OPH at 200: Participant’s Bios

Transatlantic Crossing is a family band specializing in fiddle tunes from both sides of the Atlantic, including toe-tapping Irish and Scottish jigs and reels, as well as New England and French Canadian tunes. Anne plays fiddle, Jon plays guitar, and for this dance they are joined by their daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca on fiddle and electric bass.  Their caller April Blum will be telling everyone where to go!

Kathy Bryant grew up in Old Town College Park at a house on Columbia Avenue built in 1888.  She is the fourth generation to live in this house. She worked at several newspapers as a reporter for many years, earning numerous awards for writing, photography and editing from the North Carolina Press Association. She later served as editor, writer, photographer for the Duke Power (now Duke Energy) employee newspaper in Charlotte, NC where she won numerous awards for editing, writing and photography on the international, national and state levels.  In the early 1990s, she served as Queen Elizabeth’s photographer when she visited Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington. Two of her photographs of Queen Elizabeth currently hang in the Visitor’s Center at Mt. Vernon.  Kathy has also done free-lance photography for Congressman Steny Hoyer, Edison Electric Institute, and National Colonial Farm, as well as other organizations. Additionally, she served as a high school yearbook sports photographer for Lifetouch for 15 years.

Dennis Doster is an experienced and passionate historian with expertise in the fields of United States history, African American history, and the history of the African diaspora. He is interested in public history, historical consulting, and higher education.  He serves as the Black History Program Manager for the Prince George’s County Division, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, where he manages three historic African American properties (Abraham Hall, Dorsey Chapel, and the Ridgeley Rosenwald School); curates the program’s annual Black History Month exhibition; and plans and implements programs for students and the general public related to African American history, including the annual Juneteenth celebration. 

Quint Gregory wears many hats at the University of Maryland, but spends most of his time in the Great Room of the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture, a space he designed and runs, collaborating with teachers, researchers and students interested in employing digital technologies to enhance their work, be it pedagogical, academic or rhetorical. Also he teaches seminars regularly for the Honors College at the University of Maryland that focus on museums and society, inspiration for which he drew from nearly a decade’s worth of work in area museums (National Gallery of Art, Walters Art Gallery) while pursuing his doctorate, a goal accomplished after his Fulbright-fueled year of research in the Netherlands in 2000-2001. 

Allison Hughes is a singer, director and teacher based in College Park, MD. She grew up in Northern Virginia and went on to study vocal performance at Shenandoah Conservatory and the University of Central Florida. Allison currently serves as music director of the College Park Chorale and Chamber Singers, and directs staged productions of youth and adult community musical theater. She founded and leads the fun and unusual (un)choir, a pop-up community sing, and performs with local bands Paint Branch Creek and Laundry World. In addition to singing and directing, Allison maintains a private teaching studio. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity and serves on the Board of Directors of College Park Arts Exchange. She enjoys her most important role, parent to two budding musicians, most. 

Eric Maring, also known as Mr. M, is an early childhood music specialist and performing songwriter.  Bringing music to his community and family is the never-ending highlight of his life.  He currently teaches music at four pre-schools in the area including the University of Maryland’s Center for Young Children, the National Archives, NASA, and Levine Music’s early-childhood outreach program. Eric leads the College Park Youth Music Traditions.  He also teaches music at his home studio in College Park.

Debra Mims says: “My art, storytelling, utilizes the solo performance experience to speak to issues of history, emotional memory and art as reflected by an African American woman.”  My Grandma Mims used to say, “If you don’t know where you’ve been, how are you going to know where you’re going?”  The words of my grandmother, Kathryn Mims, have been the inspiration for a number of my programs.  In my work, I use first person testimony, folk tales and cultural idioms from the African and African American experience to construct narratives that give a voice to the past, and that is relevant to our 21st century experience.  As appropriate, I combine song, dance and music to compliment the dramatic storytelling giving the audience a multi-level experience.  Debra is a Four-time award winner for solo performance from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Charley Montroll is a children’s entertainer in the greater Washington, D.C. area, and can be found sharing the joy of music with infants, toddlers and preschoolers at schools, libraries, bookstores and birthday parties on an almost daily basis. Carrying on in the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie; Pete Seeger; Peter, Paul & Mary; and Tom Paxton. Charley’s programs both entertain and respect the intelligence of his young listeners.  Charley is also a recording artist and has released three popular children’s music CDs on the Pretzel Recordings label. 

Melissa Sites is a music teacher, multi-instrumentalist, performer and songwriter.  Her mission is to help people incorporate the arts into every day of their lives. Melissa teaches piano, singing, and guitar to students in the College Park and Greenbelt area. She has served as director of the College Park Arts Exchange since 2005.  During that time, she has expanded CPAE’s programming to over 150 events annually which reach over 7,000 people each year.

Stephanie Stullich has served as a City of College Park Council member since January 2007.  She previously served as president of the Old Town Civic Association and on the Committee for a Better Environment. She recently co-chaired the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group. Stephanie co-authored a book on the history of College Park. Stephanie works at the U.S. Department of Education.

Anne Turkos graduated from Dickinson College, where she studied English literature and developed a keen interest in archives. Before arriving in College Park, Anne worked for four years in the Baltimore City Archives and Record Center. Anne joined the staff of the University of Maryland Libraries in 1985. She worked in the Office of Special Collections and was promoted to University Archivist in 1993. She is the first woman to hold this title in the University’s history.