?> Past Team Members « The Ward

Past Team Members

Past Team Members



eric augenbraun the ward

Eric Augenbraun

Eric graduated from Masterman High School in Philadelphia in 2006 and from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. He is interested in history, sociology, and urban studies. Eric specialized in collecting 1900 U.S. Census data for the project during the summer of 2006. While some may find the careful examination of countless census records boring and tedious, Eric approaches the task with vigor and enthusiasm. Says Eric: “Take the adrenaline rush you would get from bungee jumping from a moving helicopter and multiply it by 10,000. That’s how the census makes me feel.” Eric also collected data on contagious disease, documenting just who had scarlet fever in 1897, and death records during the summer of 2007.

So Young Baik

So Young Baik

So Young Baik worked with us during her second year MSW field placement. She contributed to curriculum activities (in particular, the racial dialogs), printing and testing our board game, and discussions about the project identity and sustainability. So Young comes from Korea and hopes to pursue a career in research.

jaamal benjamin the ward

Jaamal Benjamin

Jaamal is a Graphic Designer and studied at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. He worked for the Cartographic Modeling Lab and designed some of the graphics and original logo for The Ward project. In addition to Art & Design, Jaamal loves dancing and is a member of Breaks Kru and Olive Dance Theatre.

benjamin berman the ward

Benjamin Berman

Ben graduated from Penn in 2006 with a double major in Urban Studies and History. He was the first student to work on The Ward project, teaming up with project director, Amy Hillier, for the spring 2004 Undergraduate Urban Research Course offered through Penn’s Institute for Urban Research. During that semester, Ben collected and mapped the first blocks of 1900 U.S. Census data as a pilot for the larger project. Amy integrated this work into the successful grant application to the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) the following fall. After graduating, Ben moved to San Francisco where he works for The Concord Group, a consulting firm that conducts economic and land use analyses for the real estate development industry.

sarah bertozzi the ward

Sarah Bertozzi

Sarah graduated from Penn with a major in Urban Studies in May 2006 (see her award-winning dissertation, “Vicious Geography” about historical prostitution in Philadelphia). She worked on the project during the spring of her senior year and was instrumental in setting up the system for collecting the 1900 U.S. Census data. Sarah also had the opportunity to help present the project to the students at Eastern High School in Voorhees, New Jersey. During the summer of 2006, Sarah worked on the project from her home in Boston, doing research on other digital history projects, potential funding opportunities, and Victorian wallpaper. She also worked to input data from the 1896 Bromley map into the GIS parcel-base. Sarah regretted having to leave the project, but Harvard Law School was calling her.

chelsea bielmiller the ward

Chelsea Bielmiller

Chelsea worked on the project when she was a senior at Eastern Camden County Regional High School in Vorhees, New Jersey. She also helped with reviewing the 1900 U.S. Census data. She is currently attending Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University

regina celestin the ward

Regina Celestin

Regina graduated in 2007 from PennDesign’s Department of City and Regional Planning. She worked full-time during the summer of 2006 at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, but she worked during evenings and weekends to help us collect the 1900 U.S. Census data. With a concentration in community and economic development, Regina planned to pursue a career in affordable housing. Her interests included residential racial segregation, homelessness, international issues of poverty and shelter, and the affects of the built environment on children. She joined the project because of her interest in the history of Philadelphia’s black population and a previous experience as a research assistant for a race and social justice lab at her undergraduate institution. Regina was born and raised in Richmond, California. A 2005 graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in Urban Studies, Philadelphia was her first place of residence outside of California’s Bay Area.

rachel chandler the ward

Rachel Chandler

Rachel graduated from the School of Social Policy and Practice at Penn in 2008. She worked on the Du Bois project as an intern for her second year MSW field placement. Her work on the project combined her interest in community activism, public health and mapping. Specifically, she developed curriculum materials relating to the Du Bois project, for middle-school children, for use with an after-school program. She currently works full time as a research coordinator at Penn’s Center for the Study of Addictions. When she is not at work, she enjoys working on crafty projects.

mari christmas the ward

Mari Christmas

Mari graduated in 2007 from Haverford College where she studied philosophy and Spanish. Her hobbies include drawing, sketching, painting, baking, and spending time with her friends. She worked on the project during the summer of 2006 through Haverford College’s Hurford Humanities Center. She was particularly interested in the political contemporary issues of the Du Bois project but also enjoyed looking up historical information for the board game. She also created an early version of the walking tour brochure for the Seventh Ward.

