To advance awareness encompassing aspects of World War I (1914-1921) through exploration, dialogue, scholarship, education, and examination of humanistic and non-humanistic endeavors associated with enhancement of global perspectives.
The Centre’s major objectives include;
- Partnering with sponsors to host an annual lecture;
- Maintain a scholarly, educational, genealogical, and preservation presence through media, social media and digitization;
- Partner with sponsors to promote public programming;
- Collaborate with international, national, regional, state, and local agencies to promote the study and preserving of memories related to the Great War (1914-1921)
- Support acquisitions for the McAfee Library’s book, journal, and manuscript collections;
- Offer an intensive interdisciplinary academic minor for selective international and national undergraduate students via the Great War Era Studies Minor; and
- Partner with governmental and non-governmental agencies related to initiatives, coordination, and dissemination of research related to the World War I Valor Medal Review Project of United States military service members who were wrongfully denied the Medal of Honor for valorous service in World War I.
The George S. Robb Centre at Park University Research Staff
George S. Robb Centre Director Dr. Timothy Westcott
Dr. Timothy C. Westcott has over thirty years of experience in secondary and higher education. He is currently associate professor of history, associate university archivist, and Director, George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War. He joined the faculty and staff at Park University in 1999 and has held numerous positions over the past twenty years. He is a recipient of the Patriot Award, Department of Defense.
He is a veteran having served in the U.S. Marine Corps overseas and stateside with the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, Marine Corps Reserve Center in Omaha, Ne., and at the Marine Corps Reserve Support Center in Overland Park, Ks. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). During his Marine Corps service, he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal twice, the Good Conduct Medal twice, Meritorious Mast twice, and Certificate of Commendation. He was nationally recognized as the U.S. Marine Corps Reservist of the Year in 1986.
Westcott coordinates the research and outreach related to the Valor Medals Review Project and its associated Task Force. He commented that the “military has at times been a leader in social change. This project will hopefully continue that long tradition of righting a possible wrong” related to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, and Native Americans who served with valor in the Great War—some of whom made the supreme sacrifice.
Westcott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Secondary Education from Avila University (Kansas City, MO); Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Doctoral degree in History from the Union Institute and University (Cincinnati, OH).
Senior Research Analyst Ashlyn Weber
As a #ParkU public history major who’s also minoring in political science, Ashlyn Weber knows the importance of learning from the past. A Parkville native who came to Park after trying out another university that was a little *too* big for her tastes, she pours over WWI era artifacts and documents, passionately pursuing answers for minority war heroes who may have been passed over in receiving the Medal of Honor due to racism. As the Senior Research Analyst at our George S. Robb Centre Study for the Great War, she hopes her work in the Valor Medals Review Taskforce is a turning point to the families of those who gave their lives to serve their country so long ago. “I strongly believe that studying history should be important to everyone- seeing where we have come from has and will impact the choices we make going forward. Learning from those who came before us is essential to our development as individuals, states, and even as a country,” said Ashlyn. As the project continues to gain national attention and support from Washington, she told us “we hope that the major goals of our work inspire others to do the same- to honor, to remember, and to preserve.”
Senior Military Analyst Joshua Weston
A few years ago, Josh was looking for purpose. He wasn’t doing what he loved, and after serving in the army and earning his college degree in his hometown back in Iowa, he sought a fresh start. He met his wife, a Kansas Citian, and here he discovered #ParkU, where he found purpose: righting the past injustices of history by helping minority WWI heroes posthumously receive the Medal of Honor in cases where they may have been passed over due to their race. As the Senior Military Analyst at the George S. Robb Centre for the Great War, this European-classical history major had this to say about his work as part of the Valor Medals Review: “This project is very personal to me as I can help contribute to history by righting past injustices on minority groups and granting recognition to these long-forgotten soldiers, which has a deeply lasting effect on the families. I also see this as an opportunity to contribute toward the future by making a clear statement of how injustices against minority groups will no longer be accepted or looked-over.”