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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.

Read a letter from the Director by clicking here.

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.

Mel Stanfill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Mel Stanfill is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in Texts & Technology and Games and Interactive Media. Mel holds a PhD in Communications and Media from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Mel brings research expertise in interfaces and web users to optimizing the RICHES website and Bookbag tool to be usable, intuitive, and compelling.

Geoffrey Cravero, Metadata Editor
An alumna of UCF, Geoffrey has earned a B.A. in History and a M.A. in History with a background in Public History. He also has experience creating and editing metadata for RICHES as a Graduate Research Assistant; Orange County Regional History Center as a Graduate Collections Management Intern; Winter Park Health Foundation’s Service Learning Project as a Graduate Research Assistant; and as a producer and contributor on a series of podcasts for the UCF History Department. He joined the RICHES MI team in its infancy in January of 2011.

Tiffany Rivera, Assistant Director of Educational and Training Programs
With a B.A. and M.A. in Communications/Public Relations from Grambling State University, Tiffany Rivera facilitates outreach and programming for the UCF History Department. She works closely with the RICHES team to plan workshops, training opportunities and events. She also coordinates community awareness initiatives.

Kayla Campana, Administrative Assistant
Kayla Campana is an Administrative Assistant in the History Department at the University of Central Florida. Working with other staff members and faculty, Kayla aids in coordinating departmental events including lectures, workshops, and speaker series, in addition to working on a number of departmental projects. Along with her role as a full time staff member, Kayla earned her BA in History and is currently a History MA candidate at UCF. Following the completion of her MA degree, Kayla seeks to pursue a Ph.D. in History.

Advisory Board: University of Central Florida Members
Jonathan Beever, Ph.D., Philosophy, Digital Ethics
Stephen M. Fiore, Ph.D., Director, Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, Institute for Simulation & Training
Atsusi Hirumi, Ph.D., Instructional Design & Technology, College of Community Innovation & Education
Bruce Janz, Ph.D. Co-Director, Center for Humanities and Digital Research
Natalie Underberg-Goode, Ph.D., Digital Media & Folklore, School of Visual Arts & Design

Advisory Board: National Members
Dana Chandler, Archivist, Tuskegee University
Sara E. Morris, Ph.D., Content Development Librarian, University of Kansas
Stuart Moulthrop, Ph.D., Digital Humanities, Department of English, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
David J. Staley, Ph.D., Interim Director of the Humanities Institute, Director of the Center for Humanities in Practice, Ohio State University William G. Thomas III, Ph.D., John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities and Professor of History, University of Nebraska Carroll Van West, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University

Department of History Advisers
• Scot French, Ph.D., Director of Public History, Associate Professor
• Peter Larson, Ph.D, History Department Chair, Associate Professor
• Rosalind Beiler, Ph.D, Associate Professor of History
• John M. Sacher, Ph.D, Associate Professor of History
• Amelia Lyons, Ph.D, Associate Professor of History
• Fon Gordon, Ph.D, Associate Professor of History
• Robert Cassanello, Ph.D, Associate Professor of History

Alumni Team Members
• Lauren Campbell, RICHES Office Assistant
• Laura Cepero, Metadata Editor
• Priscilla Cesar, Student Assistant
• Larry Davis Ph.D, Vice-President of Adaptive Assessment Services
• Bethany Dickens, RICHES Office Assistant
• Drew Fedorka, Program Specialist
• Ella Gibson, Intern Statistics Modules
• Connie Harper, Senior Programmer
• Kendra Hazen, Intern Education Modules
• Tiffany Kilpatrick, RICHES Office Assistant
• Wesna Lalanne, Undergraduate Programmer for the Entity Extraction Seed Grant
• Katherine Marra, Metadata Editor
• Jamie Desena McFarland, Program Specialist
• Rhiannon O’Neil, Student Assistant
• David Sierra, Student Programmer
• Gonzalo Vaca, PhD Candidate, Programmer for the Connections Seed Grant
• Ashley Wilt, RICHES Office Assistant