Student Spotlight

Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio 
History Department Graduate Student

Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio, April 2024 History Student Spotlight


Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio | History Department Graduate Student

Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio is currently in his fourth semester of the history M.A. program, working with Dr. Valencia-García to develop a thesis projected centered around fascist education in Portugal and Spain. He hopes to further develop that interest in a future Ph.D. program, wherever that may take him. 

Luiz describes himself as a "hitchhiker, historian, and Brazilian", and an always-suffering fan of Corinthians Sport Club and Salgueiro samba school. Currently, Luiz is working for the Council for Indigenous and Tejano Communities in their "Hundred Years of Tejano History in Hays County" oral history project, alongside IAing for the History Department, writing a thesis, and all his Brazilian Communist Party duties. 

Past Honorees

  • 2024

    • William (Bill) Clark, January 2024 History Student Spotlight

      William (Bill) Clark was a Non-Traditional Student, who returned to school two decades after graduating High School. He received his BA in History at Texas State in December of 2014. He followed this by completing his Masters at University of Cambridge in England, completed in 2016. He accepted a position the Doctoral program at University of Missouri in 2017. His studies focused on early 19th century foreign relations and decolonization with an effort to recognize transnational influences between the Latin- and English-speaking Atlantic world of the period.

      “I remember coming back to school as a forty-year-old auto mechanic. I was terrified, and not even sure how to be a student. Texas State was the perfect place for me because it was so accessible, welcoming, and diverse. I left there with life-long skills, friends, and mentors. I feel really lucky that’s where I landed.”

      Bill left the Doctoral program in 2019, after receiving an invitation to join the U.S. Foreign Service. He is now enjoying his second posting at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia. His first tour was Mission Mexico, during which he worked in Nuevo Laredo and Mexico City, as well as spending six weeks in El Salvador, helping with the Immigrant Visa crisis in 2021. He is nearing completion of his fifth year in the Foreign Service and looking forward to seeing where in the world he will end up next.

      “My wife and I are hoping to go to Chile or Argentina. It’s crazy and amazing to live such a fluid kind of life. I love my job. I love being able to live in and visit places that I’d never have imagined before going back to school. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and your place in the world.”


    • James Bernsen, February 2024 History Student Spotlight

      James Bernsen always wanted to write history books, but he didn’t know how. Writing was never a problem for him as that’s what he did for a living. But he wondered how to research, document, and put it all together. He needed help. So, after serving as a military intelligence officer in Iraq in 2016, he used his GI Bill to get his master’s degree at Texas State. 

      James’ thesis, Origins and Motivations of the Gutiérrez-Magee Filibusters, focused on the joint Anglo-American and Mexican force that briefly liberated Texas from the Spanish Empire before being defeated at the Battle of Medina in August, 1813. As James started to delve into early 19th Century filibusters, it occurred to him that there were commonalities between them and modern insurgencies like those he had fought in the Middle East. This gave him a unique insight and clues into new ways to study them. 

      In his research, James placed particular focus on the individuals involved and the networks that connected them. By initially studying the trees and not the forest, he learned who these people were, what made them tick, and why they fought. Then when he did turn back to the forest and saw some glaring holes in the traditional accounts, he knew he had more than just a thesis.

      After graduation, James again deployed, this time to Afghanistan – and took his research with him on a hard drive. By day he wrote reports on the Taliban, by night, on the Republican Army. After returning, he spent the next year on the archival trail, and finished his book in 2021. The Lost War for Texas: Mexican Rebels, American Burrites and the Texas Revolution of 1811 (Texas A&M University Press, forthcoming), will shed much-needed new light on this fascinating story of what was truly Texas’ first revolution. James credits Texas State as an essential part in making this book a reality. 

    • Amy Bushong | History Department Graduate Student

      Amy Bushong, March 2024 History Student Spotlight

      Amy Bushong is a third-year graduate student with Texas State’s History Department. A former dance teacher, Amy has let her past experiences fuel her current academic pursuits, exploring how popular media such as music and television reflect their historical time periods. Particular areas of interest include areas of pop culture that are seen as “uncool” or “not serious” and analyzing the ways that they are, in fact, very cool and extremely serious. The biggest influences on Amy’s academic interests at Texas State have been Dr. Mellard, Dr. Valencia-Garcia, and Dr. Bishop for their tireless passion and constant validation that listening to music and watching movies counts as historical research.

      Amy has written reviews for Texas Books Review, published by Texas State’s Center of the Study of the Southwest, winning the Free-Tailed Bat Award for her 2022 review on Marissa Moss’s debut book, Her Country. She also helped lead the coordination of the History Department’s first podcast, “For Example”, available for streaming on Spotify and YouTube. The current president of Phi Alpha Theta, Amy enjoys organizing events and creating a welcoming space for everyone to discuss their historical research.

      Outside of school, Amy spends her time dancing, running, and singing karaoke. Her favorite artists are Stevie Nicks and Billy Joel, and her favorite authors are Steven King and Sylvia Plath. When not analyzing the socio-political implications of Love Island, Amy loves to hang out with her friends, her husband, and her cat Winnifred. 


    • Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio | History Department Graduate Student, April 2024 History Student Spotlight

      Luiz Francisco Guizzo Gutierrez Osorio is currently in his fourth semester of the history M.A. program, working with Dr. Valencia-García to develop a thesis projected centered around fascist education in Portugal and Spain. He hopes to further develop that interest in a future Ph.D. program, wherever that may take him. 

      Luiz describes himself as a "hitchhiker, historian, and Brazilian", and an always-suffering fan of Corinthians Sport Club and Salgueiro samba school. Currently, Luiz is working for the Council for Indigenous and Tejano Communities in their "Hundred Years of Tejano History in Hays County" oral history project, alongside IAing for the History Department, writing a thesis, and all his Brazilian Communist Party duties. 


  • 2023

    • January 2023 History Student Spotlight, Steven BradfordSteven Bradford is currently a fellow of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians whose goal is to address one of the central challenges that the discipline of history faces: declining enrollment, particularly as it is shaped by the discipline’s poor performance recruiting and retaining women and students of color and by students questioning the value of historical work. As the Texas State Chapter, they are working on a number of projects to include a collaboration with university departments such as Institutional Inclusive Excellence to host a series of panelist conversations to discuss how a history degree, or minor, can contribute numerous career paths outside of the traditional academic profession. Steven will be discussing these projects as a panelist at the 2023 Annual Conferences of the American Historical Associations and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and will be joined by fellow Bobcats: Anh Adams (a Senior and history major) and Dr. Jessica Pliley.

      Steven’s academic research includes the discourse on human rights that emerged after WWII. Specifically, how the African Americans’ everyday experience as soldiers and POWs shifted Black American activism on human rights. He is also interested in the how crossroads of war forces sex work and patriotism, which includes understanding why, historically, men were told that dying for their country is patriotic while women were told that sex work was their contribution to patriotism.

      Outside of class Steven enjoys road cycling, smoking Texas-style barbecue, exploring and discussing international cuisines (as frequently discussed with fellow graduate students!), and spending time with his family and friends.


    • February 2023 History Spotlight, Heather HaleyBobcat alumna, Heather M. Haley, earned her Ph.D. in History and her Public History certification from Auburn University in December 2021. She minored in Women’s and Gender Studies, as well. Her first manuscript—Queer in the Cold War—explores Gay Liberation through the eyes of the servicemen and women who sued the Air Force and Navy, respectively, to serve as openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual military personnel. The mid-1970s, Dr. Haley concludes, was a moment when broader social change forced the American military to confront, and perhaps relax, its exclusionary personnel policies. The services, however, doubled-down, reinforcing their commitment to bar gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from active duty. She is currently working on her book proposal.

      Dr. Haley is an historian for the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C. Her employment began in August 2022 and her supervisor quickly tasked her with a series of short-form articles centered on surface actions of the Guadalcanal campaign. Dr. Haley is also responsible for responding to requests for information from researchers within the Navy and the Department of Defense. She is also a member of the Department of the Navy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion LGBTQI+ Advisory Board, which works to address and correct inequality in the Navy. Dr. Haley lives in Lorton, Virginia with her husband and tabby cat, Sherlock.


    • March 2023 History Student Spotlight, Avery ArmstrongAvery Armstrong earned her Bachelor’s degree from Texas State, majoring in History, minoring in Anthropology and Geography, and becoming certified to teach 7th-12th grade.  She then returned for her M.A. in Public History and graduated in December of 2022.  As Public History graduate student, Avery completed two internships: one with the Center for Archaeological Studies, where she helped to excavate a historic farmstead in New Braunfels and curate artifacts, and one with the Austin Museum of Popular Culture, where she planned exhibits and organized museum events. She was also an Instructional Assistant for the History Department and was awarded their Liddle Fellowship in both 2021 and 2022.  This fellowship gave her the opportunity to teach History 1310/1320 labs, plan curriculum, and lead weekly discussions with students.

      Although she grew to love developing exhibits and historical preservation, she discovered her true passion was in Texas Music History. In 2021, Avery began a research project on Jerry Jeff Walker, a singer-songwriter who was foundational in the formation of the progressive country scene in Austin, Texas. This project grew into her Master’s thesis, which used oral history interviews to tell the story of Walker’s band, the Lost Gonzo Band, and their distinct role in transforming Austin into the Live Music Capital of the World. Avery’s thesis illuminated the band’s anti-commercial attitude, free-wheeling approach to recording and preforming, and commitment to their local scene.

      Since graduation, Avery has begun working as the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State. This role has given her the opportunity to meet important individuals in the Texas music scene and expand her professional network. Over the next year, she plans to publish a portion of her thesis about the Lost Gonzo Band as an article in the 2024 edition of The Journal for Texas Music History.


    • April 2023 History Spotlight, Emma BeardEmma Beard is a Public History Graduate Student whose academic interests focus primarily on memory studies, but who has also done work in 20th century Texas history, and archival issues.  Her thesis examines roadside memorials, viewed through the lens of memory studies, their regulation, how they fit into the memorial landscape, and how they can be preserved.

      Emma is currently working on an exhibition with the Alkek Library set to debut during the spring semester. It includes a timeline showcasing roadside memorials in Central Texas over the centuries, and a map of various memorials found in the Central Texas region. She has also been invited to present her work at Center for the Study of the Southwest in April, giving her a chance to share her research with a wider audience.

      Emma states that Texas State has been full of opportunities that have helped her grow as an academic. Working as an IA and being part of the Liddle Fellowship program allowed her to step outside her comfort zone and hone her skills in teaching history to non-historians. In addition, joining Phi Alpha Theta connected her with peers, and became a great place to share ideas and discuss everyone’s unique interests within history.

      Emma’s goal following graduation is to work within collections or record keeping in a museum or state agency.  In the end, she aims to keep sharing history with the public, and to continue working in the Public History field.


    • May 2023 History Student Spotlight, Ánh AdamsÁnh Adams is an undergraduate senior double majoring in History and Geography and has been selected as the 2022 History Department Outstanding Undergraduate Student. As a History student, Ánh has been involved in a number of projects, including a public history internship with the Council for the Indigenous and Tejano Community in which she produced a successful Undertold Historical Marker application. Additionally, Ánh is a fellow with the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, which helps recruit underrepresented minority students to the field of history.

      In her research, Ánh explores issues of gender, sexuality, war, and race, and she is currently completing her Honors Thesis, entitled ‘Menace to the Men’: Policing Women’s and Girl’s Sexuality in World War I Texas, 1900-1920. Her thesis considers how wartime concerns about public health and sexuality affected women on the home front, and questions the role that Texas had in shaping a national campaign to police women's bodies on the basis that their sexuality posed a perceived threat to the nation's servicemen. Ánh is looking forward to sharing this research at the Undergraduate Research Forum in April and also at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians in July.

      Next semester, Ánh will continue her studies by pursuing her doctorate in History, concentrating in the field of Women's History. With her degree, Ánh hopes to become a professor of History and share her love of history with others. When Ánh is not writing, reading, or at the archives, she enjoys knitting, riding horses, and playing with her dog, Moose.


    • June 2023 History Student Spotlight, Scholarship WinnerseHailey Price
      Hailey Price is the recipient of the Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship.  She is a graduate student in the International Studies Program and holds a bachelors of science in Criminal Justice.  Approaching the final year of her graduate program, Hailey is eager to combine both of her degrees to pursue a career at INTERPOL in Lyon, France.

      Allison Hopson
      Allison Hopson is the recipient of Brunson Family Scholarship.  She earned her bachelors in history (minoring in anthropology and English) from Texas State in 2021 before interning with the Texas Historical Commission under state archeologist Brad Jones.  During the internship she studied collections management and archeological research - learning to categorize, organize, and analyze ceramics from the Fort Saint Louis archeological site in Victoria County, Texas.  This internship expanded her interest in Public History prompting her to return to Texas State for graduate school. 

