About the Author - Tim McCall


Timothy McCall hails from Indianapolis, Indiana. He received his master's degree and his doctoral degree in Social Psychology from Purdue University and his BA (Honors) in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana in the year 2004.

Tim's work on the Edmund Fitzgerald project began in the year 2000 when he was in the eighth grade. Tim was named one of "Indiana's Own" by an Indianapolis television station for his work on this website, and has been interviewed dozens of times by television, newspapers, and radio. He also appeared in the book "Mighty Fitz" by Michael Schumacher and has been interviewed by CNN for his research and expertise on the disaster.

While at Indiana University, Tim was honored with a McNair Scholarship, received an undergraduate research grant to fund his honors thesis, was inducted into various honor societies, and was a member and treasurer of Mortar Board, a collegiate honor society emphasizing leadership, scholarship, and service. Other accomplishments include terms as an appointed member of the Indianapolis Mayor's Youth Council.

At Purdue University, Tim's research fell under the umbrella of social cognition. More specifically, he studied impression formation and person perception, including things such as group stereotyping. His dissertation focused on how behaviors of a political candidate's associates affected impressions of the candidate and a voter's intentions to vote for that candidate.

Tim is passionate about education and social policy advocacy. He has taught at both Purdue University as well as The George Washington University, where he is currently on faculty. He also served for three years on the board of directors of the Indiana Family Health Council in Indianapolis, Indiana, a funds provider of family planning agencies around that state. Tim currently lives in the Washington, DC area where he holds dual positions in health workforce research as well as education administration.  You can learn more about Tim on his personal website.

About the Site

Many visitors ask how this website originated and why it was originally created by a fourteen year-old in the year 2000. After all, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank 10 years before the author's birth, and he was not related to any of those on board. The answer to this question, in one word, is: school.

When Tim McCall was in the eighth grade, students were assigned a project, called "What a Disaster", to cover different disasters in history. When originally introduced to the Edmund Fitzgerald, young McCall thought that it was a person. It was not until he researched it further that he discovered it was in fact a freighter that sank on Lake Superior with no survivors. He was intrigued by the mystery and the uncertainty surrounding the sinking, and also the rarity of having no survivors, so he began researching the tragedy for his project. It was not until about three weeks into his project that he got the idea for a website. Though he had never considered creating a website before, the thought of having a place to compile his information and share it with anyone desiring to know more interested him. He felt that not enough people knew about the crew and the ship. The website originally consisted of barely 10 web pages, and has grown to the site it is known as today. SSEFO has become the most popular source of information about the Fitz on the internet today.

Along with the website, (which was not a required portion of the presentation) Tim also gave an oral presentation and presented a booklet of research. Some selected components of the original research are still available on the site to this day, interspersed throughout new content. After originally creating the site and presenting his project, many family members contacted Tim and have become close friends since. Tim is very honored with what the site has become and with the amount of approval the site received from family members.