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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.


Julia Carroll

Fields: North America to 1865, History of Religion, Early Modern Europe

Faculty: Barry Levy

Education: Dual B.A. History and Religious Studies, Georgia State University (2014)

Interests: history of religious conversion in colonial America, the changing nature of death rituals and belief in afterlife during the English Reformation, capitalism and religion, development/spread of Methodism in the southeastern U.S.



Shakti Castro




Ryan Dorsey

Fields: History of Science and Technology, 20 c. US History, 19 c. European

Faculty: Professor Emily Redman

Education: B.Sc. Chemistry and Materials Science, McGill University

Interests: Before coming to UMass Amherst, I worked for two years in industry as a petrochemical forensic analyst and for two and a half years as a high school teacher for a public charter in Boston Public Schools.

Academically, I am interested in the interface between professional scientists and non-technical persons and groups. Science is/has been adored by the public, sponsored by the public, revered as an arbiter of truth, and depended upon for security. So, as a (former?) scientist, I want to explore how scientists communicate their work, their goals, and their methods, ultimately garnering the trust of a public that financially and socially supports them.

More peripherally, I love using (and abusing) technology, and am excited to explore the digital humanities' creative application of computing resources to things I never knew could benefit from them.

On a personal note, my biggest passions are split between the indoors and the outdoors. I am super happy (happiest?) while backpacking and rock climbing. The great outdoors is indeed great, especially in New England! But after the self-punishment of exercise, a decadent day at home is nice as well: I love a good board game (play Puerto Rico with me!), a good comic book, and a good meal.




Katherine Fecteau

Fields: Public History, American Revolution, social history, material culture

Education: B.A. Anthropology, Colby College (2013)

Interests: My research interests include social history, material culture, and personal accounts from the American Revolution.  As an undergrad, I focused my research on individual experiences of important events, specifically examining the journey of three Colby College students through the course of World War I.  I plan to continue this type of research in my graduate studies, exploring the significance of untold stories in light of the greater historic picture.



Rose Gallenberger

Fields: Early America, Public History, Early Modern Europe

Faculty: Sam Redman

Education: B.A. History, Wisconsin Lutheran College (2014)

Interests: Revolutionary America, German Americans, Material Culture, Eighteenth Century Western History



Anna Holley



Deborah Kallman

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

Faculty: Jennifer Fronc, David Glassberg, Jennifer Heuer

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

Interests: My interests are diverse as I have taken a somewhat nontraditional route to UMass.  Having spent most of my twenty-five year finance and accounting career in higher education financial administration, I understand the importance of education to society and through visits to various historical sites I have observed the impact public historians have in creating environments that render history accessible to the general public.  My career goal is to work in a museum setting where I can apply my newly acquired public history skills and my financial and leadership skills.

In addition to public history, I am interested in the Progressive era and particularly reform efforts during the early part of the twentieth-century and women’s roles in reform.  I am presently researching a farm in West Newbury, Massachusetts and how the efforts of the farm’s rather ordinary female owner impacted a number of individuals.  A secondary interest of mine is that of the Great War and memory.



Rebecca Lorfils




Kathleen Mahoney


Education: B.A. History, Boston College (2009)

Interests: Public History, 20th century urban history, and the history of American popular culture.





Chelsea Miller

Fields: Public History, 17th-19th century Middle East, 19th-20th century United States

Faculty: Anne Broadbridge, Marla Miller, Johan Mathew, Sam Redman

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

Interests: Material culture, museum studies, gender and sexuality, environmental history




Gregg Mitchell

Field: Public history

Education: B.S.E. and Initial Licensure in Elementary Education, Westfield State University (2012); B.A. History, UMass Amherst (2013)

Academic interests: Local histories, museums and archives, and education



Selena Moon

Field: Public history

Education: B.A. History with a concentration in women's history, Smith College (2009) and Paralegal Certificate, Hamline University (2011)

Academic interests: Asian-American history with an emphasis on the internment

Non-academic interests: Ancient Egypt, the Mayflower, Salem witchcraft trials.


Shay Olmstead

Fields: Native American History; Women, Gender, and Sexuality; United States Frontier History

Faculty: Alice Nash

Education: B.S., American Indian Studies, Black Hills State University (SD); M.Ed., Curriculum and Teaching, Fitchburg State University (MA)

Academic interests: I am interested in studying colonial reactions to/perceptions of Indigenous gender non-conformity. If I could throw a bit of Environmental History in there as well, that would be awesome.

Personal interests: I love hiking, cooking, reading, and playing with my dog. My favorite thing to do is travel, and I love road trips. My ideal day is one spent outside, in the company of friends, and my ideal night is spent drinking craft beer and listening to some good local tunes.



Sarah Patton

Fields: Public History and Memory

Faculty: David Glassberg

Degrees: BA History, Carleton College

Interests: I plan to focus my studies on memorials—the act of creation, how people interact with them, and how they help individuals fit their experiences into a larger, national story and a collective whole. I am very interested in bringing these ideas to the National Park Service to improve how the NPS cares for and interprets memorials. 




Julie Peterson

Fields: Public History, 20th Century U.S. History, Built Environment

Faculty: David Glassberg

Education: BA, History & Hispanic Studies, Lewis & Clark College (2012)

Interests: As an undergraduate, I studied the built environment in order to understand how the actions of people throughout history have impacted the physical environment, the political landscape, and the cultural milieu of the United States.  Analyzing the ways that groups of people have expressed themselves—or conversely, been repressed—through the landscape is my primary interest in history, which led me to the field of public history; historical sites, house museums, and walking tours represent spaces in which these ideas can best be expressed.  Other areas of academic interest include: oral history, race and ethnicity, social justice, the rise of the prison-industrial complex, the digital humanities, and modern Latin America. When I’m not investigating these subjects, I can be found running, practicing guitar, doing the NY Times crossword puzzle, listening to podcasts, drinking craft beer, or exploring foodie culture!



Rebekkah Rubin



Natalie Sherif

Fields: US LGBT history and sexuality studies; history of sexuality in Europe; oral history

Faculty: Samuel Redman, Julio Capo, Jennifer Heuer

Education: B.A. Gettysburg College (2014)

Interests: When many people consider how violence intersects with the queer community, they conceptualize an outsider versus insider trope -- how those outside the community enact violence on people within the community. I am interested in pushing the boundaries regarding violence and queer history by examining issues of violence within the community itself. While at UMass, I will be looking at domestic violence in queer relationships and will use the information I find as a departure point for further study on violence in the LGBT community.



Sean Smeland




Chloe Spinks



Danping Wang