Archive for the Category »W2: Bio «

Chris King

Looking down the long corridor of HistoryThe thread of my story begins in Europe in the summer of 2001, during my Grand Tour. Between two days in Normandy that spanned 900 years of history (Bayeux Tapestry to Utah Beach) and three hours on a train between Krakow and Prague when I shared a compartment with a Holocaust survivor who was returning from his first trip back to Auschwitz, History roared back to consciousness inside of me after a decade-long hiatus. When I returned home, I bought a copy of Norman Davies’ Europe: A History – all 1,392 pages – to help me fill in the holes the five week trip highlighted in the form of five pages of tiny little notes to myself about people, places, events that were important but unknown to me.

Ever since, I’ve been slowly working on making History a vocation as well as a passion. I talked myself out of a PhD after my 2005 Systems Dynamics course at AU, where I created a working model of the academic job market for History PhDs. I don’t think I’m telling anyone on the doctorate track that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Sorry! Undaunted even if deflected, I jumped into the MA program determined to tie in History with my present work. Along the way, I have created websites, worked on digital cartography, studied the changing shape of the American closet, and managed to present a paper at the 2009 AHA Annual Meeting, the current high-water mark of my academic career.

Yet now that I have a wife and a 10-month old son, decisions relating to anything that might disrupt a steady paycheck have taken new gravity. I’m still working on moving towards getting paid for doing something History. I’m just telling myself that will just require more patience. Those of you already in the History workforce, please – leave my fantasy as intact as possible! (Advice to son: do something you love when you are young, because it only gets harder to chase that dream once you have spent a few years on the career treadmill.)

Meanwhile, I have been an educator for 14 years, specializing in e-learning, instructional design and integrating evidence-based design into classroom programs to improve learning retention and effectiveness. Teaching is another passion – I’ve spent time in multiple industries (financial services, government, insurance, consulting, even an internet start-up company), but always in the learning and development field. What can I say? I come from a family of educators (my mom, an aunt, and four cousins across two generations). That I will find immediate application of the things I learn in this course seems certain. That I will learn much from all of you seems similarly assured. I look forward to our collaboration!

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Rebecca Fachner

Hi class, my name is Rebecca Fachner.  I am currently getting an MA in Applied History at George Mason and I am very happy to be back in academia after many years in the real world. After spending several years in the real world, I have determined that it is vastly overrated.  I have been interested in history forever, I can remember being about 6 years old and asking my dad what a world war was.  I find history endlessly fascinating and while I will read about many different eras, the Second World War is the area that I keep returning to.  My research interests, therefore, are the Second World War, specifically the Nazi’s rise to power, the Eastern front and the Holocaust.  After my MA, I plan to pursue yet more schooling, definitely a PhD and possibly a more focused masters degree before that.  The reason that I am getting my first masters in Applied History is because it offers the opportunity to engage the public and I firmly believe new media will be a great tool for education and public involvement in the future.

I just moved back to the DC area after living in San Francisco for 3 years, which I absolutely loved and miss very much (particularly during the winter!). Before that I was in DC for a few years, Boston for college and I grew up in Connecticut.  When I am not studying, I have a part time job at a non-profit, I volunteer at the Holocaust Museum and I am going to start giving tours of DC when the weather gets warmer.  I’ve given tours while in San Francisco and it’s a lot of fun, a great chance to share history with the public.  In my spare time, when there is such a thing, I enjoy reading, running, knitting, watching Red Sox baseball, and hope to start playing in a local symphonic band.

Also, the adorable dog in the picture with me is named Mac.

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Jenny Lapple

My name is Jenny Lapple and I am currently working on my Doctorate of Arts in Community College Education. My background is in music performance on flute with degrees from Miami University in Oxford, OH and Yale University in New Haven, CT.  In addition to my studies, I play in several ensembles including a new music ensemble called FUSE, The Pan American Symphony in Washington D.C., and The American Pops Orchestra here at Mason.  My work as an adjunct in the flute studio here at Mason has afforded me the opportunity to put into practice much of what I have learned in the Higher Education program as combined with my background as a performer.  My plans are to pursue a career in music education at the university level. 

