In This Section
Director of Academic and Professional Affairs
Emily Swafford joined the AHA in September 2014. She directs several grant-funded projects, including the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians and History Gateways initiatives. As part of staffing the AHA Teaching and Professional Divisions, she works on issues of graduate, undergraduate, and K-12 education as well as professional concerns of historians. She earned a BA in history and American studies at the University of Virginia and her PhD in 20th-century US history at the University of Chicago. She is a historian of the US military, US foreign relations, and women's and gender history.
Director of Research and Publications
Sarah Weicksel oversees the AHA’s research initiatives and publications program, including Perspectives on History, the booklet series, and various web-based publications such as bibliographies and Remote Teaching Resources. She also organizes the work of the Research Division and is the project director of the NEH grant-funded project, “Teaching Things: Material Culture in the History Classroom.” In addition to her work at the AHA, she is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She earned a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, an MA in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware, and a BA in History from Yale University. She is the author of several articles on material culture and the American Civil War era. A historian and museum professional, her work focuses on United States history, material culture, race, gender, and the politics of everyday life.
Melanie Peinado is the research coordinator for the “Racist Histories and the American Historical Association” project. She previously contributed to the AHA’s “Bibliography of Historians’ Responses to COVID-19” and Remote Teaching Resources, two projects that were part of the NEH CARES grant-funded initiative, “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19.” Melanie earned her BA in history from California State University, Long Beach and her PhD in Latin American History from the University of California, Davis. She is a historian of science and medicine and gender and sexuality in modern Chile.
Laura Ansley joined the AHA as managing editor in September 2019, where she manages Perspectives on History, the AHA's booklets, annual meeting program, and sundry other publications. She is co-facilitator of the Humanities and Social Sciences Publishing Professionals community of interest for the Society of Scholarly Publishing. In 2022, she received a Next Step Grant from the Association of University Presses. Previously, Laura worked at the American Society of Civil Engineers as a journals production editor and was an editorial apprentice at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. From 2017 to 2022, she volunteered as managing editor of Nursing Clio, a website focusing on histories of gender and medicine. She holds an MA in history from William & Mary and a BA in history and American studies from Case Western Reserve University.
Alexandra F. Levy
Alexandra F. Levy joined the AHA in April 2020. She manages communications for the AHA, including its social media platforms, press and media relations, and the AHA website. She coordinates the AHA’s Teaching History with Integrity initiative, which provides resources and support for history educators facing intensifying controversies about the teaching of the American past. She serves as secretary to the AHA Council. Alexandra previously served as vice president at the Atomic Heritage Foundation and as a communications consultant. She holds an MA in history from the University of Virginia and a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania. Her specialties include the history of World War II and the Holocaust.
Manager, Data Administration and Integrity
Liz Townsend started working at the AHA in 1991 as editorial assistant for the Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians. She now oversees the AHA Career Center; edits the Directory; staffs the Professional Division of the AHA Council, the Committee on Committees, and the Nominating Committee; oversees the election of AHA officers; and manages the annual meeting Registration and Job Center. She also maintains professional data in the AHA’s membership records and in the directories of doctoral programs and dissertations, helps update the website, proofreads most AHA publications, and consults on information technology issues in the office.
Follow the links for full bios and contact information.
2020 NEH CARES Research Team
Maureen Elgersman Lee
Maureen Elgersman Lee was lead researcher for the AHA’s Remote Teaching Project, part of the NEH CARES grant-funded project, “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in French from Redeemer University, a master’s degree in African and African American Studies from Clark Atlanta University, and a doctorate in Humanities, with a concentration in African American Studies, also from Clark Atlanta University. She has held full-time faculty appointments at Clark Atlanta University, the University of Southern Maine, Old Dominion University, and Hampton University. She has published various books and articles on African American community history, slavery, and the history of African-descended women in Canada and the British Caribbean.
Erica Heinsen-Roach was a researcher for the AHA’s Remote Teaching Project, part of the NEH CARES grant-funded project, “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19.” Erica earned her BA and MA in History at the University of Amsterdam and completed a PhD in History at the University of Miami. For the past seven years she has taught at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Her research publications include a monograph on Dutch-North African diplomacy in the early modern Mediterranean and articles on the relationship between captivity, redemption, and diplomacy. Her next book project focuses on human rights and captivity in the early modern Mediterranean.
Suzanne Litrel was a researcher for the AHA’s Remote Teaching Project, part of the NEH CARES grant-funded project, “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19.” Suzanne earned her BA in Economics and MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan. She holds permanent certification to teach secondary school social studies in New York, where she taught public high school for fourteen years. Upon her family’s relocation to Georgia, Suzanne returned to graduate school and completed a PhD in History at Georgia State University. She continues to research and write on the Portuguese reaction to the seventeenth-century Dutch challenge for Brazil.
Marketus Presswood was a researcher for the AHA’s Remote Teaching Project, part of the NEH CARES grant-funded project, “Confronting a Pandemic: Historians and COVID-19.” Marketus earned his BA in History at Morehouse College and his MA in International Public Service from DePaul University. He completed a PhD in History at the University of California-Irvine. His research focuses on the transnational history of the African Diaspora and East Asia, Pan-Africanism, Black Internationalism, African-American History and Global Jazz Studies.