Gilder Lehrman Awards Online Course Scholarships to Outstanding Teachers

New York, NY (July 9, 2015): Four exemplary teachers were chosen to receive full scholarships to their online courses as part of the Gilder Lehrman MA Program in American History.

Recipients were chosen based on application essays, in which they explained how they planned to use the knowledge and tools gained through the course in their teaching. Winning applicants cited their desire to gain deeper understanding and new perspectives on historical topics and to further their higher education in order to provide the best possible history experience for their students. Some explained how previous Gilder Lehrman online courses inspired them to create innovative lesson plans that included the use of interactive digital learning tools.

The winning teachers are Walter Lee Allen III of Tangier, Morocco; Megan VanGorder of Stanford, Illinois; Jarrod Fredericks of Houston, Texas; and Elizabeth Melahn of Fort Collins, Colorado. Hailing from such diverse geographic locations, the winners will take their newfound knowledge to classrooms across the US and the world.

Mr. Allen, who teaches at an American school in Tangier, is an example of Gilder Lehrman’s wide reach. Like a number of other online course students, this is not his first Gilder Lehrman program. He has previously participated in a weeklong seminar on the history of New York City, and is looking forward to revisiting in the near future the historical sites the seminar introduced him to.

The scholarship program, open to educators from Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools, relieves the financial burden for teachers seeking to continue their education and gain both information and resources they can take back to the classroom.

The 2015 scholarship recipients are currently taking one of two courses being offered this summer. Emancipation, led by Professor James Oakes of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, explores the political and social history of the emancipation of slaves during the Civil War. The Kennedy Presidency, led by Professor Barbara Perry of the University of Virginia, delves into the strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures of John F. Kennedy’s brief thousand-day presidency.

These online courses offer participants credits toward a Gilder Lehrman MA in American History through Adams State University, which gives educators and lifelong learners the opportunity to earn an accredited master’s degree in American history. It combines a traditional liberal arts environment with the convenience of an online education, including real-time seminars with eminent scholars, small classes, virtual field trips, interactive discussions, and digital pedagogy resources.


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a New York–based national non-profit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. Gilder Lehrman draws on top scholars, an unparalleled collection of original historical documents, and a national network of more than 5,000 Affiliate Schools to create and provide a broad range of innovative resources, help new generations of students learn about American history in a way that is engaging and memorable, and promote critical thinking and excellent writing.


Founded in 1921, Adams State is a university offering undergraduate majors, minors, and emphases. ASU also offers master’s degree programs and a doctoral program—with most of these graduate programs offered online. In recent years, Adams State has entered a new era of growth including a transformation of its campus in Alamosa, Colorado, with $65 million worth of improvements nearly complete.