      Currently, Allison is working towards a career in museum studies with hopes of becoming a museum curator.  Allison will soon be interning with the New Braunfels Conservation Society at their Conservation Plaza, hoping to learn the ins and outs of museum/ historic site management.

      Jacquelyn Burrer
      Jacquelyn Burrer is the recipient of The Kent Finlay Legacy Endowed Scholarship in Texas Music History.  She is currently an undergraduate student working towards a dual degree in History and Journalism and a minor in Chinese and a tentative minor in Honors Studies.  Jacquelyn is also very active outside of the classroom, serving as active members of Phi Alpha Delta, the TXST Honors College, Investigative Journalists and Editors, and is currently helping start a Chinese Cultural Club at Texas State.

      Outside of school, Jacquelyn works as a Writing Consultant at the University Writing Center and hopes either to become a journalist reporting on foreign affairs or to attend law school.

      Katherine Hughes
      Katherine Hughes is the recipient of the Fitzpatrick – Clayton – Kissler Scholarship.  She is a sophomore at Texas State majoring in History and minoring in Art History, as well as an honors student who loves taking classes that challenge her way of thinking.  In addition to coursework, Katherine has taken on leadership roles in the History Club, and the Model Arab League – serving as Egypt on the Arab Court of Justice at nationals in Washington DC.

      Upon graduation, Katherine plans to attend graduate school in either Archival Sciences or Library and Information Sciences to pursue careers in museums and/or libraries. 


    • Luiz Francisco Osorio, July 2023 History Student SpotlightLuiz Francisco Osorio is a Master’s student and Instruction Assistant in the History 

      Department, and recipient of the 2022-2023 Kenneth and Patricia Margerison Graduate Research Fellowship in History. His research interests revolve around youth culture, education, and nonconformity in far-right and fascist regimes – especially in Portugal and Spain. He has recently participated in a panel on these topics at the 19th annual Loyola University of Chicago History Graduate Student Association Conference.

      Luiz is an immigrant from Brazil, where he first went to college at the Federal University of Paraná, later transferring to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he graduated in 2021. In Brazil, he was active in political activism, especially around the issues of housing and education.

      At Texas State, he has found a community of engaged peers, welcoming professors, and interested students – which has really helped him adapt to life in the United States. He has not adapted to the food, however, and is very vocal about the issues of pepperoni pizza!

      During the summer, Luiz enjoys travelling and taking on unusual summer jobs – last summer he worked at an archaeological excavation in Palestine, and this summer he plans on doing volunteer work in Cuba. He also enjoys learning new languages and is currently learning Italian.


    • Issac Auld Jr. | August 2023 History Student Spotlight

      Issac Auld Jr. received his Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Coaching in the Spring of 2021 from Texas State University, and now in his second semester of the History Master’s program. Issac also serves as a Graduate Instructional Assistant for Dr. Allison Robinson, and is a member of the Phil Alpha Theta History Honor Society.

      Issac’s academic research focuses on immigration laws during the “Windrush Generation” in the U.K. after World War II. Specifically, Issac is examining how immigrants coming from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, were being treated/rejected by the U.K. parliament when seeking English citizenship. He is also conducting a comparative analysis of how minorities in the U.K. were generally treated compared to non-minorities, as well as investigating changes in how immigrants attempting to claim citizenship were treated. Issac is also interested in how the English Parliament, House of Lords, and the House of Commons, were determining what laws were deemed necessary to reject the Caribbean immigrants and the significance of their decisions.

      Outside of class, Issac is an Eagle Scout and enjoys hiking, camping, and generally being in nature.  He also enjoys running obstacle courses, like the Spartan Race. playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, and trying/discussing international cuisines with friends.

    • Thalia Baxter, September 2023 History Student Spotlight

      Thalia Baxter is an undergraduate student double majoring in History and English, and pursuing a teaching certification with a focus on Atlantic history, workers history, and reconstruction.  Following her undergraduate degree, Thalia hopes to enroll in a History graduate program and eventually teach high school World and U.S. History or become an adult literacy teacher.  Thalia believes every student deserves an accurate and thorough education in history to help them fully understand the world around them. In her teaching practice, she hopes to use literature and media in lessons to give context to historical periods, engage students, and to promote literacy.  Ultimately, she wants to be an inspiration to her students and instill in them a drive to learn like her teachers have done for her by allowing them to see themselves in, and be represented by, her instruction.  

      Thalia developed her passion for history during her undergraduate program and owes her curiosity and passion, as well as her research skills, to her amazing professors like Dr. Nichols, Dr. McWilliams, and Dr. Alter.  Double majoring in History and English has better allowed her to understand the world and people around her.

      In her free time, Thalia enjoys reading, traveling, and architecture. She is supported by her parents who encouraged her throughout her life to find her passion and pursue her goals.


    • Patrick Bassett, October 2023 History Student Spotlight

      Pattrick Basset is Public History Program alumnus whose thesis focused on Indigenous historical representation within the National Park Service (NPS). This project encompassed detailed historical work, and the inclusion of oral histories from both NPS personnel and the Comanche and Lipan Apache.  Patrick believes that the lessons he learned in creating opportunities for collaboration and providing a platform for marginalized groups to share their histories, have been vital to him in a professional museum setting.  Following graduation, he levered his graduate program experiences o help create a new programmatic interpretation at San Felipe that included Indigenous groups.

      Patrick is currently employed by the Texas Historical Commission as a Project Reviewer, Federal and State Review Program.  While his academic focus was on Indigenous history, the classes he took included museum interpretation, borderlands history, historic preservation, oral history and records management courses that provided a well-rounded background that made him more versatile in a professional setting and prepared him for professional historical work. 


    • Airam Barraza, November 2023 History Student Spotlight

      Airam is a driven individual with a passion for anything involving history! Her favorite historical topics are the involvement of America in WWII and Colonial America. As a history major with a minor in political science, Airam has developed a keen understanding of how the past and present intersect to shape the world we live in today.

      Throughout her time at Texas State, Airam has had the opportunity to work with some of the most knowledgeable and inspiring professors in her fields of study. These professors helped her to develop a deep appreciation for history by teaching it in a way that is engaging, thought-provoking, and relevant to current events.  Her overall experiences at Texas State have been exceptional, and she is grateful for the many opportunities the university has provided. Texas State’s commitment to academic excellence, diversity, and community engagement has helped her become a well-rounded and confident individual ready to take on the challenges ahead.

      Airam plans to graduate in May 2025 then pursue a career in law.  She knows that with her solid foundation in both history and political science, as well as the guidance of supportive professors, she will be well on her way to law school following graduation and will eventually become a lawyer.  She is excited about the many opportunities the future holds and is eager to use her knowledge and skills to help others and to make a difference in the world.


    • Liberty Gonzales, December 2023 History Student Spotlight

      Liberty Gonzales is a 2021 History Department Undergraduate Alumna.  Following graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue her M.A. in History at the City College of New York (CCNY) beginning in Fall 2023.  Her primary focus is post-colonial studies, and she is looking forward to working with the incredible faculty at CCNY to continue her research.

      Liberty moved to New York City shortly after graduation with her now-fiance, also a Bobcat Alumnus, and their Miniature Schnauzer, Ash.  She now lives in a historic neighborhood of Central Harlem, on the cusp of the CCNY campus, and enjoys walks through the neighborhood and to Central Park.  Hiking through the park has become one of her favorite activities due to an abundance of trails that lead to scenic lookouts.  She has also made countless trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Upper East Side, as well as the Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, a hidden gem that she recommends to all visitors.  As an artist, Liberty also finds herself spending hours on end finding unique spots around the city to sit and paint.

      Liberty expresses her heartfelt gratitude to Texas State's faculty for their invaluable guidance, unwavering support, and endless patience. Without them, she believes she would not have been able to embark on this exciting next chapter in her life.

  • 2022

    • Ariana TamezAriana Tamez was the 2020-2021 recipient of the Kent Finlay Texas History Scholarship, as well as a 2017-2018 National Hispanic Scholar. Ariana currently an undergraduate student working towards a Social Studies Composite teaching certificate with a major in History, a double minor in Geography and Spanish, and a third field in Political Science. Her research includes work examining the interactions between religion, politics, and society, as well as Hispanic and Latina identities and experiences within the United States and within south Texas.

      In addition to her studies, Ariana has also worked as a PACE Peer Mentor and as a writing tutor at SLAC. She is passionate about providing equal access to education and helping students reach their fullest potential. As a future teacher, Ariana is excited to encourage students to study and examine the past so that they can better understand present situations and issues, which will provide students with the tools they need to envision a better future for themselves and their communities.


    • Isabel GonzaelzIsabel Gonzalez is a Texas State undergraduate alumna and current Public History graduate student.  After her “wonderful experience” with her undergraduate history program, Isabel decided to return to pursue her Master’s degree in Public History. 

      Since she was first grade, Isabel has dreamt of working as a National Park Ranger for the National Parks Service.  She hopes that her Public History graduate degree will help her to achieve this goal, and perhaps allow her to eventually become the Director of the National Parks or Secretary of the Interior.

      This year, Isabel has been accepted to the Texas Young Leaders Advocacy Council (TYLAC), a group situated under the National Parks Conservation Association, where she and fellow park enthusiasts will work together to advocate, explore, and protect our beloved Texas parks.  As a member of TYLAC, she looks forward to sharing her passion of the parks through lobbying efforts and “talking fellow bobcat’s ears off at various gatherings and events.”  Along with her love of the National Park Service, Isabel is an active kayaker, cosplayer, and gamer, and proudly has a decade long crush on 26th President Theodore Roosevelt.


    • Robert Foltz, March 2022 History Student SpotlightRobert Foltz has interests in History, Spanish, and business, having studied all three at Texas State University.  He is now pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  His favorite projects as an undergraduate included writing biographical entries for the Texas State Historical Association's online encyclopedia, an article on the Tupac Amaru rebellion of 18th century Peru/Bolivia, and working with Professor Elizabeth Bishop on an article over 1950s Iraq during the waning days of British influence, all of which helped cultivate communication, research, and analytic skills that have proved useful in his continued education and career trajectory. 

      In business school, his favorite academic pursuit has been learning about the management consulting industry, which he will enter for a summer internship with McKinsey & Company in Houston, TX beginning June 2022.  He has also been an active member of the school's LGBT+ and veteran's groups, and has served as an Admissions Ambassador for students applying or accepted to Chicago Booth.  Drawing on passions that began as a Texas State student, he hopes to expand his leadership skills, knowledge of a variety of business subjects, communication skills, and Spanish proficiency (through participation in a Spanish "language family" and by studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country) before graduating.  After graduation he hopes to return to McKinsey & Company and work as a management consultant on a wide variety of projects.

    • Kinsey Brooks, April 2022 History Department SpotlightKinsey Brooks is an undergraduate senior in History with a minor in Women’s Studies. She enjoys learning about the many significant ways that women before her helped to shape the societies of their time. Kinsey is interested in, and has done research on, influential women like Abigail Adams, women nurses in WWII, and many more.

      During the summer of 2021, Kinsey completed an education/archival internship at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. While at the museum, she stepped behind the scenes of museum work, doing everything from processing donated artifacts to cleaning Japanese aircraft from the Pacific War.

      After completing her bachelor’s degree in May, Kinsey plans to enter graduate school and pursue a Master’s degree in Public History.  In the future, Kinsey hopes to work in a museum that allows her to share the stores of past women with women of the present. She is very thankful for the History Department at Texas State and the numerous faculty members that have helped her realize her dream.


    • Gretchen Welle Young, May 2022 History Student SpotlightGretchen Welle Young earned her B.A. in History at Cabrini University, summa cum laude, in suburban Philadelphia. Only a stone’s throw away from historical sites like Independence Hall and Valley Forge National Park, Gre was inspired by the nation’s founders and used her passion for history in the classroom. She enjoyed teaching high school U.S. History and AP European History in Pennsylvania for ten years and led her school district’s efforts to update their curriculum to be more inclusive and robust. In her decade of teaching, Gre fought to have more equitable course access for students of all educational backgrounds. She believes that providing rigorous and inclusive education for students of all abilities and backgrounds creates a brighter future.

      Gre moved to Austin in 2020 and was thrilled to continue her M.A. in History at Texas State University. Her research interests are American history, women, and education. Inspired by the long line of female educators in her family, she is researching girls’ access to education and the curricula taught in formal and informal settings. She hopes that her research will support her efforts in making public education more accessible, equitable, and inclusive.

      In addition to her studies in gender and education, Gre is diligently investigating the diverse and unique world that is Texas. She is currently working on integrating “y’all” into her vocabulary with limited success. She lives in downtown Austin with her husband and two cats, Hamilton and Olive.


