Meet Our Instructors

Taught by the scholars of The National WWII Museum’s Institute for the Study of War and Democracy; Museum historians, curators, and educators; as well as leading faculty from Arizona State University, the WWII continuing education program provides lifelong learners in-depth insights into the war and its legacies. Get to know some of the course instructors:

Robert Citino, PhD

Robert Citino, PhD, is an award-winning military historian and scholar who has published 10 books on World War II, including his latest, The Wehrmacht's Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945.

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Full Biography

Robert Citino, PhD, is The National WWII Museum’s Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian. He is an award-winning military historian and scholar who has published 10 books, including The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943; Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942; and The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich as well as numerous articles covering World War II and 20th-century military history. He speaks widely and contributes regularly to general readership magazines such as World War II.

Dr. Citino enjoys close ties with the US military establishment, and taught one year at the US Military Academy at West Point and two years at the US Army War College. He also was Professor of History at North Texas University, Lake Erie College, and Eastern Michigan University. He has won numerous teaching awards and was voted the #1 professor in the United States on ratemyprofessors.com in 2007.

Volker Benkert, PhD

Volker Benkert, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the impact of sudden regime change on biographies in 20th-century Germany and Europe.

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Volker Benkert, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. He studied history and English at the Universities of Bonn, Edinburgh, St. Petersburg, and Fribourg. He graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Bonn and a doctorate from the University of Potsdam. His research focuses on the impact of sudden regime change on biographies in 20th-century Germany and Europe. In addition to relying on traditional sources, he utilizes extended biographical interviews. Furthermore, he is interested in the formation and function of discourses on the totalitarian past on an individual and collective level. In his research, identifying pervasive discourse patterns, particularly among ordinary Germans, helps to reveal the transmission of often apologetic views of the past over generations.

Benkert teaches upper-division courses in modern German and European history as well as the Western Civilization and Global History surveys. He also offers several capstone classes such as the HST498 History, Memory and National Myths: Changing European Master-Narratives of World War II.

Keith Huxen, PhD

Keith Huxen, PhD, is Senior Director of Research and History for the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy at The National WWII Museum and has been instrumental in creating many of the stunning exhibits on its campus.

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Full Biography

Keith Huxen, PhD, is the Senior Director of Research and History for the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy at The National WWII Museum. He earned BA and MA degrees from Louisiana State University and earned his PhD from George Washington University. He taught at the college level for over 10 years (2002-2012), serving as an Associate Professor at Baton Rouge Community College and Adjunct Professor at Louisiana State University and the University of New Orleans. He received the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award and has published in venues including the Oxford Forum on Public Policy, Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, and two weekly online columns for the Museum’s website.

Since joining the Museum in 2011, his responsibilities have focused on creating and developing the historical exhibits in the Museum’s capital expansion plan, including the permanent exhibits in US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, The Duchossois Family Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries and the Richard C. Adkerson & Freeport McMoRan Foundation Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries in the Campaigns of Courage pavilion, and the recently completed The Arsenal of Democracy: The Herman and George R. Brown Salute to the Home Front.

Gemma R. Birnbaum

Gemma R. Birnbaum holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the History of Modern War and Genocide from New York University, and a Masters Degree in the History of Twentieth Century Labor & Industrialization from Tulane University.

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Gemma R. Birnbaum holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the History of Modern War and Genocide from New York University, and a Masters Degree in the History of Twentieth Century Labor & Industrialization from Tulane University. Birnbaum has been with The National WWII Museum in New Orleans since 2010. In her current role as Director of the WWII Media and Education Center, she oversees distance learning, media production, and digital rights management. Birnbaum has presented lectures on behalf of the Museum on topics that include The 1940s Black Labor Movement, The WWII Roots of the Civil Rights Movement, the Communist Underground in 1940s New York, and Jewish Armed Resistance in the Holocaust. In addition to teaching roles at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City and Heifer International in Arkansas, she spent several years working in customer relations, fundraising, and user interface design at internet startups in New York and at the Purdue University Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Aaron Moore, PhD

Aaron Moore, PhD, is a historian of modern Japan and East Asia in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, where he also teaches thematic courses on the history of science and technology, war and empire, and the global Cold War for the undergraduate, online MA, and immersion graduate programs in History and Asian Studies.

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Aaron Moore, PhD, is a historian of modern Japan and East Asia in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. In addition to courses on modern Japan and East Asia, he teaches thematic courses on the history of science and technology, war and empire, and the global Cold War for the undergraduate, online MA, and immersion graduate programs in History and Asian Studies. He also advises honors, master’s, and doctoral students in History and Asian Studies. He is an affiliate of ASU's Korean Studies Program and the Center for Asian Research.