Board of Directors

Melissa Hield is PHIT’s executive director. A founding member of PHIT, she also serves on the board. In 2019 she retired as an executive at a Texas state agency where she specialized in strategic, business, and project planning. Hield has a M.A. in American Civilization from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a writer, researcher, and interviewer on PHIT projects.

Cynthia Beeman is an independent scholar who has worked on Texas history projects since the 1970s. A resident of Austin, Cynthia Beeman retired in 2007 after 21 years at the Texas Historical Commission, where she was Coordinator of the State Marker Program and Director of the History Programs Division. Beeman holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Texas Tech University. She is co-author with Dan K. Utley of History Ahead: Stories Beyond the Roadside Markers of Texas.

Jim Cullers owns Multi-media Resources. He recently retired after working for more than forty years as a videographer. His clients included PHIT and other non-profits, the City of Austin, and the University of Texas at Austin Longhorn Band.

Max Krochmal is assistant professor in the Department of History & Geography at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. His research and teaching sit at the intersection of modern U.S., African American, Chicano/a-Latino/a, and labor histories-and their present-day ramifications. Dr. Krochmal attended UC-Santa Cruz and worked as a labor and community organizer in California before receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. at Duke University, where he worked with legendary Texas historian Larry Goodwyn and preeminent civil rights scholar Bill Chafe. Krochmal’s current book project follows a diverse group of ordinary people as they built multiracial political, civil rights, and labor coalitions in mid-twentieth century Texas. He will spend the 2013-2014 school year completing the manuscript as the Summerlee Fellow in Texas History at the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He directs the TCU Civil Rights Bus Tour and is developing a new community-based research and digital humanities project, the Texas Communities Oral History Program.

Richard Croxdale is a professor of economics at Austin Community College. He has been director of research for People’s History in Texas since 1979. He is the principal researcher, scriptwriter, and editor on every project.

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