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Intrepid Museum’s National Endowment for
the Humanities Summer Institute for Teachers

Perspectives on World War II in the Pacific Theater
July 18 – July 29, 2022


Depending on public-health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for an on-site offering are subject to change. Pursuant to the City of New York’s Emergency Executive Order No. 225, patrons of the Intrepid Museum 12 years of age and older must provide proof of at least one vaccination shot against COVID-19, as well as identification, before entering the premises. Learn more

NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers: Perspectives on WWII in the Pacific Theater


Project Description/Schedule

A diverse cross-section of Americans participated in waging the Pacific War, on the battlefield and on the home front. Yet too many stories are still underrepresented. Perspectives on World War II in the Pacific Theater examines this war experience through multiple and diverse narratives and perspectives, offering teachers a chance to develop a classroom practice which explores a full, layered and accurate history in a way which challenges and engages their students.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark whose construction began on December 1, 1941, just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Commissioned in 1943, Intrepid served in the Pacific through the end of the war and then during the occupation of Japan. Drawing upon scholarship and firsthand accounts, such as those of the Black gunners who manned Intrepid's “Gun Tub 10,” and whose heroism during a kamikaze attack is commemorated in the Museum’s exhibition, and who waged a decades-long campaign to receive full acknowledgement of their bravery, this Institute will connect participants directly to the “stuff” of history. The Museum’s collection includes nearly 20,000 objects, archives and media items, about one-fifth of which directly supports the study of the era. A number of exhibitions and restored spaces —from Intrepid’s anchor chain room to the combat information center, from the flight deck to the bridge—will provide a physical connection to the history being explored. The Museum’s collection also includes items such as uniforms associated with two pioneering women: Harriet Pickens, one of the first Black officers in the U.S. Navy WAVES, and Lily Gridley, the first woman to serve as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Marine Corps. Invited scholars will contextualize stories of individuals such as these without shying away from a frank look at the ways in which racism, sexism and discrimination shaped the participation of patriotic women, immigrants, Black people and Japanese Americans during the war. Yet participate they did. In addition, individual stories and first-hand accounts will introduce the experiences and perspectives of the people of Japan and Japanese Americans.

Broadening the scope of the voices included in the historical narrative will not only engage teachers in a nuanced exploration of the role individuals have played in historical events, it will better prepare them to foster a passion for history in their students, particularly those from underrepresented groups who will, possibly for the first time, see the important contributions of people who look like them fully integrated into the telling of our nation’s history.

Building on approaches implemented during the Museum’s successful all-virtual Summer Institute in 2020 the proposed 2022 Institute will be offered as a hybrid model, with five days in person at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City and five days engaged in remote learning during an equally rigorous set of experiences.

The overarching goals for participants in the Institute are for participants to increase:

  • • Knowledge of the diverse experiences and perspectives of people who participated in the Pacific War on the line and on the home front
  • • Knowledge of resources which represent a more inclusive representation of those involved
  • • Ability to apply principles of culturally responsive teaching and civil dialog to the study of World War II
  • • Skills in and knowledge of archival research
  • • Usage of primary source documents, artifacts and ephemera in the classroom to promote historical thinking
  • • Confidence in teaching less familiar aspects of World War II history with respect and accuracy

Institute Schedule and Readings

Please see the downloadable drafts of the PDFInstitute agenda and PDFreading list. In order to foster a deeper exploration of the readings and model a useful teaching tool we will be utilizing the “literature circle” approach to our readings, and we will be supplying all books and articles.