    • Congratulations to our 2021-2022 History Department Scholarship Recipients.

      June 2022, History Student Spotlight, Scholarshihp WinnersMakayla Buescher | Alton G. Brieger Scholarship 
      Zenobia McMillian | Taylor – Murphy Scholarship
      Sean Berg | Fitzpatrick | Clayton, Kissler Scholarship
      Alyssa Vandervelde | Dennis And Margaret Dunn Scholarship
      Bridget Dunbar and Courtney Smith | Brunson Family Endowed Scholarship
      Luiz Ruiz-Pacheco | Kent Finlay Scholarship
      Gabriella Jimenez | Marilyn McGinnis Lumia Scholarship

    • July 2022 Student Spotlight, Phi Alpha Theata LeadershipWesley, Jaclyn, and Amber have had the honor to be officers of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society for the 2021-2022 school year. After nearly two years of meeting remote due to covid, these three officers helped carry PAT out of the Zoom meeting and back in person for different social and academic events. Together, they helped plan and host several PAT events such as movie nights, a Halloween party, an academic conference, a game night, and a banquet. The most successful of these events was the conference, held April 23rd, 2022. This conference included more than 40 different presenters from across the country (and some international participants). The officers could not have put the conference together without the help of Dr. Shannon Duffy, Adam Clark, Dr. Ron Brown, and Roberta Ruiz. 

      Being officers allowed for Wesley, Jaclyn, and Amber to better connect with the History community at Texas State University and to network with other historians across the country. They would like to thank all of the many people that have helped them to reach their academic goals. Jaclyn and Amber will graduate with their MA degrees on May 13th, 2022, and Wesley will graduate with an MA in December. They encourage any undergraduate or graduate students who are interested in history to join Phi Alpha Theta and continue the legacy of social camaraderie and academic excellence. 

    • August 2022 History Student Spotlight, Sean BergSean Berg is a current baccalaureate who will graduate in August. Sean previously graduated from Texas State in 2015 with a Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science and a minor in Psychology. Sean has pursued many different paths in his life and spent the past 6 years working in the field of legal operations in the tech industry, but in 2021 decided to return to school to follow his dreams. Sean was the recipient of the 2022 Fitzpatrick, Clayton & Kissler Scholarship and participated in a Study Abroad Program in Cuenca, Spain in July 2022.

      Sean’s passion for history sparked during his time in high school and grew after his first class in Taylor-Murphy in 2013. Sean's experience since returning to school has far surpassed any of his expectations and he is extremely appreciative of the amazing professors, staff, and students he has had the good fortune to interact with and learn from. For his senior seminar last Spring, Sean wrote about American culture and society – particularly the Americanization movement and assimilation policies of the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and its connection to the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century. Sean hopes he can serve as an inspiration for others to follow their passions and that it is never too late to do so.

      Sean comes from a family of educators and has had a love for history and the learning process for as long as he can remember. Sean plans to seek his Master’s in History in Europe in 2023 and hopes to become a published author, as well as a professional historian and educator. Sean is buoyed in his pursuits by his family and friends, his girlfriend Lauren, and his feline study partner, Jinx. In his free time, he enjoys writing short stories, reading, hiking, and debating which era of the Grateful Dead was the best iteration.


    • September 2022 History Student Spotlight, Jaclyn Zapata Jaclyn Zapata graduated with her M.A in Public History in Spring 2022. After high school, Ms. Zapata joined the United States Air Force to help pay for college. She served six years as a Missile and Space Systems Technician working on AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missiles.

      Ms. Zapata left the Air Force to return home to Texas and pursue her passion of studying history. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas State in 2015, and in 2019 returned to pursue a Master of Arts in History. Her time in the graduate program largely focused on the study of music and race in the South, with an interest in Texas blues. In 2021, Ms. Zapata interned for the Austin Museum of Popular Culture where she assisted in creating their Austin’s Cosmic Cowboys exhibit. She has been published in the Journal of Texas Music History. Ms. Zapata hopes to utilize her education working in a museum focused on music.

      In her free time, Ms. Zapata enjoys being with her family and friends, watching live music, and learning the guitar. She is from Poteet, Texas, and is a first generation college student. She is dedicating her masters degree to her late father.


    • October 2022, History Student Spotlight, Stephen F. AustinStephen F. Austin entered the Public History program in Spring 2012 unsure of what he wanted to pursue both intellectually and as a career.  He knew he did not want to become a professor but was unfamiliar with alternative career options.

      During his first year in the program, Stephen was given a taste of what it meant to be a field historian. While writing a paper on the history of Houston’s hip-hop scene for Dr. Mellard, he had the chance to attend an academic conference and interview artists such as Devin the Dude. Stephen was also enrolled in Public History courses with Mr. Utley and Dr. Denton which helped further his understanding of research methods and shape his goals for the project.

      When Dr. Denton approached him about an internship, he requested something that would allow him to conduct filed work and he was soon surveying bridges and writing a National Register Nomination for the Texas Department of Transportation. Dr. Dedek, through his American Architecture course, helped him understand the field of Historic Preservation and develop the necessary knowledge base to succeed in the field. 

      Mr. Utley and Drs. Denton and Dedek oversaw Stephen’s thesis research on the preservation of historic dams in Texas. While it seemed mundane to him at the time, his thesis has garnered the attention of staff at the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and the National Resource Conservations Service (NRCS).

      Since graduating in December 2014, Stephen has worked for The Washington State Department of Transportation, WA. Fish and Wildlife, and a host of small consulting firms. He currently works as the Deputy Principal Investigator for a private firm, and was recently accepted to the University of Idaho’s History Ph.D. program with funding. Stephen plans to merge his research interests in political science, environmental history, and civilizational dynamics with historical archaeology. He is grateful for the support and mentorship he still receives from the Public History faculty and says it is clear to him that he would not be where he is today without the guidance and education he received at Texas State University.


    • November 2022 History Student Spotlight, Isabel GonzalezDuring the summer of 2022, Isabel Gonzalez participated in the Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP) and was assigned to work as the Interpretive Design Intern at Fort Raleigh NHS in Manteo, NC. This site, while being known for its interpretation of the history of the English Lost Colony, was also home to North Carolina’s first Freedmen’s Colony which saw over 3,500 residents at its peak. Despite the large population, the history of the colony is not as recognizable as the English colony, and thus is often overlooked by visitors.  As the park’s intern, Isabel’s primary responsibility was to assist in the development of the site’s interpretation of this important narrative.

      During her internship, Isabel created two permanent wayside panels which will be put on display in the park later this year, as well as developed pop-up and informative Ranger programs that she ran throughout the summer.  Isabel was also granted the honor of representing the park at several community events where she educated and advocated for the vibrant history of the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony.  Upon completing her internship, Isabel decided to continue her work within the National Park Service by renewing my membership in the Texas Young Leaders Advocacy Council, an organization under the National Park Conservation Association, and began volunteering at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, where she will help development interpretive programming for the park and its visitors.


    • December 2022 History Spotlight, Brian BrownA 2014 graduate of the History Department’s MA program, Brian recently defended his dissertation, “‘With Misery buy Honor’: Social Class Interaction in the Public Markets of Oaxaca City, Mexico, 1870 to 1970,” and graduated from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in October 2022.  The son of Texas State History Professor Ron Brown and his wife Judy, Brian spent much of his childhood in and around Taylor Murphy Hall.  However, in the early 2010s Brian returned to the department as a student.  During his time in the MA program Brian had the privilege of working with the department’s exceptional faculty such as Paul Hart, Anadelia Romo, José Carlos de la Puente, Jeff Helgeson, Mary Brennan, and James McWilliams. These professors inspired Brian to consider the importance of studying those groups and individuals whose perspectives are absent from larger historical narratives.

      The lessons he learned at Texas State combined with the guidance of Camilla Townsend, Brian’s advisor at Rutgers, to inspire a dissertation that examined archival records pertaining to Oaxaca City’s ubiquitous markets as a means of enhancing scholarly understandings of the lived experience of the people of Oaxaca and the class-based alliances Oaxacans created to advance their interests in these same markets.  More specifically, Brian’s research uncovered a rich history of  advocacy amongst the city’s vulnerable population of female market vendors and demonstrates the ways in which Oaxaca’s female vendor-advocates relied on collective activism as means of defending their interests against the encroachment of the Oaxaca City Council. 

  • 2021

    • Peter Sutherland, Student Spotlight, January 2021Peter Sutherland attended Texas State University as both an Undergraduate and a Graduate Student, being initially admitted through the Texas State Emerging Stars Program.  His time as a undergraduate student inspired him to focus on the field of History while also pursuing a minor in International Studies.

      As a graduate student, Peter worked as an Instructional Assistant for the duration of his program and also spent a year as a Liddle Fellow before graduating in the Fall of 2020.  Peter’s research focus has been on the aftermath of World War I as well as on the various services available to Texas veterans.  He presented some of this work at the 11th Annual International Research Conference for Graduate Students at Texas State in 2019. 

      Peter was recently admitted to the Doctoral Program at the University of North Texas in Denton where he hopes to write a dissertation in the field of Military History.  His ultimate goal is to become a history professor and cites his time in the History Department, along with his opportunity to sever as an IA, for greatly improving his abilities as both an instructor and researcher.


    • Sherelle Nolan, February 2021 History Student SpotlightSherelle Nolan is a prime example of our outstanding History students.  She is a first-generation undergraduate History major with a double minor in English and Anthropology graduating with honors in Spring 2021. Her main focus has been on early colonial America but is also interested in the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Last fall she also worked on collecting data and oral history accounts for the Freedmen's Bureau project and participated in a separate archaeological survey and excavation projects.

      Sherelle takes a very active role in her education and also gives back to her community.  She was a 2018 Terry Scholar, is a current member of the history honors society Phi Alpha Theta, and the current President of the Texas State History Club. She has also made the Dean's List for four consecutive semesters.  In her free time, she volunteers for nonprofit organizations such as the Lion's Club, the Hays County Food Bank, and the Elgin Community Cupboard. Sherelle plans to continue her education after her undergraduate degree and eventually obtain a Ph.D. in History so she can teach at the university level and become an active member of the academic community. 


    • Mary Closmann Kahle, March 2021 History Student SpotlightMary is a graduate student in the Public History program, with interests in oral history, environmental history, and historic preservation. She is currently conducting an oral history project on the founding and early development of the Save Our Springs (SOS) Movement, a citizen-driven campaign in the early 1990s to protect Austin’s Barton Springs. As an important touchstone in the environmental history of Central Texas, the SOS Movement continues to inspire conservationists and ordinary citizens alike. Texas State University Archives will be the repository for the project’s recordings and transcriptions.

      Mary has also volunteered with the Austin History Center Association’s oral history initiative, giving her the opportunity to interview subjects with a wide range of backgrounds, from business and politics to entertainment and graffiti art.

      Mary became involved in historic preservation in Austin through research projects on the Broken Spoke dance hall, the Rainey Street Historic District, and the Austin State Hospital (ASH). She currently serves on the working group for historic preservation at ASH, where her interest lies in architecture as a function of historical trends in the treatment of mental illness.

      Mary also serves on the board of the Texas Oral History Association, the City of Austin Ethics Review Commission, and the leadership of several other community organizations. She credits her Public History professors with inspiring her to see the myriad ways in which everyone interacts in some way with the creation and interpretation of history, whether through music, the built environment, or a passion for our natural resources.


    • Jason Jonathan Rivas | April 2021 Student SpotllightJason Jonathan Rivas is a high school dropout who recently earned his Master's degree from the Texas State Public History Program where he focused on oral history, historic preservation, and public memory. His Master's thesis, Scripting Memory: Hollywood, the Federal Government, and Public Memory in WWII, concerns the role of the federal government and Hollywood in creating an artificial memory of WWII through feature films. After graduation, Jason went to work for the Texas Department of Transportation as a Historic Preservation Specialist.

      At Texas State, Mr. Rivas worked with Mr. Dan Utley and a group of graduate students on a public history project concerning the historical significance of the Shield Ranch, located southwest of Austin. He then interned at the Texas Historical Commission as a Preservation Scholar, working with the Cemetery Preservation and Historical Markers Programs. There, he highlighted grassroots, cemetery preservation efforts through physical and online articles and inscribed historical markers concerning "undertold" African American, Latino, and local histories. Afterward, Mr. Rivas rejoined AmeriCorps as a VISTA volunteer for Lockhart State Park. There, he produced virtual programming, literacy projects, and historical narratives that presented many aspects of the park through online interaction. He also assisted in expanding their community outreach through social media.

