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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Current M.A. Students

This page is intended to give a sense of the range and focus of graduate student research in our department. You may write to current students care of the Department of History, Herter Hall, University of Massachusetts, 161 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003-9312. View graduate student office hours here.


Thamyris Almeida

Fields: Modern Latin America, Colonial Latin America, Global History
Faculty: Joel Wolfe
Education: B.A. History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Interests: Yoga, music, the Internet.





Janelle Bourgeois

Education: B.A, History, University of Massachusetts Lowell (2013)


John Dickson

Fields: Public history; 19th century United States history; History of North American neighbors: Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean
Faculty: Marla Miller
Education: BA History, Princeton University; MEd University of New Hampshire
Interests: I came to the graduate program in history to explore the formation of national identity through history and collective memory. As a result of several projects in historic preservation and an internship at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, new directions have opened up. Connections between local history and national developments play out in the history of buildings, both industrial and residential. At Arrowhead, I am completing an exhibit on Pittsfield in the year 1863, focusing on a handful of individuals whose personal stories form a broader narrative for life on the home front during the war. The UMass program has been flexible enough to allow for such varied pursuits, even if the connections between them are not readily apparent.
While at UMass, I have been fortunate to support the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, supporting students interested in research and study abroad opportunities, such as the Fulbright and Pickering scholarships.


Jonathan Dusenbury

Fields: Atlantic World, African American, Global History
Advisors: Jennifer Heuer, Manisha Sinha, John Higginson
Education: BA, University of South Carolina, 2011; MAT, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012
Interests: I am primarily interested in the intellectual and cultural history of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World, particularly during the "age of revolutions." My research examines the intersection of ideas of emotion, race, and citizenship in the Atlantic World, especially in post-Revolutionary America. I also study the emotional framework of revolutionary ideologies and behavior, and moving forward would like to apply this framework to the Haitian Revolution. I am broadly interested in the history of slavery in the Atlantic World. My tertiary field examines the history of human rights in the modern world.

Katherine Garland

Fields: Public History, Early American Religious History
Faculty: David Glassberg, Rob Cox
Education: BA in History, Messiah College, 2012

Interests: I am particularly interested in how public historians talk about the history of religion, as my research centers on early American religious history. In summer 2013, I was a Buchanan/Burnham fellow at the Newport Historical Society in Rhode Island. To help celebrate the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island's charter which granted religious toleration to the colony's inhabitants, I composed a series of essays about the history of religion in the colony. My essays can be found at:

I am also pursuing a certificate in Arts Management through the Arts Extension Service here at UMass. Taking classes in financial management, board development, marketing, and the like will prepare me to run a non-profit institution when I graduate.



Veronica Golden

Fields: Early America, US Women's History, Irish History
Faculty: Marla Miller
Education: B.A., History and Gender Studies, SUNY-Purchase (2011)
Interests: I'm interested in food and gender in New England domestic spaces in the Early Republic period. My research focuses on early cookbooks, systems of power (class, race, gender, age) among domestic labor particularly within the kitchen space, as well as the political culture of food. Other areas of focus include gender and sexuality within the broader fields of US and Irish history.


Matthew Herrera

Fields: 20th Century US History, Vietnam War, US Foreign Policy
Faculty: Christian Appy
Education: BA, Humboldt State University, 2013
Interests: Changing perceptions of the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War in the eyes of the Americans. In particular, looking at the way American views of the Vietnamese landscape and people shifted during the war as it raged on through sensory and emotional approaches in history. French Imperialism during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Michael Holmes



Emily Hunter

Fields: 19th and 20th Century U.S. History (Emphasis on Women's History), Public History, European History
Faculty: Marla Miller
Education: B.A. History, State University of New York at Oneonta, 2013
Interests: Growing up in Cooperstown, NY, home to several museums and to the New York State Historical Association Library, I developed an appreciation for public history at a young age. Throughout my middle and high school years, I enjoyed working as a volunteer interpreter at The Farmers' Museum, a living history museum which recreates life in an 1840s village. As a history major at the State University of New York at Oneonta, I began to focus my passion for public history on archives and special collections libraries. Through an internship at the New York State Historical Association Library and as an intern and researcher in the archives at my university's Milne Library, I accessioned and created catalogues for archival materials, conducted oral history interviews, compile materials for library publications, and participated in outreach programs which introduced the public to the archival holdings. For the las two years, I have served as a moderator at the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, an annual event hosted by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I chose the History Program (and the Public History Concentration) at UMass-Amherst because it will allow me to combine historical research and writing with the skills I will need for my career in archive management. I was drawn to the program because of the rich archival resources available through the Five College Consortium and because of the professors whose areas of expertise link to my own research goals. At UMass, I plan to focus my research on progressivism and 19th and 20th century women/women's movements.