The Institute:
Institute Dates:

• Application:
• Participant Notification:
• Participant Acceptance:

Perspectives on World War II in the Pacific Theater
July 18 – July 29, 2022
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City (week 1); Remote Platforms (week 2)

March 1, 2022
March 25
April 8


While in New York City, participating NEH-Funded Summer Scholars will have the Museum’s Michael Tyler Fisher Center for Education as their primary base for the duration of the Institute, with meetings off-site and in other areas of the Museum as appropriate. The Education Center is equipped with classrooms, a computer lab and meeting rooms. Audiovisual capabilities include drop-down screens, wall-mounted flat screens, built-in LCD projectors, blackout screens, Wi-Fi and PC/Mac inputs for presentations. Many of the historic spaces are not accessible for those with mobility challenges, however, the Education Center is fully wheelchair accessible. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided if requested, and assistive listening devices with hearing loops are also available as are tactile maps and other accommodations. Teachers will have ample opportunity to explore the Museum and experience firsthand how the Museum uses its collection and archival holdings to increase public understanding of the humanities. During the remote delivery week, participants will be making use of digitized collections, recorded curator videos, virtual resources, live scholarly presentations via Zoom, and a variety of digital education tools including the Intrepid’s online E-Museum collection. Participants will build on the collegial nature of the first week and remain connected virtually through daily digital conversation platforms, small online group meetings, and continue to work in one-on-one meetings with Master Teachers and Museum staff to develop their final project. Throughout the Institute, work will be provided in an online learning management system to provide continuity between weeks one and two.


Project Co-Directors

Lynda Kennedy, PhD

Lynda Kennedy, PhDLynda Kennedy, MS Ed PhD, has devoted her nearly 30-year career to education, including developing and leading professional learning experiences for pre-service and in-service educators in social studies, history and arts integration. She has extensive experience in implementing federally funded grant projects, including three successful NEH Summer Institutes.

Gerrie Bay Hall

Gerrie Bay HallGerrie Bay Hall, M.A, Director of Lifelong Learning, has been at the Intrepid Museum for just over 12 years developing and managing programs for teachers, students and learners of all ages and abilities. She has worked in the field of education and museums for over 20 years and serves on the Editorial Review Panel for the Journal of Museum Education.


Visiting Lecturers and Museum Scholars

Dr. Regina Akers

Dr. Regina AkersDr. Regina Akers is an historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command whose work focuses on diversity and personnel issues in the Navy. Her publications include The Navy’s First Enlisted Women: Patriotic Pioneers. She is the author of the Navy’s forthcoming oral history guide.

Dr. Theodore Cook

Dr. Theodore Cook is a specialist in Japanese History and Society and an oral historian teaching at William Patterson University.

Dr. Judy Litoff

Dr. Judy LitoffDr. Judy Litoff, Professor of History at Bryant University, is the author of numerous publications focused on American Women's History, U.S. Women and World War II.

Dr. Emiko Ohuki-Tierney

Dr. Emiko Ohuki-TierneyDr. Emiko Ohuki-Tierney, William F. Vilas Professor at the University of Wisconsin, is a native of Japan. Her research foci have been on various symbols of identities of the Japanese, such as rice and the monkey, within broader socio-political contexts and in comparative perspective.

Dr. G. Kurt Piehler

Dr. G. Kurt PiehlerDr. G. Kurt Piehler is the Director of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University and the founding director of the Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II.

Dr. Charissa Threat

Dr. Charissa ThreatDr. Charissa Threat is a Professor at Chapman University whose research focuses on the intersections of civil-military relations and race, gender and conflict.



Jessica Williams, MS

Jessica Williams, MSJessica Williams, MS is the Curator of History and Collections at the Intrepid Museum. She also oversees the Museum’s collections department, guiding the development and use of the Museum’s collection of artifacts, archives, media and oral histories in addition to overseeing the interpretation of the ship’s two historic vessels, the aircraft carrier Intrepid and the submarine Growler.

Danielle Swanson, MS

Danielle Swanson, MS Danielle Swanson, MS, is the Manager of Collections for the Intrepid Museum, overseeing care and acquisitions and has spearheaded the digitization of collections for ease of online access through E-Museum.


Master Teachers

Ellen Bales, PhD

Ellen Bales, PhDEllen Bales, PhD, holds a doctorate in the history of science from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a postdoctoral research fellow and thesis advisor at Harvard and has been teaching high school history since 2011.

Nick Lawrence

Nick LawrenceNick Lawrence, assistant principal of East Bronx Academy for the Future, was formally the head of the school’s Social Studies Department for grades 6–12, and is active in the National Council for the Social Studies.


