NCA–UCF Partnership

Meet the Team

NCA–UCF Partnership

In May 2016, Under Secretary Ron Walters of the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) launched the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP). His vision for the VLP is “to memorialize Veterans’ service to the nation by telling their stories.” The VLP’s goal, according to Dr. Bryce Carpenter, NCA’s inaugural Educational Outreach Program Officer, is to partner with “academic communities”–scholars and students–to conduct “research about veterans’ lives, veterans in their local cemeteries” and to be able to share these stories of service and sacrifice from the 136 national cemeteries with younger students and the general public.

In 2017, the NCA selected UCF as one of three schools awarded contracts as inaugural VLP partners. In 2018, it became one of nine schools participating in the VLP nationwide. As Dr. Barbara Gannon has stated, UCF “was made for this program.” The History Department and the Center for Humanities and Digital Research (CHDR) are committed to doing publicly engaged research. Our partnership with NCA builds on a number of ongoing and relevant research projects, including the UCF Community Veterans History Project and RICHES digital archive.

Undergraduate and graduate students in UCF courses in 2017, 2018 and 2019 created digital learning tools, conducted research to find primary sources, and wrote biographies of over 130 veterans commemorated at four national cemeteries—two in Florida and two in eastern France: Florida National Cemetery, St. Augustine National Cemetery, the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. In 2018, our research focused on the history of two major conflicts in US history: the Seminole Wars and World War I. Over many months, our team of graduate and undergraduate research assistants wrote, edited and finalized biographies, created digital resources, assisted area K-12 teachers in the construction of instructional materials, and assisted with the website.

In 2022, UCF and the Florida National Guard were awarded a grant for the first Veterans Legacy Program Institute for Florida K-12 educators. Seventeen Florida teachers attended a 10-day institute where they wrote Veteran biographies and created curriculum for their classrooms.

Our partnership honors veterans and brings cemeteries alive for students—at universities, elementary, middle and high schools—through a range of instructional materials and interactive digital history tools. A big part of this partnership is to showcase “what the humanities can do in a real world setting.”

Principal Investigators

Dr. Barbara Gannon, Professor, UCF Department of History
Dr. Amy Larner Giroux, Associate Director, UCF Center for Humanities and Digital Research
Dr. Amelia Lyons, Associate Professor, UCF Department of History
Alison Simpson, Command Historian for the Florida National Guard

UCF VLP 2022-2023 Research Team

Sarah Bousfield
Sarah Boye
Jared Freedline
John Lancaster
Kathryn Loesel
Isabella Love
Gramond McPherson
Luci Meier
Melissa Rosero-Barros
Harrison Smith
Jim Stoddard
Katherine Thurlow

2022-2023 Participant Educators

Jessica Ayuso
Nicole Bennett
Lisa Bostick
Autumn Brinkmeier
Alecia Bryant
Sharon Forand
Ray Fullard
Erika Grant
Sian Heetai
Angela Hubbart
Judith Lindquist
Anne Makay
Ryan Rasmussen
Kristen Reilly
Allison Rhodes
Amanda Sykes
Heaven Wilson
Alexis Wood

2022-2023 Edgewater High School JROTC

Jonathan Chamberlin
Matthew Craig
Leo Lyons Bubar
Kiara Martinez-LaMotte
Sgt. Maj. Ray Fullard, Instructor

The UCF VLP team wishes to thank:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration
The Honorable Denis Richard McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
The Honorable Matthew T. Quinn, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs
Timothy Nosal, Director of History and Education Programs
John Williams, Senior Grants Management Specialist
Jimmy Price, Education Resource Officer
Antonio Addessi, Education Technician
Kenneth Holliday, Program Officer

The University of Central Florida
Jeffrey Moore, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities
Lyman Brodie, Executive Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities
Kristin Wetherbee, College of Arts and Humanities
Sabrina Alverez, College of Arts and Humanities
Lisa Clandenning, College of Arts and Humanities
Heather Gibson, College of Arts and Humanities
Dr. Peter Larson, Chair, History
Sira Ambrosecchia, History Department
Jessie Oldham, History Department
Ameera Bacchus, History Department
Katarina Monroe, History Department
Dr. Connie Lester, Director of RICHES, History Department
Geoffrey Cravero, RICHES, History Department
Dr. Bruce Janz, Dr. Mark Kamrath, Co-Directors of UCF’s Center for Humanities & Digital Research (CHDR)
Dr. Scot French, Associate Director, CHDR
Mike Shier, CHDR
Brook Miller, CHDR

The Florida National Guard
MG John D. Haas, Adjutant General of Florida
COL Adam M. Curry, State Quartermaster, Florida National Guard
COL Gray A. Johnson, Jr., Chief of Staff, Florida National Guard

Community Partners
Dave Chatterton, Old Town Trolley Tours and Attractions of St. Augustine
Kathy Carlson, Old Town Trolley Tours and Attractions of St. Augustine
Shannon Cassler, Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine
Dr. Jaya Dillard, Sales, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau
Chris Robertson, Exec Director, Museum of Military History
Harrison Smith, Archivist/Curator, Museum of Military History
Kimberly Murray, Executive Director, Osceola History
Steven Owens, Education Manager, Osceola History
Irwin Blanco, Photographer
Danielle Stoddard, Photographer
Dr. George R. Bousfield, Photographer

Our 2017 to 2019 VLP team.

Photo caption:
Back: Alison Simpson, Gramond McPherson, Alecia Bryant, Sebastian Garcia, Leo Lyons Bubar
Third: Jonathan Chamberlin, Amy Giroux, Nicole Bennett, Ryan Rasmussen, Erika Grant, Ray Fullard, Sharon Forand, Amanda Sykes, Heaven Wilson, Luci Meier, Amelia Lyons
Second: Bella Love, Kiara Martinez-LaMotte, Melissa Rosero-Barros, Sarah Boye, Autumn Brinkmeier, Judith Lindquist, Sian Heetai, Alexis Wood, Lisa Bostick, Angela Hubbart, Jim Stoddard, Sarah Bousfield
Front: Harrison Smith, Katherine Thurlow, Barbara Gannon, Kristen Reilly, Jessica Ayuso
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