Robert S. Smith, PhD
Dr. Robert S. Smith is the Director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach and Harry G. John Professor of History at Marquette University. His research and teaching interests include African American history, civil rights history, and exploring the intersections of race and law. Rob is the author of Black Liberation from Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter in the Debating American History Series, and Race, Labor & Civil Rights: Griggs v. Duke Power and the Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity. Rob also serves on the Board of Curators for the Wisconsin Historical Society, is the Resident Historian for America’s Black Holocaust Museum, and is Chair of the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission.
Sam Harshner, MPA, MA, ABD
Sam Harshner is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Public Service MA program and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Urban Affairs Minor, both programs that are anchored through the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach. He also teaches in the Public Service, History, and Political Science Departments at Marquette University. He is a veteran of fifteen years of public service where he worked for the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Wisconsin State Budget Office, the Center on Wisconsin Strategies, and the Department of Children and Families. Sam has an MPA from the Lafollette School of Public Policy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MA in History from Marquette University. He is currently completing a dissertation on gender, ideology, and class formation in Colonial Boston in the History department at Marquette University.
Benjamin Linzy, ABD
Benjamin Linzy is the Senior Researcher at the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach at Marquette University. In this role, he assists the Director with CURTO’s primary research agendas. He also serves as the host and producer of CURTO Conversations, the Center’s podcast, and he is the Video Editor & Producer for the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette University. His research through CURTO centers around the topics of community policing, white nationalism, and state violence. Ben works as the Program Coordinator for Humanities Without Walls (HWW) in support of the $1.3 Million HWW grant project at Marquette University jointly developed between the HWW Consortium based at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Marquette University. In his spare time, Ben volunteers as the Editor-in-Chief for the Milwaukee Turner’s The Owl newsletter. He received his MA in global history with an emphasis on Middle East North African history from Marquette University in 2017 and is currently finishing an MS in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. His pending dissertation is entitled, “By Badge, Bullet, and Baton: Police Use of Force in the Progressive Era.”
Amanda Platt is the Graduate Assistant of Programming and Undergraduate Interns at the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach. She is pursuing an MEd in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Marquette University. Amanda graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2018 with a degree in Global Communication. After graduation, she served with AmeriCorps for two years at a local non-profit called College Possible where she coached high school students at Milwaukee High School of the Arts on their path toward becoming first-generation college students. In her role at CURTO, Amanda assists the Director with building and coordinating CURTO’s undergraduate student internship program and supporting relationships with key stakeholders through CURTO programming.
Kathryn Storm is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Urban Research, Teaching, & Outreach and pursuing an MA in Modern U.S. History at Marquette University. She graduated from American University in 2020 with a degree in Political Science and Minors in Education and History. In addition, she previously interned in the House of Representatives and with Global Kids, an education focused nonprofit. Her research focuses on Civil Rights, Social Movement Theory, and how these affect public policy today. Kate's work at CURTO focuses on research regarding the use of electronic monitoring on youth in Milwaukee Juvenile Corrections.