      Before Texas State, he worked in the nonprofit sector as an AmeriCorps service member where he collaborated with the University of Houston-Downtown, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, and Avenue CDC, coordinating a two-year project collecting oral histories of residents in the predominately-Hispanic Greater Northside, Houston community.

      For fun, Jason and his fiancée Courtney manage an Instagram page where they visit historic sites for an #ExtraShotOfHistory. He shares these final thoughts on his Texas State experience: “We all took different roads to Texas State. Mine started with a GED; yours began with something you're proud of too. From there, we took control of our destinies as best as we can and made the most of it. We did it; we made it, so take pride in it. We belong here: read it, know it, remember it, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.”


    • Amber Leigh Hullum | May 2021 History Spotlight Amber Leigh Hullum is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Public History. She received a BA in History and a BA in Theatre, with a concentration of acting and directing, from Texas A&M—Corpus Christi. She currently serves as an officer for Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and is an active member of the Texas State whitewater kayaking club. In April 2021, she presented “The Manhattan Club: The Closeted History of Austin’s First Documented Gay Club (1957-1969)” at the 9th annual Texas State History conference. Amber specializes in historic interpretation and living history, which she hopes to pursue with museums or state and national parks post-graduation. Her thesis, “Given Peanuts and Told to Make a Circus” examines the living history programs at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and how these programs balance entertainment and education. 


    • Lezlie Hernandez | June 2021 History Student SpotlightLezlie Hernandez is a History undergraduate student who interned during summer 2020 as a Preservation Scholar with the Texas Historical Commission (THC), and is interning this summer with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative.

      At the THC, Lezlie worked with the Historical Marker Program to research, write, and edit inscriptions. Topics for these inscriptions included community figures, state-wide organizations, and memorable events. These inscriptions will soon be cast in aluminum and displayed in their designated locations all across Texas.

      Also while at the THC, she created a Google-map of over 120 historic schoolhouses throughout Texas. Many of these buildings are Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks and some are still in use today. This interactive map includes grand universities, mainstream public schools, and classic one-room schoolhouses.

      In her upcoming internship with the Smithsonian Institution, Lezlie will use primary documents and historical analysis to create biographical resources for a digital exhibition highlighting the voices and stories of revolutionary women in STEM fields. She will also be working on a group project with a cohort of other interns and mentors.

      Lezlie states that her internships opportunities have been invaluable and rewarding experiences, and that with every new class and experience, she finds herself gravitating towards historic preservation, public engagement, women’s history, underrepresented voices, and anything that exists at those intersections. In the coming year, Lezlie hopes to begin a graduate program and continue to engage in valuable opportunities.


    • Patrick Bassett | July 2021 History Student Spotlight

      Patrick Bassett graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in History in May 2019.  Shortly after graduation, he was accepted into Texas State’s Public History Graduate Program where he just completed his third semester of course work. He is currently beginning his thesis research which focuses on indigenous representation within the National Park System.

      During Patrick’s first semester of graduate school, he began conducting background historical research in collaboration the Texas State University Archives on an archival project featuring the letters of Private Percival Whipple, a soldier in the United States Army who was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio during WWI.  Patrick’s completed archive, The Whipple Letters: Fort Sam Houston in WWI, can now be found on the University Archives website. 


    • Nicole Sutton | August 2021 History Department Student SpotlightNicole Sutton received a Bachelor of Arts in history from UT Austin before coming to Texas State for graduate school where she just finished her first year in Spring 2021.  Currently, her research focuses on the Lydia Fire Station historical marker with fellow student Patrick Bassett as part of Dr. Oram's Local and Community History class. Nicole hopes to get their application approved so that they can do an unveiling ceremony once the historical marker is made.

      Nicole is also pursuing research on the Broken Spoke in Austin for a Texas Music History class where she recently conducted an oral interview with Donna Marie Miller, a historian and author on the Broken Spoke. Additionally, she is taking courses on American Architecture where she is focusing on the architecture of 19th century Pecan Street (Sixth Street) in Austin.

      When not working on graduate research, Nicole teaches AP Psychology and AP World History at Del Valle High School, a position she has held for 11 years.


    • Derek TannerDerek joined the Public History Program in Fall of 2018 and has focused on local and community history as it relates to rural, lost, and/or dying communities and their citizens, as well as the general practice of oral history.

      In the Public History program, Derek has developed a wide variety of writing, interviewing, and research-based skills using methodologies and best practices that have helped him in several individual and group projects during graduate school. In Fall 2019, he served as the leader of a research team on a project that resulted in the publication of a National Park Service report, Creative Conservation: The Environmental Legacy of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1969, produced for use by LBJ National Historic Park for promoting the exploration of President Johnson's environmental conservation record.

      Derek also had the opportunity to interview nationally renowned Red Dirt country musician, Cody Canada, about his life and career, as well as an conduct an oral history project with one of the oldest living citizens in Martindale, TX, about the difficulties that both time and socioeconomic change brought to the town in the mid-to-late 20th century.

      Derek recently served as an intern with the Star of the Republic Museum located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.  In this internship, Derek assisted with the transcription of numerous historical documents from the mid-to-late 1800s, worked with social media postings, and researched various aspects of Washington County's local history.

      Through historical research, Derek’s hopes to explore the realms of daily domestic and social life from decades past to better navigate the rural and urbanized terrain of both Texas and the American South.  He hopes to follow in the footsteps of those before him by capturing the essence of past and present community life through recorded stories, oral histories, historical markers, and research into unique topics that resonate with citizens from all walks of life.


    • James McReynolds, October Student SpotlightJames McReynolds is an experienced museum professional and proud graduate of Texas State University. He earned a Master's Degree from the Public History Program while working full-time at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. After graduation, he worked his way up to Head of Public Programs at the Museum in 2019.  In that position he works to develop, implement, and evaluate a variety of programs and projects that seek to increase the public's understanding of Texas history and culture. He oversees the team of educators responsible for programming for adult, family/youth, and film audiences as well as the Museum's volunteer department. Guided by Museum exhibitions, partnerships, and audience goals, the team creates offerings that position the Museum as a dynamic and participatory place where visitors can engage in their own learning and discovery. James balances scholarship, accessibility, and guest experience to create offerings that serve the needs of the central Texas and statewide Museum audience, including oversight of public programs and events, involvement in exhibition development, and interpretive messaging. When he's not working James enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling with his wife Tanya and two daughters, Betsy and Caroline.

      James | "My experience at Texas State was great and the balance in the curriculum has helped my career in so many ways. American history coursework exposed me to new scholarship and taught me valuable research and critical thinking skills that I rely on to do my job. The public history courses gave me the kind of practical hands-on experience that made for an easy transition to the day-to-day work at the museum and with peer public history institutions.  A big thank you to the faculty, past and present, who are excellent scholars and teachers who are truly invested in the success of their students." 


    • Railey Tassin | November, 2021 History Student SpotlightRailey Tassin is a second-year graduate student pursing a Master’s in Public History at Texas State University. A southeast Texas native, she received a B.A. in History from Texas Christian University where she graduated with honors. Her research interests are twentieth-century U.S. women’s and gender history, particularly as it intersects with race, sexuality, and class. In the fall, Railey will be submitting an application for an undertold Texas historical marker for the Manhattan Club in Austin, Texas with her research partner, Amber Leigh Hullum. In the future, Railey would like to continue working at public history sites dedicated to documenting the history of underrepresented groups and engaging the public with diverse stories.

      Last summer, Railey held an internship at Kreische Brewery and Monument Hill State Historic Sites in La Grange. The site encompasses a tomb which holds the remains of 52 Texas men who died during the Dawson and Mier expeditions, a 19th-century home built by German immigrant Heinrich Kreische, and the ruins of Kreische's stone brewery (~1870-1884) which was the 3rd largest commercial brewery in Texas for a time. Along with assisting with admissions at the Visitors’ Center, she also offered guided tours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Additionally, Railey is conducting research on several facets of the site which she will use to help update and supplement the docents’ manual and other materials. One aspect of her research centers on adding the history of indigenous groups to expand the diversity of stories at the site. She is also working to uncover more information on Kreische’s early years and the activities of the Bluff schuetzenverein (German shooting club) which gathered for years at a pavilion located on Kreische’s property.


    • Jake DromgooleAfter earning his BA in history in the fall of 2013, recent master’s recipient Jake Dromgoole returned to the hallowed halls of Taylor-Murphy in August 2018 in an effort to earn his masters while focusing on a subject he’d spent years obsessing over: Texas music. After learning the basics of public history from instructors Mr. Dan Utley and Dr. Nancy Berlage, Jake applied his newfound skills to nearly every project assigned, including oral histories with Austin record proprietors and a team project with Texas barbecue legend Tootsie Tomanetz.

      Music remained on the budding historian’s mind and in the fall of 2019, Jake enrolled in Dr. Mellard’s History of Texas Music class. It was in this Wednesday night course that Jake developed the idea that would evolve into his thesis “Heavy on the Air: Radio and Promotion in the Heavy Metal Capital of the World.” Focusing on the history of San Antonio’s legendary KMAC/KISS radio stations, the story follows the musical journeys of three highly influential San Antonians as they placed the city at the center of the heavy metal universe. Also, during this time, Jake began writing for KTSW’s music blog, covering concerts in Austin and writing pieces dedicated to late musicians Gram Parsons and John Prine.

      In the fall of 2020, Jake began an internship with the Texas Dance Hall Preservation where he, along with a team of dedicated researchers, poured through newspaper archives in an effort to find information on dance halls affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Along with his efforts with the TDHP, Jake partnered with former professor Mr. Utley and fellow classmate Helen Johnson to write an article titled “A Drama on Life’s Stage: Tracing a Family’s History from Two Rescued Letters” for the Texas Heritage Magazine.  

  • 2020

    • Robert Anzenberger | February 2020 History Student SpotlightRobert’s work in archives has consisted of working with the Foreign Relations Papers of the United States, the FDR Presidential Library, and various newspaper archives. In January 2020 he traveled to London for two weeks to conduct archival work in British government archives, focusing mainly on the British Foreign Office. He also hopes to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library once its renovations are complete in early 2020 to access the records of the Hoover kept regarding the distribution of food and aid to Finland in 1919, but also the records of the Finnish-American relief fund, and organization he started and led following the outbreak of the Winter War in November 1939.

      He is currently self-teaching himself Swedish, with the goal for his Ph.D. work to be able to access archives in Sweden and Finland. Access to these archives will further Robert’s research and help him paint a more wholistic picture of the dynamic geopolitical situation that Finland found themselves in during the early to mid-twentieth century. Robert’s major research goal is to highlight the importance of Finland in the larger frame of World War II, which is largely overlooked by modern scholars, and how it influenced not only US policy makers, but also explain why Finland was the only country to border the Soviet Union that maintained complete independence at the conclusion of the Second World War.


    • March History Student Spotlight Winner, Evaliza FuentesSince graduation, Evaliza Fuentes has been busy promoting her thesis, “Música Tejana and the Transition from Traditional to Modern: Manuel “Cowboy” Donley and the Austin Music Scene,” with presentations at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg over summer and also as part of a one-day Texas Music symposium organized by the Central Texas Historical Association at the Sophienburg Museum in New Braunfels coming up on Saturday, November 16.  In addition, she is now part of the Visitor Services department at the Witte Museum in San Antonio where she began in Public Programs as an interactor and program presenter.  As part of her job at the Witte, she performed as “The Chili Queen” on multiple occasions and can be seen inside the “Jacal” exhibit in the South Texas Heritage Center.  This museum experience continues to build on the foundation she received in the public history program.  A recent Saturday found Evaliza at the University of the Incarnate Word Music Industry Workshop and trade show sharing her knowledge of Texas Music history, content creation, repertoire enhancement, archival storage, and oral history, with attendees.  The future looks bright and the best is yet to come.  Her profile is available on


    • April History Student Spotlight Winner | Krista PollettKrista Pollett graduated in December 2019 with an M.A. in Public History with a focus on memory, commemoration, and African American history. Her M.A. thesis, “Memorializing the Black Freedom Movement, 1991-2018,” explores three place-based memorials that are dedicated to preserving and contextualizing the history of the black freedom struggles within their respective historical landscapes. The sites include the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, and the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Her analysis of these three sites not only revealed the shifting trends in the practice of American commemoration towards abstracted monument forms and community engagement, but also how the increasingly complex historiographical trends of Black Freedom Studies influenced (and continues to influence) localized, site-specific commemoration.

      While completing her degree Krista has worked for the National Archives and the National Park Service. She interned and volunteered at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Library and Museum in Austin, Texas in the Museum Collections department where she worked to digitize non-paper artifacts. During 2019, she worked in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. on various internship projects for the Telling All Americans’ Stories initiative and Park History Program Oral History Project. Krista documented a portion of her Telling All Americans’ Stories internship experience for the National Council for Public History’s (NCPH) History@Work blog with the National Historic Landmarks program national social media team, which you can read here.

