Ally Bain, Grace Elizabeth Groner Fellow
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Ally Bain is the Grace Elizabeth Groner Fellow for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier. In her role at the Center, Ally creates, posts, and manages social media content as well as provides leadership for on-site programs and staff trainings. Among previous work experience, Ally served as an Investigative Assistant at the United States Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division and Disability Rights Section where she reviewed violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She was named "The Activist" as one of Glamour magazine's "Top Ten College Women of 2011" for her advocacy efforts relating to the passage of the Restroom Access Act in more than a dozen states. Ally received her B.A. in Communications with minors in Politics and Legal Studies from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Kelly Carmichael Booz, Director of Civic Education
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Kelly Carmichael Booz is the Director of Civic Education, where she is responsible for developing and implementing programs and services that enhance civic engagement and constitutional education for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution and The Montpelier Foundation. This includes directing programs for educators including the Virginia We the People program, elected officials, and the general public as well as developing and managing outreach and partnerships with other civic-related organizations, and directing online courses for educators and the public on the Constitution. Kelly also works with the Virginia Commission on Civic Education, the Campaign to Promote Civic Education at the Center for Civic Education, and the Virginia Consortium of Social Studies Specialists and College Educators to influence and recommend sound civic education policy. Kelly also contributes to WETS-FM's "Your Weekly Constitutional" radio show each week. She serves on the YMCA DC Youth and Government Board of Advisors and was awarded the Service to Program in November of 2007 for her work overhauling the lesson plans and curriculum provided to the student advisors. In 2011, she graduated from the Candidate Training Program with the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and is currently serving as a fellow in the 2011 Sorensen Political Leadership Program class. Prior to working at the Center for the Constitution, Kelly worked in the Curriculum Department at the Close Up Foundation, serving as the Manager of Teacher Programs. Kelly received her M.Ed. in Social Foundations of Education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Women's Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Jen Patja Howell, Director of Digital Publishing
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Jennifer Patja Howell is the Director of Digital Publishing for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, where she oversees the development of online initiatives. When she started at the Center in 2007 as the Program Manager, she managed the Montpelier Seminars, the Center's marketing effort and website updates, tracked program statistics, and was responsible for evaluating the long-term effects of the Center's programs. In this role, she also developed and directed the Center's law enforcement program and spearheaded its international program initiative, working with participants from over 40 countries. Jen has also worked with the Center for Civic Education in Washington, D.C., where she helped to run the D.C. We the People program, worked in congressional relations on Capitol Hill, and managed the national We the People Alumni program. Prior to her work in civic education, Jen was a Teaching Assistant in Sociology at the University of Virginia for courses including Classical Sociological Theory and Sociological Research Methods, and a Graduate Instructor in Criminology. Jen has worked as a Freelance Editor and Researcher for 10 years, completing both academic and corporate projects. In 2008, she co-wrote an article for White House Studies, titled "Conceptualizing James Madison's Constitutional Vision: The Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier." Jen received her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in English with a minor in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Susan Simpson, Program Manager
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Susan Simpson is the Program Manager for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier. In this role, Susan manages the Montpelier Seminars for Teachers, seminars for Law Enforcement Officers, and programs for International Visitors. Susan also manages logistics for most on-site programs. In addition to this work, Susan serves as the primary guide for Center for the Constitution tours of the Montpelier mansion, provides research assistance for special projects, and is responsible for evaluating the impact of the Center's programs. Outside of the Center, Susan served for five years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and has been a guest speaker in her daughters' history and drama classes. Susan received her B.A. in History from George Mason University in 1997, focusing on Early American History and International Studies. She came to Montpelier in 2007 working first as a guide in the mansion before joining the Center in 2009.
C. Douglas Smith, Executive Director
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Doug Smith is a non-profit executive with extensive experience in civic engagement and program growth. He is the former CEO & President of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy where he led an eight year effort to create one of the most well known state-based policy centers in the country which included government relations, micro-enterprise development, and institutional development. Doug was formerly on staff with an international relief organization in Geneva, Switzerland and has served as Senior Web Strategist for a dot com. He is a graduate of James Madison University (B.S.), Lexington Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and in 2005 was named a Fellow of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. Doug serves as Chairman of the Board of Heifer International and received such awards as the "Top 40 under 40" in Central Virginia, the Richmond History Makers Award, and was named a "World Changer" by his alma mater. He and his family live in Richmond, Virginia and are in the process of relocating to Charlottesville to be closer to Montpelier.
Lynn Uzzell, Scholar in Residence
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Dr. Lynn Uzzell received her Ph.D. in politics at the University of Dallas and bachelors degree at Black Hills State University. She has taught extensively about the Constitution and is an expert on the Constitutional Convention. Dr. Uzzell was a post-doctoral fellow in the Constitutionalism and Democracy Program at the University of Virginia and is serving as Veritas Fund Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the John Marshall Center for the Study of Statesmanship in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. She is currently the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution's Scholar in Residence.