Board of Directors

Executive Committee


amanda-haste's picture
Term until Oct 2017


Mae08ben02x's picture
Term until Oct 2016

Communications Officer

Tula Connell's picture
Term until Oct 2017

Membership Officer

Term until Oct 2016

Board Members

Nhi Lieu's picture
Term until Oct 2016
ewall's picture
Term until Nov 2017
Term until Oct 2017
Issy_Platt's picture
Term until Nov 2017
sshapiro's picture
Term until Oct 2017
sbreitzer's picture
Term until Oct 2016

Board Biographies

Susan Breitzer (Board member)

Susan Roth Breitzer completed her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and is currently revising her dissertation, “Jewish Labor's Second City: The Formation of a Jewish Working Class in Chicago, 1886-1928,” and working on a book proposal. She has published essays in History Compass, the Indiana Magazine of History, and Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts. She has presented papers at the Organization of American Historians,  the American Historical Association, and the Labor and Working-Class History Association. She has recently served on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, for which she organized the organizations first affiliated society panel. She has taught United States and world history at Fayetteville State University, and Western Civilization and United States History for the Fort Bragg Extension Campus of Campbell University.Read more

Tula Connell (Communications Officer)

Tula Connell is an historian of the United States focusing on 20th century labor and social movements.

An independent scholar, Connell has worked in labor communications for more than 25 years and currently is Senior Communications Officer at the Solidarity Center, an international labor rights organization. Her book, Conservative Counterrevolution: Challenging Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee, was published in April 2016 by the University of Illinois Press. Conservative Counterrevolution is a volume in the series, “The Working Class in American History” edited by Nelson Lichtenstein et al.

Connell received her Ph.D. in American History from Georgetown University in 2011, and holds an M.A. in European History from Yale University and a B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University.Read more

Joan Cunningham (Board member)

Joan Cunningham is a cancer epidemiologist, retired in 2013 from the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina where she conducted research in the epidemiology of breast and other cancers, including racial disparities in etiologies and outcomes. She grew up mostly in Toronto, Canada, with one very interesting year spent in Sri Lanka at age 12. Joan holds a B.Sc. (Honours, Biology) and M.Sc. (Biology: aquatic eco-embryology) from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) and PhD (Public Health: epidemiology) from the University of Texas School of Public Health (Houston).  Prior to completing her PhD she worked at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, served as a laboratory technician at the Toronto Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and then spent several years in clinical trials research as a Coordinator of Research Data at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Areas of continuing research and scholarly collaboration include breast cancer racial disparities; and the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches, such as massage therapy and natural products to ameliorate side effects of anti-cancer treatment. Non-academic interests include listening to and participating in choral and folk music (voice and viola); reading historical and literary fiction, biographies and much more; travel; volunteer work in the community; yoga and Zumba!  Concerns include climate change and population growth. She lives with her husband in San Antonio, TX.
 Read more

Isabelle Flemming (Board member)

Isabelle Flemming, BA, MA, MLS, is currently a part-time Reference Librarian at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, Illinois, after having working there for several years as a full-time Reference Librarian/Computer Specialist .  Prior to holding this position she was the Business Reference Librarian at Mount Prospect Public Library in Mount Prospect, Illinois.  She received her MLS from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, and MA in history, majoring in History of Science, with a minor in Early Modern Europe, from the University of Florida. She obtained her BA in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. 
She has had the articles: “Universe, Closed or Open”, and “Time, Cosmic”, published in the Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture, (Los Angeles: Sage, 2009), and the chapters: “Ethnography and Ethnology” and “Magic and Science” published in 21st Century Anthropology: a Reference Handbook, (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), editor, H. James Birx. She co-authored the chapter “Reference Interview in Real Time and Virtual Time” with Lesley Farmer, and it appears in a reference book for librarians, Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians can Get to the Why of Data, edited by Drs. Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer. (2011). Three articles were approved and are awaiting publication in the upcoming: The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspective. 
 Her short stories have been published in a local newspaper, after receiving first place awards at a writers’ workshop, and a short story excerpt from a novel in progress was published in the New England Writers’ Network periodical. She is currently writing a fiction novel of the supernatural/mythological in ancient Celtic culture.
She is a retired member of the American Library Association, serving a term on the History Committee for RUSA (Reference and User Services), and the Public Library Association. Current member of  PCA/ACA Popular Culture Association...Read more

Amanda Haste (President)

Amanda Haste is a British researcher and academic translator currently based in France, and has been President of NCIS since July 2015. After 20 years as a professional musician and music educator she resumed her studies and gained an MA in Musicology (with Distinction) in 1997 at the University of Exeter, and in 2009 was awarded her PhD in Musicology  from the University of Bristol. Since then she has been engaged in multidisciplinary work encompassing identity, gender studies, performativity and the intersections between music and spirituality in contemporary society., She is currently researching the 'British Colony' in Marseille, drawing not only on historical sources but also on the ever-expanding literature on - and her own experience of - the issues faced by ex-patriates.

