Dr. Randall S. Gooden is a native of West Virginia where he learned to love history from stories told by family and neighbors and from visiting scenes of the past. His studies took him to West Virginia University and his formal education in history. This included a Bachelor of Arts in history, a Master of Arts in public history, and a Ph.D. in history; with fields in early and modern U.S. history, modern European history, and political science. His career has taken him through higher education and public history as a teaching assistant and lecturer at West Virginia University; as an adjunct instructor at Youngstown State University and Ursuline College, as an archival administrator at the West Virginia and Regional History Collection at West Virginia University and at Ohio Historical Society's Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, and as executive director of Geauga County Historical Society in Ohio. Dr. Gooden founded, published and edited a weekly newspaper, the New Middletown Postmark, in New Middletown, Ohio, for six years.
Dr. Gooden came to Georgia in 2005 in a joint appointment as assistant professor of history at Clayton State and as circuit rider archivist for the Georgia Archives--a grant-funded position that took him throughout Georgia to advise local governments and historical organizations on archival and records management. After the end of the circuit rider archivist program, Dr. Gooden continued as a member of the history faculty at Clayton State and has taught introductory courses in U.S. history and upper level and graduate courses in public history, Georgia history, and Civil War and Reconstruction. He was the founding adviser for the Clayton State chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society; has served as a member of the University Hearing Panel, served on and chaired the University Bookstore Advisory Committee and has been a member and chair of the faculty senate. In 2016, he was named as a university professor.