duncan cooper the ward

Duncan Cooper

Duncan was a senior Cities major at Haverford College when he worked on the project as a Hurford Humanities summer intern. He described himself at the time as an unknown DJ and an unsuccessful concert promoter. He was running an unpopular website about popular music, designing flyers and websites, playing hockey, and aspired to be a well known DJ, a popular author, flyer designer, and athlete. Duncan spent most of his time designing a game board and ideas for game cards for the board game, coming up with the great idea of having draw and act cards to get kids more involved in playing the game.

benjamin cromie the ward

Benjamin Cromie

Benjamin graduated from Penn’s School of Design in May 2006 with a master’s degree in city planning where he focused on his favorite issues in planning: transportation, equitable development, urban design, and the death and life of Philadelphia. Before planning school, he worked for six years producing theatre and opera in the Greater Philadelphia area. For the The Ward, Ben created new GIS maps of old Philadelphia, collected ward data, and explored the impact of African American caterers in Philadelphia’s economy and society. In his effort to keep one foot in West Philadelphia’s cultural community, Ben performed the role of Sir Toby Belch for Shakespeare in Clark Park’s production of Twelfth Night in August 2006. He currently works for CHPlanning Ltd.

julia donfrio the ward

Julie Donofrio

Julie graduated in 2007 with a dual master’s degree in City Planning and Historic Preservation at PennDesign, focusing on urban design. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish from Wake Forest University. In her graduate studies, Julie’s focus was the integration of the historic built environment into current planning strategies. Her work on The Ward focused on translating historic resources and data into graphics and other digital formats. She worked for EDAW, a California-based architecture and environment consulting company, before moving to her current job with the planning firm Wallace Robert Todd.

julia dunbar the ward

Julia Dunbar

Julia graduated from Haverford College in 2009 and worked on the project as a summer intern through the Hurford Humanities Center. She worked primarily on early versions of the documentary and board game, contributing her research skills, creativity, and instincts around how kids learn best. She currently teaches 9th and 10th grade history at a school in Pittsburgh. Read more about Julia’s work on the project on the Hurford Humanities website.

katie emmitt the ward

Katie Emmitt

Katie is a student at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She painted the characters we use in the board game, and throughout the curriculum. See more of her award-winning artwork on her website.

eric fisher the ward

Eric Fisher

Eric served as our initial web designer, serving up our first website from his bedroom in Connecticut. He graduated in 2008 from Penn’s Digital Media and Design program. Aside from web design and development, Eric loves improvisational comedy, cartoons, piano and magic.

michael franklin the ward

Michael Franklin

Michael graduated from Haverford College in 2012 with a BA in English and worked on the project as Hurford Humanities Center summer intern. Michael worked primarily on the board game and research for the curriculum including some background work on Aunt Jemima and images of African Americans in popular culture. His work on the project was profiled on the Hurford website.

Anne Garcia

Anne graduated with a master of social work degree from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice in 2007. She had her second year field placement with the project and served as our public outreach coordinator. She worked closely on our efforts to have a mural of Du Bois at 6th and Rodman Streets but also helped host our open house events, and collect 1900 U.S. Census data. She started to develop an idea for an after-school program focused on Du Bois that we hope to have funded through grants eventually. Anne is from Texas and the founder and president of the Latino Social Workers group at the School of Social Policy & Practice. She currently works as a bilingual social worker in Washington DC. She currently works at Women Empowered Against Violence, Inc. in Washington DC.

tim golden the ward

Tim Golden

Tim graduated from Haverford College in May 2007 where he studied History and German. He came to the project through an internship program from the Hurford Humanities Center at Haverford. He collected 1900 U.S. Census data and conducted a wide range of research at the Pennsylvania Historical Society. His research on James Stemmons, a prominent African American journalist and newspaper publisher during Du Bois’ era, led to a senior history thesis topic. Tim became interested in American history using an African America optic through his junior year classes with Paul Jefferson. At the time, Tim ran (lived) for the Haverford track and cross country teams, enjoyed bad jokes, used to play guitar, and grew up in Horsham, PA, about 40 minutes from Center City.

brandon golloti the ward

Brandon Gollotti

Brandon graduated from Masterman High School in Philadelphia in 2006 and the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. At Masterman, Brandon was a member of the chapter of National Honors Society, participated in the student government, and played hockey (goalie). At Penn, he was an Urban Studies major, studied in London during the fall semester in 2008, and played goalie for the club ice hockey team. Brandon collected data for the project about contagious disease (“consumption,” now known has tuberculosis) and health newspaper clippings and helped with the documentary and board game.

