Experts & Witnesses
To request an interview with one or more of the following May 4 experts and witnesses, please contact Eric Mansfield ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-2797), Emily Vincent ( email@example.com or 330-672-8595) or Bob Burford ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-8516) of the university’s media relations team.
Kent State University professor emerita of English and founding director of Kent State's May 4 Visitors Center.
Laura Davis is a Kent State University professor emerita of English and the founding director of Kent State's May 4 Visitors Center. She was a freshman on campus during the 1970 events. Working with university and community members, she coordinated and co-led the creation of an audio-guided walking tour of the May 4 historic site that was dedicated during the 40th anniversary.
Davis was active in developing the Kent State May 4 Visitors Center. She and Carole Barbato, professor emerita of communications studies at Kent State, co-taught the university’s May 4 course and co-chaired the 2009 Symposium on Democracy. Davis was one of the four co-authors of the application to add the May 4 site to the National Register of Historic Places, which was approved in February 2010.
Kent State University professor emeritus of anthropology
Mark Seeman is a Kent State University professor emeritus of anthropology who spearheaded the application to add the May 4 site to the National Register of Historic Places. Seeman was one of the four co-authors of the application, and the site was added to the list in February 2010. Seeman was active in developing the Kent State May 4 Visitors Center.
Jerry M. Lewis
Kent State University professor emeritus of sociology
Jerry M. Lewis is a professor emeritus of sociology at Kent State University. Serving as a faculty marshal in 1970, he witnessed the 1970 events first hand. He has devoted his time to researching, memorializing and lecturing since the events took place. Lewis co-authored an analysis of the May 4 shootings with Thomas R. Hensley, a professor emeritus of political science. Lewis was one of the four co-authors of the application to add the May 4 site to the National Register of Historic Places, which was approved in February 2010.
Thomas Grace was one of the wounded students on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University. He is a scholar and instructor of American history. He specializes in dissent and the protest movement in the 1960s and is author of “Kent State: A Legacy of Dissent, 1958-1973,” forthcoming from University of Massachusetts Press. He brings a unique perspective as a history scholar and student wounded at Kent State to contextualizing May 4 in its times. He lectures and teaches at colleges in Western New York.
Jay Winter is the Charles J. Stille professor of history at Yale University. He is an expert on war and remembrance, which includes his scholarship on “public” and “collective” history and the “memory boom.” He is the author/co-author of 14 books and has edited 16 others. He served as the co-producer and chief historian for the PBS/BBC television series “The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century,” which won an Emmy Award, Peabody Award, and Producers Guild of America Award for best documentary in 1997. Winter also is founding member and designer of the Historial de la grand guerre (international museum of the First World War) in Péronne, Somme, France.
Renee Romano is an associate professor of history at Oberlin College. She specializes in the history of race relations in the United States since World War II. She is author of “Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America” and co-editor of “The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory.” Her current book project (forthcoming from Harvard University Press) is tentatively titled “Justice Delayed: Civil Rights Trials and America’s Racial Reckoning.”
Doug Fuller is president of Fuller Design Group – Architects in Kent, Ohio. He was a sophomore architecture student at Kent State University when the May 4, 1970, events occurred. Though he did not see the shootings, he was nearby and spent some time in the area of the shootings as people were trying to help those who had been injured. He stayed in Kent, marrying a local, and for many years, he did not tell people that he was near the shootings when they occurred. Fuller is past president of Main Street Kent and a member of the Kent Historical Society and Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.
Franco Ruffini serves as deputy state historic preservation officer at the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. He oversees the Inventory & Registration, Technical Preservation Services, and Resource Protection and Review departments. Ruffini also administers the Certified Local Government program.