      In 2020, Krista will be returning to Washington, D.C. to work for the Park History Program’s ongoing oral history projects until April when she will embark on a new position as the oral historian for Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument’s ongoing oral history project.


    • Wesley Moore | History Student Spotlight May 2020Wesley Moore is an undergraduate History major with minors in both English and German who will be graduating with honors in May 2020.  While his main historical focus has been modern Europe, he has also studied exciting topics such as the interrelation of race and comics in America. His eclectic interests are reflected in his honors thesis and capstone project, The Funnies of August: American Editorial Cartoons in the Opening Months of the Spanish Civil War, which he completed during the Spring 2020 semester.  While working on this project, Wesley combined his research in Spanish history with his interest on the power of comics as a meaningful source of study, as well his fascination with public history projects. Wesley’s project is slated to be on display in the Taylor Murphy building when classes resume in Fall 2020. 

      In addition to the outstanding work with his honors thesis, Wesley is also this year’s recipient of the Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship.  This scholarship will come in handy in the Fall when he returns to the History Department as a graduate student to pursue a Masters of Arts in Public History.


    • June 2020 History Student Spotlight | Lindsey WaldenbergAfter graduating from the public history program in August 2017, Lindsey Waldenberg moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently, she manages the UNC Visitors Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she creates public programming, oversees daily visitor experience and helped create and launch the new visitors center, which opened in March 2020. Along with her work at UNC, Lindsey serves on the boards of the North Carolina Museums Council and the National Emerging Museums Professional Network. She also volunteers with the Friends of Oberlin Village, a non-profit organization that works to preserve, protect and honor the establishment of Oberlin Village, one of Raleigh’s earliest freedmen communities. Lindsey was recently admitted to the Public History Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University for Fall 2020.

      As a doctoral student, she will study the history, preservation, memory and legacy of public housing programs in North Carolina, building on the research and themes she explored in her graduate studies at Texas State University. Lindsey is very grateful to the department and its incredible faculty for their support through her professional endeavors and as she begins the next phase of her academic career.


    • Rayanna Hoeft | July History Student Spotlight AwardeeRayanna Hoeft is a second year graduate student in the Public History program, planning on a May 2020 graduation. Her focused research while at Texas State includes object-based learning in education programming and decolonization processes in cultural institutions.

      During the summer of 2019, Rayanna studied abroad in Chester, UK then completed research in France and Italy. While in Europe she visited over thirty museums and historic sites researching how collections are incorporated into all ages programming. While at the British Museum she was introduced to the Benin Bronzes, artifacts stolen by the British in 1897 during colonization processes in Nigeria. Rayanna noticed the colonizing narrative and lack of Nigerian voice present in the interpretation of these beloved artifacts, which inspired research into the importance of decolonization processes in Western cultural institutions, especially related to ethics and repatriation. Rayanna believes in the importance of addressing provenance and inclusion in a museum’s narrative and programming. She hopes to focus future education and career endeavors on these topics.

      Rayanna also serves as an education intern at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, where she creates content, assists with events, and leads tours. She recently co-authored an educator’s curriculum guide for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park titled “Creative Conservation:” The Environmental Legacy of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969. Rayanna recently accepted a board position with the Calaboose African American Museum in San Marcos, Texas, and looks forward to helping this museum expand outreach and education initiatives.


    • August 2020 History Student Spotlight, Cheyenne IzaguirreI graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University with undergraduate degree in history in 2015.  Prior to attending Texas State, I served in the Texas Army National Guard and deployed to Afghanistan on an Agricultural Development Team.  This unique experience piqued my interest in one day crafting U.S. foreign policy.  Throughout my studies in the history department at Texas State I developed the goal to work as a foreign affairs officer at the Department of State and centered my studies on South Asia, U.S. foreign policy, and diplomacy.  Additionally, during my undergraduate degree I staunchly advocated for student veterans, serving as the President of the Veterans Alliance at Texas State in order to increase the student veteran retention rate and support system.  Texas State professors were extremely instrumental in encouraging my return for a graduate degree, which I completed in the political science department in 2019.  Growing up in East Texas, I never considered completing anything beyond a bachelor’s degree.  If it was not for the encouragement, kindness, and excellence of the Texas State staff I would not be where I am today.  During the last year of my graduate program I was selected for a Pathways Internship at the Department of State and relocated to Washington, D.C.  This opportunity led directly to my dream job, working as a foreign affairs officer on political-military issues in the Office of Pakistan Affairs.  Due to the excellent opportunities and encouragement from Texas State University, I was equipped to compete with the best students in the nation and achieve my professional goals.  I am extremely honored to be a Texas State Bobcat!


    • History Student Spotlight Awardee | Austin HoldridgeAustin earned his B.A. in History in 2010.  After graduation he entered the U.S. Army as an Officer and over the last ten years has been stationed three times in Europe, twice at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and spent a year deployed to Afghanistan.  In 2018, he was accepted to become a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer specializing in the regional area of Europe and the former Soviet Union where he was tasked with advising senior U.S. military leaders and policy makers on regional defense issues.  As part of his training, Austin also completed an intensive one year Russian course at the Defense Language Institute and has recently finished a year of regional travel across Europe including short term assignments at the US Embassies in Sofia, Bulgaria and Vilnius, Lithuania.

      Currently, Austin accepted entrance into the M.A. program at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies during Fall 2020 where he will complete the necessary requirements of his Foreign Area Officer training.  After graduate school, Austin hopes to serve as a military attaché at a US Embassy in Eastern Europe.

      Austin credits the History Department for allowing him to explore his passion in history. His academic experience at Texas State, and his involvement organizations as the Model Arab League and the Middle Eastern Culture Club, fostered a fascination and appreciation for foreign cultures and languages and led to a direct impact on his career choices and goals. 


    • October 2020 History Student Spotlight Nominee, David RobinsonDavid was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served at Spangdahlem AB, (then) West Germany, where he spent most of his free time exploring historic sights, primarily those relating to World War 2.  After his honorable discharge in 1989, he enrolled at (then) Southwest Texas State University and received his B.A. (Magna Cum Laude – English Major, Philosophy Minor) in 1994.  

      While in the Air Force, David worked part-time in sports broadcasting which led to a full-time career after graduation.  His career in sports broadcasting allowed him to work with every sports network on every sport, highlighted by his 15 years travelling with MLB and NBA teams as the lead producer of game telecasts. In his career, David worked over 3,500 events at 95 different universities and almost every professional arena and stadium. He spent countless hours on airplanes and in hotels, and once the travel became too much, he retired and decided to enroll in grad school at his alma mater.

      Along with David’s Master’s work, he is a volunteer for the United Way, and along with his wife Terry, co-founded Blossom Fields, a non-profit organization inspired by their late daughter Olivia that is dedicated to providing opportunities to young adults with autism and other special needs.

      David is currently enrolled in the Public History Program and hopes that combining his broadcasting background with his lifelong love of history can bring a unique approach to the past and bring history alive to new generations…including my his grandchildren!


    • November History Spotlight, Emily GlanklerEmily Glankler is entering her 10th year teaching high school history in Austin and along the way has taught everything from 6th grade World Cultures to Geography and International Relations, claiming, however, that her favorite class to teach is AP World History (affectionately known as WHAP.) Recently, she’s been hired as the AP World History consultant for Marco Learning to develop curriculum and support for teachers and students around the world. Emily’s passion project over the past few years has been her podcast, website, and YouTube channel called Anti-Social Studies. What began as a few episodes to get her friends and family to stop asking her questions about Genghis Khan at parties has grown into a community of students, teachers and others who love history. Emily is proud that teachers are using the episodes and materials that she creates around the world and that she gets to share her love of history with thousands of students beyond her classroom.

      A few years into her teaching career, Emily started driving to San Marcos each week for evening classes, earning her Master’s Degree in History in 2015. Her grad school experience was intentionally disjointed because, as a world history teacher, she wanted to learn a little bit about a lot, from Roman History with Dr. Cagniart to the Mexican Revolution with Dr. Hart and African American History with Dr. Johnson. Two years ago, when she was looking for new teaching opportunities, Emily stumbled across the school of her dreams: Griffin School. Looking at the website she saw a former classmate from grad school, Jeff Capra. He helped her get an interview and now they are working together to co-teach AP U.S. History. This past year they conspired to bring Dr. Johnson to their school to help them celebrate MLK Day and it was the highlight of the school year! Emily is glad she’s found a way to turn her passion for history into a more-than-full-time career and the knowledge and connections she has gained through Texas State have made a huge difference in her life.

      You can learn more about Emily on her website and Instagram pages.


    • Kyle Walker, December 2020 Student SpotlightKyle Walker is a second-year student in the Public History program.  Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Anthropology and Geography.  As an undergraduate, he participated in archaeological field schools in central Texas and also interned with the Texas Historical Commission’s Archaeology Division where he assisted in cataloging artifacts from the shipwreck of the LaBelle and conducted research for Presidio La Bahia in Goliad. Before enrolling at Texas State, he worked for five years with the Texas State Preservation Board in Austin at historic sites such as the Texas State Capitol, the Capitol Visitors Center in the Old Land Office, the Texas Governor’s Mansion and the Texas State Cemetery. 

      As a graduate student his studies have coincided with his previous work experience, focusing on local and community history, historic preservation, museum management, exhibit design, digital history and material culture.  In the fall of 2019, he participated in the Public History Project class which conducted research for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park.  He served as the primary editor for the project titled “Creative Conservation:” The Environmental Legacy of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969.  That same semester, Kyle was inducted into the honors society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

      In the spring of 2020, Mr. Dan Utley approached him to write a short article about the Green Book houses of east Austin based on research conducted in Utley’s Local and Community History class the year before.  The article was published in the June 2020 edition of Texas Heritage Magazine.  Recently his research focused on slavery at the Texas Governor’s Mansion, an idea inspired by his previous work at the historic home.  In the coming semester while completing his comprehensive examinations and internship, he hopes to publish his research in an academic journal. 


  • 2019

    • Kimi Deidrich | History Student Spotlight, February 2019In the Fall of 2017 Kimi Diedrich graduated with her Master’s in Public History with a concentration on historic preservation. While in the program Kimi focused on heritage and identity, and how these aspects influenced the built environment. Her thesis, Make El Paso Great Again: Correcting Alternative Memory in the Border City, analyzed the historic narrative prescribed to the Manhattan Heights historic district in El Paso, Texas and how the narrative created a prosthetic memory regarding the participation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans with the development of area. After graduating from Texas State University, she joined the Cultural Resources Program with Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) as an architectural historian.  While working for ODOT, Kimi has worked on Historic Preservation Resource Identification (HPRI) Forms and Historic American Engineering Record documents. She frequently uses her research skills to determine if sites and buildings are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

      Kimi hopes to further her career in historic preservation by implementing environmental justice practices to counter the disproportionately high and adverse effects that minority and low-income individuals face.  She hopes to bring cultural awareness through data analysis and community outreach to promote healthy and sustainable communities and equitable distribution for all. 


    • Kathleen G. Desormeaux  | History Department AlumnaThrough my studies in the Texas State Public History Program, I developed research interests in UNESCO, tourism, identity, and intangible heritage. These interests gradually merged into my thesis topic. The Public History Program enabled me to examine how international stakeholders apply heritage management policies and allowed me to conduct case studies for my thesis through the Department’s Study Abroad in Chester Program and as a graduate participant in UTSA’s COLFA Semester Abroad in Urbino, Italy. While abroad, I learned a variety of approaches to site management, observed resident and tourist reactions to site interpretation and utilization, and gathered a vast array of perspectives on UNESCO along with strategic uses of heritage to assist with the preservation and economic development of communities.

      My coursework, my time abroad, and research into UNESCO, heritage management, and tourism led to an internship with the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office. During that internship, I learned the practical application of research when assisting with the design and implementation of heritage related economic development initiatives, how US stakeholders leverage the various UNESCO programs in their communities, and how to execute community outreach projects. The internship paired with my education opened the door to becoming a contracted heritage consultant for the World Heritage Office since I graduated. Additionally, I am one of the first certified World Heritage Ambassadors for the City of San Antonio’s Certified Tourism Ambassador Program.

      Texas State’s Public History Program provided a strong foundation for me to transition into a new career field. The program grew my worldview, broadened my understanding of the complex challenges communities face over the expanse of time, and how history and heritage can help overcome those challenges. Department faculty regularly found ways to say yes to innovative projects along with readily helping students explore various opportunities within the historical field. My graduate student peers further assisted in creating an energized learning environment through regularly supporting each other and lifting one another up when moments of doubt arose. Graduate school is a rewarding and challenging journey that is so much more enjoyable when surrounded by peers, professors, and mentors who truly want to see everyone succeed.