Collaborating Organizations

Brooklyn Navy Yard, established in 1801, is one of the nation’s most storied shipyards and one of the nation’s first federal shipyards.

Center for Brooklyn History preserves, protects and shares Brooklyn's history with the borough's diverse audiences and beyond.




Before applying, please review the eligibility criteria from the NEH. PDF


Participant Expectations

Project applicants who accept an offer to participate are expected to remain during the entire period of the program and to participate in its work on a full-time basis. If a participant is obliged through special circumstances to depart before the end of the program, it shall be the recipient institution’s responsibility to see that only a pro rata share of the stipend is received or that the appropriate pro rata share of the stipend is returned if the participant has already received the full stipend.

Once an applicant has accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (Seminar, Institute, or Landmark), they may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.

All participants are required to submit a project evaluation.


How to Apply

NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes allow K-12 teachers an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their teaching through the study of humanities topics that bear upon K-12 education. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the program, but the programs are not intended to duplicate graduate-level courses.

Each seminar provides an intimate and focused environment in which sixteen participants (NEH Summer Scholars) study a specific humanities topic under the guidance of one or two established scholars. Seminars have few, if any, visiting faculty. They emphasize sustained interaction among the participants and director(s) through discussion of common readings, conversations about teaching, and advising on independent projects.

Each institute allows twenty-five to thirty-six participants (NEH Summer Scholars) to pursue an intensive program of study under a team of scholarly experts, who present a range of perspectives on a humanities topic. Participants and scholars mutually explore connections between scholarship and teaching of the topic.

In any given year, an individual may apply to two Seminars or Institutes, but may attend only one.

Depending on public-health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for an on-site offering are subject to change. Pursuant to the City of New York’s Emergency Executive Order No. 225, patrons of the Intrepid Museum 12 years of age and older must provide proof of at least one vaccination shot against COVID-19, as well as identification, before entering the premises. Learn more


A selection committee is comprised of the project directors and two or more colleagues, at least one of whom is a K-12 teacher. They evaluate all complete applications to select a group of NEH Summer Scholars and identify alternates.

Application essays should explain how the specific program will benefit the participant professionally.

They should, therefore, address the following:
1. Your effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
2. your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the seminar or institute;
3. your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program; and
4. evidence that participation will have a long-term impact on your teaching.

Open to all who fit the NEH eligibility criteria, Perspectives on World War II in the Pacific Theater is most appropriate for middle and high school social studies, history and humanities teachers.

Three seminar spaces and five institute spaces may be reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less). First consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute.

When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference is given to those who would enhance the diversity of the program.


To help offset costs, the stipend for the two week institute is $2,200. Half will be paid at the beginning of the Institute and ½ at the end. The full amount of Institute hours must be completed in order to receive the full stipend. Stipends are taxable as income.

Seminar and institute participants must attend all meetings and engage fully as professionals in the work of the project. During the project, participants may not undertake teaching assignments or professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project. Those who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project will receive a reduced stipend.

Housing: Participants will arrange their own housing in line with their personal preferences. Please be aware that hotels in the immediate area can run $250 per night. More details and housing suggestions will be sent to accepted participants. Participants will be issued a metro card for use on New York City MTA subways and buses for the duration of the Institute.

Prior to applying to a specific seminar or institute, please study the project website and carefully consider the project’s requirements. A complete application consists of the following items:

1. A Résumé and References

Please include a résumé or curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages). Include the name, title, phone number, and e-mail address of two professional references.

2. The Application Essay

The application essay should be no more than four double spaced pages. It should address your interest in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to the learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating; and, if appropriate, description of an independent project and its relation to the topic of the program and your professional responsibilities.


Applications must be submitted to the project director, not the NEH, no later than March 1, 2022. Applications sent to the NEH will not be reviewed.

Send your application to: Lynda Kennedy, VP Education & Evaluation via our online submission form: ⬇application form

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on March 25, 2022. They will have until April 8 to accept or decline the offer.


Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202/606 8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).


National Endowment for the Humanities

The Perspectives on World War II in the Pacific Theater Institute for K-12 Educators has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.