Walking Witness Team
Heather Elliott-Famularo, Walking Witness Co-Project Director
Walking Witness Co-Project Director, Heather Elliott-Famularo, is Professor and Chair of Digital Arts in the School of Art at Bowling Green State University. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA in Art & Technology, 1999) and Syracuse University (BFA in Art Media Studies, 1995). Her film, Bearing Witness: The Voices of Our Survivors, was the first step that led to the Walking Witness project. She is looking forward to visiting the birthplaces of the survivors and learning more about the different cultures that were impacted by the Holocaust. As a filmmaker and digital artist, she is excited to see what documentary films and interactive media will develop from the trip and to educate both students and adults about not only the tragedies of the Holocaust, but the inspiration found in the human will to survive and thrive in spite of such terrible loss.
Dr. Tim Murnen, Walking Witness Co-Project Director
Walking Witness Co-Project Director, Tim Murnen, is Associate Professor of English and Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at Bowling Green State University. He earned a Masters in English Literature at the University of Delaware and a PhD in English and Education at the University of Michigan. As a former high school English teacher, he taught English language and literature, speech and drama, and ran the drama club, the African American club, and the literary magazine. He is currently focused on secondary teacher education, curriculum development, literacy education, and educational partnerships--in particular, bringing Language Arts and Social Studies teachers together to engage in humanities education, civic education, document analysis, and critical reading, writing, and thinking. The most powerful aspect of this trip has been the human connection--the guides, the survivors, the teachers--who have challenged us to see the Holocaust and it's aftermath from a very personal perspective--from the lives of those who lived and died, and who still do the important work of civic education.
Jose Cardenas is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Telecommunications in the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. He is a member of the Society of Camera Operators and teaches courses in television and video production at BGSU. On the trip, Jose is the primary cinematographer and will be documenting the team’s experiences. He travelled extensively as a Major in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Combat Camera and Public Affairs Officer, but is looking forward to exploring these eastern European countries via the important topic of the Holocaust and sharing and documenting the experience with fellow educators.
Erik Graham is a high school history teacher at Maumee Valley Country Day School. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in History and a MST from Fordham University in NYC. Erik loves to travel and has lived and taught in several different countries including: London, the Marshall Islands in Micronesia, Harlem NYC, and Warsaw, Poland at the US Embassy school. It is Erik's experience in Poland that drew him to the Walking Witness project, having designed and executed student centered projects that interviewed Holocaust survivors in Warsaw. He has now found an opportunity to bring Holocaust education to his students in Northwest Ohio through the Walking Witness project. Erik resides in Holland, Ohio with his beautiful and amazing wife Brooke, their son Colin, and their soon to be son Caleb!
Russell Grycza teaches video production at Penta Career Center and Owens Community College. Prior to becoming a teacher six years ago, Russell worked in video production for 30 years. He worked in commercial and public television for 14 years, having every engineering and technical position in addition to being a producer, director, editor and videographer. He has also worked at a video post-production facility as senior editor and production manager and chief maintenance technician for 16 years. He believes that documenting everything possible about the past is exceedingly important, and that media technologies are a perfect way of doing this. Studying and documenting the Holocaust is critical at this point in time because so few survivors are still alive.
Dave Harms teaches World Issues, American Government, American History, and OGT Prep at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, Ohio. In addition, he also adjuncts for Lourdes University, teaching CMP 111 and 211. He also provides instructional design and staff training in technology at both locations. Dave graduated from BGSU in 2002, Lourdes in 2008, and is currently working on his dissertation at Walden University with an expected completion date of 2015. Dave owns his own landscaping business and owns and operates an audio recording studio. In his free time, Dave is a performer and songwriter in the band, Tinfoil, who has published and released over 300 songs. On the Walking Witness trip, Dave hopes to increase his knowledge of the Holocaust to help students understand the topic in the context of Holocaust studies, which is a major unit in Penta’s World Issues course. We also enjoy his inspired songwriting during the trip.
