Current History Graduate Students
Laura Arata is a doctoral candidate in Public and American West history, with a secondary focus on Modern East Asia. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and completed her Master's degree in Public history at Washington State University. Her dissertation, "Race and the Wild West: Sarah Bickford and the Construction of Historical Memory in Virginia City, Montana, 1870 - 1930" explores the intersections and plasticity of race in the American West through the life of Bickford, an African American former slave who went on to own a public utilities company and promote tourism at the site of a lynching. Her article, "Beyond the 'Mongolian Muddle': Reconsidering Virginia City, Montana's China War of 1881," recently appeared in Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Her primary adviser is Dr. Robert Bauman. She is currently working at the Washington State University Tri Cities campus in Richland.
I am a second-year Ph.D. student studying with Dr. Matthew Sutton. My research interests center around the attraction of evangelical ministries to Colorado Springs, Colorado, after the Second World War. There upon the foothills of the Rockies, elements of both the Bible Belt and the Sunbelt merged to create an important center of American evangelicalism. Starting with a couple of small international ministries in the 1940s and 1950s, Colorado Springs soon gathered other evangelical groups, eventually packaging itself to target these groups to diversify the city's economy. In Colorado Springs, these ministries affected and were affected by important religious, social, and political changes in post-1945 America. It was a pleasure to be elected the Graduate Studies Representative, and I look forward to serving as a bridge between graduate students and the faculty to further strengthen the department overall. In another life before the all-consuming responsibilities of graduate school, I hiked, biked, and remodeled cars and houses. Given the right amount of peer pressure and favorable social conditions, my friends and colleagues can still lure me back into these pastimes.
I am a third-year PhD student working with Dr. Jesse Spohnholz. My research fields are Reformation, early modern Europe and world history. I received my B.A. in history from Whitworth University and I completed my M.A. in ancient history at Kingís College London. My research examines the role of recusant widows in the preservation of Catholicism in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.
Michael "Mickey" Dennis
Joni Ford is a first year Masters student. She received her BA in Social Science: History from Lewis-Clarks State College in 2013. She focuses on US History, primarily 20th century, with an emphasis in women and gender.
I am a second year M.A. student studying with Dr. Robert McCoy. My research interests center on Alaska, from the period of Russian settlement and exploitation through American purchase and ending with WWII, the Cold War, and the increasing importance of the North Pacific in national and global history. My M.A. thesis examines the New Deal in Alaska, specifically the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project and the role of the federal government in Alaskan development by employing subsistence agriculture as a form of work relief, and conservative opposition to this project. This project contains massive waste of federal monies, thoughtless planning, incompetent farmers and administrators, and some grizzly bears. Sound boring? Well it’s not, because everything is more exciting with grizzlies. I am honored to be the M.A. representative and look forward to helping my fellow masters students navigate the rigors of graduate school. Outside of my studies (yes there is an outside, or at least there better be!) I enjoy hiking, cooking, coffee, playing cards, and working on my two crappy cars with the help of Greg Atkins.
I am a second-year Ph.D. student focusing on U.S. race and ethnicity. I grew up in Norway, but earned my academic degrees in the United States. I did my M.A. at Montana State University, Bozeman, where I received the history department's Best Paper by an M.A. student award, in 2010, for a paper entitled "The First and the Sixth Pearl Harbor: Norwegian-American Identity at the Onset of World War II." In Pullman, I offered a poster presentation on "Bleached Dresses Only: The Absent Ethnic Dimension in the Vineland Irrigation Project" at the 2012 Academic Showcase. I also served as a student curator on this topic for MASC's exhibit "Vineland: Shaping Paradise – Lewiston–Clarkston Improvement Company Records, 1890–1920," which opened in April 2012. I recently published the paper "When the Beast Saved the Day and Yellow Jack Got Lost: The Story of General Butler and the Yellow Fever Epidemic That Never Took Place" in the spring 2012 issue of the Southern Historian. I am currently a GTA for the RCI program at the Vancouver campus, and I serve as the Vancouver HGSA representative.
April Grube is a second year Master's student who is studying 19th century American West, Memory, and Gender. Her current research shows that the emphasis on Dr. Marcus Whitman's masculinity and the repeated depiction of him as the quintessential missionary, pioneer, and Victorian gentleman played a vital role in the creation, diffusion, and perpetuation of the Whitman Myth.
Fred hails from the wonderfully diverse and scenic state of Kansas! He graduated with a Bachelor in history and Master from Friends University in Kansas. Currently a first year Doctoral student, Fredís interests lay in the general field of World history, with a primary field focus on West Africa and a secondary field focus in Atlantic world. His current research is engrossed on the history of African archery technology throughout the continent, but in particular the dispersion of that technology to other peoples outside Africa.
My name is Tyler Kinsella and I just moved to Pullman from Saint Paul, Minnesota. I attended Saint Johnís University in Collegeville, MN for my undergraduate work and received my major in History. Here at Pullman, Iím in my first semester of a Masterís program and focusing my work in Modern Germany, particularly World War II and Holocaust memory.
I received my BA in History (2006) and my MA in Modern European History (2009) from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. I am currently a fourth year doctoral candidate, with Heather Streets-Salter as my advisor. My areas of study include: Modern Europe, Modern Britain, and Imperialism. My dissertation examines the role of British Parliament in the process of detention during Kenya’s State of Emergency, 1952-60. I am specifically interested in how Parliament handled allegations of abuse from the numerous detention camps and villages that handled an estimated one million detainees.
