Ruth Decosse

Ruth Decosse is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s MPA program (’22). While at UD, she was a Fellow for the Institute of Public Administration. Ruth graduated from UConn in 2020 with her BA in Africana Studies and Urban Studies.

Anisha Gupta

Anisha Gupta (she/her) is a PhD student in the Preservation Studies Program at UD. Her research focuses on contextualizing the legacies of colonialism in cultural heritage collections care and expanding practice to include global caretaking traditions that value people, communities, and sustainability. She is trained as a paper and preventive conservator and graduated from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2016.

Laura Helton

Laura Helton specializes in American literature and history of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on African American print culture and public humanities. She earned her doctorate in History from New York University in 2015, and is an assistant professor of English and History at the University of Delaware. Helton’s most recent scholarship is a co-edited special issue of African American Review devoted to the Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Schomburg. Her 2019 article, “On Decimals, Catalogs, and Racial Imaginaries of Reading,” won the Donald G. Davis Article Award from the American Library Association and the Maria Stewart Journal Article Prize from the African American Intellectual History Society. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the making of African American libraries and archives in the early twentieth century. Professor Helton’s interest in the social history of archives arose from her earlier career as an archivist. She has surveyed and processed collections that document the civil rights era, women’s movement, and American radicalism for several cultural institutions, including the Mississippi Digital Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, CityLore, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Britney Henry

Britney Henry is (she/her) an English and Museum Studies PhD student at the University of Delaware studying Black popular culture and Black material texts. She received her BA from Mercer University and MA from Auburn University. Additionally, she has attended book history courses at both Rare Book School and California Rare Book School.

Margaret Hughes

Margaret Hughes is a PhD student in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware. She has worked for over fifteen years in education at art and history museums. She is a co-producer of the Webby-award-winning interactive documentary People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North.

Maureen Iplenski

Maureen Iplenski is a PhD student in the History Department and Museum Studies Program.

Dael A. Norwood

Dael A. Norwood is a historian of nineteenth-century America specializing in the global dimensions of U.S. politics and economics. He earned his doctorate at Princeton University in 2012, and is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Delaware. Most recently, he is the author of Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2022). He has written articles and essays about the role of commerce in shaping the Constitution, the historiography of political economy in the early republic, and the history of indentured servitude; his latest project investigates how “the businessman” became a potent political and cultural identity in America. At UD he teaches courses on the history of American politics, foreign relations, and capitalism, as well as on the history of racial inequality in Delaware, and co-chairs the UDARI Legacies committee. In Fall 2021, he co-taught HIST 460/660 with Prof. Laura Helton.

Krishanna Prince

Krishanna Prince is a Sociology PhD student and Equal Justice Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Her research broadly concerns race/ethnicity, inequality, and policing, with a particular focus on lived experiences of the Black/African American community.

Tara Lennon

Tara Lennon is a senior history and English double-major at UD from Newark, Delaware. Since coming to UD, Tara has been thoroughly involved with the student newspaper and has been a campus tour guide, a tutor at the UD Writing Center, and an intern for the UD Antiracism Initiative.

Collin Willard

Collin Willard is a graduate student in the Biden School’s MA Urban Affairs and Public Policy program. He completed his undergrad in ’22, earning a BA in History and Public Policy. During his time at UD, Collin has contributed to several UDARI projects, while also holding positions at the Institute for Public Administration and the Writing Center.

Sylvester (“Syl”) Woolford

Syl Wooldford is co-founder of the Delaware chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, and a member of the Delaware Heritage Commission, the Historical and Cultural Affairs Collections Committee, the Historic Preservation Fund, and the Wilmington University History Committee. Retired from a career in business, he is an expert in historical research and genealogy, specializing in the history of African Americans in Delaware. A popular public speaker, he regularly makes presentations of his work at public venues throughout the mid-Atlantic. Since 2021, he has partnered with UDARI-affiliated faculty on course-based research projects, including HIST 460/660: Race and Inequality in Delaware and MSST 467/605: Historic Properties, where he has shared his knowledge to help train new researchers and advance knowledge about the history of Black life in Delaware. For his work he has been recognized by the Delaware National Education Association, the Howard High School Alumni Association, the Wilmington NAACP, and the Newark Branch of the NAACP.

Gretchen Von Koenig

Gretchen Von Koenig is a PhD student at the University of Delaware in the Hagley program for the History of Capitalism, Technology and Culture. She has worked as a curator and grant writer for the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Jersey City overseeing the development & programming of Van Wagen House. She is the Deputy Director of non-profit (501c3) Art Fair 14C and editor of Dense Magazine, a publication dedicated to critically investigating the inequities present in the designed environments of New Jersey. She holds her MA in History of Design & Curatorial Studies from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and is an adjunct instructor of design history at Parsons School of Design, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Kean University.

UDARI Summer Research Team, 2021

Doris Almonte, Nada Abuasi, Janai Jason, Sarah Lacour