Featured Presenters



Tom D. Crouch
Senior Curator, Aeronautics  Division
National Air and Space Museum

Tom D. Crouch

A Smithsonian employee since 1974, Tom Crouch has held a variety of curatorial and administrative posts at both the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. He holds a BA from Ohio University, an MA from Miami University and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. In 2001, the Wright State University awarded Dr. Crouch the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. He is the author or editor of more than a 15 books and dozens of articles for both popular magazines and scholarly journals, most on topics related to the history of flight technology. He is the recipient of a number of literary and professional awards and honors, including a Christopher Award for, The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright. As a presidential appointee, 2000-2004, Dr. Crouch chaired the First Flight Federal Advisory Board to the First Flight Centennial Commission.

Sarandis (“Randy”) Papadopoulos
Secretariat Historian
Department of the Navy

Sarandis “Randy” Papadopoulos

Randy Papadopoulos received his B.A. in history from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in military and naval history from the University of Alabama and earned a Ph.D. from the George Washington University (GWU). At GWU his dissertation was entitled “Feeding the Sharks: The Logistics of Submarine Warfare, 1935-1945.” He has been a Lecturer in History at GWU and the University of Maryland, College Park, worked at the US Navy History and Heritage Command, and is currently the Secretariat Historian for the Department of the Navy.

His publications include articles, book reviews, entries in reference works, and service as principal co-author of the book Pentagon 9/11, published under the auspices of the Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has served as a past trustee of the U.S. Commission on Military History and is the currently an organizer of the Military Classics Seminar, a monthly program of the Commission. A recipient of the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, Papadopoulos is also Region III Coordinator for the Society for Military History.

Tim Grove
Chief of Education, Mall Building
National Air and Space Museum

Tim Grove

Tim Grove is responsible for education staff at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. In over 15 years as a museum educator, he has led numerous teacher workshops and written a variety of curriculum materials. He has also worked on various exhibitions and educational Web activities and taught courses for universities in Puerto Rico and Missouri. He is co-author of The Museum Educator’s Manual (2009). In addition to his current position, he has worked at two other Smithsonian museums: The National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American History. He holds a graduate degree in history.

Roger Launius
Senior Curator, Space History Division
National Air and Space Museum

Roger Launius

Roger Launius is the past chair of the Division of Space History. Between 1990 and 2002 he served as chief historian of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He has written or edited more than 20 books on aerospace history, most recently the Smithsonian Atlas of Space Exploration (2009). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Academy of Astronautics, and the American Astronautical Society, and associate fellow of the AIAA. He served as a consultant to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in 2003 and presented the prestigious Harmon Memorial Lecture on the history of national security space policy at the United States Air Force Academy in 2006. He has been a guest commentator on National Public Radio and all the major television network news programs. He received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

Margaret A. Weitekamp
Curator, Space History Division
National Air and Space Museum

Margaret A. Weitekamp

As curator of the Social and Cultural Dimensions of Spaceflight collection, Margaret Weitekamp oversees over 4,000 individual pieces of space memorabilia and space science-fiction objects. These social and cultural products of the space age—everything from clothing and matchbooks, medals and awards, and buttons and tie tacs, as well as identification badges and trading cards—enhance the story about the Apollo program told by the Museum’s collection of space hardware and technologies. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University. Her book Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America’s First Women in Space Program (2004) won the 2004 Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature from the American Astronautical Society.

Robert van der Linden
Chair, Aeronautics Division
National Air and Space Museum

F. Robert van der Linden

Dr. F. Robert van der Linden is the chairman of the Aeronautics Division of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.  He is also curator of Air Transportation and Special Purpose Aircraft.  He is the responsible curator for the Milestones of Flight gallery, the America by Air gallery, and the Golden Age of Flight gallery as well as the author of seven books.

He holds a B.A. degree in History from the University of Denver, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern American, Business, and Military History from The George Washington University.  He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, and the Society for the History of Technology.  He has been with the Smithsonian since 1977.

Dorothy Cochrane
Curator, Aeronautics Division
National Air and Space Museum

Dorothy Cochrane

Dorothy Cochrane

Dorothy Cochrane is a curator in the Aeronautics Division of the National Air and Space Museum and is responsible for the collections of general aviation aircraft and flight materiel; aerial cameras; and the history of women in aviation. Cochrane hold a B.A. in History from Ithaca College and a M.Ed. from Lehigh University as well as a Private Pilot license. She is the co-author of The Aviation Careers of Igor Sikorsky and numerous articles and is co-curator for the recently renovated Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Women in Aviation International.

Ann Claunch
Director of Curriculum,
National History Day

Ann Claunch

Ann Claunch is the director of curriculum for National History Day, Inc. (NHD) and is professor emeritus of history education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Her educational experience includes 14 years as a public school teacher and 12 years as a university professor. She has researched, presented and written professionally on history education and adult education.

Dr. Claunch’s publications range from the stages of development in training mentors to the non-traditional representation of research to the study of history education. She is active in the history education community and continues to present at the state and national levels, including the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for History Education. Dr. Claunch’s primary responsibilities are to write curriculum and present teacher workshops for NHD. In addition, Dr. Claunch is the co-author of a new book, Gateways: Teaching the American West, which utilizes fictional books as entry points to historical inquiry. Dr. Claunch received her B.A. from Eastern New Mexico University in 1977, her M.A. Degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1981 and her Ph.D. in history education from the University of New Mexico in 2002.