What to Expect from this Institute

Home What to Expect from this Institute

What to Expect from this Institute

Project Goals

This institute features the opportunity to work directly with primary and scholarly sources that delve into immigration to the United States; from personal accounts to broader studies, these stories are insightful looks into a topic that predates the United States itself, but which still exists as an integral part of the country's past, present, and future.  By engaging with these sources, educators will be faced with questions that permeate the topic of immigration: Why do people emigrate? What factors and experiences shape an immigrant's vision of the American dream? What is the balance between assimilation and retention of cultural practices? And many, many more. By bridging past and present with these key questions, teachers will be able to create lessons which encourage students to pair historical research with family and community experience, resulting in a more effective curriculum that resonates with students on a personal level. 

In addition to the rich archival material, teachers will be able to draw on each other's experiences as educators and individuals. This collaboration is an important step in creating more effective and engaging classroom curriculum. This institute is five days long, but its reach should extend into each classroom a teacher represents, and ultimately, impact an important lesson in a student's academic journey, as well as their understanding of what it means to be "American."


Institute Overview
Each day of the institute will feature an over-arching theme that participants will immerse themselves in with expert presentations from the institute's sholars, that are reinforced by hands-on research with topical items from HSP's archives. Each day will also feature guided curriculum instruction from the Lead Teacher, as well as the chance to collaboratively create with fellow participants. Accepted participants will recieve a comprehensive daily schedule upon their committment to the institute. 

Suggested Reading
Participants will have access to HSP's scholarly publications, Pennsylvania Legacies and The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Participants will recieve specific selections in preparation for each day's subject and theme, but excited applicants are weclome to start exploring with the selections below:


  • From Peopling to Postethnic: Pennsylvania Pluralism Reconsidered by Kathryn E. Wilson and Rosalind Beiler

  • From Bachelor Enclave to Urban Village: The Evolution of Early Chinatown by Kathryn E. Wilson

  • Freedom of Religion: Bibles, Public Schools, and Philadelphia's Bloody Riots of 1844 by Bruce Dorsey


Presenters and Educators for Becoming US: The Immigrant Experience Through Primary Sources



Joan Ruddiman, EdD, Lead Teacher - Dr. Ruddiman has taught Kindergarten through college, but most of her 30 years in public education was spent engaging middle schoolers in the humanities.  She remains active in education as a teacher mentor, student advisor, and judges’ trainer for the National History Day program, as she serves on the Board of NJHD.  As a project manager for the NJ Historical Commission, she has  helped to develop extended learning activities for the “Bundles of Silences” series, and is working with “Our Town” –both RevNJ initiatives – that bring historians’ skills and thinking into the classroom.


Dr. Ruddiman has presented for many educational organizations including NJ Council of Social Studies, International Reading Association, NJ Library Association, and the NJ Education Association.  She has been published in a range of journals.  Two articles were included in anthologies: National Council of Teachers of English Curriculum of Peace (2004) reprinted an award-winning article from The English Journal, “World War II: A research and presentation project for 8th graders; and for NHD, U.S. History in Global Perspective (2013), “Teaching and Learning for the Real World: NHD Embodies and Fosters 21st Century Skills and Common Core State Standards.” 


She earned her B.A. in English and her Reading Specialist Master’s degree from Rutgers University, and went on to receive her Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University.


Rebecca Fay, Educator - Ms. Fay is the Director of Education for the Delaware Historical Society, working closely with the historical society’s archives and collections to help educators enrich their curriculum utilizing primary sources. She received her Bachelor’s degree in History and Social Studies Education from the University of Delaware and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Instructional Technology and Library Information Science from Valdosta State University. A passionate and experienced humanities educator with over 20 years of experience in education and over 10 years of experience in the museum industry, Ms. Fay is committed to helping diverse students of all ages and communities connect with the past to enrich their present and shape their future.  


Justina Barrett, Project Director - Ms. Barrett develops public programming and educational initiatives as the Director of Education and Programs at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining HSP in 2021, she worked for 16 years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, most recently as the head of public programs in the Education Division. Ms. Barrett earned a bachelor's degree in history with teaching certification from Bryn Mawr College and a masters degree in early American material culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware.


Katie Clark, Institute Coordinator - Ms. Clark is the Education Coordinator at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Her position duties include hosting 6-12th grade virtual lessons, introducing undergraduate students to archival research, and coordinating the National History Day competition in Philadelphia. Katie previously worked in HSP’s library as an access liaison. She earned her B.A. in History and Political Science from Gettysburg College. 



Ned Landsman, Scholar - Ned Landsman is Professor of History Emeritus at Stony Brook University.  His covers early American history and the history of early modern Scotland, including emphases on religion and migration, as well as ethnicity and the development of provincial societies on both sides of the Atlantic.  His books range from Scotland and its First American Colony  -- colonial East Jersey – to the Middle Colonies as Crossroads of Empire.  His current project explores the significance of the Anglo-Scottish union of 1707 for Britain’s North American colonies.

Alaina E. Roberts, Scholar - Dr. Roberts is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where she studies the intersection of Black and Native American life from the Civil War to the modern day. Dr. Roberts is the author of I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land, which was awarded the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and the Western History Association’s John C. Ewers Award and W. Turrentine Jackson Book Prize. I’ve Been Here All the While was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Dr. Roberts has written multiple academic essays as well as op-eds and profiles for the Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and High Country News.


Zachary Schrag, Scholar - Zachary Schrag is a professor of history at George Mason University and the author of four books, including The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation. That book tells the story of the anti-Irish riots that shook Philadelphia in spring and summer 1844, leaving bodies in the streets, churches in ashes, and old political alliances destroyed. Schrag’s scholarly articles have been published in the Journal of Policy History, the Journal of Urban History, Research Ethics, Rethinking History, Technology and Culture, and Washington History. His essays have appeared in the American Historian, AHA Perspectives, Inside Higher Ed, the Journal of American History, Politico, Slate, Tablet Magazine, TR News, the Washington Monthly, and the Washington Post.

Kate Wilson, Scholar - Dr. Wilson is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University. Her areas of study include immigration, American cultural history, and gender studies. Her work on Philadelphia’s Chinatown will be the focus of her work with the institute. She earned her Ph.D. in Folklife and Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Alan Kraut, Scholar - Dr. Kraut is a university professor of history and an affiliate member of the School of International Service. He is also a non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. Currently, he is the President of the Organization of American Historians, the largest professional organization of American historians. He specializes in U.S. immigration and ethnic history, the history of medicine in the U.S. and the American Civil War.