College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History


Yvonne Berliner photo of Yvonne Berliner

Yvonne received a PhD in History from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile in 2006 and an M.A. in History of the Americas there in 1999. She also holds an M.Ed. from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She has taught at the Universidad de los Andes in Chile and began teaching at WSU in the Spring of 2009. Her areas of expertise include Latin American History, World History and a special interest in Latin American Women's History.


Roger Chan photo of Roger Chan

Roger is a full-time instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program.

Roger's teaching and research interests are centered on late Imperial China, modern China, modern Japan, and Western legal history. In addition to courses in Asian studies, Chan teaches world civilizations in the General Education Program.


Karoline Cook

karoline.cook@wsu.eduKaroline Cook

Karoline teaches in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program. She has a PhD in history from Princeton University (2008). She is currently completing her book, Forbidden Crossings: Moriscos and Muslims in Spanish America, 1492-1650 for publication with the University of Pennsylvania Press.



Kenneth Fauncephoto of Kenneth Faunce

Ken received his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He spent years working for the federal government as a historian and archaeologist. 

Ken is a full-time instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program.

Ken's main areas of research are nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history with an emphasis on globalization.  His primary area of research is gender studies and race/ethnicity. He has taught at WSU since 2000.


Katy Fryphoto of Katy Fry

Katy earned her Ph.D. in American History at Washington State University in 2011. Her research fields include labor, immigration, and race. Her teaching fields are Women's history, Immigration, Writing, and Roots of Contemporary Issues.



Frank HillPhoto of Frank Hill

Frank has been attending or working at WSU since 1987. After earning three degrees at the University of Idaho, he transferred to WSU where he completed his Ph.D. in American History.  Frank became an Undergraduate Academic Advisor in May 2014.  Although Frank generally teaches freshmen-level history classes when needed, he also teaches upper-division courses related to sports history.


Mary Kovel

mary.kovel@wsu.eduMary Kovel

Mary is a full-time instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program.




Karen Phoenix

karen.phoenix@wsu.eduKaren Phoenix

Karen specializes in the U.S. in the World during the Progressive Era and interwar period. She has a B.A. and M.A. from Brandeis University, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2010. Her doctoral work used the U.S. Young Women's Christian Association as a case study to explore U.S. attempts at cultural imperialism in India, the Philippines, Argentina, and Nigeria. She is currently adding post-WWI Poland for the book manuscript. Her article “A Social Gospel for India” will be published in a special issue on Transnational Women’s and Gender History in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, scheduled for Spring 2014.

She has taught courses in general U.S. History, U.S. women's history, U.S. racial and ethnic history, and the social constructions of citizenship in the U.S., in addition to her current work in the Roots of Contemporary Issues program at WSU.


Lee Ann Powell

Lee Ann

Lee Ann specializes in the modern U.S. West and completed her Ph.D. at Washington State University in December 2013. Her doctoral work used Richland, Hanford, and Tri-Cities, Washington as a case study to explore the social, cultural, environmental, and political affects of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex and the Cold War on the modern West. She has taught courses in general U.S. History, World History, Pacific Northwest History, history of women in the West, writing about history, and theory and methods in social science.


Tess Rond


Tess received her PhD at Washington State University in May 2014.





Charles Wellerphoto of Charles Weller

Charles received his Ph.D. from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, working in the Kazakh language. His life’s work includes over 20 years of focus upon Central Asia (in relation to Russia, the Middle East, the Islamic world, and the West), with eight total years of residence in the region engaging in research, teaching, and translation. He has a number of publications in both English and Kazakh. His latest articles include: “Religious-Cultural Revivalism as Historiographical Debate: Contending Claims in the Post-Soviet Kazakh Context” (Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 25, No 2, May 2014: 138-177) and "Modern Reform and Independence Movements: Central Asian Muslims and Koreans in Comparative Historical Perspective, 1850-1940" (Journal of American - East Asian Relations, Vol 21, No 4, Dec 2014, 343-372). He was a visiting fellow at Yale University (2010-11) before becoming a full-time faculty member for the Roots of Contemporary Issues World History and WSU Asia programs at Washington State University in 2011. He is also engaged this year as a (non-residential) visiting researcher at Georgetown University.


Aaron D. WhelchelPhoto of Aaron D. Whelchel


Our goal as professional historians is not to collect fact and figures about past events and individuals but rather craft narratives explaining historical change based on reliable evidence. As a researcher I hope to contribute to the story of the development of modern educational systems by emphasizing methodological and organizational techniques that were diffused, adapted, and implemented across the globe. As a teacher of history my goal is to aid students to understand that the shape of the world they live in is highly contingent on numerous historical processes that were neither inevitable or permanent. By stressing the interpretive nature of history, I aim to build critical thinking skills in my students so that they may better evaluate the soundness of the messages they encounter in the wider world.


















Department of History, PO Box 644030, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4030
301 Wilson-Short Hall, Pullman Campus • 509-335-5139 • Fax 509-335-4171 • Contact Us