 Additionally, I am a strong advocate of music wellness and currently in the process of putting programs and workshops together to assist musicians in maintaining healthy and sustained musical experiences.  Some workshops and seminars I have recently presented include: “Music and the Brain: Experiencing Synesthesia”, “Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Unleash the Power of Music within You!”, “How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci: Teaching through Curiousity, Sensory Experience, and Interconnectedness”, and “A Whole New Mind: Teaching through Design, Story, and Symphony.” These interactive workshops would benefit greatly from the authenticity and emotional intrigue of digital storytelling. 

 I live in Reston, VA with my fiancé, Graham, and we are looking forward to planning our wedding and life together.

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Michael Plumb

My name is Michael Plumb, and I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  History was something that fascinated me from a very young age.  My grandfather had a bayonet from the Civil War hanging on the wall of his study, and being confronted with this tangible piece of the past sparked a passion that led me to major in history during my undergraduate studies at Washington and Jefferson College, a small liberal arts college south of Pittsburgh.  I decided to continue my studies at George Mason, and I am currently in my third semester of the M.A. program in the applied history track.  I chose the applied track so that I can help the public discover their own passion for the past.

In addition to my studies at Mason, I work in the education department at Mount Vernon as a historic interpreter.  Educating students and adults alike in this historic setting can be challenging, but it has also reminded me just how rewarding sharing my love of history can be.  I am really looking forward to this DST class so that I can put the skills we learn to good use in future public history ventures!

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Mike Eggleston

Mike Eggleston Bio

January 2010


 I was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota where I graduated from Cretin High School in 1956. After graduation from Cretin, I attended Saint Thomas College for one year before entering the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, where I graduated 1961. I was commissioned in the Army and retired in 1986.  Highlights of my Army service included two tours of duty in Vietnam, assignments to Europe, Pentagon, White House and other Stateside assignments. When I retired from the Army, I went to work for an engineering firm in Northern Virginia retiring from my job as a Senior Director in 2006. I have since studied at Northern Virginia Community College and I am currently enrolled in George Mason University pursuing a Master of Arts degree in U.S. History. My other degrees are Bachelor of Science from the U.S Military Academy and Master of Science from the University of Colorado. My goal is to write U.S. military history and publish a Civil War Regimental History that I am working on.

I met my wife Margaret at West Point where I was assigned to the Staff and Faculty between Vietnam tours. We were married at Newburgh, New York after I returned from Vietnam. We have four great children: Mac and Connor graduated from Virginia Tech and are doing very well in engineering firms in Northern Virginia. Connor is pursuing his PhD at Catholic University on a part time basis. Meaghan graduated from William & Mary and is a bank manager in Richmond. Patrick graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and is doing well. He is a lieutenant in the Virginia National Guard. We have been very fortunate. Margaret and I do volunteer work, travel and are usually planning our next trip. Running is a family pastime. Margaret, Connor, and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon a few years ago. Margaret said one is enough, but Connor and I still compete. – Mike Eggleston, 14011 Hunter Hill Lane, Nokesville, VA 20181. 703-754-1856,

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Janine Hubai

My road to this blog has been filled with twists and turns, certainty and uncertainty.  I started my undergrad degree in 1993 and finally finished it in 2009 (I took a one shorter and one really long hiatus).  It was an interesting ride that included residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico and San Diego, California, jobs in a bonsai nursery, jewelry industry and various administrative jobs.  I always knew I wanted to get back to school but wasn’t quite sure how.  So I wandered until I was laid off from a job in 2007 and knew it was time to get back to my dreams.

I study history because I seek truth.  I am an MA student in the history program, hoping to go on to my PhD.  My loves are learning and teaching and visual arts and writing.  My dream is to make documentary films.  I want to share the stories of yesterday and today with the masses.  While it would be wonderful to be the next Ken Burns, I do not expect to make much money from documentaries.  I thought being a professor would be the perfect job to support my art and also contribute to helping other’s achieve their academic goals with summers off and research grants available. 

Sometimes we have moments when we realize why we were put on this earth.  When I am running around the base photographing and connecting with the culture that once existed there, that is when I feel most alive.  And I feel most fulfilled when I am helping others.  I also hope to start an after-school program for disadvantaged kids to give them a little bit of hope and perhaps a brighter future. 

I study 20th century wars and military society.  I also look at civil rights and look at civil rights in military communities.  I have an interest in combat motivation, POWs and how race affects the way we treat our “enemies.”  I minored in Conflict Resolution so have an interest in Just War Theory and peaceful resistance.  I also like 20th century Central and Eastern European history- full of war, genocide and nationalism.  I really am a happy person!

