Students in Theresa Vara-Dannen's American Studies at University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford, Conn., have written and published 30 profiles of local men and women for the African American National Biography, compiled by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Students research their subjects, such as abolitionist Selah Africanus, through libraries, historical societies and newspaper archives. The project is a reason Vara-Dannen was named 2012 Connecticut History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, said Steve Armstrong, president-elect of the National Council for the Social Studies.

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