Thursday, March 17
Justin Semahoro Kimenyerwa is a member of the Benyamulenge tribe of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was born in the small village of Minembwe and lived there until 1996 when his village was attacked in the middle of the night. Separated from his family, Justin fled from Congo alone into neighboring Burundi before moving on to Rwanda and then Nairobi. On June 10, 2008, Justin was resettled to St. Louis, MO where he now lives and works as a translator at Barnes Jewish Hospital - aiding refugees who are unable to communicate with doctors and nurses. He serves as the leader of Voices of Africa choir at the church of New City Fellowship, a venue through which he introduces his community to the music and culture of his people. He speaks frequently to student and community groups sharing his story of survival in an effort to educate the student generation about the violence in Congo and the struggle of his people. He recently started his own organization called Imuhira International which is a collective documentary project to document and preserve the beautiful and unknown culture of the Banyamulenge people.
Michael Kleiman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a degree in film history, theory and criticism. He was recently named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department to work on Righteous Pictures' second documentary, Web. The film will be an inquisitive exploration of the significance of the Internet as the culmination of a technological evolution that has pushed the human species toward deeper and more meaningful cross-cultural collaboration. Michael worked as director on The Last Survivor and previously directed several short films, including I'm Only Sighing and The Waltz. He has worked with the largest organizations in the education industry - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The College Board - creating a series of short documentaries that highlight their joint initiatives to improve American Public Schools. Michael worked as an editor on the award-winning documentary Broadway: The Golden Age. In addition he has worked in the documentary department at HBO as well as with acclaimed directors Albert Maysles and Andrew Bujalski.
Michael Pertnoy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a dual degree in Communications and Visual Studies with a concentration in Art, Practice and Technology. Since that time, he has worked with the entertainment and news media industry as a producer, director and editor. In 2007, Michael founded Righteous Pictures, a film production company and humanitarian organization, specializing in socially driven documentaries and new media projects. The company's first film, The Last Survivor, was released in 2010. For his work in the field, Michael was accepted into the Genocide Intervention Network's 2009 Carl Wilkens Fellowship Program. This selective fellowship program works with emerging leaders, helping them create community initiative with the goal of building the sustained political will needed to end genocide. Previously, Michael worked as an editor on the acclaimed documentary, Celia the Queen, which focused on the life of the famous salsa star Celia Cruz. The film premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and was selected as part of the PBS Latino Voces Series.
Friday, March 18
Noémi Shoënberger Ban is an award winning teacher and public speaker. A native of Szeged, Hungary, Ban was 21 when the Nazis marched into Debrecen, Hungary on March 19, 1944. She and her family were sent on a transport to Auschwitz arriving on July 1, 1944. Ban spent four months in Auschwitz before being transferred to a sub-camp of Buchenwald to work at a bomb factory. During the forced march to Bergen Belsen in April of 1945, she and eleven others escaped and were later found by a soldier from Patton's army who informed them of their freedom. Ban later married, went to school and became a sixth grade teacher in the U.S.. She now speaks throughout Washington state as well as traveling nationally and internationally. Ban received an honorary Doctorate of Law in 1999 from Gonzaga University, and was the recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Holocaust Education Award.
Nicholas Coddington teaches 20th Century World History and Honors US Government at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. Prior to his teaching career, Nick served as an officer in the U.S. Army working with humanitarian operations in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and South East Asia. As a teacher at Charles Wright, Nick has created a multi-national exchange program centered on human rights with schools in China, Poland, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. His unique and dynamic teaching curriculum has earned him the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Teacher of the Year Award, the Spirit of Anne Frank Award, and the Facing History and Ourselves Teaching Award in the past few years. Coddington graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds three masters degrees from the National Defense Intelligence College, St. Martin’s College, and the University of Illinois.
Patrick Henry, Cushing Eells Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Literature at Whitman College, earned his PhD in French at Rice University in Houston. He taught French and French literature at Whitman College from 1976-2002. Since his retirement, he has taught courses on the literature and film of the Holocaust and on the literature of peace. He has published books on Voltaire, Camus, Montaigne and the novel, La Princesse de Clèves and co-edited the scholarly journal, Philosophy and Literature, for twenty years. In 2007, Catholic University of America Press published his most recent book, ‘We Only Know Men': The Rescue of Jews in France during the Holocaust which has recently been translated into French and published as La Montagne des Justes by Editions Privat (2010). He is currently editing Jewish Resistance to the Nazis, to be published in 2012 by Catholic University of America Press and working on religion and peace in the Renaissance (Erasmus) and during the war in Vietnam (Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan, Thomas Merton, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Thich Nhat Hanh).
Nelly Trocmé Hewett was born in France and grew up during the WWII in LE Chambon-sur-Lignon. She came to the States as an au pair girl, and with the help of great scholarships, she graduated from Earlham, a Quaker college in Indiana. She and her family settled in Minneapolis, MN available where she taught French all her life. She is now retired in St. Paul, MN. She has become a contact maker and facilitator for numerous researchers interested in LE CHambon -sur-Lignon. This is how she had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Henry as well as Alicia Batten, a former professor at PLU. Nelly also volunteers for emigrants in need of a tutor to learn English.
Kurt Mayer, Tacoma businessman, philanthropist and community leader,has written a rags to riches story of his life and times. "My Personal Brush with History," written with Joe Peterson, is a story of hardship, opportunity, triumphs, mistakes, family and faith. "My book is intended to give my grandchildren - ages 13, 11 and 9 - an opportunity to read, later in life, about what many believe has been an incredible journey," said Mayer, a PLU Regent from 1995 to 2005. Mayer was instrumental in the development of the university's Holocaust Studies Program.
