Workshop History Faculty

NEH We the People

Program Director – Raymond E. Ashley, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and a long time member of the maritime community. Dr. Ashley came to his present position in 1996 following a career that includes experience in ship preservation, conservation, shipbuilding, historical scholarship, publication and teaching at the university and community college levels. Dr. Ashley is a licensed shipmaster with sixty thousand miles of open ocean experience in command of a variety of vessels and rigs. He has sailed on Star of India as navigator for 21 of her modern voyages. He received a BA in anthropology from the University of California at San Diego, an MA in maritime history and underwater research from East Carolina University, and a Ph.D. in the history of science and technology from Duke University. Dr. Ashley received the 1994 Lothrop Award from The American Neptune for the year’s best contribution to the field of maritime history for The Search for Longitude and is currently co-authoring a book with four other historians on the history of the American Merchant Marine.  He is also preparing to publish a work on the relationship between science and seafaring in the eighteenth century titled Longitude and Scurvy: The Problem-Solving Art. Dr. Ashley serves on the boards of the Council of American Maritime Museums, California Association of Museums, Cabrillo Festival, Sail Pacific Foundation, and the Port Tenants Association.

Stephen A. Colston, Ph.D. (UCLA, 1973) is a specialist in the history of Mesoamerica and the book culture of Colonial Latin America.  His studies have appeared in U.S., Mexican, and European journals including the American Indian Quarterly, Indiana, Tlalocan, and the Journal de la Societe des Americanistes.  A member of the Societe des Americanistes (Paris), he is currently working on sixteenth-century Aztec tribute and land pictorial manuscripts and on Henry R. Wagner (1862-1957) as a scholar of Colonial Latin American book culture.  Currently he is a Professor of History at San Diego State University.

Iris H. W. Engstrand, Ph.D., is a native Californian. Engstrand’s academic honors include USD’s distinguished University Professorship; the Davies Award for Faculty Achievement; Awards of Merit from the San Diego, Southern California, and California Historical Societies, Western History Association, and Orange Coast College; fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, American Philosophical Society and Huntington Library; and the California Design Award in Historic Preservation. She is a trustee of the San Diego Natural History Museum and the San Diego Maritime Museum, past president of the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch and of the Western History Association. Engstrand has lived and traveled extensively in Spain and Mexico and lectures widely in both English and Spanish. She has degrees in history, with maors and minors in the fields of California, Mexico, Latin America and the Spanish Southwest history, biology and Spanish. Engstrand has recently been awarded the prestigious medal of the Order of Isabel la Católica (Isabel the Catholic -- ruler of Spain in 1492) by Juan Carlos, King of Spain, for outstanding contributions to the history of Spain in the Americas. Engstrand is the author of 21 books and numerous separate book chapters and articles on Spain, California, and the West. Books include the award-winning San Diego: California’s Cornerstone; Spanish Scientists in the New World: The Eighteenth Century Expeditions; and William Wolfskill: Frontier Trapper to California Ranchero.

Bruce Linder is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he received his commission in June 1971. Mr. Linder accumulated 26 years of service in the U. S. Navy, rising to the rank of Captain. Mr. Linder joined the firm of Booz Allen Hamilton in 1997 and leads technology consulting assignments as a Principal for a variety of Government, Department of Defense and commercial customers. Mr. Linder is a widely published author and historian in naval and national security affairs with more than 40 articles published in the United States, Europe, and he has been awarded the U.S. Naval Institute's Arleigh Burke Literary Award and was a finalist for the Naval Institute’s Colin Powell Literary Award. Mr. Linder has authored three books on naval history. His first book on the history of the Navy in San Diego, entitled San Diego's Navy, was published by the Naval Institute Press and won the San Diego Book Award for best nonfiction book of 2001. Mr. Linder holds a B.S. degree in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a M.S. degree in Oceanography from the University of Michigan. He also studied for a year as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D. C. and was named by President George H. W. Bush as one of his Thousand Points of Light for exemplary public voluntary service. Mr. Linder is a current member of the U. S. Naval Institute, the Navy League, the National Defense Industrial Association, the Surface Warfare Association, the San Diego Historical Society, the Coronado Historical Association, the Mariner’s Museum, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and is a past Trustee of the Naval Academy Alumni Association.

David Ringrose, Ph. D., attended Carleton College, and then went on to the University of Wisconsin, Madison for his MA and Ph.D. degrees in History and Economic History. After spending two years in Spain on a Fulbright Fellowship, he became and Assistant and then Associate Professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. In 1974 he was invited to a position at the University of California, San Diego. There he served at various times as Department Chair, Dean, and Provost. Now Professor Emeritus at UCSD, he is involved with an NGO assisting a community in Namibia, is active in Rotary, and recently became a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. He also teaches part time and will be a participant in the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea Program. Over the years he has received grants and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Studies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Association, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). He has published a number of books on the history of Spain and Madrid and more recently a book on Global Expansion and Interaction, 1200-1700. Currently he is working on a book about the experiences of Europeans abroad as they learned to live in distant societies prior to 1700. He lives in Del Mar (when they are not traveling) with his wife, Kathryn, who is a professor of Byzantine History and their little Boston Terrier, the Empress Zoe.

Kevin Sheehan, Ph.D., received his doctorate in History from UC Berkeley. His dissertation focused on Spanish and Portuguese imperial strategies in Asia in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He has published articles on Spanish maritime expansion in the Pacific in the seventeenth century. He also co-edited Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, 1500-1800, published by Stanford in 2009. Kevin is curator and collections manager at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Dr. Sheehan originally comes from Perth, Australia and now resides in San Diego with his wife and two sons.

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