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Our faculty include Dr. Jonathan Shay, Benjamin Busch, Ken McQuiston, James Marten, Paul Quigley, Donna Musil, Edward Fox, David Cline, Mariana Grohowski, Peter Molin, and Nathan Bell.  Co-directors of the Institute are James Dubinsky and Bruce Pencek, who also are serving as faculty.  Heidi Nobles is both an instructor and site coordinator.

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2016 NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers

Veterans in Society:

Ambiguities & Representations

10-29 July 2016


Blacksburg, VA,   and   Washington, DC

Jonathan Shay

received a B.A. (1963) from Harvard University and an M.D. (1971) and Ph.D. (1972) from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1987, he has been a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2001, Shay served as Visiting Scholar-at-Large at the U.S. Naval War College, and from 2004 to 2005, he was Chair of Ethics, Leadership, and Personnel Policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. His book, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (1994), draws parallels between the depiction of the epic warrior-hero Achilles and the experiences of individual veterans whom he treats at a Boston-area Veterans Affairs’ outpatient clinic.  

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Nancy Short

LCSW, graduated from James Madison University with a degree in psychology; she then obtained a master of social work from the University of Kentucky. She has served returning combat Veterans at the Salem VA Medical Center for the last five years, first as the Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn clinical case manager, and now as the OEF/OIF/OND program manager. She also spent ten years working as a police officer and then at Catawba Hospital as a clinical social worker. Nancy is currently serving Veterans as the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Coordinator/ Supervisor. She serves as the Alternate Point of Contact for the Transition Care Management Program (formerly known as OEF/OIF/OND) by utilizing her experience as the previous OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager.

Alexa Casey

Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who currently has a private practice in Christiansburg, VA. She works part-time for the Veterans Hospital Administration as a Clinical Licensed Psychologist in the Home-Based Primary Care Program. She has been working with veterans more intensively since 2008, when she started work as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Germany at Landstuhl Regional Hospital. She was part of the initial civilian group hired under Global War on Terror funding and worked in Germany from 2008-2011.  She has over 22 years of experience working with individuals, groups and families.  She specializes in PTSD, trauma, and working with children/adolescents.  She enjoys working on community development issues and has founded a variety of community groups to facilitate increased social support among community members.

​Jim Marten

is founding secretary-treasurer of the Society for the History of Children and Youth and past president of the Society of Civil War Historians.

    In addition to forty journal articles, essays, and chapters in books, Dr. Marten has written or edited a dozen books, including Sing Not War: Civil War Veterans in Gilded Age America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Alternate Selection, History Book Club; Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003; New York: Fordham University Press, rev. paperback, 2007); and The Children's Civil War (1998).

    The Children's Civil War won the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit National Book Award for History in 1999 and was named an "Outstanding Academic Book" by Choice Magazine. In 1999 Marten also received a four-year, $176,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Children in Urban America Project, an on-line archive of documents related to children and youth in Milwaukee from the 1850s to 2000. In 1999 he served as a Fulbright lecturer at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China.


​Paul Quigley

is Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and the James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War History in the History Department at Virginia Tech. A native of Manchester, England, he holds degrees from Lancaster University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Quigley is the author of Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848-65, which won the British Association for American Studies Book Prize and the Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy. He has also published articles in journals such as the Journal of Southern History and Journal of the Civil War Era. Among his current research projects are a study of Preston Brooks, the South Carolina congressman who achieved notoriety by caning Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, and “Mapping the Fourth of July in the Civil War Era,” a collaborative digital humanities project with colleagues in Education, Computer Science, and the Virginia Tech Libraries. V​isit my website.


Marc Brodsky

is assistant professor and public services and referencearchivist at Special Collections, Virginia Tech Libraries. He has a Master’s of Science in Library Science (MSLS) from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Hampshire College. He also did graduate work in modern European intellectual history at Cornell University. He has published on the state of Appalachian regional collections following the economic downturn of 2008, among other topics, and is engaged in work that incorporates the use of primary source material in the emerging field of veterans studies. A section editor for Archival Practice, he is active in the Society of American Archivists as a member of the Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct. Prior to becoming an archivist, he had careers in scholarly bookselling and university press publishing.

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The Veterans in Society: Ambiguities and Representations 2016 summer institute for college faculty is a project of
Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society and the University Libraries.  

The 2016 Veterans in Society summer institute has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this the institute or this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities nor Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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