Faculty Ms. Valerie Pope Burnes Ms. Valerie Pope Burnes is an Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of the Black Belt. Her areas of study include the Civil Rights Movement and Women's History. She also teaches classes in archival studies and historic preservation. Dr. Ashley A. Dumas Dr. Ashley A. Dumas is an archaeologist specializing in the late prehistoric Southeast, European colonization, and salt and civilization. Her current research projects include the eighteenth-century Fort Tombecbe site and salt-manufacturing in southwest Alabama. She is Assistant Director of the Black Belt Museum and teaches all of the Anthropology courses. Dr. Jeff Gentsch Dr. Jeff Gentsch, a PhD graduate of the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, specializes in modern military history from the American Civil War through 1945. He also offers courses in western civilization, geography, diplomatic history and the Cold War, and won the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2010. Dr. Mark Griffith Dr. Mark Griffith is Professor of Political Science and the Pre-Law Advisor in the Department of History and Social Sciences. He teaches all the Political Science courses and Public Administration courses. Dr. Christopher D. Haveman Dr. Christopher D. Haveman is Assistant Professor of History. An Auburn University PhD, he is a specialist in the history of the Southeastern tribes. He teaches and writes in the areas of American Indian history and the history of the United States from the colonial through the Jacksonian eras. Dr. R. Volney Riser Dr. R. Volney Riser is Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences. His teaching and research specialties are the Legal and Constitutional History of the United States, Southern History, and African American History. His published his first monograph, Defying Disfranchisement: Black Voting Rights Activism in the Jim Crow South, 1890-1910, with LSU Press in 2010. He is also the author of A Goodly Heritage: Judges and Historically Significant Decisions of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (University of Alabama School of Law, 2010). Prof. Richard Schellhammer Prof. Richard Schellhammer earned his PhD in Modern European History from the University of South Carolina. Film history, in particular the history of early British silent film, is his research area. He teaches Western Civ, Honors Civ, East Asian history, and a number of European history courses. He is the 2010 recipient of the Loraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Professorship award for teaching.