacturing center. He has taught courses at Trinity on Hartford’s history since the mid-1990s, served as a consultant to area historical institutions, and frequently gives talks on history of the region.

Matthew Warschauer, Ph.D., Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University Click here for bio

Matthew Warshauer, Ph.D., is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and Co-Chair of the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission. The author of three books, Dr. Warshauer is a specialist on nineteenth century political and constitutional history, Andrew Jackson, and the American Civil War. He also works closely with the public history community in Connecticut to help bring the state’s history to residents.

Sally Whipple, Director, Connecticut’s Old State House Click here for bio

Sally Whipple, director of Connecticut’s Old State House, serves on the Secretary of the State's Civic Health Advisory Group, the board of the Connecticut Humanities Council, the CT Civil War Commemoration Commission and the Advisory Committee for the Hartford Public Library's Hartford History Center. Whipple holds an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She has served as director of education and executive director of the Noah Webster House and as director of education for the Mark Twain House. She is past president of the CT League of History Organizations and has worked as a consultant to nonprofits in educational and strategic planning

Olivia White, Executive Director, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Inc Click here for bio

Ms. White joined the staff of The Amistad Center in January 2000 as development officer and was named Executive Director in 2004. Prior to that Ms. White held positions with the City of New York, Housing and Development Administration, and CIGNA Corporation and has been a consultant in the areas of fund development and marketing. Ms. White serves on the Governance Board of Hartford Performs, Advisory Board of the Hartford History Center, Board of Overseers for The Bushnell and the CT Civil War Commemoration Commission. She holds a BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a MBA from the University of Connecticut.