Civic Knowledge Project

Division of the Humanities | The University of Chicago

Skip to: main content | site navigation


About the Presenters

Mr. Robert L. Branch II graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Biology. He has taught as a middle school science and math teacher with a concentration in physics, physiology, and cell biology. He has worked in the medical field in various capacities, including as a surgical technician and as an emergency medical technician, and he has conducted research in the fields of retroviruses, cancer, and xeno immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. For the last decade, he has extensively researched African American pioneers in medicine, particularly Dr. Julian H. Lewis and his career in pathology. He is also researching the African American Overton family and collaborating on a soon to be published book on Lewis and the Overtons. His work as an independent scholar in this area has been widely acclaimed, for example by Dr. Robert L. Harris, Jr., professor of African-American History and vice provost emeritus at Cornell University, and Nathaniel Wesley, Jr , one of America’s leading authorities on Black hospitals. He served as President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Chapter Sigma Phi at I.U.P.U.I. and as a member and representative of their Culture Committee. And he currently serves as an assistant curator at the Robbins Historical Society and Museum.

Dr. Christopher Crenner, who earned his M.D and Ph.D from Harvard University, is an historian of medicine and a physician at the University of Kansas School of Medicine where he holds the Ralph Major and Robert Hudson Professorship and Chair of History and Philosophy of Medicine and serves as associated faculty in internal medicine. His training is in the history of science and internal medicine. His main interest is in the history of American medicine and especially the interface of science and medical practice. His book Private Practice (Johns Hopkins, 2005) examines the history of the doctor-patient interactions and the influence of medical technology on practice. At the University of Kansas he also practices in the division of general internal medicine and volunteers time at the free Jaydoc Health Clinic. He previously chaired and continues to serve on the KU Hospital Ethics Committee. For his recent academic article on Julian Herman Lewis, please see: Julian Herman's academic article.

Mr. Tyrone Haymore, who holds a degree in education from Northeastern Illinois University, is the founder, director and curator of the Robbins Historical Society and Museum, in historic Robbins Illinois, one of the oldest African American communities in the northern United States. A long time resident of Robbins, he has had a long career in municipal government, serving as the Robbins Village Clerk and Trustee. Acknowledged as the leading historian of Robbins, he has published “The Story of Robbins, Illinois,” appeared in several documentaries and newscasts featuring Robbins, including: Robbins Newscast, and lectured about Robbins before a wide range of audiences. He has even published a children’s book about Robbins. In his work as director and curator at the Robbins History Museum, he has collected an extraordinary array of artifacts testifying to the historical importance of Robbins, particularly as a hub for African American pioneers in aviation and space exploration.