Belfer Program Staff                                                             

Cameron Sumner Walpole, Program Assistant
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Christine Beresniova, Program Coordinator
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Kristin Thompson, Program Coordinator
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

USHMM Presenters

Dr. William Frederick Meinecke Jr.

Dr. William Frederick Meinecke Jr. is a historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He received his undergraduate degree in German and history from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 1983. He attended the universities of Bonn and Berlin in Germany and received his M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1998) in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. The title of his dissertation was Conflicting Loyalties: The Supreme Court in Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1945. In 1992 Meinecke joined the staff of the Museum’s Wexner Learning Center to help design a multimedia program on the Holocaust, the Historical Atlas of the Holocaust (book and CD-ROM), and a Web site for students. Since 2000, Meinecke has worked with law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, and attorneys in the Museum’s Law, Justice, and the Holocaust training program. His book, Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust, was published by the Museum in December 2007.

Museum Teacher Fellow Facilitators

Social Studies History

Doug Wadley

Belfer2015Portrait (2).jpg

Doug Wadley is the social science department chairperson at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in Bradley, IL. He was awarded a Mandel Teacher Fellowship by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002 and was named to the Regional Education Corps in 2007. In 2008 he was asked to be part of the Polish-Israeli-American Teachers Study Tour in Warsaw and Krakow. Since 2011 he has been a facilitator at the Belfer National Conferences for English and Social Studies at the USHMM. He has delivered workshops for the USHMM throughout the United States since 2005.From 2007-2009 he served on the Educator Advisory Board of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. He has done curriculum design for Menemsha Films for several of their Holocaust-related projects. He holds a Master of Science in Jewish Studies, with an emphasis in Holocaust education, from Spertus College in Chicago, IL.

Kira Aarestad


Kira Aarestad works at Vantage Point High School, an alternative high school
focusing on the needs of at-risk youth. She has taught at Vantage Point since 1995, teaching 9th-12th graders both Language Arts and Social Studies. Since 2000, Kira has taught various Holocaust and 20th Century Genocide related courses. In 2006, she became a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow. In 2011, she and other Museum Fellows started the Colorado Holocaust Educators to further teacher training and Holocaust education in Colorado and Wyoming.

Andrew Buchanan Ph.D.
Dr. Buchanan is a public high school teacher in NJ who teaches a full year course on Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He helped write the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education and the NJ Hellenic American Heritage Commission state curriculum “Greece – Prior to, During and After the Holocaust.” Dr. Buchanan recently travelled to Greece for research, having received the Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grant from Facing History and Ourselves. In October 2016, he gave the Oxi Day Commemorative Lecture at Ellis Island. A Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Alfred Lerner Fellow, Dr. Buchanan is a recipient of the Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education. Dr. Buchanan and his students participated in a filming of their work, titled, Holocaust Diaries, which received an Emmy Nomination in the Public/Current/Community Affairs Program/Special category. He has studied at historical Holocaust sites in Germany, Poland, and at Yad Vashem and the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz in Israel.

Cathleen Cadigan

Cadigan Belfer Portrait 2015.jpg

Cathleen Cadigan has taught in the Social Studies Department at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Texas for 21 years. In addition to teaching general and Advanced Placement United States History, she teaches Holocaust and Genocide Studies as well. Cathleen also serves as a new teacher mentor, senior class sponsor, and anti-drug coordinator for her campus. After becoming a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow in 2000, she has remained active in Holocaust Education. Cathleen finds great joy in her family, books, travel, and musical theater.

Amy McDonald

Amy is a teacher at Shades Valley High School, where she currently teaches AP U.S. History and Holocaust Studies. She received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and a Masters of Education in Secondary Social Science from the University of Montevallo. In addition to teaching, Amy was also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Honor Flight Birmingham. From 2007-2012, Amy and other Honor Flight volunteers raised funds and took over 900 WWII veterans on 15 Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. to see their WWII Memorial. For her work with Honor Flight, Amy has received the 2011 Natalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Montevallo, Special Commendation from the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, GAC Youth Leadership Program Veterans Supporter Award, and the National Veterans Day 2012 Soaring Eagle Award. In her work with Holocaust Studies, Amy attended the 2011 Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Summer Institute for Teachers at Columbia University. After completion of this training, Amy became an Alfred Lerner Fellow and attends the JFR Advanced Seminar in January of each year. In 2012 and 2015, Amy participated in the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European Study Program to Germany and Poland. In December 2013, Amy travelled to New York to receive the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education. In 2014, Amy was accepted into the U.S. Holocaust Museum Teacher Fellowship Program, which is held in Washington, D.C. After completing this program in July 2015, Amy is recognized as a Teacher Fellow of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2017, Amy authored the book, Determined to Survive: A Story of Survival and One Teacher’s Passion to Bring That Story to Life. This book details the life and experiences of Holocaust survivor, Max Steinmetz, who currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama.


English Language Arts

Matthew Good

Matthew GoodFather, husband, librarian, educator, juggler, drummer, coffee drinker… A librarian at Donegal Junior High School in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, Matthew attended the Belfer National Conference in 2011 and has been a Museum Teacher Fellow since 2014. In the summer of 2012 he traveled to Israel, Germany, and Poland with the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Program. Matthew has directed several productions of, “The Diary of Anne Frank” for regional and high school theatres, using the show as a tool to instruct the community about the Holocaust. With the most recent production, he partnered with the local public library to present, “Reading and Writing with Anne Frank”, a touring exhibit from the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York City.

Jeff Parker


Jeffrey Parker teaches English at Geneva High School in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He is a teacher fellow with the USHMM and Memorial Library and is currently working on his PhD in Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester where his research focus is in the area of Holocaust and Genocide education. He lives with his wife, Karen, and two children, Acadia and Cole. When not teaching or researching, he can be found walking with his dog in the woods or trying to figure out when his children suddenly got so old.

Kim Blevins-Relleva


Kim Blevins-Relleva has taught 7th and 8th grade history and English at Abintra Montessori School for sixteen years and is an adjunct professor of history at Nashville State Community College. Kim attended the Belfer Conference in 2006, and became a USHMM Museum Teaching Fellow in 2011. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University (BA history/political science); the University of Memphis (Master of Arts, history- specialization in 20th century German history); and Vanderbilt University (MEd). Her teaching awards include Tennessee Outstanding Humanities Educator, Tennessee Holocaust Teacher of the Year, and Margot Stern Strom Facing History & Ourselves National Teaching Award. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two sons and she’s a poet for Versify: Poetry on Demand, a podcast project of WPLN, the local NPR station.

Connect with us on social media using #Belfer2017