James R. Neal, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus - Morrison University
Independent Scholar

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare;
it is because we do not dare that things are difficult ––– Seneca
EDUCATION
Ph.D. in History (2015)
M.A. in History (2008)
B.A. in History with Distinction (2006)
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Areas of Concentration: Medieval History, Old English, Mesopotamian and Roman History
  • Minor: Anthropology (Archaeology)
  • Senior Thesis: “The Adventus Saxonum: The Anglo-Saxon Conquest (449-661)” (Advisor: Neal Ferguson)
  • Key Independent Research Project: “Tilzaga: The End of the Beginning, The Third Dynasty of Urim, 2112 – 2004 BC” (advisor: Francis X. Hartigan)
  • Key Independent Research Project: "The Rise of Anglo-Saxon England (449 – 796): On The Founding Of Anglo-Saxon England" (Advisor: Neal Ferguson)
Associate of Arts (2000)
  • Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, NV

ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT
Morrison University, Reno, NV (2007 - 2013)
Senior Humanities Professor
  • History of Early Civilizations: An integrated view of Western cultural roots: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greek-Roman, Judaic-Christian and Medieval Age through the study of literature, history, art, and philosophical thought of the time.
  • Western Traditions: Integrated view of Western Traditions during Renaissance, Reformation, Seventeenth Century, European Enlightenment and Romanticism in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries, and the Modernist movement in the Twentieth Century including contemporary American culture.
  • History of Economic Thought: Study of market economy from development of the discipline to current theories; theoretical development as well as authors of various theories.
  • Logic: Inductive and deductive reasoning methods. Uses of language, fallacies, Venn diagrams, and symbolic logic.
  • Geography: A study of world geography pertaining to different cultures of the continents, including weather, climate, physical characteristics, and lifestyles.
  • American Government: An overview of the American political system with attention to federal, state and local controls. The Constitutions of the U.S. and Nevada are studied with additional attention to various principles and current problems of government.

NON-ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT
Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Chief, Advanced Analytics, Office of Performance Analysis & Integrity, 2018 - Present:
    Collaborate with business line analysts to recommend training, policy and procedures for VBACO data and information systems. Manage and assess performance of team members. Assist in the recruitment of Performance, Analysis and Integrity Advanced Analytics staff. Develop stakeholder requirements for analytic solutions by working with government staff and contractors. Utilize advanced analytic techniques to monitor system processes, gauge system and process accuracy, provide reliable statistical metrics to internal and external stakeholders, and provide predictive measures for staffing and budgetary needs based on workload trends.
  • Program Analyst, Office of Performance Analysis & Integrity, Advanced Analytics Staff, 2013 – 2018: Analyze program processes and provide recommendations to leadership within the Veterans Benefits Administration on system and process efficiencies and methods of improving services to veterans; utilize predictive analytics to identify potential issues and provide actionable recommendations to mitigate impact and improve performance.
  • Management Analyst, Reno Regional Office, 2010 – 2013: Served as Chief-of-Staff for a Regional Office of the Veterans Benefits Administration overseeing disability compensation benefits for veterans in the state of Nevada and four California counties.
  • Training Manager, Reno Regional Office, 2009 – 2010: Managed the training curriculum and instruction for a Regional Office of nearly one hundred personnel responsible for processing veterans’ claims for disability compensation and ancillary benefits.
  • Veterans Service Representative, Reno Regional Office, 2007 – 2009: Processed veterans’ claims for disability compensation benefits.

PUBLICATIONS
  • "'Raise at Once the Black Flag': Killing Prisoners of War in the Civil War." In Preparation, 2019.
  • "Nizarorustu: An Analysis of the Battle of Niså and the Final Campaign Between Haraldr Harðráða and Sveinn Úlfsson." In Preparation, 2018.
  • “‘We Were Surrendered’: Civil War Prisoners and the Trauma of Capture.” Essays in History, 2016.
  • “Content with the World: A New Criticism Look at Rip Van Winkle, the Man.” The Meadows: A Journal of Art and Literature, Spring 1999, 58-59.
  • Tempest. Huntington, WV: University Editions, 1994.
  • “Man Be Not Proud,” “Freedom of the Dove,” and “Tears are Falling.” American Poetry Anthology. Edited by John Frost, Vol. VIII, No. 1, 398, 407. Santa Cruz, CA: The American Poetry Association, 1988.

ACADEMIC CONFERENCES
  • "The Early Medieval Sword: Tracing Advancements in Metallurgy and Mining." 94th Annual Medieval Academy of America Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 2019.
  • "Offa's Dyke: Employing Strategic Power in the Mercian Supremacy." 33rd Annual Medieval Association of the Midwest Conference, Lawrence, Kansas, October 2017.

PRESENTATIONS
  • “The Roman Kingdom: History, Legend, Myth, and Culture.” Forthcoming lecture, Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, January 2020.
  • “The University in Medieval Italy.” Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 2019.
  • “The Battle of Jumonville Glen: The Skirmish That Changed the World.” American Revolution Round Table of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, April 2018.
  • “Civil War Prisoners of War.” Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, January 2018.
  • “Archaic Italy: History, Language, and Culture.” Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, October 2017.
  • “Renaissance & Early Modern Science: From Leonardo to Galileo & Beyond.” Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 2017.
  • “American Revolutionary Prisoners of War: Where Honor & Brutality Met.” American Revolution Round Table of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 2017.
  • “The Crisis of Church and State: Political and Religious Conflict in the Middle Ages.” Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 2016.
  • “The Divine Comedy: From Hell to Heaven.” Italian Culture Lecture Series, Fredericksburg-Este Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia, February 2016.
  • “Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England.” Seminar in Early History, Morrison University, Reno, Nevada, May 2010.

LANGUAGES, Speaking or Reading
  • English – native language
  • Middle English – read with high proficiency
  • Old English – read with high proficiency
  • German – speak, read, and write with high proficiency
  • Middle High German – read with basic competence
  • Norwegian – speak, read, and write with basic proficiency
  • Old Norse – read with competence
  • Latin – read with basic competence

HONORS
  • Department of Veterans Affairs – 8 Superior Performance Awards and 6 Special Contribution Awards (2008 – 2018)
  • Davies Graduate Student Research Award (2014)
  • Certificate of Senatorial Recognition (2013)
  • Professor James Hulse Scholarship in History (2013)
  • Richard and Sharon Davies Senior Thesis Prize (2006)
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2006)
  • Golden Key International Honor Society (2005)
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (2000)

MEMBERSHIPS