Master Scholars for TAHSC Summer Institutes



Dr. Paul C. Anderson (Midlands and Upstate)
Associate Professor of History
Clemson University

Dr. Kevin B. Witherspoon (Pee Dee)
Assistant Professor of History
Lander University

2006-2007 Dr. Paul C. Anderson
Associate Professor of History
Clemson University


Dr. Marty D. Matthews
Adjunct Professor of History
North Carolina State University


Dr. Melissa Walker
Associate Professor of History
Converse College


Dr. Larry Nelson
Professor and Chair
Francis Marion University

Pic for Kevin Witherspoon

Dr. Kevin B. Witherspoon, Assistant Professor of History
Lander University
Carnell Learning Center Rm. 359
320 Stanley Avenue
Greenwood, SC 29649

Florida State University, Ph.D (2003)

University of Maine, M.A. (1996)

Florida State University, B.A. (1993)

Teaching Experience:
A native of New Orleans and long-time Floridian, Dr. Witherspoon taught at Florida State University as a Teaching Assistant and Lecturer before becoming an Assistant Professor at Lander University in 2006. He has taught many different areas of 20th-Century U.S. History, as well as Latin-American History. Among his favorite courses are U.S. History 1920-45, U.S. Cultural History in the 20th Century, and Sport in American History. He has won numerous teaching awards, most notably the Phi Eta Sigma Outstanding Service Award at Florida State University in 2005, awarded to the top three teachers campus-wide. Dr. Witherspoon especially enjoys taking his teaching outside of the traditional classroom setting, as he has done several times in delivering Enrichment Lectures for Celebrity Cruises.

Dr. Witherspoon’s research has focused on the intersection of sport and society in 20th-Century American History. His manuscript, Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games, is under contract with Northern Illinois University Press, scheduled for a Spring ’08 launch. He has also delivered numerous conference presentations on a wide range of topics, from the Olympics of 1936 and 1968, to desegregation in the South, to the causes and impact of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

A Few Words from Master Scholar, Kevin Witherspoon
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to work directly with teachers in South Carolina. It is part of our mission at Lander University to train our education students to become the best teachers they possibly can. This project allows me to take that mission further into the community. I look forward to sharing directly with teachers my enthusiasm about this most interesting and rich period in American history, and by extension sharing that enthusiasm with their students. Ultimately, creating better teachers can only create better students, which will make our university classrooms all the brighter in the future.”

Paul Anderson

Dr. Paul C. Anderson, Associate Professor of History
Clemson University
14 Hardin Hall
Clemson, SC 29634

University of Mississippi, Ph.D (1998)

University of Mississippi, M.A. (1994)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. (1990)

Teaching Experience
Dr. Anderson is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina. He has taught at the University of Mississippi, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and, since 2000, at Clemson University. He specializes in Southern history and in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, although he has taught a variety of other courses in United States history and world history. In 2004, he was recognized as Clemson's Alumni Master Teacher, the highest teaching award bestowed by the university.

Paul Anderson's Blood Image: Turner Ashby in the Civil War and the Southern Mind (published by Louisiana State University Press in 2002) explores the image of one of the Confederacy's fiercest warriors, first heroes and luminous symbols. One reviewer describes it as a "creative, rich and provocative new way of understanding the Confederate nation." Anderson also recently penned a children's book, Robert E. Lee: Legendary Commander of the Confederacy.


Dr. Marty D. Matthews, Adjunct Professor of History
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27608

University of South Carolina, Ph.D in United States History (2001)
Dissertation: "Charles Pinckney (1757–1824): A Forgotten Founder"               

North Carolina State University, M.A. in United States History
Thesis: "'To Save the Republic...:' The Influence of Natural Law on Thomas Jefferson's Attitudes Towards Native and African Americans."

North Carolina State University, B.A. in Political Science

Photo of Dr. Melissa Walker. Dr. Melissa Walker, Associate Professor of History
Converse College
Department of History and Politics
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Clark University, Ph.D. in American and Women's History (1996)
Dissertation: “All We Knew Was to Farm: Gender, Class, and Race among East Tennessee Farm Women, 1919-1941”

Providence College, M.A. in American History (1993)
Thesis: "Images of Women in American Popular Press Advertising in the Nineteen Twenties"

Maryville College, B.A. in History (1985)
Undergraduate Thesis: "The Impact of TVA on Agriculture in the Tennessee Valley" Professional Certificate: Teaching Certificate in Secondary Social Studies Education, Tennessee

Teaching Experience
After an eleven year career in college administration, Dr. Walker returned to graduate school for a Ph.D. While finishing her degree, she was an adjunct American history instructor at Bryant College and the Community College of Rhode Island. Upon completion of her Ph.D., she accepted an appointed at Converse College. She teaches a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses in American history including American history to and since 1877, American women's history, African-American history, colonial and revolutionary America, the new nation (1788-1840), the era of the Civil War, the age of reform (1877-1945), the new South, as well as modern China. She has collaborated with students on undergraduate research projects and has directed independent study projects with both undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Walker’s teaching has been recognized with Converse College’s highest faculty honors: the Kathryne Amelia Brown Award for Distinguished Teaching and the O’Herron Award for Faculty Excellence. She has also been advisor to the campus chapter of Mortar Board, and her organizational advising has been recognized with Converse College’s Outstanding Advisor Award and the National Mortar Board Excellence in Advising Award.

