Staff & Affiliates

Headshot of Dr. Slonimsky

Nora Slonimsky, Ph.D., ITPS Director and Gardiner Associate Professor of History: Dr. Slonimsky is an associate professor with appointments in the history department and the ITPS. She is the social media editor for the Journal of the Early Republic, the reviews editor for SHARP News, and a research associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the intersection of copyright, state formation, and communication regulation in Early America. This research is generously supported by the Huntington Library, the Mellon Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Library Company of Philadelphia, among others. Her first book, “The Engine of Free Expression: Copyrighting the State in Early America,” won the 2018 SHEAR manuscript prize and is forthcoming with the University of Pennsylvania Press. For further information please see her website She can be reached at

Michael Crowder, Ph.D., Public Historian: Dr. Crowder earned a Ph.D. in the History Department at the Graduate Center, City University of New York in 2018. He is currently at work on a new history of Thomas Paine and the American Revolution, and in August 2020 published “Remembering Revolution: Commemorating Thomas Paine and the Progressive Afterlives of the American Revolution,” in New York History. He is an active public speaker on topics pertaining to the Revolutionary Era writ large, in particular revolutionary commemoration and the ongoing state and local organizing campaigns for America 250, the sestercentennial commemorations of the American Revolution. His research interests also include the relationships between slavery, abolitionism, and capitalism in the Revolutionary Era. Follow him on twitter @manthonycrowder. He can be reached at

John C. Winters, Ph.D., ITPS Research Associate in New York History: Dr. Winters is Assistant Professor at University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Winters is an academic and public historian who studies the intersection of New York’s Indigenous history, its premier history and ethnographic museums, and New Yorkers’ popular historical memory. As a public historian, he worked in various curatorial and public programming capacities at The Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Dr. Winters is the host of Season 2 of the ITPS Podcast, “Public History in a Virtual Age.” More information can be found on his website,

Matthew Germenis received an M.A. in Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi, writing a thesis on Sympathy in Wordsworth’s “Song for the Wandering Jew.” Matthew, a member of the Philip Roth Society, has presented work chiefly on Roth and film at numerous international conferences. His undergraduate work on digitizing runaway slave advertisements in antebellum Mississippi newspapers culminated in a publication, “Runaway Slave Advertisements: Violence and Dominion,” in the Journal of Mississippi History. Matthew’s work (and voice) can be found on Visceral Reactions, his horror film and culture podcast, in addition to essays and reviews on WordPress and Letterboxd. His primary fields of interest are film studies, 20th-century American culture & history, and New York state history. Matthew, a Long Island native, has four cats and lives in New Orleans.

Tricia Mulligan, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Mulligan is the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Iona University. She is the ITPS liaison to the Gardiner Foundation and to other grant-related projects. She can be reached at

Natalka Sawchuk, Affiliate Librarian: Ms. Sawchuk is the Assistant Director of Libraries for Public Services & Systems. She manages the TPNHA archival collection. She can be reached at

Lubomir Ivanov, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Ivanov is a Professor of Computer Science at Iona University. His primary research interests are in the areas of natural language processing, authorship attribution, and interdisciplinary applications of virtual/augmented reality. Dr. Ivanov’s work has been published and presented at many top conferences and journals in computer science and the digital humanities. He can be reached at

Smiljana Petrovic, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Petrovic is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Iona University. Her research interests are in the development of machine learning techniques for authorship attribution and for solving constraint satisfaction problems. She has been mentoring a number of students working on master theses and independent research projects related to data mining. She can be reached at You can find out more about her work here.

Michael J. Hughes, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Hughes is Associate Professor of History and History Department Chair, Iona University, and teaches course offerings on the history of Europe from 1648 to the present. He specializes in military history and the history of Napoleonic and Revolutionary France, and is particularly interested in military motivation and the relationship between war, culture, and gender.  His book, Forging Napoleon’s Grande Armée: Motivation, Military Culture, and Masculinity in the French Army, 1800-1808 (New York University Press, 2012) best illustrates his approach to these subjects. 