I moved here from Massachusetts in August.  I am still waiting for winter to start.  I have been blessed with meeting so many wonderful people in the short period of time I’ve been here.  I love music, films, photography, Ulysses by Tennyson, nature, tennis, superheros, cartoons, speedskating and the Olympics. 

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Joan Marie Giampa

My name is Joan Marie Giampa and I am from Washington, DC.  I was born in Arlington, Virginia in 1960. I received an MFA in painting from the University of Maryland in 1998 and a BFA in graphic design from James Madison University in 1983.

I teach Introduction to Design 101 at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun campus.  Other courses I teach are:  Computer Graphics 101 and 201,, Digital Imaging 256, Drawing 101 and 201, Painting, and Integrated Arts (humanities core course), Multimedia 345 and an online course—The Introduction to art 101.  I have been teaching college level courses full and part-time since 1997.

My passion for teaching has grown exponentially over the past thirteen years.  My primary reason for obtaining an MFA was to be able to teach while working in my professional life as a painter. The MFA in painting prepared me to be a fine artist; it did not prepare me to be a teacher.  For this reason, I enrolled in the doctorate program for college teaching in the higher education department at George Mason University in 2005 and will advance to candidacy this in the Summer of 2010.

Over the past several years, I have been involved with two new associations: Foundations in Art Theory and Education (FATE) and The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL).  I was on a discussion panel for FATE at the College Art Associations Annual Conference in Boston.  In the spring of 2007, I chaired my own panel “Fostering the New Millennial in the New Learning Environment” at the FATE Biennial conference in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

I own and operate a small gallery, The Red Caboose Gallery, in historical downtown Vienna, Virginia.  I am also the president and founder of the Arts Alliance of Vienna (AAV).  AAV ‘s mission is to develop a creative, comfortable and accessible environment among local art businesses that inspire, encourage and welcome the public to learn about and participate in the joyful experience of art.  AAV plans to give back to the community by hosting charitable events.

I have four amazing children, Giovanna who is graduating from George Mason this spring with a BFA in graphic design, Jeremy a high school senior who plans to attend Mason in the fall, John Nicholas and Aubrey.

This march I will have my doctoral exhibition at Mason Hall and am inviting you in advance to attend the reception on March 24 from 5-7 pm.  You can see my work online at  I also have a digital story posted about my work.  Thanks for reading about me and I am looking forward to the class.

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Jennifer Janes

My name is Jennifer Janes, and I am currently a 2nd semester MA History student.  I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and when choosing colleges I decided that I wanted to be able to experience a different part of the country (and seasons!).  I found myself as an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, where I graduated this past June with my BA, majoring in both Religion and Sociology & Anthropology.  Although I do not really have a background in academic history, I have always been interested in public history and Mason’s graduate program is giving me the opportunity to explore that interest through the Applied History path.   

I am currently a Graduate Research Assistant in Special Collections & Archives where I serve as the Oral History Program Coordinator. My position requires me to explore University history through interviews with long-time faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university.  I am currently engaged in a 2-part interview project with current Mason president, Dr. Alan Merten.  Right now our program is fairly bare bones, using minimal audio and visual editing, and I am hoping that this course will help me to enrich the ways that we use our oral history collection.  I am not an extremely tech-saavy person, but I am learning that there are great, user-friendly ways to edit audio and visual mediums, and I am also hoping that this course will expand my knowledge of these types of programs.

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Rwany Sibaja

1st year Ph.D. & T.A. with a concentration in modern Latin America (minor=Modern Britain and New Media.) Issues of cultural, social, and national identity in Argentina will be the focus of my dissertation–using soccer to explore questions about what it means to be Argentinean in moments of crisis, and the political uses/implications involved (c. military Junta of 1975-1983.) At UNC-Greensboro, my final research centered on hooliganism in English football, and how the media and state authority fed hooliganism. With New Media, I hope to explore the role of digital history in maximizing student learning, which could inform best instructional practices.

I live in Oakton with my wife and 2 small children (ages 5 & 3), moving from North Carolina. Born in New Jersey, I lived most of my life in Los Angeles, Miami, and Costa Rica–where my parents immigrated from. I also lived in London for a semester as an undergrad at Elon Univ., and traveled to Panama, India, Western Europe and the US V.I. (and look forward to field research in more…

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