    • Max Hall | History Sportlight April 2019Maximilian Hall completed his MA in Public History from Texas State University in 2017. During his time as a graduate student, he recognized the importance of diversifying his interest within the field. To explore his options he served as an Instructional Assistant for History 1320, Research Assistant for the Oral History Project, and as Curation Volunteer at the Center for Archaeological Studies.  Additionally, he completed collections management internships with the Texas Historical Commission (2015) and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library (2016-17).

      Currently he serves as the Curatorial Assistant and Assistant Lab Manager at the Texas State University Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS). His primary focus is the management and curation of records and objects for state and federal held-in-trust archaeological collections. Additionally, Maximilian collaborates with student military veterans to rehabilitate archaeological collections received by the United States Army Corp of Engineers Veterans Curation Project.

      As a member of the Texas State University Integrated Cultural Resource Team, he participates in archaeological and architectural survey projects. Recent trips have included site visits in Texas, Colorado, and Alaska. His work includes photographic documentation, archaeological excavation, and digital historic structure mapping. His experience with the cultural resource management industry has sparked an interest in the study of archaeology and geographic information systems (GIS).

      His plan is to continue working within the curation sector while gaining further experience in the world of cultural resource management. Maximilian wants current and future students to know that finding work within public history is tough and therefore striving to become a multifaceted resource of practice and knowledge is crucial. His advice is to seek out volunteer/internship opportunities, participate in workshops, and network with professionals in the field before leaving Taylor-Murphey Hall. 


    • Jamie Ross | May 2019 History Student SpotlightFollowing the completion of her undergraduate degree in History and Anthropology from Texas State University, Jamie Ross began the Public History program while also working on a graduate cognate in Texas State’s Anthropology department. While in the program, she focused on the intersection of agricultural labor, public policy, and the rise of convict leasing in the 19th-century United States. After graduating in 2014, Jamie worked in archives and public policy at the Department of State Health Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services for the State of Texas. She has also done work in collections management, object conservation, and curriculum development for archives and institutions across the state. The instruction that Jamie received in research, project development, and pedagogy from the Public History program at Texas State University has worked to prepare her for the challenges she has faced in each of her positions.
      Jamie is currently employed by the Texas Historical Commission in the Historic Sites Division as their Archeological Collections Manager. In this position, she works with interpretive staff, archeologists, historic site directors, and educators to ensure that all archeological collections from the 22 state historic sites managed by the THC are documented, researched, and appropriately stored. Working in archeological collections has allowed Jamie to help to provide insight into the lives of underrepresented populations which may have been excluded from the written historical record and to make space for their stories.


    • Emily Cecil and Jonathan Moseley | June 2019 History Department Student Spotlight In April 2019, Public History project class students Emily Cecil and Jonathan Moseley assisted the Travis County Historical Commission with a survey of Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (building) markers in the Old Austin Historic District. They assessed the current conditions of a dozen Texas historical markers, and copies of their notes will be forwarded to the Texas Historical Commission for further action.


    • July 2019 Student Spotlight | Scholarship WinnerIn this month’s Student Spotlight, the History Department would like to feature our outstanding students who won scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year.  In order to be awarded a scholarship, these students had to prove they were in excellent academic standing, submit well-crafted essays, and have support from multiple faculty members.  These students serve as an excellent example of the high caliber students we see every day in the History Department. 

      Congratulations to:

      • Allison Hopson | Brieger Scholarship
      • Michel Jones | Dunn Scholarship
      • Wesley Moore | Taylor Murphy Scholarship
      • Evan Moore | Pohl Scholarship
      • Kendal Allen | Fitz-Clay-Kiss Scholarship
      • Madelyn Patlan | Kneispel Scholarship
      • Jason Rivas | Brunson Family Scholarship

      More information about History Department Scholarships can be found on our Scholarships Page.


    • 2019 COLA Research Expo Student ParticipantsOn May 1, the College of Liberal Arts hosted its first-ever undergraduate research expo. The expo was an all day event that featured student research from nine departments and three centers. The day included ten oral presentations and 27 poster presentations.  The History Department would like to congratulate the following students for their presentations during the Expo.

      Congratulations to:

      Taylor Moles
      Poster | "Women and Tupac Amaru Rebellion: Everyday Power put in the Spotlight"
      Mentor | Dr. de la Puente

      Sage Butler
      Presentation | "The Effects of Crack in E. Harlem." 
      Mentor | Dr. Renold

      Abigail Binetti
      Poster | "Normalcy as Resistance in the Lodz Ghetto"
      Mentor | Dr. Menninger

      Kathryn McDaniel
      Presentation | "FOSTA: the Law Fighting Sex Work Online." 
      Mentor | Dr. Pliley


    • Brandon Jett, History alumnusWhen I entered the history MA program at Texas State in 2009, I knew I wanted to be a history professor because, from my perspective as an undergraduate, the job looked cool, laid back, and fun. I had no idea what the job really entailed or how difficult it was to get a PhD or employment as a history professor. The great thing about the history faculty at Texas State is they are open to working with students like myself that larger programs would never (and as my rejection letters from LSU, Texas A&M, and UH confirmed) consider. Dwight Watson, Angela Murphy, Mary Brennan, Frank de la Teja, Rebecca Montgomery, Dan Utley, and Paul Hart all went above and beyond in their efforts to transform me from someone who liked history into someone who understood how historians do their jobs. After completing my MA thesis on racial violence in northeast Texas, I applied for several PhD programs. To my surprise, I received several offers of full-funded PhD programs (including Texas A&M and UH, places I was rejected just three years prior), and ultimately decided to attend the University of Florida. Since leaving Texas State, I received my PhD, published several articles (including all my MA thesis chapters) in peer-reviewed journals, won two awards for those articles, received book contracts for a manuscript and an edited volume, won a university-wide teaching award, was awarded the William Nelson Cromwell Early Career Scholar Fellowship, worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rollins College, and recently accepted a position at Florida Southwestern State College. Much of my success is due to the dedication and mentorship of the faculty at Texas State University. It was there and through them that I learned how to be a historian.


    • October History Student Spotlight Winner, Alex LaRottaAfter completing his Master’s degree at Texas State, Alex went on to receive his Ph.D. in History from the University of Houston in Summer 2019.  He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar teaching Latinx History and Black/Brown History of Rock & Roll in the Department of History at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.  Alex’s scholarship focuses on race and popular music in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and his is particularly interested in how music can provide a historical lens into the mechanisms of racialization and reveal tensions and collaborations within communities of color.  He is currently working on a manuscript that investigates sonic affinities and cultural kinships across African-American and Mexican-American communities in twentieth-century San Antonio, Texas. 


    • Brooke Privette, November History Spotlight AwardeeBrooke joined the graduate Public History Program in 2018, focusing on historic preservation. In that program she obtained the skills to complete preservation projects through classes such as Dr. Dedek’s Historic Preservation and Mr. Utley’s Local and Community History. In addition to her focus on preservation, she completed coursework pertaining to material cultural, public memory, and early American Atlantic history.

      Last summer, Brooke interned at Burns and McDonnell, an engineering consulting firm, as part of their cultural resource management team. The majority of her summer was spent working on a rural schoolhouse project in North Dakota. She had the opportunity to work in the field documenting various historic schoolhouses' architectural styles, distinctive architectural features, the schools’ playground equipment, and the school’s outbuildings. The remainder of her time was utilized researching the histories of the schools through deed records, census data, and compiled local histories.

      The skills acquired from the summer internship prepared her for work on a current contracted National Park Service project through the public history department. Brooke’s current research includes accessing archives through National Archives in addition to sources not limited to but including locations at national parks. Moving forward, Brooke hopes to obtain employment with a state historic preservation office, applying the skills from her time at Texas State University and the completed internship.


  • 2018

    • Michelle Seiler-Godrey History Department Student Spotlight January 2018After graduating with a B.A. in History and English and a M.A. in History from Texas State University, I went on to complete a doctoral degree at the University of Iowa. The skills I learned through my history degrees have lead me to a successful career outside academia as a grant writer at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon. This interdisciplinary museum weaves together art, science, wildlife and history to explore the High Desert region. In the past year, I have applied for over 60 grants and received over $400,000 to support everything from access initiatives and education programs to innovative exhibitions and even a gallery renovation. Since grants enable the Museum to implement programs outside our normal operations, I work closely with directors and curators to plan and develop dream projects. A good grant writer has to make a strong, concise argument for why a particular project is necessary. Therefore, I frequently use research skills to learn about the needs and benefits of each program. As a grant writer, I play a small role in programs, such as Kids Curate, which brings inspiring art experiences to underserved students, and help support the care of animals that cannot survive in the wild. A history degree teaches you not only writing and research skills, but also how to see situations from different perspectives and innovative approaches to problems—skills that enable you to uniquely contribute to your community.


    • Feb 2018 Spotlight - Justin BallJustin Ball earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas State University in December of 2015 and entered the MA in History with a concentration in public history the following semester. Justin’s historical research focuses on the role that Texas played as a source of arms and ammunition during the Mexican Revolution and US Imperialism in Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th century. He previously worked on the design team for the exhibit entitled Land without Borders: The Comanche Range which was on display at Brazos Hall in fall 2016. Last semester, he curated an exhibition for the 2017 Texas State Common Experience theme “The Search for Justice: Our Response to Crime in the 21st Century” entitled Catching the Chain: Life and Death in Texas Prisons 1845-2017. Catching the Chain surveys the history of the Texas prison system from Texas’ early statehood to the present and highlights how and why Texas prisons have gained a reputation for being the largest and most notorious in the nation. Catching the Chain was on view from mid-October through December 15 on the first floor of Alkek Library. 


    • March 2018 History Spotlight, History ClubThe History Club is a student organization open to all Bobcats. They seek to provide an enjoyable, stimulating space for all who share an interest in history. There are no requirements for members’ majors, years, or GPAs: any who wish to attend, can!

      History Club events occur every three weeks and include game nights, presentations, and discussions. You can find their schedule of events or more information on how to join the club by visiting the History Club website or by emailing them at


    • Cori McDonald, April History Student SpotlightCori McDonald is a second year Master’s student in the Public History program with a focus on historic preservation. In Spring 2017, Cori was one of the leaders on the Percival Whipple Letters project for Mr. Utley’s Local and Community History class. Cori helped scan, transcribe, and research a series of letters from Percival Whipple, a soldier stationed in San Antonio during WWI. Whipple's letters provided a glimpse into life at Kelly Field at the time and uncovered a story of an eager soldier who couldn’t catch a break. Whipple's perspective may have been lost to history had Mr. Utley and his class not saved the sources and examined their historical significance. The class donated the materials to the University Archives, and after the project Cori co-wrote an article for Texas Heritage magazine that was published in September 2017. This summer Cori studied abroad in Chester, UK, with the History department and became enchanted with Dublin, Ireland’s Decade of Commemorations of their independence. She questioned how the preserved sites of the 1916 Easter Rising affect national identity in Ireland and her current research explores the politics of preservation and commemoration of Rising sites in Dublin.


    • Department Spotlight | May 2018 | Three Minute Thesis PresentationsThe History Department's History 4399: Research Seminar courses are the capstone course for History majors.  This final undergraduate course tests students' abilities to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Students in the seminar have the chance to do original research on topics related to a faulty member's particular field of study. 

      Beginning in Spring 2017, the various sections of History 4399 began holding "Three Minute Thesis" presentations giving students a chance to present their research to the peers.  Students are given three minutes to explain, defend,  and offer conclusion to their research.  This year featured students from two sections of History 4399.  Dr. James McWilliams' section which focused on The American Renaissance and Dr. Caroline Ritter's section focusing on Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain, 1914-1997.

      Congratulations to the following students and their presentations! 

      • Daisy Robles Ramirez | Shell Shock: The Twentieth Century's Hysteria
      • Hector Soto | Social Rebellion and Herman Melville's
        Moby Dick
      • Trent Oatman | Jack London and Those Nietzschean Blues
      • Francisco Rodriguez | The Lion's Grave: The Suez Crisis and the End of Britain as a Superpower
      • Emily Trowbridge | Democratic Vistas: A Search for an American Identity
      • Jeremy Branch | Edgar Allen Pie, Sensationalist Newspapers, and the Theme of Death
      • Dane Willette | The NHS and the Idea of Consensus
      • Joshua Cartwright | The Civil War and Evolving Humanitarianism of Walt Whitman
      • Karina Gonzalez | The Massacre that Gain Independence


    • History Student Spotlight, Elise Leal, June 2018After earning a B.A. in Communication Studies at Regent University, Elise entered Texas State’s M.A. in History program in 2011. Under the direction of her advisor, Dr. Ronald Angelo Johnson, she received rigorous training in the historian’s craft and developed a sustained interest in exploring how belief systems – religious, gendered, and otherwise – influence culture. Elise became particularly fascinated with how these interactions shaped the new American republic, prompting her to write a thesis on the rise of a children’s religious reform movement called Sunday schools in the early nineteenth century. She also received valuable pedagogical training at Texas State through multiple semesters working as an Instructional Assistant. Through these experiences, Elise began formulating the goal of developing into the type of professor that gives every student thorough training in the historical skills required to use the past to contextualize the present, function as informed citizens within their communities, and develop the self-awareness required for being agents of positive change.