Dr Haste is active as a peer reviewer and editor, and has presented her work at conferences in England, Scotland, Belgium, Austria, France, Germany and the USA. An invited lecturer, she was a keynote speaker at the 2014 History of Women Religious conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Her work has been published in Culture & Religion, the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, Music and Arts in Action and The Independent Scholar and she has also several substantial dictionary entries appearing in the two-volume Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, ed. Susan de Gaia (ABC-CLIO, forthcoming). Her book chapters include those on authenticity of the musical product in The Paradox of Authenticity in a Globalized World, ed. Russell Cobb (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), the construction of an Anglo-Catholic linguistic identity in Languages of Religion, ed. Sipra Mukherjee (Routledge, forthcoming), and the projection of gender identity through music in Constructing Identity in an Age of Globalization (Ex Modio, 2015), which  Dr Haste co-edited with Professor James Block of DePaul University, USA. Constructing Identity is a collection of essays on...Read more

Nhi Lieu (Board member)

Nhi T. Lieu is author of The American Dream in Vietnamese (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).  Her other works have been published in journals such as Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesJournal of Asian American Studies, and Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies.  She currently lives in Austin, Texas and is a full-time parent to two exuberant children.  As an independent scholar, she is working on a few research projects: one book length project explores how the strategies of consumption in private and personal choices in fashion and beauty reconstitute Asian American cultural and racial identities; another examines gender and visual culture in Asian American weddings and bridal photography. Additionally, she is compiling and editing a scholarly cookbook for the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.  She has taught courses in U.S. history, Asian American studies, immigration, popular and consumer culture, comparative beauty, and transnationalism. Read more

Shelby Shapiro (Board member)

San Francisco-born, I grew up on Guam. After earning my BA in Anthropology, I worked for 19 years in a law office writing trial memoranda and appeal briefs, doing land title examinations, pursuing photography part-time, while hosting a Jazz & Blues program on various AM and FM stations for 9 years.

Self-taught in Yiddish, I went back to school when I came to the Washington metro area, earning an MA and PhD in American Studies studying the Yiddish press and acculturation of women immigrants. I am presently toiling to revise the manuscript based on the dissertation in hopes of publication. I am the Associate Editor for Connecticut Public Records, Vol. XXII; a copy editor for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.; and a Yiddish-to-English translator.

I served as editor for the newsletter and later the small magazine of Yiddish of Greater Washington for more than a decade, continue to serve on its Board, as well as that of Operation Understanding-DC.Read more

David Sonenschein (Membership Officer)

Early Member of NCIS, has served as NCIS Board Secretary, Book Review Editor, and adjunct member of the Board as Database Manager. He is currently Membership Officer for NCIS. Academically trained and with field experience in anthropology, sociology, and psychology, Sonenschein fled the academia and has been writing and publishing as an Independent Scholar since 1973.Read more

Edward Wall (Board member)

I graduated in 1963 from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) with a B.S. in Mathematics (with minors in the physical and biological sciences). Subsequently, working as an applied mathematician and attending graduate school at the University of Maryland (College Park), I received a M.A. in Mathematics in 1968. Returning to academics I received a Sloan Foundation Grant from the University of Chicago in 1969 and spent a number of years as a graduate student in Mathematical Biology. 
For various reasons I began to question a possible future career in academics and moved in the 70s to Wisconsin where, while self employed as a system analyst, I would, in 1989, receive a B.S. in secondary mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point) with certification in Learning Disabilities. I taught in both Wisconsin and Colorado and in the 90s returned to graduate school at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). I received a Ph. D. in Secondary Mathematics Education in 2003 and in the same year became faculty in Childhood Education (which I preferred for various reasons over Secondary Education) at the City College of New York. I was tenured in 2008 and I retired from City College in 2014.Read more

Janet Wasserman (Secretary)

JANET I. WASSERMAN is the founder and executive director of the Schubert Society of the USA (2003) and has been a member since 1999 of the Schubert Institute-United Kingdom (SIUK). She is a published independent scholar in the fields of music history (with an emphasis on Franz Schubert), music iconography, art history, and biography. She is a graduate of City College of City University of New York (CUNY) with BA and MA degrees in Modern History; she reached candidacy for a Ph.D. in Modern German History (ABD) at the CUNY Graduate Center; and has a J.D. degree from CUNY Law School. She has over forty years of administrative and executive experience in the nonprofit sector, government and academia. She has been a member since 2001 of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars and was elected Vice President for 2005-2006, then served as interim President until she was elected President in 2008, serving one term. She was appointed Secretary in 2013 to fill the unexpired term of the former Secretary and was subsequently elected to the position in 2014. Her publications are available at the NCIS website member pages where they are cited in full in her CV and at her LinkedIn page.Read more