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.

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.

• 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

Student Assistants
• Rhiannon O’Neil

Alumni Team Members
• Connie Harper, Senior Programmer
• Laura Cepero, Metadata Editor
• 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
• Priscilla Cesar, Student Assistant
• Gonzalo Vaca, PhD Candidate, Programmer for the Connections Seed Grant
• Wesna Lalanne, Undergraduate Programmer for the Entity Extraction Seed Grant