      These research interests and teaching goals animated her formation as a historian after graduating from Texas State. In 2013 she entered the History Ph.D. program at Baylor University, where she continued to hone her skills as a scholar of early American religion, gender, and childhood under the direction of Dr. Thomas Kidd. This May she successfully defended her dissertation, which analyzes the Sunday school movement from 1790-1860 to show how concepts of childhood, and young people themselves, helped transform early American religious practices while also contributing to the broader formation of a child-centric culture that persists in the modern day. Elise’s research has received grants and awards from institutions such as the Boston Athenaeum and the American Society of Church History, and her first article is forthcoming in a top-tier journal this fall. Elise also continued to develop as a teacher during her time at Baylor, and received the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award in the spring of 2017. Her Ph.D. experience was further enhanced by opportunities to expand her academic skillset outside the History Department, including two years leading the Graduate Student Association and one year serving as Special Graduate Assistant to Baylor’s president. She is excited to transition to the next stage of her academic journey as an Assistant Professor of Early American History at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, beginning this fall.


    • Rachel Brown | July History Department SpotlightRachel Brown graduated in December with an M.A. in American History with a focus on Women’s, Genders, and Sexualities. She is attending Tulane University this fall to begin a PhD program in Women’s History. Her M.A. thesis, titled, “Repeal Politics: Abortion in Austin, Texas, 1965-1975,” explains the development of the Birth Control Information Center at The University Of Texas in Austin. The students at the BCIC constructed an underground abortion network in which they took Texas women to Mexico for the procedure before legalization. Her oral history analyzes how a handful of UT students filed Roe v. Wade. For more details on the BCIC, see Rachel’s article for Rewire News.

      At Tulane, Rachel is an Andrew W. Mellon fellow of Community Engaged Scholarship. She has been given the opportunity to develop a project of her choice in women’s reproductive health and implement it in New Orleans. Rachel is also a recipient of the Monroe Fellowship. Rachel’s dissertation topic will be a transnational, borderlands history of abortion. She will focus on how women travel to access abortion in the twentieth century due to the increase of laws regulating women’s healthcare.

      After graduation, Rachel hopes to work in academia or at a women’s health organization.


    • August History Student Spotlight - Miguel CarandangMiguel Carandang is a History Major with a minor in political science and is also a member of Texas State University’s Undergraduate Research Group. In July 2018, he, along with fellow Texas State students, presented original research at the World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies (WCMES) in Seville, Spain.

      Miguel’s research focused on Rashid Khalidi’s book The Iron Cage, and set out to examine and critique many of the book’s claims to determine if they remain true ten years after it’s original publication.

      Miguel’s presentation focused on the British Mandate Period of Palestine. Contrary to modern perception of the region, in the early 1900’s Palestine was a relatively peaceful place. Prior to the British taking control of region, there were relatively few major examples of violence in the area and Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in relative peace compared to today. This changed during the British mandate period as riots and violence began to flare up. Rashid Khalidi claims in Iron Cage,that the British utilized tactics designed to encourage local rivalries in order to prevent the region from forming a unified opposition.

      If true, it could give major insight as too why relations between the Muslim and Jewish communities deteriorated into the conflict they experience today. Miguel’s objective was to study British policies, the motivations behind them, their consequences, and whether or not they have impacts on the world today.

      Following this research project, he hopes to graduate in the Spring to become an educator to future generations.


    • Allison Robinson

      Allison RobinsonComing back to teach history at Texas State has been a goal of mine since I became a student here in 2009, so I was delighted to receive that opportunity this academic year. While working on my Master’s degree at Texas State, every member of the history faculty made it their job to get involved and inspire their undergraduate and graduate students. As an IA, I watched several members of the faculty give enthusiastic lectures on American history with a genuine desire to make these required courses an enjoyable experience for undergraduates. As a graduate student, I witnessed thesis committees create a challenging yet nurturing environment that pushed their students to improve and overcome every obstacle they faced. The faculty’s dedication to their students was obvious both inside and outside of the classroom as they helped students realize their full potential and assisted them in achieving their next goals, whether on the job market or in PhD programs. My experience at Texas State further fueled my drive to get a PhD and teach history at the collegiate level. There is no doubt that I would not have had the stamina to achieve these goals without the preparation I received in my Master’s program and constant support from the history faculty at Texas State. But I think the true testament to this department is the fact that they believe in and trust their former students to come back and teach as part of the faculty. They know that our time here instilled an insatiable desire to teach and improve the college experience for all students at Texas State. I am fortunate to now be a part of that mission.

      Thomas Alter

      Tom Alter, Photograph 2018I entered the History MA program at Texas State seeking to improve my career options beyond the dead end job I had. With not knowing what to expect, I quickly realized Texas State was a perfect fit for me. The faculty is down to earth, yet at the same time rigorous in their pursuit of knowledge as they challenge students to rise to their full potential. This led me to engage in my own research of agrarian radicalism in Texas. Upon completing my Masters, with the encouragement of my professors at Texas State, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on transnational labor history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My time at Texas State equipped me to confront the obstacles in obtaining my degree, such as traveling to numerous archives and getting one’s work published for the first time. While working on my Ph.D. in the Midwest, I had what seemed to be an impossible dream of returning to Texas State to teach. Now that my dream has become a reality, I am incredibly happy to be teaching at Texas State with its diverse student body and accomplished faculty.


    • Christian Penichet_PaulAs the policy and advocacy associate at the National Immigration Forum, Christian Penichet-Paul focuses his efforts on federal appropriations, border security, naturalization and Dreamer-related issues. Christian also contributes to stakeholder meetings with congressional and federal officials, and provides analysis on legislative proposals and federal policies.

      Before joining the Forum in January 2016, Christian served as a graduate intern at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s advocacy office, where he worked on issues related to refugees and unaccompanied children. He also interned at American Gateways and Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district office in Austin, TX and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, among others.

      Christian grew up in Austin, Texas. He graduated from Texas State University with a B.A. in History and earned his master’s in American Government from Georgetown University.

      Christian’s experience as a student in the History Department prepared him for his current work by making him a stronger writer and improving his critical thinking and analysis skills, which are essential when communicating with immigration stakeholders and reviewing legislation or federal policies.


    • Brandon Martin | Student SpotlightHistory has fascinated me my entire life. Growing up amidst the monuments and battlefields of my hometown of Richmond bred in me a curiosity for investigating how things come to be the way that they are. A youthful desire to learn about battlefield heroics propelled me to study history seriously. From that starting point, my main focus has evolved, broadly, to center on Americans’ relationship with their government.

      I’ve always liked taking the scenic route, and as a 31-year-old senior, my college career stands as evidence of that affinity. I moved to Texas from my hometown of Richmond, VA in 2013 to be with my fiancée as she worked on receiving a Ph. D in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin while I attended Texas State University.

      I currently work full-time with Professional Contract Services, Inc. (PCSI), a nonprofit contractor operating under the auspices of the AbilityOne program, which works towards a general goal of providing employment for individuals with significant disabilities. I work in the organization’s IT Department, providing support to users at jobsites located all across the United States.

      I also volunteer with the organization CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA advocates for abused and neglected children as they weave their way through the legal system, speaking solely for the best interests of the child at every step of the way.


    • “There is a bit of Texas State in my blood, though I suppose, in the course of pursuing two degrees and various mishaps on our far from level campus, there may be more of my blood there”

      Nathan Jones | History Spotlight December 2018I’ve spent a lot of time in Taylor-Murphy and, thanks to connections made with professors and my fellow students, have shaped a career in museums. Currently, I’m an Associate Curator at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. In a little over three months on the job I’ve opened three temporary exhibitions and begun to help shape the Cowboy’s direction as it moves to meet the opportunities of the present. To get here I’ve worked as Curator and Education Director at The Bryan Museum in Galveston Texas, and interned at prestigious institutions like Bayou Bend, MFA Houston and The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Through it all my experiences at Texas State have prepared me for the ever-changing nature of the Museum field.

      I received a B.A. in History in 2008, and except for a professor’s comment in my blue book would probably have never considered continuing my career in history. Fast forward five years to 2013 and I entered the Public History Program, still not quite sure what I wanted to do in the field of history. Thanks to Texas State I had opportunities to explore East Asian craft traditions, conduct research at LBJ’s ranch, and partner with collectors and artists to produce oral histories. I use all of those skills everyday as a curator, helping people to connect to artifacts in uniquely personal ways and ensuring that the past continues to shape the present.


  • 2017

    • History January SpotlightDuring the spring 2016 course Greater Southwest History, graduate students Savanha Esquivel, Simon McCurley, and Kristine Robb, under the direction of Dr. John Mckiernan-Gonzalez and Dr. Lynn Denton, conducted a study to inform decision making regarding the establishment of a Hispanic Heritage Research Center at Texas State University.

      The project was organized into three parts. During the first part, the team completed an inventory of existing repositories, archives, museums, and centers with research or collecting components relating to overarching term "Hispanic Heritage." With the geographic focus for the inventory defined as the Southwest region, the team completed an extensive search of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Southern Colorado, and parts of Nevada for relevant institutions.

      The team began by conducting a digital inventory of archives and collections with an indication of Hispanic content throughout the Southwest. They searched research collections in relevant universities, colleges, cultural centers, research centers, public libraries, museums, diocese, and archdiocese. Google was the primary search method to locate different research collection sites.

      All research collections with at least one collection that pertained to Hispanic heritage were included in the final inventory. Institutions with only single items but not a specific collection that pertained to Hispanic heritage were not included. Local history collections and exhibits in cities with more than 25% Hispanic population (based on 2010 census data) were included. This effort meant to identify local history sites holding potentially important Hispanic collections in collections with vague, incomplete, or inconclusive descriptors. The final inventory drew from individual and collective knowledge from each member of the team and the professors to identify institutions not revealed via the initial google searches. Every attempt was made to compile a comprehensive resource inventory.

      Throughout the search for relevant repositories, Dr. McKiernan-Gonzales provided academic literature to help the team better understand the changing temporal and geographic use of terminology such as heritage, Latino/a, Hispanic, Mexican American, and Hispanic.

      The second part of the project included a gap analysis. The team used institutions in the inventory to identify areas of existing focus and areas of omission. This analysis provided insights into different regional research emphasis and interests, shifting academic topics and trends, and resources utilized in publication endeavors.

      The final phase allowed the team to refine the raw data captured in the inventory into a final spreadsheet and complete the report narrative and recommendations. State-by-state maps of repositories were created as additional resources and analytical tools.

      The data and analysis in the final report pointed to opportunities in support of the proposal for a Hispanic Heritage Research Center at Texas State.


    • February History Student SpotlightStudents graduating from the History Department are required to take a Senior Seminar course where they get the chance to do original research on topics related to the faculty members field of study.  This final undergraduate course tests students ability to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Our February Student Spotlights would like to highlight the accomplishments of the students in Dr. Elizabeth Makowski's and Dr. Ana Romo's seminar courses.

      Dr. Makowski's students examined the natural and man-made tragedies which occurred from around 1310 to the start of the Early Modern era, while Dr. Romo had her students focus on all aspects life and cultural of modern Latin America.  Each course requires a roughly twenty-page research paper where the students demonstrate the ability to formulate a thesis and use numerous sources to defend their arguments related to their topics of choice.  The work students do in these courses prove they have what it takes to earn a history degree from Texas State.


    • April 2017 History Student Spotlight Students graduating from the History Department are required to take a Senior Seminar course where they get the chance to do original research on topics related to the faculty members field of study.  This final undergraduate course tests students ability to synthesize primary and secondary sources and use the information gained to formulate and defend their own arguments.  Our April Student Spotlights would like to highlight the accomplishments of the students in Dr. Caroline Ritter's.

      In Dr. Ritter's seminar, "Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain, 1914-1997," students examine the central questions that propel the study of modern Britain examining the understanding of modernity, national identity, and security during this period. The range of their topics include the role of radicalism in 1920s feminism, the relationship between celebrities and the media, the role of race in British conservatism, professionalism of sport and the policing of football fans, and how the Thatcher government responded to challenges to its imperial rule. All together, the projects reflect the current trends in modern British history; therefore, Texas State students join scholars in the field in explaining the role of Britain in the world today.


