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the Middle Ground Project
Fritz Fischer is a Professor History and Director of History Education at the University of Northern Colorado. He teaches courses in American History and helps run the teacher preparation program for future secondary school history teachers. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, taught for five years in middle/secondary schools and then earned his Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 1994. His research specialties are 20th century American cultural and diplomatic history (his book Making Them Like Us: Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s was published in 1998) and history education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Council for History Education and has led more than a dozen institutes for history teachers throughout the nation in the past six years. Fritz Fischer also co-directs the Colorado Academy of History..


Katie Gilbert has taught math for eighteen years at Kirtland Central High School in Kirtland, New Mexico. She claims working with Algebra students is just as rewarding as working with Calculus students. With an active interest in water education as well, Ms. Gilbert spends her time outside the classroom advocating for tribal water rights as a water commissioner for her tribe, appointed by the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Tribal Council. She works with the tribal council, the local communities, and the tribe’s water attorneys, hydrologists, geologists, and water resources. She is involved in negotiations with state and federal officials in New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona for the Navajo Nation’s rights to use waters in the Colorado River Basin. Before her appointment as commissioner, she spent summers assisting in research in a range of fields of science at U.S. DOE Laboratories--the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 
Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr. is a Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, an historian, poet, and former water lawyer. He was a sixth grade teacher in New York City and served with his wife, Bobbie, in the Peace Corps in South America in the late 1960s before he became a water and environmental lawyer in the early 1970s. His wife, Bobbie, was a teacher and Director of Children’s Garden Montessori School in Denver for 31 years before retiring in 2005. Justice Hobbs has authored a book of western water poetry and a book of essays about the people, environment, and water of the western United States. He has a great interest in all matters pertaining to the peoples of the Colorado and San Juan River watersheds.
Michael Welsh received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico (1983) in the history of the American West, Southwest, and American Indian history. He has taught at UNM, the College of Santa Fe, St. John’s College (Santa Fe), Oregon State University, and Cameron University (OK). For the past sixteen years he has taught at the University of Northern Colorado, where he is a professor of history. He has written ten book and/or book-length manuscripts on regional history for the US Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service. He also directed the Advanced Placement institute for US History teachers at UNC for ten years.


A Colorado Artist Fellowship in Poetry recipient, Dr. Kathryn Winograd is the author of four books including Air Into Breath, a 2003 Colorado Book Award Winner in Poetry, Stepping Sideways Into Poetry(Scholastic Inc, 2005), a teaching resources book on teaching poetry in the classroom, and Teaching the Poetry of Rivers, an online poetry resource integrating science, literature, and the humanities for K-12 teachers developed with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education as part of a Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Grant. 


Presidential Academy in American History and Civics Education: Contact for this page: Cassie Roller | Last updated: 1/26/12