Jennifer Gunn brings broad experience advancing interdisciplinary research and teaching, both as scholar and administrator. She is History of Medicine Endowed Professor and served for 8 years as director of the Program in the History of Medicine, a program in the Medical School Department of Surgery situated at the intersection of the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, engineering, and health professions. She shares leadership responsibilities for the tri-college Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. She is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century medicine, interested in the historical intersections of health, medicine, biology, social sciences, institutions, and public policy. Her current work examines the significance of place and practice in American medicine by exploring the history of rural health and medical practice in the upper Midwest, 1900-1950. In addition, she has done extensive research on the history of population studies and demography in the interwar period, and on the history of philanthropy.
Susannah L. Smith is a historian of Russia and modern Europe. Her research focuses on the intersection of national identity, official arts policy, and Russian folk music in the Soviet Union, 1917-1945. She studies and performs traditional Javanese music with the Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble. Before coming to the IAS, she was the managing editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, developed the Population Studies minor program and coordinated administration on the IPUMS-International projects at the Minnesota Population Center, and was assistant director of the Making of the Modern World/Writing Program at Eleanor Roosevelt College, University of California, San Diego. Smith teaches an honors seminar based on the Thursdays at Four series every year.
As the coordinator for the University of Minnesota’s River Life program, Pat Nunnally works to establish lasting relationships among the University of Minnesota and groups working on river sustainability.
In the past two decades, Nunnally has developed a unique practice as a consulting historian, communications manager and interpretive planner, with a focus on rivers, trails and scenic byways. He has organized events and conferences with a Mississippi River connection, and has presented his work at numerous academic and professional meetings. He’s also worked with public agencies and private firms on many planning projects for culturally sensitive sites.
Nunnally’s writings have appeared in a variety of forms, including the ongoing blog River Talk. His latest published piece is a short reflection on the importance of diverse stories in shaping an inclusive future for the Mississippi River. The City, the River, the Bridge, an edited collection of essays examining the consequences and aftermath of the I-35W bridge collapse, published in January 2011.
Phyllis E. Messenger, Grants Consultant
Telephone: (612) 625-8606
Phyllis Mauch Messenger is an anthropologist whose scholarship has focused on archaeological ethics and the management and preservation of cultural heritage. She was the founding director of the Center for Anthropology and Cultural Heritage Education (CACHE) at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and carried out archaeological research in Mexico, Honduras, and Minnesota. She has led study abroad programs for the University of Minnesota and Hamline University, taking students to Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and Cambodia. Publications include a biography of early Maya archaeologists and edited volumes on the ethics of collecting cultural property, cultural heritage management worldwide, and heritage values in contemporary society. Before returning to the U of M in 2008, she directed the Wesley Center at Hamline University, funded by a $2M grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment.
Brianna Menning, Program and Communications Manager
Telephone: (612) 624-6148
Brianna Menning works on IAS events and programs, as well as communications and strategic planning. She is particularly interested in the role of IAS to communicate the message of interdisciplinary work across the University, and also to engage the public in the work of the University, making programming accessible for everyone. She has a background in the non-profit sector, having directed a national AmeriCorps program on asset-based community development, and serving on the boards of several non-profits. She is a founding member of Daylight Center and School in Kenya, an independent school serving children of nomadic tribes where she has served on the board for more than five years. Previously to her time at IAS, she served as the Associate Director for the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the Humphrey School at UMN. Menning has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cornell University focused on human rights and social justice, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Bethel University in St. Paul.
Joanne Richardson is the digital information strategist for the University of Minnesota’s River Life program. Her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota focused on geology, architecture, computer science and French, and she received a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the College of Design. Having spent many childhood weekends and holidays backpacking through many of the great American landscapes, she developed an early and lasting love of geology that has colored her interests ever since. She has a particular interest in digital media, strategic communications, and responsive design.
Karen Kinoshita, Executive Office and Administrative Specialist
Telephone: (612) 626-5028
Karen has been in the medical school and the deans’ office of the college of liberal arts before taking up the challenge at the institute. Karen shares her time between the institute and home and and uses her networking skills to knit students, faculty, and community together. Her interests are in arts, science, technology and diversity above special interests.
Christina Collins, Principal Office and Administrative Specialist
Telephone: (612) 626-5054
Christina Collins has spent most of her working life in the world of nonprofit arts and civics venues, primarily as a house manager with organizations including Town Hall Seattle and the University of Washington’s Meany Hall. She is a visual artist and writer, and currently serves as the EIC for Lockjaw, an online journal focusing on contemporary literature, art, and music.
Ann Waltner, Former Director
Telephone: (612) 624-3810
Ann Waltner teaches Chinese history and world history at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests lie in the social history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century China, comparative women’s history, and world history.