WCSC - Washington Community Scholars' Center


Kimberly Schmidt
Department Chair and Professor

Kimberly D. Schmidt is professor of history and director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Binghamton University in 1995. Publications include “Magpie’s Blanket” an historical novel for young adults from the University of New Mexico Press and the volume, “Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History,” from The Johns Hopkins University Press. Kimberly divides her research interests between Amish and Mennonite women’s social history and women’s histories of the Southern Cheyenne. She teaches local multicultural history in Washington, DC and is particularly interested in accessing the histories of social movements and poor people’s experiences through various visual and performing arts media. She has lived in the Washington area since 1989 and has two children.


Erica Grasse
Assist Director Communications

Erica Grasse graduated from Goshen College with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science. Her interest in communications grew out of the desire to promote interdisciplinary critical thinking. Working with youth and the Mennonite church, Erica has developed passions for strategic storytelling and community building. She has lived in DC since 2013.

Kelsey Kauffman
Assoc Dir of Program Admin

Kelsey Anderson Kauffman is a 2008 graduate of EMU, majoring in Spanish and minoring in English. After her senior Spring semester in DC, she stayed in the city for 2 years before moving to South Korea to teach English. After her time in Korea, Kelsey obtained her Master’s Degree at American University(‘13) in DC, writing her thesis on the influence of Mennonite identity on EMU’s Cross-Cultural programs. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural learning from a faith-based perspective, and enjoys witnessing this learning as it occurs in the domestic context of Washington, DC.

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