Since 1924, History Colorado has appointed a historian to work with the organization to preserve, interpret, and share Colorado’s past.
Our State Historian’s Council is led by noted historian Dr. Jared Orsi, who is joined on the council by respected historians from across the state.
Dr. Jared Orsi is a professor of history at Colorado State University and director of the Public Lands History Center. He specializes in environmental and borderlands history, teaching courses on US and Mexican history. His book Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award for history, and he served as an advisor on History Colorado’s Zoom In exhibition.
Dr. Claire Oberon Garcia is a professor of English at Colorado College. Dr. Garcia’s research focuses on Black history portrayed through literature, including an emphasis on women of the Black Atlantic in the beginning of the twentieth century. She is the co-editor of many notable works, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Help: White Authored Narratives of Black Life, and her work has appeared in The Colorado Magazine; Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, among others. As a scholar and teacher, Dr. Garcia is particularly interested in the archives of the marginalized, the silenced and the “expendable” who did not have access to official institutions and dominant power structures.
Dr. Nicki Gonzales is a professor of history and vice provost for diversity and inclusion at Regis University. Her research interests include the American Southwest; the Chicano Movement in Colorado; Chicano social, political, legal, and environmental activism; and the history of land grant communities. She has served as an advisor for History Colorado’s exhibits El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado and Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects. Dr. Gonzales is History Colorado's appointee to the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board established by Governor Polis in July 2020.
Dr. Thomas J. Noel (Emeritus) is a professor of history and the director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. Known as “Dr. Colorado,” Noel has written numerous books and articles about the state and serves as a tour guide for History Colorado. His courses at CU Denver include regional history (Colorado, Denver, and the US West), historic preservation, heritage tourism, and the National Park Service, and classes on Colorado industries like mining and railroads. He is coauthor of Colorado: A History of the Centennial State.
Dr. Susan Shulten is a professor of history at the University of Denver. Dr. Schulten’s research innovatively uses old maps to tell new stories about history. She was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and received a Public Scholar Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Schulten has also authored multiple books, including A History of America in 100 Maps, which examines how maps can reveal new angles on our past and Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America, that explores how maps transformed American life by organizing information. For several years, Dr. Schulten has also served as an editor for History Colorado’s podcast, Lost Highways.
Dr. William Wei is a professor of history at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is editor-in-chief of the online Colorado Encyclopedia and has held various national and international fellowships. His work focuses primarily on modern China, with research interests in Asian Americans. His latest book, Asians in Colorado: A History of Persecution and Perseverance in the Centennial State, was a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Authors’ League Award for General Nonfiction. He was a lead advisor on History Colorado's Zoom In exhibition in 2016–2017, and is currently working on a book featuring the 100 objects selected for the project. Asian Avenue has named him one of the “100 Asians to Know in Denver.”