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Hudson River Valley Institute Staff Hudson River Valley Institute Staff

Hudson River Valley Institute Staff and Associates

Thomas Wermuth, Director, Hudson River Valley Institute
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Marist College
Ph.D., Binghamton University
MA, State University of New York at Albany
Bachelor of Arts in History, Marist College


Dr. Wermuth is the editor of the book series "The Hudson River Valley: An American Region," from the State University of New York Press, featuring books about the history and culture of the region. Dr. Wermuth's research and teaching is focused around the social and economic history of the Hudson River Valley. He is an associate editor of The Encyclopedia of New York State published by the Syracuse University Press, and the author of Rip Van Winkle's Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley, published by the State University of New York Press. Dr. Wermuth serves as the Publisher and Chair of the Editorial Board of The Hudson River Valley Review.

 

James M. Johnson, Executive Director, Hudson River Valley Institute
Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Chair in Hudson River Valley History, Marist College
Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley
Ph.D., Duke University
MA in History, Duke University
MA in National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College
BS, United States Military Academy at West Point


Dr. James M. Johnson is the Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College and serves as the Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Chair in Hudson River Valley History. He taught courses in military and Hudson River Valley history there from 2000-2018. As the Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, he has been involved with a number of major projects, including the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site and Visitor Center, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at New Windsor Cantonment, the Henry Knox Cannon Trail, Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution, including a Patriots’ Weekend each year from 2002-2008, the conservation of the fortifications at West Point, and the 5th New York Regiment. Author of Militia, Rangers, and Redcoats, co-compiler of America’s First River, and the co-editor of “Key to the Northern Country”: The Hudson River Valley in the American Revolution, Dr. Johnson graduated from United States Military Academy in 1969 and served for thirty years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel. He commanded two field artillery batteries in Germany and Korea and taught for fifteen years in two tours in the Department of History at West Point. In his second tour there, he headed the military history program, rising to the rank of Professor of History. He has received the following awards: U.S. Army’s Legion of Merit (2), French Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Medal of Honor and History Award; Fellow of the New York Academy of History; three awards of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution’s Good Citizenship Medal (1 silver and 2 bronze). The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association, New York designated him a “Hero of the Hudson,” and the Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association presented him with the Sarah Cornelia Tappen Clinton Award for his contributions to the history of the Hudson River Valley.  He received the Champion of History Award from Lincoln Society of Peekskill in 2015 and the Helen Wilkinson Reynolds Award from the Dutchess County Historical Society in 2017. He is a Board member of Boscobel Home and Gardens, the Constitution Island Association, Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association, Living History Education Foundation, and the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association. He is the Vice President and a founding board member of the Friends of the American Revolution at West Point and is on the Advisory Board of the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot.

 

Christopher Pryslopski, Program Director, Hudson River Valley Institute
MPA, Marist College
Bachelor of Arts in Community, Regional, Environmental Studies, Bard College

As the Program Director, Mr. Pryslopski coordinates projects and programs associated with the core mission of the HRVI. He also maintains HRVI's Digital Library and Portal Site, and serves as an Editor of The Hudson River Valley Review. He was co-editor of the 2013 publication Key to the Northern Country: The Hudson River Valley in the American Revolution as well as America’s First River in 2009. He is a specialist in regional studies and is the author of "Cultivating the Greenhouse Complex at Mills Mansion," The Hudson Valley Regional Review, March 1999, and “Getting to “The Point;” Design No. 26: The L. M. Hoyt House at Staatsburg,” Dutchess County Historical Society Yearbook, 2009. Chris is completing his third term on the Rosendale Town Council, and his first term on the Board of Directors of the D&H Canal Historical Society.
 
Andrew Villani, Operations Director, Hudson River Valley Institute
MPA, Marist College
Bachelor of Arts in History/Adolescent Education, Marist College

As Operations Director, Mr. Villani coordinates multiple annual events including the Handel-Krom Lecture in Hudson River Valley History, serves as liaison to other departments throughout Marist College, and is the primary point of contact for finance and donor management.  As Business Manager for The Hudson River Valley Review (HRVR), he distributes two issues annually, manages sales and subscriptions, and is responsible for creation and implementation of subscriber recruitment strategies.  Andy is the co-editor of the 2013 publication, Key to the Northern Country: The Hudson River Valley in the American Revolution, and authors the New and Noteworthy section of HRVR.  Additionally, Andy is a founding board member of the Marist Young Professionals and serves on the Board of Directors of the Dutchess County Historical Society.


Jason Schaaf, Education Coordinator, Hudson River Valley Institute
MA in Military History, Norwich University
MA in Medieval History, University of Wales, Swansea
Bachelor of Arts in History, Marist College
 
As the Education Coordinator, Mr. Schaaf works with the history interns to create projects related to Hudson River Valley History. These projects have included maintaining the HRVI blog, guiding interns in the creation of lesson plans, regional history essays and a podcast on the Hudson River Valley. He has worked as the Hudson River Valley Institute representative on projects as diverse as the New York State Quadrennial Celebration, the Oral History of the Hudson River Rail Bridge and with Teaching the Hudson Valley. Additionally, Jason Schaaf has been an adjunct professor for 20 years at both Dutchess Community College and Marist College.

 

HRVI Associates

Architecture Neil Larson, Larson Fischer Associates
Archivist Dr. John Ansley, Marist College Archivist
Creative Writing Tommy Zurhellen, Associate Professor of English, Marist College
Economics Dr. Ann Davis, Marist College
Education Dr. Zsuzsanna Szabo, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Education Programs, Marist College
Environmental Science Chris Bowser, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Marist College
Law Annamaria Maciocia Esq., Marist College
Literature Dr. Donald Anderson, Marist College (retired), and Judith Saunders, Marist College (retired)
Local History Dr. Nicholas Marshall, Department of History, Marist College and Mr. Mark Morreale, Department of English, Marist College
New York Politics Dr. Martin Shaffer, Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Marist College
Women's Studies Dr. Robyn Rosen and Dr. Sara Dwyer-McNulty, Department of History, Marist College
Writing & Editing Dr. Joseph Zeppetello and Dr. Stephen Mercier, Department of English, Marist College