Community Advisory Board


Members of the Humanities Truck’s Advisory Board provide valuable insight on the ways the Truck can more effectively engage with communities across the DMV region. They also assist in selecting Fellows and in strategizing for the project’s financial sustainability.

Naima Jefferson

Naima Jefferson

Shepard Park Citizens Association

Naima Jefferson attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting and has a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C where she was awarded the Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Service and was a Georgetown MBA Scholar.  Professionally, Naima develops federal policy and works closely with high-level officials to promote the agency’s mission and purpose.  She has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and is also an entrepreneur.  She serves as the president of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association, trustee for the Committee of 100 for the Federal City, as a national committee co-chair for national membership organization with over 10,000 members across the country, and served on the board of the Southern Methodist University Black Alumni Association.  She is married and lives in Northwest Washington, DC with her husband in two amazing daughters.

Noel Lopez

Noel Lopez

Cultural Anthropologist, National Park Service

Noel Lopez is the Cultural Anthropologist for National Park Service, National Capital Area. His NPS projects include a study on subsistence/supplemental fishing on the Washington waterways, an investigation of Summer in the Parks and its effects on the GoGo and Punk scene, and ethnographic explorations of community usage of parks throughout the DC region. He wrote his dissertation on White urban Appalachians who were members of the Original Rainbow Coalition along with the Black Panthers and Young Lords in 1960s Chicago. Noel has discussed his research topics on Kojo Nnamndi, WTOP and other local media programs. Noel grew up and lived throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. He lives with his wife and three kids in Alexandria, VA.Cut

Samir Meghelli

Samir Meghelli

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Dr. Samir Meghelli serves as Museum Curator at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution, he was a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) and the Paris Institute of Political Science (Paris, France).  He received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

Dr. Meghelli’s research, teaching, and curatorial work have focused on social movements, cultural/musical history, urban history, and community history. He has produced and consulted for documentary films and historical exhibitions, as well as led community history projects in Philadelphia (PA), New York City (NY), and Washington, DC. Most recently, he led a research project exploring the history and contemporary dynamics of neighborhood change and neighborhood activism in Washington, DC, and curated the culminating exhibition: “A Right to the City.” He is the co-author of “The Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness” (2006), co-editor of “New Perspectives on the History of Marcus Garvey, the U.N.I.A., and the African Diaspora” (2011), and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, Black Arts Quarterly, and The Western Journal of Black Studies, among other places.

Nancy Shia

Nancy Shia

Community Photographer

I began photographing people in the projects and on park benches in New Haven, Connecticut in 1965. Two years later, I was photographing the same subjects in New York City. I graduated from the City College of New York in 1970 with a major in sociology and minor in photography. I got an MS from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1972 and came to DC to go to Antioch Law School the same year. In DC, I continued photographing people on park benches, as well as political movements, human struggles and extensively documenting the
community I live in. I graduated from Antioch Law School in 1978.

For 20 years, I worked for a news service where my beat was Capitol Hill and the State Department. I’ve been a member of the National Press Club for 25 years. For three years (2012-2015) I worked for The Washington Informer.

I was an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Adams Morgan for seven years. First, from 1982 to 1984, and second from 2007 to 2010.

My collection of hard copy photographs has been in the Washingtoniana section of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library since its temporary closure
in March 2017. Since then, I’ve been working on digitizing my 36 linear feet and 50+ years of negatives. I’ve completed the digitization of 3
years, 1976, 1977 and 1978.

My photos have been published around the world, including in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Paris Match and more.

Kimberly Springle

Kimberly Springle

Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives

Kimberly E. Springle is an Historian with a focus on community history. Her research interests include 20th Century African American History, the history of public education, and capturing the untold stories of lesser known contributors to society.

Kimberly is the Founder and Principal Consultant of K.E. Springle Cultural Consulting, serving communities and individuals nationwide in preserving their cultural assets and lecturing on topics related to cultural heritage. Kimberly also presently serves as the Executive Director of Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, the official museum and repository for DC Public Education. In her capacity, she is the steward of the Historic Museum site and serves as the Historian and Archivist for the DC Public Education System.

Over her 17 year career in the museum field, Kimberly has worked with various cultural institutions including the Smithsonian Institution Archives, National Museum of American History and with Lord Cultural Resources, a Canadian-based museum consulting firm. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the National Council on Public History (NCPH), and is a member of the Editorial Review Board and Diversity and Inclusion Committee for American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). In addition, she is a member and First Vice President of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, DC State Organization, which promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education worldwide.

Kimberly earned her Master of Arts Degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (State University of New York, Oneonta). She also earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with a Minor in African American Studies from College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. She is a proud native of Greenville, South Carolina.

Photo courtesy of Rocview Photography

Lisa Warwick

Lisa Warwick

DC Public Library

Lisa Warwick is currently serving as the Interim Manager of the People’s Archive at DC Public Library. She holds her M.A. in Information Science from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Lisa worked in academic and specialty research libraries, including the University of Maryland and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, before coming to DC Public Library in 2013. Working at the People’s Archive combines her love of old paper smell with serving the public. Outside of work, she enjoys biking, baking and reading at home with her cat, Bruce.

Humanities Truck Committee


The Humanities Truck Committee is comprised of individuals from the American University community and consults with Truck staff on the selection of Fellows and more.

Rob Albro

Rob Albro

Research Associate Professor, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies
Juliana Martinez

Juliana Martinez

Assistant Professor, World Languages & Culture
Leslie Nellis

Leslie Nellis

Associate Archivist, University Library
Jane Palmer

Jane Palmer

Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology
MJ Rymsza-Pawlowska

MJ Rymsza-Pawlowska

Assistant Professor of History

MJ Rymsza-Pawlowska grew up in D.C. and is thrilled to be living and working here! An assistant professor in AU’s Department of History, MJ is interested in popular history, form, and representation, MJ ‘s research asks how our understanding and portrayal of the past changes alongside larger cultural shifts. Her first book, History Comes Alive: Public History and Popular Culture in the 1970s was published in 2017, and she is currently in the beginning stages of a new project, tentatively called Burying Our Feelings about time capsules in the twentieth century. As Associate Director of the Grad Program in Public History, MJ’s interdisciplinary teaching and practice revolves around exhibition and interpretation—she is currently developing a Humanities Truck project called Community History Snapshots: students in her Public History Practicum will work with community partners to highlight the way that Washington’s built environment has been changing. MJ is also involved with DC’s local history community; she has written for Washington History magazine, and is on the Planning Committee of the 45th Annual DC History Conference.

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Ximena Varela

Ximena Varela

Director, Arts Management Program | Department of Performing Arts
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