anna holster the ward

Anna Holsten

Anna graduated with a master’s in social work from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice in May 2006. She collected 1900 U.S. Census data for us during the summer of 2006, and she was darn good at it! The majority of her research outside the project has focused on institutional racism within the penal and judicial system. She has worked as a data and policy analyst and has been involved in two published research projects, one a six-year comparative survey of the economic prospects of gang members. Anna has a beautiful daughter, Janae, who is a hip-hop phenom. Anna is currently for the Office of Social Work Accreditation in Washington DC.

jordane jolley the ward

Jordane Jolley

Jordane completed her master’s in social work at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice in 2007. Her second year field placement was with the Veteran’s Hospital and she hoped to pursue a career in hospice care. Jordan collected 1900 U.S. Census data for the project and researched how Philadelphians perceived lynching during the late 1900s. Jordane lives in New York and is active with the National Association of Social Workers.

shimrit keddem the ward

Shimrit Keddem

Shimrit is a graduate of Penn’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program and the Manager for Penn’s Mixed Methods Research Lab where she combines her expertise in qualitative data analysis and GIS. Prior to attending Penn’s MUSA program, Shimrit worked in public health research at hospitals in the US and Canada. It was her interest in mapping and analyzing health data that brought her to this project. Her primary role in this project was to manage the final linking of census data with parcel information. In her spare time, Shimrit rescues feral and stray cats in her neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

erika kitzmiller the ward

Erika Kitzmiller

Erika graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a PhD in history and education. Her dissertation, “The Roots of Educational Inequality: Germantown High School 1907-2011,” made extensive use of school yearbooks, interviews, historical maps, and GIS. Prior to coming to Penn, Erika taught social studies, and while a doctoral student at Penn, she received the 2010 Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students. Erika provided invaluable ideas for the documentary and curriculum over the course of several years. Erika is now teaching at Drexel University.

Alexa Kutler the ward

Alexa Kutler

Alexa graduated from Haverford College in 2010 and worked on the project during the summer before her senior year. She worked primarily on the final version of the documentary, contributing numerous photographs and graphics. She is a talented photographer—check out her work at http://akutler.tumblr.com/submit or http://akresume.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/photography/. While at Haverford, Alexa was a member of the Outskirts singing group.

Patrick Lozada The Ward

Patrick Lozada

Patrick graduated from Haverford College in 2009 and worked on the project as a summer intern through the Hurford Humanities Center. He brought to the project extensive experience editing documentaries and was instrumental in the final version of our documentary, “A Legacy of Courage.” He studied history and Chinese at Haverford and was a member of the Mainliners singing group. Patrick worked for the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington DC.

sam levinson the ward

Sam Levinson

Research Assistant

Sam is a member of the Haverford class of 2013, pursuing a degree in English. He was directed to the The Ward project as an internship opportunity through the Hurford Humanities Center.
E-mail: slevinso@haverford.edu

mailk neal the ward

Malik Neal

Malik graduated from West Philadelphia Catholic High School in 2009 and is now a student at Holy Cross University. During his sophomore year in high school, he worked on a documentary about William F. Friedman, a cryptologist during WWI and WWII, with classmate Haftom Khasai. They won the gold medal in the documentary category at Philadelphia’s National History Day competition and represented Philadelphia at the state competition held at Penn State University. Malik met Amy Hillier there and agreed that he and Haftom would work on a documentary for The Ward. Malik is very politically active and is a champion debater. During the summer of 2008, he debated as Abraham Lincoln in the finals of the “Now Debate This” contest against a fellow participant who argued for George Washington. As a senior in high school, Malik published a moving essay to his younger sisters about the significance of Barack Obama’s election as president.

josiah neiderback the ward

Josiah Neiderbach

Josiah graduated from Penn (B.A. in Urban Studies) in May 2006 and immediately enrolled in Penn’s Masters of City Planning program in the School of Design. On The Ward project, he collected 1900 U.S. census data, studied the history of black sports in Philadelphia, and researched various other primary sources. One of his proudest discoveries was a series of newspaper articles about the collection of the Census from June, 1900 including one about the firing of two drunk census enumerators. As a former member of the Penn Pep Band, Josiah knows all the words to Penn’s fight songs. He is also an avid baseball fan. Upon graduating from Penn’s MCP program, Josiah began work as a planner in New York City.