Sarah is a first-year M.A. student working with Dr. Raymond Sun. Her research fields include Modern Germany, Modern Europe, memory and world history. She received her B.A. in history with a minor in political science from California State University Stanislaus in Turlock, California in 2012. Her current research focuses on the memorialization of a set of smaller concentration camps developed under the Nazi regime beginning in 1933 called the Emslandlager (camps in the Emsland region located in north-western Germany). She is specifically interested in the process of memorialization in this region and how it compares to larger memorialization projects in Germany before and after unification.
Dong Jo Shin
I am a fourth year PhD Candidate working with Dr. David Pietz. My research fields are Modern China, World History, and Global Environmental History. After I graduated from Beijing Normal University with a M.A. degree in 2010, I entered the PhD program at WSU. My research focuses on the ecological, social, and cultural constructions of tobacco growing and tobacco industry in North China during the early twentieth century.
Brian Stack is a first year Masters student. He received BAs in History and Philosophy and a minor in Latin from the University of Rhode Island in 2012. He focuses on 20th Century United States history with an emphasis in the history of sexuality.
Mandy Townsley is a Doctoral Candidate working with Dr. Raymond Sun. Her research fields are Modern Britain, Modern Europe and World History. She received her bachelor's degree from The University of Montana and her Master's from Washington State University. Her dissertation focuses on the concurrent remembering and forgetting of the Great War in Ireland during the war and through the Irish Free State period.
Mr. Travis completed his Masters from the University of Kentucky in 2005, and has taught at the collegiate level since 2007. Upon entering the PhD program at WSU in 2010 Mr. Travis has received several awards and acknowledgements for his performance. These include the Edward M. Bennett Scholarship, the Claudius O. and Mary Johnson Fellowship, and the Scott and Betty Lukins Fellowship. These awards have allowed Mr. Travis to conduct research trips to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the George Bush Presidential Library, and the National Security Archive. In addition, Mr. Travis also won first prize for best oral presentation at the Wiley Research Exposition in Spring, 2013. His presentation was of his ongoing dissertation research.
Currently, Mr. Travis is organizing a panel for the annual SHAFR conference and has secured acclaimed scholar Dr. George C. Herring to act as chair. His research has revealed some recently declassified materials relating to the Reagan administrationís encounter with international terrorism and is preparing to submit his findings in the form of an article for the Journal of Diplomatic History. Mr. Travis has also recently accepted the position of research assistant for the Dean of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication and former CBS news correspondent, Dr. Lawrence Pintak. Philip W. Travisí dissertation work is progressing as planned and he is scheduled to graduate, on time, this coming Spring, 2014.
My name is Jacki Hedlund Tyler and I am a fourth year PhD Candidate working with Dr. Peter Boag. My research fields are American History, Public History, and World History. I received my B.A. in History from Washington State University (2008), and my M.A. in History from Arizona State University (2010). My research focuses on the construction of gender, race, and citizenship through immigration restrictions and legal exclusions in Oregon, from 1830 to 1859. I recently had my article "The Color and Gender of Citizenship: Immigration Restriction in the Development of Oregon," published by the journal Western Legal History.
Hello! I am currently in the second year of graduate school and am pursuing an M.A. in American History under the sage tutelage of Dr. Matt Sutton. I began my post-secondary education at Columbia Basin College and finished my B.A. at Washington State University where I served within student government as a representative on the faculty senate. I am originally from southern Oregon, yet spent most of my childhood either in San Diego or travelling some long-lost back road of California looking for historical sites and markers to read. My research interests include early twentieth-century American history and the interaction between religion and politics. My thesis focuses on the first Red Scare and the use of widespread anti-communist sentiment by some religious groups within the United States to shift themselves from the "fringes" of American culture into wider mainstream acceptance as both "Christian" and "American." In particular, my thesis looks at this phenomenon in the context of Latter-day Saints and Pentecostals. In my free time I tend to unwind with role-playing games, old episodes of Star Trek, or by watching cartoons with my daughters. As a GPSA representative I will serve as the link between HGSA and the wider GPSA Senate for Washington State University.
My name is Ai Wang and I am a doctoral Candidate studying with Dr. David Pietz. I received my bachelorís and masterís degrees in Tianjin Normal University. I am interested in Modern East Asia, Global Environmental history and World History. My dissertation focuses on water conservancy constructions and urban histories of Chinese coastal cities from the late Qing Dynasty to the pre-Communist era.
Jacob received his BA in History from the University of Alabama in December of 2012. He is currently studying under Dr. Jesse Spohnholz and is studying religious and political relations during the Protestant Reformation. Other interests include how both Protestants and Catholics were effected during the Thirty Years War and the Jewish experience during the Protestant Reformation. He is also a Teaching Assistant for the Roots of Contemporary Issues program.
My name is Joseph Wilson, and I'm in the World History program at WSU. I'm enrolled in the thesis option, and my thesis will compare the relative success of Amilcar Cabral and Samora Machel as revolutionary leaders in their respective struggle for independence from Portugal. I will use the concept of Trust and Trust Theory to help make my argument.
I'm originally from Westland, Michigan. I'm married, and I have two children, both boys, aged 7 and 11. I'm currently in my 21st year of active duty service in the US Army. I'm assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa, Japan, and currently serving in the Philippines. I'm a 1990 graduate of the University of Michigan, with a BA in History and English. I enjoy reading and participating in running events. I am a sport fan, and I'm loyal to all my hometown Detroit sports teams; but I always root for the Cougs (unless they're playing the Wolverines).
WSU Graduate Students (coming soon)