Steph Karacson-Mazur teaches English Language Arts (ELA) at Bryan High School in Bryan, Ohio. She has taught in Bryan for sixteen years. She also taught in Poland for two years, as a long-term substitute in Hicksville, Ohio, and at an at risk school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Steph is married to a tall Pole who is a banker; they have two daughters, Mijana (15) and Reyna (10). She lives in Hicksville, Ohio and is involved in several community associations: school board, park board, and the Hicksville Community Service Center among others. Steph enjoys reading and traveling. She strives to have the heart of a true servant and to show kindness and respect to all--sometimes she succeeds. You may follow her on Facebook (Steph Mazur, Hicksville, Ohio) or on her blog (wizardofmaz1994.wordpress.com).
Viola Ratcliffe is a second year art history graduate student at Bowling Green State University with a concentration in 20th-century African American art and museum education. As the former curator of the Troy University Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama Viola has a special interest in the relationship that exists between art and activism particularly in relation to the Civil Rights Movement. Viola currently lives in Daleville, IN with her husband Chris and her precious dog Diamond. She earned her B.A. in Art History from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and her hobbies include traveling, cooking, and of course watching the Tide on game day. As the only BGSU graduate student on this trip Viola will be using this experience as a component of her thesis, which will focus on Indianapolis artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm's "Lynch Quilt Project." Viola also hopes to use the resources compiled during this trip to develop an art outreach component to the Bearing Witness Project.
Sarah Rhine teaches Social Studies for Sylvania City Schools and has been teaching for eight years at Sylvania Northview High School. Certified in Integrated Social Studies, Sarah teaches a wide range of classes which include: AP Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, American History, and Economics. Sarah is a 2007 BGSU graduate and 2013 Marygrove College graduate. She is involved in a variety of committees and programs at Northview High School which include three years as a School Improvement Committee leader through the High Schools That Work initiative. Sarah has also developed an after school ACT intervention program for students and has led technology workshops for fellow teachers at Northview. Sarah has served as an Advanced Placement reader for College Board and enjoys regularly attending professional development workshops. Sarah is married to her very understanding, loving, handsome and kind husband Kyle. They live in Sylvania with their two furry dachshund "children." In her spare time Sarah enjoys yoga, reading, and crochet.
Gloria Wu is a Social Studies teacher at Bowsher High School in Toledo Public Schools. She has taught for 20 years, primarily in AP American Government and Honors World Studies. Gloria is a 1993 BGSU graduate and 1995 University of Toledo graduate. Her involvement in social studies advocacy and curriculum development includes: Northwest representative for the Ohio Council for the Social Studies; representative for the Ohio Department of Education Regional Network; independent lesson plan contractor for Authentic Education; certified Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) trainer and evaluator; and Ohio Department of Education’s Rangefinding committee member to provide feedback for the American Government end-of-course exam. Gloria is a resident of Toledo, Ohio. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her three pampered pugs. The Walking Witness trip will allow Gloria to compare the experiences, biases, and perspectives in Poland, Hungary and Greece first hand through interviewing Holocaust survivors and speaking with educators and advocates.
Lori Young is an Associate Professor and Chair of Graphic Design in the School of Art at Bowling Green State University. As the owner of Les Cheneaux Design Type, a letterpress print studio, she designs contemporary typography using classic letterpress techniques to produce professional and artistic print collateral. Lori’s work has been featured in many design annuals, including Graphis. Most recently she completed the design of and built a wooden typeface alphabet for Hatch Show Print, a historic letterpress print shop owned and operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN. Lori’s interest in this project is twofold; to understand the enormities of the Holocaust and through the use of contemporary communication technologies reproduce the dynamic impact of the Walking Witness journey for future audiences. Her research looks into the symbolism and typography of historical grave makers from the colonial period in the States, and this journey draws many parallels between the old and new worlds. She has been looking forward to tasting many native dishes (especially chocolate) from each country and fears that any weight loss on this trip
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