Carl Wilkens, a humanitarian aid worker, moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide was launched in April 1994, he refused to leave, even when urged to do so by his close friends, his church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates evacuated and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. Wilkens was the only American to remain in the country.
Saturday, March 19
Scott Amundson '11 is a senior History major graduating with an emphasis in European History and minoring in Business and English Literature. After graduating he is considering pursuing museum studies, education, or work in the business field. Amundson was awarded the 2010 Mayer Summer Fellowship
Nick Barr Clingan is completing his Ph.D. in modern European history at UC Berkeley. A specialist in intellectual history, his dissertation examines the reception and development of Critical Theory in the Netherlands. He recently published an article on “Hent de Vries and the Other of Reason” in the journal “The European Legacy.” He taught the History of the Holocaust at PLU in Fall 2010.
Laura Brade ’08, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is completing her Master of Arts degree this spring and will continue toward her Ph.D. She is studying modern German history under
the former PLU professor and internationally renowned Holocaust scholar, Christopher Browning.
Alison Burchett '11 is a senior majoring in Religion and English Literature with a minor in Latin. Next year she will be pursuing a Master's in Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Amanda Davis ’11 is an International Honors student majoring in Religion with a minor in History. She is especially interested in religious conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries and hopes to continue her studies in graduate school.
Joel Davis, teaches a wide variety of classes at Concordia University in Portland, OR. In addition to General Education courses in the Humanities, he teaches about the modern history of Russia, the Middle East, Asia, and Germany. He also teaches survey courses on European History. Joel is currently revising his dissertation, entitled "Rebuilding the Soul: Churches and Religion in Bavaria 1945-1960." Employing a specifically cross-confessional framework, he examines how the Lutheran and Catholic churches in West Germany sought to reinvigorate Christian traditions and deepen religious involvement after World War II.
Erika Doremus is a senior at Concordia University-Portland where she is working towards a Bachelors of Arts in humanities with concentrations in European history and psychology. In addition to her coursework in Portland she studied under Dr. Alexander Prenninger, a Holocaust historian, at the Universität Salzburg during 2010 spring semester. Erika also competes in collegiate volleyball and holds various leadership positions within Concordia’s student government.
Nina Hartsel ’13 is majoring in English Literature with the intent to minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She plans to earn her masters and Ph.d after PLU so that she can continue to open and challenge young minds
Bruce Kadden, has served as rabbi of Temple Beth El in Tacoma since July, 2004 after serving pulpits in St. Paul, Minnesota and Salinas, California. He received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University with honors in Humanities and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1981. Rabbi Kadden has been active in community activities, serving as President of the board of the Fair Housing Center of Washington and on the steering committees of the Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp and the Habitat for Humanity interfaith build. He is a member of Tacoma Sunrise Rotary and past president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis. Bruce and his wife, Barbara, a nationally-known Jewish educator, are co-authors of: Teaching Mitzvot: Concepts, Values and Activities; Teaching Tefilah: Insights and Activities on Prayer; and Teaching Jewish Life Cycle: Traditions and Activities. They are the parents of two grown children, Alana and Micah.
Beth Kraig Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University has strong interests centering on the history of discrimination and oppression (and resistance to those forces) in the United States, and especially in the 20th
century. Her research into the subject include examinations of anti-gay ballot measures in the 1970s, racism in the military in World War II, and feminist voices in popular literature in the post-WWII decades. She is actively involved in interdisciplinary programs and fields of study, including Women’s Studies and Peace Studies, and has participated in research and projects that center on the importance of historical thinking in interdisciplinary contexts. Professor Kraig also teaches a course on the history of modern Palestine & Israel.
Lisa Marcus has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at PLU, where she teaches courses in American ethnic literatures and feminist and gender studies. Marcus is currently working on a book on fictions of Jewishness in American Literature. A chapter from that project (“’May Jews Go to College?’: Fictions of Jewishness in the 1920’s”) has been published in Antisemitism and Philosemitism in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries: Representing Jews, Jewishness and Modern Culture (2008).
Heather Mathews joined the Art Department in 2007. She earned her BA in Art History and German from Hood College and her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. Her specialization is the German art of the Cold War period, and she is interested in all aspects of German culture and history, especially issues of national identity and memory. Since the initiation of PLU’s BA in art history in 2008, Heather’s teaching has focused on modern and contemporary art in Europe and the United States. This has included topical classes that extend beyond the Department of Art and Design, such as a seminar in Gender issues cross-listed with the Women’s and Gender Studies program and a course in Art and Society for the International Honors Program.
Kevin Simpson, professor of psychology at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, will be part of the panel discussion on teaching the Holocaust. In addition to his teaching duties in social and personality psychology, Dr. Simpson has recently published in the areas of genius and creativity and the use of classic and modern propaganda in the teaching of social psychology. His other professional interest areas include the ‘psychology of evil’, HIV/AIDS outreach, and international education. For the past two summers, Simpson has been a research fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and for the Fall 2011 semester, he will be teaching on the genocidal legacy of National Socialism as part of a study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Simpson has also presented at international conferences for teachers of psychology, national conferences of the American Psychological Association, and various regional and local conferences in social and developmental psychology.
Idai Zhou is majoring in History and Political Science with a minor in Sociology. She is interested in conflict resolution and the promotion of dialogue in areas of recent conflict.