Meet The Team

Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy
Executive Director

Michael S. Bell, PhD (COL, USA, Ret.)

Mike Bell is the Executive Director of the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy. Commissioned in Armor following graduation from the US Military Academy at West Point, he is a combat veteran, historian, and strategist who has served at every level from platoon through theater army, as well as with US Central Command, the Joint Staff, the West Point faculty, and the National Defense University. As a civilian faculty member at the National Defense University, he also served details to the Office of the Secretary of State and as a National Security Council Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President of the United States. He holds a MA and a PhD in American history from the University of Maryland, College Park and a MS in national security strategy from the National Defense University, where he was a distinguished graduate of the National War College. His monograph on the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was published by the Strategic Studies Institute. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, Joint Staff Badge, and Combat Action Badge.

Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian

Robert Citino, PhD

Rob Citino is the Museum’s Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian. He is an award-winning military historian and scholar who has published 10 books, including The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945; 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. He has also published numerous articles covering World War II and 20th century military affairs. In 2021, he won the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society for Military History for lifetime achievement in the field. He speaks widely and contributes regularly to general readership magazines such as World War II. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in history from Ohio State University and earned a MA and PhD from Indiana University. 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.

President & CEO Emeritus

Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD

Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, former historian and Vice Chancellor at the University of New Orleans (UNO), served as Founding President & CEO of The National WWII Museum. During a distinguished career at UNO, Mueller made his mark as a popular teacher, Dean, and Vice Chancellor. He played a lead role in creating UNO’s Metropolitan College and building new extension and distance learning programs, the university’s Conference Center, Center Austria and the International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria, and founding the UNO Research and Technology Park. Mueller’s role as the Museum’s President & CEO Emeritus affords him time for research and for writing a history of the Museum and about other WWII topics. He continues to lead overseas WWII tours and speaks widely on the war experience, the American spirit, and nonprofit leadership. He also provides advice and support to the Museum’s top executives, working closely with the distinguished Presidential Counselors advisory group, and assists learning initiatives led by the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy. His exceptional contributions to the preservation and interpretation of WWII history and his special contributions to public awareness of the D-Day landings in Normandy have resulted in numerous awards. In May 2016, the French government bestowed the Legion of Honor on Mueller and two national figures who have assisted the Museum since its founding, Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw. Mueller has also been elected to the board of the National History Center in Washington, D.C., the public advocacy subsidiary of the American Historical Association.

Nick Mueller
Director of Conferences & Symposia

Jeremy Collins

Jeremy Collins joined The National WWII Museum in 2001 as an intern with the Collections & Exhibits Department while pursuing his history degree at the University of Missouri and soon after became a full-time staff member. In Collections & Exhibits, he immersed himself in the artifacts and stories from the Museum’s collection and was involved with many of the Museum’s special exhibitions, co-curating When Baseball Went to War. In 2008, he moved to the Travel & Conference Department and became involved with the travel program’s design, development and content while scouting, leading or manage tours all over the world, including the Philippines, the Mediterranean, England, and Northwest Europe. Collins currently oversees the creation, planning, marketing and execution of many of the Museum’s marquee public programs, including book launches, distinguished lectures, symposia, and the annual International Conference on World War II. As a member of the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, Collins provides public programming of the highest caliber to the Museum’s audience, both physical and digital.

Research Historian

Jason Dawsey, PhD

Jason Dawsey joined The National WWII Museum in September 2017 as a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Special Projects Historian and investigated what happened to hundreds of American POWs in German captivity whose remains were never recovered. Since January 2019, he has worked in the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy as a Research Historian. Dawsey received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2013 and has taught world history and European history at Pearl River Community College, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In the Institute, he examines the service records of WWII veterans and writes their biographies for family members, and regularly contributes to the Museum’s website and public programming on subjects such as the anti-Nazi resistance, the Holocaust, and the lives and careers of scholars who shaped our understanding of World War II. Beyond his research on World War II, Dawsey co-edited (with Günter Bischof and Bernhard Fetz) The Life and Work of Günther Anders: Émigré, Iconoclast, Philosopher, Man of Letters (Studien Verlag, 2015) and is the author of several articles and book chapters on the philosophical and political thought of Günther Anders.

