THS Staff

Jennifer C. Core

Jennifer C. Core is the executive director of the Tennessee Historical Society.  At THS, she was previously the director of membership and programs and the state coordinator of Tennessee History Day. Core is a folklorist and educator by training with masters degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Indiana University, Bloomington. She formerly held positions at the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Grand Ole Opry archives. She is co-founder and director of the Tennessee Sampler Survey, a not-for-profit devoted to documenting Tennessee’s needlework heritage. Her areas of research have included Tennessee outsider and folk art, Middle Tennessee baskets, and West Tennessee Choctaw crafts. As a folklorist specializing in historical ethnography and material culture, she combines methodology from the fields of folklore and history. Core is a former classroom teacher, a native of Knoxville, a resident of Nashville since 2001, and a proud Volunteer.

Nikki Ward

Nikki Ward is the director of Membership and Programs as well as State Coordinator for Tennessee History Day. She has training as a historian and a classroom educator with a B.A. in History and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University. Nikki has worked in the museum field in Nashville, including working as a museum educator at Historic Travellers Rest. Most recently, she a middle school social studies educator with Wilson County Public Schools.

Frances Kolb Turnbell

Frances Kolb Turnbell became senior editor of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly in 2019. In this capacity, she recruits authors to write articles for the THQ, reviews submitted manuscripts, and works with the editorial advisory board to provide guidance to authors whose work has been accepted. She is an historian of Early America and the Atlantic World whose research centers on the eighteenth century Lower Mississippi Valley. She earned her BA in history at Texas A&M University and her MA and PhD at Vanderbilt University. She is published in the Journal of Louisiana History and is a contributing author to Atlantic Environments and the American South (2020) and The American Revolutionary War in the West (May 2020). She lives in Nashville with her family.

Ann Toplovich

Director emerita Ann Toplovich retired in 2020 after thirty years of service to the Tennessee Historical Society. Trained as an archaeologist, her career in public history included stints as director of the Tennessee Main Street Program, deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, and Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Conservation. She has directed NEH and state humanities projects, served as a consultant on research projects, published articles, and appeared on PBS, CNN, and History Channel productions. She served on the Tennessee Public Records Commission, the board of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial committee, and was an advisor to the Tennessee Great War Commission. She recently completed terms as an officer of the American Association for State and Local History and as commissioner for the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. A native of Watertown, Toplovich lives in a National Register historic district near downtown Nashville with her husband, an environmental scientist, and their son. In her retirement, she hopes to indulge her love of travel and gardening.