EIHR Board Of Directors
Mark Gudgel, President And Co-Director
Mark Gudgel is a professional educator of Literature and Holocaust Studies at Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. He earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Nebraska in 2004, a Master's degree in Theology from Grace University in 2009, and is presently working on a doctoral degree in Character Education. Gudgel has studied genocide and human rights in such places as Israel, Poland, Rwanda, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. A Regional Education Coordinator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and Fellow at the Imperial War Museum of London, he is the author of two books, no/sixteenths and Accessing Darfur, a teachers' guide to addressing the ongoing genocide in Sudan. Mark is also the author of more than a dozen articles, published in Teaching Tolerance, Prairie Fire, Relevant Magazine and others, and ranging in topic from education and pedagogy to the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and social justice issues.
Andrew Beiter, Vice-President And Associate Director
Andrew Beiter is an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher at Springville Middle School in Springville, New York. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Political Philosophy from Michigan State University and a Master's degree in Education from Fredonia State College, Mr. Beiter is the Director for the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies in Buffalo. As a Regional Education Coordinator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, board member for the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, as well as Buffalo for Africa, he has organized and spoken at numerous workshops on human rights and genocide prevention around the region and country. He is the co-Director of the Education Department of the Robert H. Jackson Center, and part of a team that wrote a curriculum for Kerry Kennedy's book Speak Truth To Power. He is the proud parent of Margaret and Mitchell Beiter, and has been married for 16 years to his wife Mary, living in Hamburg, New York.
Aimable Twagilimana, Secretary
Aimable Twagilimana works at Buffalo State, the State University of New York where his teaching and research interests are in African American literature and theory, world literature (with focus on African Diaspora literatures), postcolonial literature and theory, genocide studies, ethnic studies (covering Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo), and literatures of Continental Europe (France, Italy, and Germany). He was the 2008-2009 Chair of the Association of African Studies Programs (AASP). He is also director of the African and African American Studies Interdisciplinary Unit at his current institution. Dr. Twagilimana has degrees from the National University of Rwanda, the University of Reading (United Kingdom), and the State University of New York at Buffalo. A native of Rwanda, he came to the US in July 1992 on a student Fulbright scholarship. In 2008-2009 he returned to Africa, this time as a US Senior Fulbright scholar to Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal. He is the author of Historical Dictionary of Rwanda (new edition) (The Scarecrow Press, 2007), The Debris of Ham: Ethnicity, Regionalism and the 1994 Rwanda Genocide (University Press of America, 2003), Race and Gender in the Making of an African American Literary Tradition (Routledge, 1997) He has received awards and scholarships from the Fulbright program, the British Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
Lee Cutler, Treasurer
A middle-school English/Language Arts teacher for more than 24 years in Westchester, Ulster and Rockland counties, Lee Cutler was elected New York State United Teachers secretary-treasurer and since 2006 has also been a national Vice-President of the American Federation of Teachers. A graduate of both the NYSUT and AFL-CIO leadership institutes, Cutler’s role as secretary-treasurer has expanded to overseeing the NYSUT social justice agenda.
While the bulk of his teaching career has been in Nanuet, Cutler was a leader and eventually a director for Children’s International Summer Villages, a world peace organization, where he brought groups of children to international villages in both Denmark and France. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, is certified in both elementary education and secondary English/Language Arts. He lives in Newburgh, New York with his wife, Rissa, and their children.
As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide was launched in April 1994, Carl refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, his church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates evacuated and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. Carl was the only American to remain in the country. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. His actions saved the lives of hundreds. He returned to the United States in 1996 and now shares his story with students an audiences around the world.
Mark Mostert, from Johannesburg, South Africa, completed his undergraduate degree (with distinction) from the Johannesburg College of Education, majoring in special education and biblical studies. After post baccalaureate work in cerebral palsied education at the University of South Africa, he was awarded the Master's degree from the University of South Alabama, where he was designated the outstanding graduate in special education. Currently teaching at Regent University in Virginia, he has also developed Useless Eaters - an award-winning site that describes the historical context of attitudes toward people with disabilities in Germany and how this context produced mass murder of people with disabilities prior to and during the early years of World War II. He is CED of Disability Consultants International (DCI), a compnay that comes alongside international partnerers to conceived, develop, implement, and evaluate projects to benefit people with disabilities.
Allida Black is Executive Editor of the Ilene Diamond
Louise Lawrence-Israëls of Haarlem, The Netherlands, went into hiding at six months of age in Amsterdam with her parents and older brother. After liberation in 1945, the family moved to Sweden where her father was able to find work. In 1948, they returned once again to Holland where her education was completed with a degree in Physical Therapy, specializing in children with Cerebral Palsy. There she met her husband, married in 1965, and in 1967 immigrated to the USA. Their family now includes three daughters, their husbands, and six grandchildren. Louise, among other pursuits, is a volunteer at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) where she works as a translator. As a member of the Museums’ Speakers’ Bureau and a hidden child during the Holocaust, she has told her war experiences to various groups for over 15 years. She also has been a Member and Co-coordinator of the USHMM’s Volunteer Advisory Board (VAB) from 2009 to 2013; is Co-president of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Friends of Greater Washington (JHSFGW); and a Board Member of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation (HSF), a National Group of Survivors with the mandate to obtain services and entitlements for aging Holocaust Survivors.