January Conference Brings Future Teachers from Seven States to Holocaust Museum Houston

HOUSTON, TX (Dec. 15, 2008 ) – Twenty undergraduate and graduate Syracuse University students from seven states have been selected to travel to Houston this January to participate in a one-of-a-kind program that helps future educators learn how to teach their students about one of history’s darkest times, the Holocaust, and about its relevance to today’s world.

The students – from New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Vermont and Maryland – will arrive Jan. 3, 2009 for six days of training as fellows of Holocaust Museum Houston’s third annual Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators, which is designed specifically for Syracuse students.

The nationally acclaimed fellowship provides intensive training and opportunities to hear from international experts on World War II history, as well as from Houston-area survivors of the Nazi atrocities of the Holocaust.

Their training will include presentations from professor Lucy Shelton Caswell, curator of The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library and Museum; Dr. Mary Johnson, senior historian with Facing History and Ourselves; Dr. William F. Meinecke, an education historian with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; Nancy Patz, author of “Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?”; and Dr. Mary Lee Webeck, director of education at Holocaust Museum Houston.

Syracuse University faculty who will facilitate the group and present at the Houston institute include professor emeritus Dr. Alan Goldberg and Dr. Jeffrey Mangram.

Students will tour and study the Museum’s permanent exhibit "Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers" and will attend a free public lecture scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 at the Museum. Caswell will speak on the topic "Drawing Swords: War in American Political Cartoons."

Caswell’s talk will focus on the history of political cartooning in relation to the Museum’s two newest exhibits "Dr. Seuss Wants You!" and "A One-Man Army: The Art of Arthur Szyk."

"Dr. Seuss," the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel, is best known for his children’s books but was actually a life-long cartoonist who also drafted more than 400 newspaper and magazine editorial cartoons expressing his concern and opinions in the early years of World War II. The exhibit of his work at the Museum runs through July 5, 2009.

The unexpected and serious side of Geisel’s work provides new insights into an America divided during that time. He focused on the concerns that America needed to address while World War II engulfed the world and demonstrated in simple truth how individuals must become aware, informed and involved in their surroundings to take thoughtful and decisive action.

His work continues to inspire people of all backgrounds and ages to think and care about the fate of humanity.

Szyk was once described by Eleanor Roosevelt as a "one-man army," a man who used his art as a weapon to garner support for the social and political issues in which he believed and who worked ceaselessly to draw the attention of the public to the murder of European Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II.

During World War II, his sketches appeared in such American newspapers as New York’s PM Daily and the New York Post. His work also appeared in Collier’s, Esquire, Fortune and Time magazines. That exhibit remains on view through July 26, 2009.

Admission to the Caswell lecture is free, but seating is limited and advance registration is required. Visit www.hmh.org/register.asp to RSVP online.

The Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators, supported by The Solomon Spector Foundation, is designed to bring the lessons of the Holocaust into the classroom and is a major component of the Museum’s educational outreach for pre-service teachers.

The fellows were selected through an application and review process. The 2009 fellows and their hometowns include:

  • Buffalo Grove, IL – Karen Gluskin
  • Scitate, MA – Molly Hallin
  • Baltimore, MD – Rachel Weber
  • Carmel, NY – Stephanie Catania
  • East Rockaway, NY – Annemarie Finlan
  • East Syracuse, NY – Mark Bucher
  • Kings Park, NY – Raquela Susman
  • Lansing, NY – Kelly Cheatham
  • Rome, NY – Brenda Austin
  • Staten Island, NY – Kirsten K. Trachte
  • Stillwater, NY – Candace Craven
  • Syracuse, NY – Sidney Barrett, Melicia Edwards, Mollie Palmisano, Lora Ann Scarson and Amanda Tafel
  • Clarks Summit, PA – Stacey Herman
  • Monroeville, PA – Sara Josephson
  • Waterbury Center, VT – Sara Scribner
  • Bellingham, WA – Carlyn May

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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