Josh R. Klein, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Klein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Iona University. His research focuses on politics, culture, and public opinion in relation to white-collar crime and imperialism. His recent publications include “Legitimating War by Victimization: State-Corporate Crime and Public Opinion,” with Cathryn Lavery, and “Toward a Cultural Criminology of War.” The latter article has been reproduced in two edited volumes. He is currently researching and writing about Thomas Paine and empire. He can be reached at

Jimena Perry, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Perry is a Clinical Lecturer in the History Department at Iona University, teaching “Emergence of Modern Latin America” and “Tradition and Modernity: the Challenges of the Non-Western World.” Her research interests are memory, human rights, public history, and museums in Latin America. She has served as an assistant instructor at The University of Texas at Austin, East Carolina University, and has also taught at universities in her hometown of Bogotá, Colombia. Since 2018, Dr. Perry also has served as Project Manager of the Explorers of the International Federation for Public History.

Jeanne Zaino headshot.Jeanne Sheehan Zaino, Ph.D., Affiliate Faculty: Dr. Zaino is Professor of Political Science at Iona University, teaches courses in American government, voting, elections, public opinion, political parties, presidency, congress, the courts, civil liberties, constitutional law and research methods. Her areas of specialization are in public sector, government, and media and entertainment. Her experience includes extensive work with public policy building in federal and local state government and higher education entities. In addition to numerous television appearances on outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, and BBC, she recently published American Democracy in Crisis: The Case for Rethinking Madisonian Government (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021).

Former Colleagues

Alexi Garrett Headshot

Alexi Garrett, Ph.D., ITPS and University of Virginia Press Post-Doctoral Fellow: Dr. Alexandra Garrett is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Saint Michael’s College. Dr. Garrett served as ITPS and University of Virginia Press Post-Doctoral Fellow at Iona University (2020-2022). She earned a Ph.D. in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, and her manuscript project focuses on the intersection of gender, law, and commercial power in a slave society. Her research has been generously supported by Monticello, Mount Vernon, the Harvard Business School, and the Library Company of Philadelphia, among others. She is a member of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. Follow her on Twitter at @AlexiGarrett. 

Kellen Heniford, Ph.D., Digital Coordinator and Archival Liaison: Dr. Heniford received her Ph.D. in US History in 2021 from Columbia University, where she completed her dissertation entitled “Slavery is Slavery: Early American Mythmaking and the Invention of the Free State.” Now a book project, this work examines the concept of the “free state” as a political construct with a history of its own, arguing that policymakers along the borders of slavery and freedom helped create the category of the free state and then sought to claim it—despite the persistence of chattel slavery within their states—in a bid for the moral capital the concept offered them. She has published on history and politics in a number of outlets, including the Journal of the Early Republic, as well as Insurrect!: Radical Thinking in Early American Studies, where she also serves as a founding editor. Kellen’s research has been supported by a variety of institutions, including the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She comes to Iona from Penn State University, where she has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Richards Civil War Era Center for the last year.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D., ITPS Scholar in Residence: Dr. Chervinsky is an expert in the cabinet, presidential history, and U.S. government institutions. Before joining the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies as Scholar-in-Residence, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University, completed her masters and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020. When she’s not writing, researching, or speaking about history, she loves to hike with her husband and her dog, John Quincy Dog Adams. More information about her work can be found on her website and she can be contacted on Twitter at @lmchervinsky.

Anne Dobberteen, M.A., Public History in a Virtual Age podcast sound editor: Ms. Dobberteen is a public historian who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history at George Mason University. Her research focuses on the visual culture of nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. cities. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Anne served as assistant curator of the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection at the George Washington University Museum. She has also done other public history work at various organizations in Washington, D.C., most recently as an oral historian with the Heurich House Museum. More information can be found here.

Retired Staff

Gary Berton, Coordinator: Mr. Berton was the coordinator for the ITPS and retired in 2021. He is engaged in research on Paine’s life and works in order to assist researchers, writers, and students around the country. He has been an independent scholar of political economy and Thomas Paine for 50 years, and an officer of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association for 20 years. Mr. Berton is a regular contributor to the Truth Seeker Magazine, and member of the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism. He has spoken on Thomas Paine in dozens of venues, and author of several articles and book chapters on Thomas Paine and author attribution methodology. For information on Mr. Berton’s work please visit the Thomas Paine National Historical Association at