kelly porter the ward

Kelly Porter

Kelly graduated from PennDesign’s Department of City and Regional Planning in May 2008. He is from Fort Wirth, Texas but has quickly come to love Philadelphia. For The Ward project, Kelly worked on cleaning the 1900 U.S. Census data, locating historical photographs, and researching definitions of 19th century jobs and illnesses.

michelle rajunov the ward

Michelle Rajunov

Michelle graduated from Penn’s Digital Media Design (DMD) program in 2008. She developed the graphics and website that we used from 2007-2012. An avid fencer, occasional runner, rock climber, cycler, and extreme sports enthusiast, she unfortunately spends most of her time in from of a computer screen, either programming or designing, or shopping online for the least expensive espresso makers and drum sets.

cathy rossetti the ward

Cathy Rossetti

Cathy is a full time IT Project Manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She graduated from Penn’s Historic Preservation program in May 2008. She also has degrees in Communications and Information Systems from Syracuse and Drexel Universities, respectively. On the Mapping Du Bois project, Cathy used her background in multimedia design/development and information systems and her interest in architectural history and preservation to focus on a small section of the overall Du Bois study area (which will forever been known as “the Rossetti Study Area”). Her goal was to contribute information on the physical environment in which the Du Bois study subjects lived to the social and cultural data being gathered by the team. Cathy’s work documenting the architecture and floor plans for buildings in the area at the turn of the 19th Century will serve as the basis of our future 3D GIS work.

Katy Schaeffer

Katy graduated from Haverford College in 2009 and worked on the project as a summer intern through the Hurford Humanities Center. With Julia Dunbar, she work primarily on early versions of the documentary and board game. Among other things, she is an artist and graciously shared her graphic design and painting talents with us. Katy now works at the University of Pennsylvania library.

heidi smith the ward

Heidi Smith

Heidi is from Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Haverford College in 2007 where she was an English major with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies, and a minor in History of Art. She has an avid interest in socioeconomic class issues in 19th and 20th century U.S media, culture and art, subjects she intends to pursue through a master’s degree in American Studies, and then continue into social work. Mapping the Philadelphia Negro gave her an exciting chance to do research from primary sources, and unearth a few of the voices of ordinary people who lived in Philadelphia at the end of the 19th century, using newspapers and court case testimonies.

sherry taylor the ward

Sherry Taylor

Sherry graduated in 2007 from PennDesign’s Department of City and Regional Planning where she help create a Black Student Alliance. She attended Rutgers University where she obtained a B.A. in Urban Studies. She also took visual arts classes and studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. Sherry is interested in African art, economic development, and raising awareness about minorities in the design professions. Her interests also include improving the lives of disadvantaged or minority communities in urban and rural areas. In the future she would like to conduct research on economic development in the rural south. Her work on the Mapping Du Bois project focused primarily on African-American churches in the Old Seventh Ward and their community development functions. Churches during the late nineteenth century often financed activities that are currently provided by non-profit or community development corporations. Sherry currently works in North Carolina as a planner.

lora travis the ward

Lori Travis

Lori graduated from Masterman High School in 2006 and is currently a student at Princeton University here she hopes to study at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She began work on the Du Bois project after Amy Hillier presented to her 12th grade African-American History class on GIS and The Philadelphia Negro and asked if any students would be interested in working on the project over the summer. Her area of study has been black churches in Philadelphia before, during, and after Du Bois’ research. She has conducted this research with Sherry Taylor. During the summer of 2006 when she worked on the Du Bois project, Lora split her time with us and Drexel University where she worked as an intern for the International Areas Studies Department.

Karis Tzeng

Research Assistant

Karis Tzeng is from Cleveland, Ohio, and she is a recent graduate of the College at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Urban Studies. She is honored to be a part of the The Ward.

kristina vargen the ward

Kristina Vargen

Kristina graduated from Penn’s Master of City Planning program in May 2008. She has experience working in research as well as in many facets of affordable housing development. She has held internships with Monarch Housing Associates, a supportive housing development consultant, the New Brunswick Housing Authority, AvalonBay Communities, and the Fair Share Housing Center. She has also worked as a GIS research assistant for the UPenn School of Medicine’s Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics working specifically with violence statistics and behavioral patterns of inner city youth. Her interests include innovative affordable housing development, community responsive planning, and urban revitalization. Kristina joined the Du Bois Research team in January of 2007 to help manage the historical public health data and continue her work in epidemiology, history, and GIS. She was born and raised in Monmouth County, NJ. In May of 2006 she graduated with a B.A. in Urban Studies from Rutgers Bloustein School of Public Policy and Planning.