DPAA Research Partner Fellow

Adam Givens, PhD

Adam Givens is The National WWII Museum’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Research Partner Fellow. He earned his PhD from Ohio University and wrote his dissertation on the US Army’s aviation program and its partnership with the helicopter industry from World War II to present day. Before coming to the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy in 2020, Givens was a summer associate and then adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation as well as a researcher for the Monuments Men Foundation. He received the Society for Military History’s Kevin J. Carroll Prize for the Best Graduate Paper in Military History and won an Early Career Prize for an article based on his dissertation research published in Vulcan: The Journal of the History of Military Technology. Givens has a book forthcoming from the Marine Corps History Division on the history of US Marine helicopters in the Vietnam War. Among other sources of research funding, Givens has held the US Army Center of Military History’s Dissertation Fellowship, the Army Heritage and Education Center’s Robert L. Ruth and Robert C. Ruth Research Fellowship, and Ohio University’s Contemporary History Institute Fellowship.

Senior Historian

Stephanie Hinnershitz, PhD

Steph Hinnershitz joined the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy as a Historian in June 2021. Before coming to The National WWII Museum, she held teaching positions at Valdosta State University in Georgia, Cleveland State University in Ohio, and the US Military Academy at West Point. She received her PhD in American History in 2013 from the University of Maryland and specializes in the history of the Home Front during World War II. She has published books and articles on Asian American history, including Race, Religion, and Civil Rights: Asian Students on the West Coast, 1900-1968 and A Different Shade of Justice: Asian American Civil Rights in the South. Her most recent book, Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor during World War II, was recently published with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, West Point, the Social Science Research Council, the Library of Congress, and the US Army Heritage and Education Center, among others.

Research Assistant

Kali Martin

Kali Martin is a Research Assistant in the Museum’s office of the President and CEO Emeritus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and German at the University of Miami and a master’s degree in military and public history at the University of New Orleans. She began volunteering on the PT-305 restoration project as a graduate student and served as a crewmember aboard the vessel. As a Research Assistant at the Museum, Kali created a PT-305 exhibit, wrote a guide to conducting research on individual participation in World War II, and participated in various projects in the President Emeritus Office and the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy.

Kali Martin
Associate

Kaylie McCarthy

Kaylie McCarthy joined the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy as an intern in March 2021 and became Institute Associate in October 2021. Born and raised in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, McCarthy began her undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and ultimately completed and receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of New Orleans (UNO). Prior to joining the Museum, her paper titled “Emerging Scholars: The Ghosts of Past and Present: Analyzing American WWII Memory,” written for Dr. Guenter Bischof’s “American Memory of World War II” graduate seminar at UNO, was selected as a featured article by The National WWII Museum. McCarthy’s thesis research focused on analyzing tattoos recorded in the early 20th century New Orleans Police Department Mugshot Collection (City Archives).

Leventhal Research Fellow

Jennifer Popowycz, PhD

Jennifer Popowycz is the Leventhal Research Fellow at the Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy. She received her PhD in History from Louisiana State University in 2021 and specializes in the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe. She has written articles and presented research on Ukrainian displaced persons in postwar Germany, the impact of total war and occupation policies on civilians in Eastern Europe, the production of art by Holocaust survivors, and the transformation of the European Economic Community into the European Union. Her contribution to the edited volume The German-Soviet War, 1941-1945 examines the radicalization of Nazi forced labor policies and the experience of Ukrainian forced laborers during World War II. Her research has been supported by the Auschwitz Jewish Center, the International Ukrainian School, the Southern Slavic Studies Association, and the T. Harry Williams Dissertation Fellowship.