Deborah Kallman

Fields: U.S. History, Public History, and Modern Europe

Faculty: David Glassberg

Education: MBA, University of the Pacific; BBA, Georgia State University

Interests: My interests are diverse. My interests in early U.S. History (mid- to late eighteenth century) and the Public History Certificate program both drew me to UMass. The Five College consortium and the resources it offers to students in terms of faculty, course offerings, scholarship, and opportunities for involvement add to the appeal of the program. I have taken a somewhat nontraditional route to UMass. My professional career encompasses twenty-five years in finance and accounting with the last fifteen being in higher education financial administration. In my professional work, I observed the importance of education to society and through visits to various historical sites, I have seen the impact that public historians have in creating environments that make history accessible to the general public. I look forward to my work at UMass and to taking my place in the field of history.



Daniel McDonald

Fields: Modern Latin America (Brazil), Colonial Latin America, Global History

Faculty: Joel Wolfe, Heidi Scott, John Higginson

Education: B.A. History and Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2012

Interests: Modern political and economic history of Brazil; political transition periods in modern comparative politics in the Atlantic World.



Chelsea Miller

Fields: Early Medieval Mediterranean, Public History, Comparative Empires

Faculty: Anne Broadbridge

Education: B.A. History, Mount Holyoke College (2014)

Interests: Material culture, archaeology, imperialism, early Islamic Empire, environmental history





Jared Muskovitz

Fields: LGBT History, History of Sexuality, 20th Century U.S.
Faculty: Jennifer Fronc, Laura Lovett
Education: BA, The College of St. Scholastica (Secondary Education, History), 2011
Interests: LGBT politics, social justice, Minnesota politics, deaf culture, and post-9/11 America


Jacob Orcutt

Fields: Early America, Native American History, Public History
Faculty: Alice Nash
Education: B.A. History, Anthropology & Archaeology, SUNY Potsdam
Interests: Contact and early colonial period encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in North America; colonial New England; environmental history; ethnohistory; material culture; museum studies; archaeology


Rebecca Schmitt

Fields: 20th Century United States; Public History; Historic Preservation; Modern European History; German History

Education: BA History and BS Historic Preservation, Southeast Missouri State University, 2013

Interests: My interests in History and Public History are vast and wide-ranging. While deciding where to pursue graduate study, the program at UMass-Amherst stood out as a program that could satisfy my multitude of interests. I am primarily interested in 20th century United States history, specifically the American involvement in World War II and post-World War II American culture and politics. A secondary interest is Modern European history and German history, which was cultivated through my undergraduate study abroad experience in Munich, Germany and experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant for a Modern European history course.

I am also exceedingly interested in Historic Preservation and Public History. I am fascinated by the power that these two areas have in not only bringing history into the public sphere but also in aiding the traditional interpretation and investigation techniques more commonly employed by historians. It is amazing to me what historians can learn about a culture through simple examination of the techniques or materials used in historical structures. While pursuing graduate studies, I hope to better incorporate techniques such as examination of structures and material culture into my academic research.


Shuko Tamao

Fields: 20th Century American History; Public History; History of Medicine, Disability Rights, Psychiatric Survivors Movement

Faculty: Robert Cox, John Higginson

Education: B.A. in Comparative Culture, Hiroshima City University





Charles Weisenberger

Fields: Public History, Early America, Slavery
Faculty: Barry Levy, Marla Miller
Education: B.A. History, Washington College (2012) 
Interests: I have a general fascination with Colonial America and the Early Republic, but I am particularly interested in studying the history of slavery. As a graduate student, I want to learn more about the development of slave communities as well as transnational influences on American slavery. As an aspiring public historian, I also hope to develop strategies and techniques for representing the experiences of enslaved people to the broader public.