Connie L. Lester Ph.D, Program Director, Associate Professor
As a nineteenth century historian focusing largely on the American South, economics, and agriculture, and the Director of the Regional Initiative for Collecting the History, Experiences, and Stories (RICHES) of Central Florida from its inception, Connie L. Lester, Ph.D., is suited to be the main coordinator of the project. Her contribution to the development of RICHES™ and RICHES Mosaic Interface™ coincides and supports her academic research area and her public and digital history interests. She is the author of Up From the Mudsills of Hell: The Farmers’ Alliance, Populism and Progressive Agriculture in Tennessee, 1870-1915. She served as associate editor of the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (1998). Lester is currently the editor of the Florida Historical Quarterly, the peer-reviewed, scholarly publication of the Florida Historical Society.

R. Paul Wiegand Ph.D, Assistant Research Professor, IST
R. Paul Wiegand holds a research faculty position at the Institute for Simulation & Training at UCF. Dr. Wiegand’s research interests involve the application of coadaptive methods to general machine learning applications, as well as multiagent learning. For RICHES MI, he is interested in leveraging ideas from machine learning to make interest discovery mechanisms, such as the “Connections” feature, more intelligent and adaptive for users of the repository.

Connie Harper, Senior Programmer Analyst
As the software developer working on the UCF RICHES projects, Connie designs web-based database software for RICHES. For RICHES MI, Connie will add materials to the database, make additions to the functionality, work with student programmers, and handle any other software needs for the project.

Laura Cepero, Metadata Editor
An alumna of UCF, Laura has earned a B.A. in History and a M.A. in History within the Public History Track. For her master’s thesis, she designed a digital history project on slave music and its influence on American popular music. Laura also has experience creating and editing metadata for RICHES as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA); Hannibal Square Heritage Center and the Winter Park Historical Association as a Graduate Intern; Ripley’s Entertainment, Inc. as a Digital Content Management Intern; and History IT as a Metadata Technician. She joined the RICHES MI team in January of 2013.

Tiffany Rivera, Assistant Director of Educational and Training Programs
Tiffany Rivera facilitates outreach and programming for the UCF History Department. She works closely with the RICHES team to plan workshops, training and events. She also assists in creating community awareness.

Advisers
• Rosalind Beiler, Ph.D, Director of Public History, Associate Professor
• John M. Sacher, Ph.D, Department Chair, Associate Professor

Student Assistants
• Priscilla Cesar, Student Assistant
• Gonzalo Vaca, PhD Candidate, Programmer for the Connections Seed Grant
• Wesna Lalanne, Undergraduate Programmer for the Entity Extraction Seed Grant

Alumni Team Members
• Larry Davis Ph.D, Vice-President of Adaptive Assessment Services
• Drew Fedorka, Program Specialist
• Bethany Dickens, RICHES Office Assistant
• David Sierra, Student Programmer
• Katherine Marra, Metadata Editor
• Ashley Wilt, RICHES Office Assistant
• Lauren Campbell, RICHES Office Assistant
• Jamie Desena McFarland, Program Specialist
• Kendra Hazen, Intern Education Modules
• Ella Gibson, Intern Statistics Modules
• Tiffany Kilpatrick, RICHES Office Assistant