sam wood the ward

Samuel Wood

Sam graduated from Bates College in 2012 with a BA in history. He worked as an intern in the summer of 2011, contributing primarily to the board game, walking tour, and research for the curriculum. Sam is now living in Chicago.

adrienne whaley the ward

Adrienne Whaley

Curriculum Consultant Adrienne Whaley was invited to work on The Ward’s curriculum after interviewing Amy Hillier about the mural Mapping Courage: Honoring the Legacy of WEB DuBois and Engine 11 for a collaboration between the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Adrienne is Museum Educator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. When she is not finding ways to teach about or research Philadelphia’s black history, she is researching her own, as an amateur genealogist and member of Philadelphia’s African American Genealogy Group.


Sagirah Wheeler

Sagirah Wheeler worked with The Ward the summer before her senior year at Morgan State University, where she studied Sociology and Anthropology. Sagirah came to work with us through the Leadership Alliance Summer Internship Program 2013. During this time Sagirah has worked on the curriculum for The Ward Project by creating a sruvival guide for all students to take with them after completeing The Ward curciculum. Additionally, Sagirah has helped print copies of the board game, conduct interviews, and assist with the curriculum. Sagirah has hopes in coming to University of Pennsylvania and studying in the Ph.D. program for Anthropology and Africana Studies after graduating from Morgan in Spring 2014. In addition to her academic aspirations, Sagirah loves shopping, site seeing, hanging out with good people, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.



peggy wu the ward

Peggy Wu

Peggy was among the very first graduates of Penn’s Masters in Urban Spatial Analytics program, completing her degree in August 2006. Upon graduation, she moved on to full-time work with The Reinvestment Fund in Philadelphia. For the project, she digitized the parcel layer, the foundation for our property-level GIS, using the 1895 Bromley fire insurance map. In her honor, these will forever be known as “Peggy’s Parcels.” Being involved with this project provided Peggy with an opportunity to learn about African American history as well as the city of Philadelphia. She enjoys learning and challenging herself with doing things that have not been done before. Her hobbies at the time were swimming, rock climbing and traveling.

website photo

Alexandra Wolkoff

During her time with The Ward in the summer of 2013, Alexander was a student at Haverford College, where she studied sociology and education. She worked with The Ward during the summer before her senior year with a grant from Haverford’s Hurford Humanities Center. She was drawn to the project for its focus on social justice related to race and education. She contributed to The Ward curriculum, designing lesson plans that allow educators and students to examine the continuing importance of race today. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and explore the power of the arts to create social change. She loves dancing, music, languages, and traveling.

email: alexandra.wolkoff@gmail.com



Channing Johnson

Oral History Collection Project Manager

Channing is a native of Shreveport, La. She graduated from Tougaloo College with a B.A. in English. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Graduate School of Education pursing a Masters in Intercultural Communication.

Abel McDaniels

Research Assistant

A New Jersey native, Abel McDaniels came to The Ward as a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania with an interest in History and Africana Studies.

Haftom Khasai

Documentary Filmmaker

Haftom began working on the The Ward in 2007 as a high school student. He has worked with a number of Penn and Haverford undergrads since and has been involved primarily with the making of Legacy of Courage and Selections from The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois.

Jonah Taylor the ward

Jonah Taylor

Design Manager

Jonah Taylor is a fourth-year student at Hampshire College concentrating in Organizational Studies and Design. His senior thesis uses literature from Sociology, Social Psychology and Economics to examine the role of “identity” in organizational culture and social change.

Jonah began his tenure with The Ward as a graphic designer on The Ward Board Game in the summer of 2011. Since then, he’s worn a few hats. As Lead Designer, Jonah spearheaded the project’s visual exploration and web development. In his current role as Design Manager, Jonah manages and expands upon The Ward’s visual identity through its print and digital materials.


Kaitlin Gravitt

Research Assistant

Kaitlin Gravitt recently obtained her MSW and MS Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is looking forward to bringing her background in organizing and policy work to The Ward team.


Nicole Cone

Research Assistant

Nicole Cone is a communications major at Penn’s Annenberg School. Prior to joining The Ward team, she did some videography and interviewing and created a radio documentary for 900AMWURD.