NCPH Robert Kelley Memorial Award

This $500 award honors distinguished achievements by individuals, institutions, or nonprofit or corporate entities for making history relevant to individual lives of ordinary people outside of academia.

2015 Winner

Jannelle Warren-Findley

The recipient of this year’s Robert Kelley Memorial Award, the late Dr. Jannelle Warren-Findley, exemplified the legacy of Dr. Robert Kelley—outstanding achievement in making history relevant to individuals outside of academia. (Jann Warren-Findley received notice of the award the week before she died in Phoenix at age 69.)

As the nominees wrote, “Whether as a teacher and mentor, an advocate for internationalization, a scholar and practitioner, or a leader in the field, Warren-Findley has pushed us to explore new depths and reach more broadly, inspiring not just her students but the larger field of public history.” For more than 20 years, she had been an Associate Professor in History at Arizona State University, where she served as co-director and then director of the Public History Program and directed 40 MA theses and 15 dissertations. A major characteristic of Jann’s mentoring was the way she nurtured students to become professionals who do not just learn theory, but also engage in the practice of public history beyond the campus.

Since the beginning of her career in the early 1970s, Jann taught, practiced, and promoted public history on an international stage across four continents. This included six years of service on the board of the U.S. committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites and, in 2011, she was a founding member of the International Federation for Public History—an arm of the General Federation of Historical Sciences in Paris. Her stature as an international leader in public history extended to decades of dedication and participation in the National Council on Public History, where she served as President-Elect and President, spent six years as the Chairman of the Board of The Public Historian, and introduced scores of students to the organization.

The NCPH is honored to recognize Dr. Jann Warren-Findley with the 2015 Robert Kelley Memorial Award.

Submission Guidelines

This award seeks to perpetuate the legacy and memory of a founder of the public history movement, Dr. Robert Kelley. It honors distinguished and outstanding achievements by individuals, institutions, non-profit or corporate entities for having made significant inroads in making history relevant to individual lives of ordinary people outside of academia.

The Kelley Award consists of a $500 cash award and framed certificate that will be presented at the annual meeting of NCPH.  The award recipient will receive a complimentary registration for the awards breakfast at the 2016 NCPH annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, March 16-19.


Individuals or organizational entities may be considered for the award.

Award Criteria


Individuals may be nominated based on their achievements and specific contributions to the public history movement, usually over a sustained period of time.

Evidence of scholarly excellence must be combined with two or more of the following:

  1. Sustained service to NCPH in an appointed and/or elected capacity
  2. Demonstrated innovation in teaching and/or development of institutional training programs
  3. Creativity as evidenced through the development of teaching and/or educational outreach materials
  4. A singular achievement (i.e. a motion picture, major exhibit, or a well-recognized book) that significantly contributes to the general public’s understanding and appreciation of history
  5. A distinguished record of creating, administering, or managing an undergraduate or graduate public history program at an institution of learning
Organizational Entities

Institutions, colleges and university departments of history, non-profit, corporate or other organizational entities may be nominated based on the institution’s achievements and specific contributions in advancing the cause of public history, usually over a sustained period of time.

Evidence of program excellence must be combined with two or more of the following in evaluating the contribution of each nominated institution:

  1. Innovative excellence in the training of public historians (either at the undergraduate or graduate level) as evidenced by a quality public history curriculum and/or success in placement and accomplishments of graduates in public history related jobs
  2. Sustained commitment to the development of scholarly or other educational or teaching materials relating to the field of public history
  3. Sponsorship and/or delivery of high quality training courses, conferences, or educational outreach to the public or the public history community
  4. An outstanding record of public outreach programs (i.e. mass media, exhibitory, lecture series) that advance the appreciation of public history
  5. Demonstrated commitment to the value of expanding the public’s knowledge and appreciation of history in the institutional or corporate setting

Submission Process

  1. Nominations should be submitted in the form of a written narrative not to exceed 1,500 words (typed).
  2. Nominations should include pertinent supporting documents, including a copy of the nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae if available, plus a minimum of two and a maximum of five letters of support and a cover sheet.
  3. A total of four copies of all submission materials are required. Send a cover sheet and a copy of all materials to each of the Robert Kelley Award Committee members and one to the NCPH executive office at:

127 Cavanaugh Hall – IUPUI
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Clearly mark each submission, “NCPH Kelley Award.”  If emailed, nominations must be sent in one complete document (MS Word or a PDF).  Please note that materials will not be returned.

Materials must be received (not postmarked) no later than November 1, 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered.

Questions?  (317) 274-2716; [email protected]


Past Kelley Award Winners


  • Michael Devine, Director, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum


  • Lindsey Reed, Managing Editor of The Public Historian


  • Richard Allan Baker, United States Senate Historical Office


  • Alan S. Newell, Historical Research Associates, Inc.


  • Dwight T. Pitcaithley, National Park Service


  • The Government and Citizens of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, First Native Peoples of the Klondike


  • The University of South Carolina Public History Program


  • Debra Bernhardt, Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University


  • Otis L.Graham Jr., University of North Carolina, Wilmington


  • The American Social History ProjectFirst time presented in


  • Page Putnam Miller, Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History