Other Activities
An active community volunteer, Dr. Walker is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Spartanburg County Historical Association and the Hub City Writers Project. She is also the project scholar for the South Carolina Humanities Council’s Barn Again! initiative, part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museums on Main Street Program. She is a frequent speaker for community groups such as the Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, and various civic groups.

Dr. Walker is an active scholar with dozens of publications. Her book, All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) explores the impact of economic depression, government intervention, and structural changes in agriculture on women in upstate South Carolina, East Tennessee, and southwestern West Virginia. The book received the Willie Lee Rose Prize for the best book in Southern history authored by a woman from the Southern Association for Women Historians. She is the co-editor (Joe P. Dunn and Jeanette R. Dunn) of Southern Women at the Millennium: A Historical Perspective (University of Missouri Press, 2003), a collection of essays tracking changes in Southern women's involvement in politics, education, religion, the work force, and culture over the course of the twentieth century. She has edited a collection of oral history interviews entitled Country Women Cope with Hard Times: A Collection of Oral Histories (University of South Carolina Press, 2004). Currently she is at work on two book-length projects. If It Hadn't Been for the Women: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century, co-edited with Rebecca Sharpless, is an essay collection, that will be published by University of Missouri Press in 2005. History, Memory, and Meaning: Stories of Social and Economic Transformation in the Rural South explore Southerners' memories of the profound transformation of the rural South in the twentieth century. Dr. Walker has received numerous grants to support her research including a Guion Griffis Johnson Research Stipend from the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society, a John Hope Franklin Center Research Grant from Duke University, Rockefeller Archives Center travel grant, and summer research grants from Converse College. She has also served as Visiting Scholar at Baylor University's Institute for Oral History. She serves as executive secretary for the Southern Association for Women Historians, and she is a member of the Theodore Saloutus Prize committee to recognize the best book in Agricultural History for the Agricultural History Society. She is also a member of the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the South Carolina Historical Association.

A Few Words from Master Scholar, Melissa Walker
“Teaching teachers is the most important work I do, so I’m delighted to serve as the Master Scholar for the 2004 Teaching American History in South Carolina Project. Through the project’s summer institutes, teachers will receive in-depth instruction on the major themes in American History since 1877. In turn, I’ll learn from teachers about the challenges they face in teaching American History in today’s world. I’m looking forward to working with classroom teachers and master teachers on this exciting project.”



Photo of Dr. Larry Nelson. Dr. Larry Nelson, Professor and Chair
Francis Marion University
Department of History
Florence, South Carolina

Duke University, Ph.D. in American History (May 1975)
Dissertation: “The Confederacy and the United States Presidential Election of 1864”

University of Utah, M.S. in American History (August 1970)
Thesis: “Problems of Prohibition Enforcement in Utah, 1917–1933”

Brigham Young University, B.A. in History and English (May 1967)
Professional Certificate: Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education, Utah


Teaching Experience
Dr. Nelson began his professional career as a high school teacher in Ogden, Utah, teaching courses in English and History. Upon completing his Ph.D. work at Duke University, Dr. Nelson accepted his appointment to Francis Marion University to teach courses in both American and European History. In particular, Dr. Nelson has taught United States History to 1865, United States History Since 1865, Honors United States History to 1865, The American West, History of the United States in World Affairs, Reform Movements in American History, Emergence of Modern America, 1865–1898, Historiography, and a graduate-level course, Reconstruction after the Civil War.

Dr. Nelson currently serves as Francis Marion’s History Chair, and coordinates National History Day in South Carolina’s Pee Dee area. He also coordinates Francis Marion’s History Program Institutional Effectiveness Plan, and in years past has served as Francis Marion’s NCATE liaison between the University’s History Program and School of Education. Presently, Dr. Nelson is active with Francis Marion’s Teacher Education Advisory Committee.

Dr. Nelson’s principal off-campus service includes work with the Program Review Meeting, where he reviewed and made recommendations on undergraduate and graduate Teacher Education Programs submitted to the State Department of Education for accreditation; the South Carolina Curriculum Conference, in which he participated in a state-wide conference on the proposed Social Studies curriculum for South Carolina public education; and the Social Studies Licensure Committee, where he chaired the committee, which reviewed licensure requirements, and made recommendations regarding the licensure of social studies teachers in South Carolina public schools. Dr. Nelson is a member of the Pee Dee Heritage Center’s Board of Directors, and the Vice-president of the Pee Dee Heritage Center. He gives lectures and presentations to local community groups such as the Pee Dee chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Florence Rotary Club, and the Marion County Historical Society.

Dr. Nelson’s publications include, but are not limited to, Sherman’s March through the upper Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, The Pee Dee River, Black Leaders and the Presidential Election of 1864, and Utah Goes Dry. Dr. Nelson’s current principal research involves his study of ordinary South Carolina farmers’ reactions to the boll weevil, and their efforts to cope with the insect. Dr. Nelson contends that even though state officials and some private individuals sought to prepare South Carolina farmers for the arrival of the boll weevil, those efforts were unsuccessful. The panic and despair typically found in other cotton belt states ensued until about 1925 when farmers accepted lower yields, and learned to deal with the weevil as just another factor in cotton production.

A Few Words from Master Scholar, Larry Nelson
“I am pleased to be the Master Scholar for 2002 in the South Carolina Teaching American History Project. As a professional historian, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to work directly with in-service teachers over an extended period of time and thereby have a worthwhile impact on the quality of history instruction in the public schools. The summer institutes offered through the Project will provide comprehensive instruction on the major themes and issues of American History and connect with the recently adopted Social Studies Standards.”