Meet the Staff of the Summer Institute:
Andrew Beiter is the Director of the Summer Institute and an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher at Springville Middle School. Graduating with a Bachelor's in Political Philosophy from Michigan State and a Master's in Education from Fredonia State College, Drew is a Regional Education Coordinator for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Education Director for the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, a Teacher Fellow for the Lowell Milken Center, and a consultant for the Robert F. Kennedy Center's Speak Truth to Power program. He also co-founded the Educators’ Institute for Human Rights, an annual conference for Rwandan teachers in Kigali.
Lori Raybold is an Associate Director of the Summer Institute and an English teacher at Hamburg High School. Earning Bachelor degrees in English and Education from Penn State and a Master's Degree in English from SUNY Fredonia, Lori is a national Teacher Fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum who in 2009 traveled to Rwanda with humanitarian Carl Wilkens. As a member of the Next Generation Initiatives of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, she is in charge of coordinating a Teacher Trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Center, as well as other human rights organizations in the D.C. area.
Jim Gang is the Education Director of the Summer Institute and is a Social Studies Teacher at Hamburg High School. A graduate of Fredonia State College, with a Master's in Education from Canisius College, Jim is a Teacher Fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as for the Robert H. Jackson Center, where he has worked on helping teachers understand the causes of genocide and Holocaust denial. As a member of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo's Next Generation Education staff, he has started a project of videotaping area Holocaust survivors. Jim has also worked within his school to create a Holocaust and Genocide Studies elective that has been taught for the last four years.
Stephanie O'Donnell is an Associate Director for the Summer Institute. After earning her BS in Secondary Social Studies Education from Buffalo State College and Masters as a Literacy Specialist at the same institution, she now is a Social Studies teacher at Newfane Middle School. Stephanie played a crucial role organizing the 2007 Day of Learning on Darfur at Daemen College, and has also attended the 2008 Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators held at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. In 2005, she was part of a humanitarian delegation to Costa Rica, doing the same in 2008 to the Dominican Republic. As a member of the Next Generation Initiatives of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, Stephanie is in charge of coordinating a Teacher Trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as to other human rights organizations in the D.C. area.
Michael Baronich, a Social Studies Teacher at Eden High School, has been with the Summer Institute as an Intern since its founding in 2007. A graduate from Canisius College in Buffalo, Michael oversaw the implementation of anti-bullying programs and human rights education into the college's curriculum. His experiences in the classroom working with students and educators have allowed him to understand the importance of human rights programs and education. Michael is currently attending Buffalo State College where he is doing his MS work in the field of Education Technology. He is also a member of NYSUT's Committee for Human Rights and the Women's Committee.
Lara Hrycik works at the Summer Institute as its Social Outreach Director. Graduating with honors from SUNY Fredonia in History and Adolescence Education, she recently completed her Master's Degree in Social Studies Education at Buffalo State College. Throughout her time in college, she was involved with several organizations which focused on social justice in human rights, playing a key role in planning and executing events to spread awareness to the campus communities and beyond. In 2008 Sweeney lived and studied in Ireland for several months, focusing on the conflicts, and the pence and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland. Currently, she works in the social work field for Erie County, where she is able to directly impact and advocate for individuals in need on a daily basis. She continues to volunteer her time with different local charities and non-profit organizations.
Dr. Timothy Redmond is an Associate Director for the Summer Institute and is a Social Studies teacher at Williamsville East High School. A graduate of Canisius College, Tim received his MA and PhD in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Teacher Fellow for the Robert H. Jackson Center, as well as a member of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo’s Next Generation Education Staff where he organizes an annual, daylong conference for teachers in the Buffalo area. Recently, he successfully spearheaded an effort to provide a Human Rights and Genocide Studies elective in his school district, as well as traveled to Cuzco, Peru to help build stoves and schools for those in need.
Emma V. Eddy is a teacher of English at Nardin Academy High School and an Associate Director at the Summer Institute. After earning her BA in Adolescent Education/English and her MS in Differentiated Instruction from Canisius College, in the summer of 2014, she attended the Belfer National Conference for Educators at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Throughout her teaching career, she has stressed the importance of learning from the past, placing a particular emphasis on the morality and social justice lessons found in literature and history. Through working with her students, she is humbled by the hope and inspiration that young people bring to their local and global community.
Katelyn Kerker, pictured on left, is an alumnus of the Summer Institute and is currently a Program Coordinator. She is currently pursuing her MA in International Development (’18) with concentrations in Conflict Resolution and Genocide Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado. Katie earned her BA in Global and International Studies (’13) with a concentration in Global Culture and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies at the State University of New York at Oswego. As part of her undergraduate work, she spent two weeks in Kolkata, India studying human trafficking and sex work. She will be spending her summer (2017) in Bosnia and Herzegovina studying its culture, history of mass atrocities, and peace building while participating in an internship. She is also an Associate Program Coordinator with the I Am Syria Campaign, which the Summer Institute helped to create in July 2012.
Melody LeBeau is also an alumni of the Institute and is now its Special Projects Coordinator. As the Program Director for I Am Syria campaign, she has full operational control of its webpage, managing its day to day posts and Social Media outreach on behalf of the Syrian people, including its Seven Days for Syria, Twitter Campaign, and partnerships with film companies to help feature Syrian documentaries in the US. A graduate of Oswego State University with a double major in Mass Communications and Global and International Studies, Melody plays a vital role in the programs public outreach, including Social Media postings, as well as designing the beautiful Summer Institute annual posters which serve as the centerpiece of the program's public relations.
Jessica Schuster is the the Communications Director for the Summer Institute. She graduated summa cum laude from the University at Buffalo with a double major in Political Science and Classics. Her respective foci were public law and ancient roman history, while her passion always was and still remains the female perspective and the role of women throughout history.
Jess is an active community member, serving on the Springville Elementary PTA and contributing to the Springville Center for Arts Spark! program regularly. She has previously worked for both the Boys and Girls’ Club and Springville Youth Incorporated as a volunteer coach. She and her husband reside in Springville and take immense pride in helping their community and school system. Her duties within the organization are helping with social media presence, organizing the fall fundraising campaign, and publishing the quarterly newsletter.