    • May History Student SpotlightThis History Department awards several scholarships each year to our outstanding undergraduate and graduate students.  These scholarships serve to recognize the hard work and dedication our students have to their academic careers and the larger field of History.  Four our May 2017 Student Spotlight we would like to recognize the excellent work of our scholarship winners!

      Alton G. Brieger Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding undergraduate History major
      Amber Ryan

      Taylor-Murphy Scholarship | Awarded to an undergraduate student for achievement and potential in the field of History
      Elizabeth Carl & Rebekah Pircher

      Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding student majoring in History or International Studies
      Krista Pollett

      FitzPatrick-Clayton-Kissler Scholarship | Awarded to a History Major, preferably one who is seeking teacher certification
      Shina Shayesteh

      Minnie Knispel Scholarship | Awarded to a graduate student in History, preferably one who is seeking or who already has teacher certification
      Madison Reitler

      James W. Pohl Scholarship | Awarded to an outstanding graduate student who is working on a thesis
      Rachel Brown


    • Lindsey Waldenberg, June Student SpotlightThis month the History Department would like to honor Lindsey Waldenberg for our Student Spotlight.

      During the spring semester, Lindsey was chosen by the History Department faculty as one of our Outstanding Graduate Students.  She was chosen for this honor due to her outstanding performance in her program and for maintaining at least a 3.75 GPA.  From here, her name was submitted to the College of Liberal Arts where she was named the Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Student for 2017.  This is a huge honor for both Lindsey and for the History Department and shows just how amazing our students are. 

      Lindsey is Public History student working with Dr. Helgeson.  She is currently studying segregation in African-American public housing, focusing on Rosewood Courts and Booker T. Washington Terrace, tracing their creations and changing conditions over the past eighty years.  She is also looking at the public housing's role and relevance in contemporary Austin.


    • History Department Study Abroad in IndiaStudents participating in the Texas State Faculty-Led Study Abroad in India this summer (July 10-28) will visit three strikingly different locations.  Students first arrive in New Delhi, the modern capital of India. The day after arriving, the group will travel by train to the bottom of the Himalayas and then take taxis up a winding road to a small, peaceful town in the foothills of the Himalayas that offers hiking, and beautiful views, monkeys, and time to get acquainted with local people. After spending a week in the mountains, we will travel to the center of India to the ancient city of Varanasi, located on the banks of the Ganges rivers, where millions of religious pilgrims come each year to bath in the sacred waters of the river and to pray. While in Varanasi, we will also visit a major Buddhist pilgrimage site where the Buddha gave his first teaching. The trip to India also includes a day at the beautiful Taj Mahal and a visit to the home where Mahatma Gandhi spent his last days.


    • Kassandra AvilaAfter graduating from Texas State a year ago, I joined the AmeriCorps Nation Civilian Community Corps. Studying history had taught me that the victors in a story typically sacrifice their time for others when the world needs it the most and least. So, I joined this program to figure out where I felt needed most. Since graduation, I have travelled to five different states, worked for fifteen different non-profit organizations, and completed over 1700 hours of direct community service. From rebuilding houses for victims of a wildfire to removing invasive species during the Oregon winter, I saw firsthand the beauty of direct service and the unending reward it brings. AmeriCorps brought me to a world of beautifully passionate people and unforgettable memories. Like watching the sunset over the mesas in Moab, Utah or seeing an 80 year old man move into his new home two years after everything he ever owned had disappeared . Today, I am an AmeriCorps teacher at a developing outdoor educational charter school in Eugene, Oregon that I worked for as a NCCC member. After this year, I will receive my second Segal Education award of $5,785 for past or future loans. I say, if you're not sure of what to do after graduation, give yourself a year of service with AmeriCorps. You'll get money towards your education while building your resume and life experience in incredible ways.


    • Brendon LarimoreI earned both of my degrees at Texas State. My bachelor’s degree and subsequent thesis, supported by Drs. McWilliams, Glass, and Mann, focused on U.S. and British History, and specifically on President Woodrow Wilson’s involvement with the creation of the League of Nations and the Mandate states. My graduate work expanded on this research, focusing on the history of the Mandate from three unique perspectives, the British, the Zionist and the Arabs who lived within Palestine before the Mandate State system was installed. Under the direction of Drs. Bishop and Glass, worked within the National Archives at Kew Gardens in London. This experience broadened my horizons and allowed me to complete my thesis “Broken Promises of the Mandate: A Study of the Palestine Mandate Society, and its impact on the proliferation of Zionism with Palestine and Great Britain.” Dr. Bishop was incredibly significant to my development as a historian, teaching me both what was expected of me, and how to succeed.

      The History Department faculty were always supportive of my research, which helped me to become an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Austin Community College where I teach four Sections of US History, two of 1310 and two of 1320. Throughout the years, the entire faculty showed me what it took to become a professional historian. Without them, I would not have gained the skills that allow me to pass knowledge on to the next generation.


    • Nick Crawford | History Student Spotlight DcemberNick received a Bachelors of Arts from Texas State University in 2014 with a double major in Anthropology and History, and is currently working towards his Master’s degree in History with an emphasis Public History. His areas of focus include Cultural Resource Management, Local & Community history and military history.

      Nick's current project includes researching individuals listed on the University of Texas Memorial Stadium Memorial to the Honored Dead. This memorial commemorates Texans lost during World War One. Designed by sculptor Hugo Villa, the memorial is situated on the University of Texas – Austin campus. Projects completed to date include creating a searchable database of over 5,100 names listed on the Memorial to the Honored Dead. Of interest to him are U.S. Army nurses and foreign immigrants listed on the memorial. This research is part of overall efforts to recognize Texans and World War One Centennial commemoration.

      Previous projects include the Cross-Town River Pathway, San Marcos, Texas with the Center for Archaeological Studies, Texas State University. This City of San Marcos project seeks to create a Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Corridor along the San Marcos River. Other projects include creation of a driving tour of historic bridges located in San Saba County, Texas for the Texas Department of Transportation. This effort was part of my summer internship program. The strategy behind the driving tour was to develop social and cultural histories of these bridges and the surrounding communities. This project combined his interests in Cultural Resource Management and Local & Community history.

  • 2016

    • Undergraduate Student

      Krista Pollett, Photo 2016Krista Pollett is an undergraduate studying history at Texas State University. Studying history is necessary to her understanding of different domestic/foreign cultures and political and social views; perspectives that are increasingly important to consider in the increasingly globalizing modern world. She hopes to incorporate and utilize this knowledge in a position in curation or advising. Krista also participated in the 2015 study abroad program in Chester, England. Traveling is one of the easiest ways to begin to understand a society’s culture, and being abroad in England was a great way to be fully immersed in diverse history 24/7. Her experience not only validated her decision to study History at the undergraduate level but also further set her on the path towards a graduate degree. Krista’s experience with the study abroad program provided focus for continuing her education at Texas State pursuing a master’s degree in Public History.

      Graduate Student

      Heather HaleyLiddle Graduate Teaching Fellow Heather Haley serves as President of Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. Her historical research focuses on military history, specifically the American military presence in Vietnam and Korea. Her research and analysis of Agent Orange dispersal during the Vietnam War, with forthcoming publication in the Texas Oral History Association’s Sound Historian, serves as a chapter of her thesis and was awarded Top Master’s Paper at Texas State’s Seventh International Research Conference. In the summer of 2015, she interned at Fort Ticonderoga as the inaugural Edward E. Pell Fellow in Education, helping educators incorporate the fort’s history into their curriculum. In addition, she catalogued, processed and transcribed the Philip Skene Papers housed within the fort’s archive. Currently, Heather is completing work toward her Master’s degree in History, with a concentration in public history, and has applied to doctoral programs for admittance in the Fall of 2016.


    • Undergraduate Students

      March Student Spotlight Thirteen Texas State students competed at the Bilateral Chamber Model Arab League competition held in Houston TX.  Two pairs of delegates brought home honors from this year's competition, and the entire team was recognized with the "Outstanding Delegation" award.

      Carlos Ituarte and Daisy Jaimez received their own "Outstanding" for representing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the Economic Affairs council and first-time delegates Lauren Schmidt and Geoff Sloan were recognized as "Honorable Mention Delegates." As the award indicates, Lauren and Geoff proposed a vital amount of draft language for the resulting resolutions.

      Graduate Student

      march Student Spotlight GraduateChris Simons serves as Liddle Graduate Teaching Fellow and Vice-President of Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. His historical research focuses on early American history, Native American history and borderland studies. His Master’s Thesis, “A Longhouse Divided: Oneida Agency, Iroquois Disunity, and the Oneida-American Alliance,” examines the cultural, political, and religious considerations that led the Oneida Indians to break with their Iroquois brethren and side with the Americans during the American Revolution. Currently, Chris is completing work toward his Master’s degree in History and has been accepted to doctoral programs at Rutgers University, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Houston.


    • Michael Naumann, Photo 2016Michael Naumann received his bachelor’s degree at Texas State in December 2012 and his Master’s degree (with a special emphasis in public history) in December 2015. His concentration within public history was conservation and how the National Park Service (NPS) understood their duty. His interest in the NPS,  Conservation, and Early American history led him to an internship at Colonial National Historical Park in Summer 2015,  and to present a paper entitled "Community, Conflict, Culture: An In-depth Examination of the Decisions that Impact the National Park Service" for the 7th Annual Texas A&M History Conference, using Yosemite National Park as a case study. This paper examined the conflicting nature of the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 as it applied to Yosemite.

      Last month he was offered a paid seasonal position as a Park Guide at Colonial National Historical Park, and begins his new job April 18.


    • Elizabeth CarlI was raised in Austin and decided to go to Texas State because of its closeness to my hometown and therefore my family. I was initially undecided and went in as a math major, but after a while I realized that I was unhappy with that. I explored lots of other options but history really spoke to me because I have always enjoyed it. It's particularly the storytelling aspect of history that I enjoy, because there are so many stories to be told, so many viewpoints, and so many ways to tell them. It is an endless pool of stories and storytelling has always been a passion of mine, whether I'm writing the story, reading it, interpreting it, etc. When I found out there were scholarships specifically for history majors, I jumped at the opportunity, because it is no secret that college is not a cheap endeavor. I was shocked and elated to learn that I was given the Alton G. Brieger scholarship, and I am very honored to have been chosen. It is not something I take for granted and any chance to further my goals and my education is one I will gladly take.


    • Jonathan Manion, Photo 2016Jonathan Manion graduated summa cum laude in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. His honors thesis used memoirs to examine the civil rights philosophies of five civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s. Having been accepted into Texas State University’s graduate program for history, he will begin graduate studies in the fall of 2016. Before continuing his studies, Jonathan will serve for three months in the summer of 2016 as a volunteer at Mission Arlington in Arlington, Texas. While in graduate school, Jonathan’s historical research will potentially seek to determine the impact of Christian thought on the Civil Rights Movement in Central Texas.


    • Model Arab League, September 2016Texas State's Model Arab League (MAL) team is outstanding in regional and national competitions. Under the leadership of MAL presidents Meghan Blizinski and Daisy Jaimez during 2016, students debate in five councils: Palestinian Affairs, Social Affairs, Political Affairs, Economic Affairs, and Joint Defense, and--each year--our team represents the policies of a different jurisdiction. The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations organize this series of events. At these, students sharpened their skills in diplomacy and public speech; over the past seven years, Texas State has received 6 team awards, and Bobcats have received 55 individual awards.  The 2016 Nationals represent the culmination of the team's year-long preparations; during 2016, Bobcats represented the Republic of Djibouti as we interacted with students from across the US (California to Massachusetts), as well as other nations (from Cairo and Quebec).


    • Dept Spotlight October 2016Phi Alpha Theta is a national honor society and professional organization for undergraduate and graduate students as well as professors of history. The mission of Phi Alpha Theta is to “promote the study of history  through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.” At Texas State, Phi Alpha Theta’s Sigma Zeta Chapter serves as both a professional and social student organization. We organize multiple brown bags (professional work shops) each semester as well as provide students and professors the opportunity to present their latest work and research. In addition to the professional tools that Phi Alpha Theta provides, the organization also coordinates social events to bring members of the history department together in a friendly as well as academic environment. Every year Phi Alpha Theta organizes a history conference in which undergraduate and graduate students present their research as well as receive the opportunity to gain comments and insights from professors in their field of study. In the spring, Phi Alpha Theta holds a departmental banquet in which the past year’s accomplishments are highlighted as well as new inductees participating in their induction ceremony.


    • History Club After a brief hiatus, the History Club has returned to Texas State!  Our goal is to both educate and excite our members through learning about history.  In their brief year back, the History Club has grown to over fifteen members.  They are excited to finish the semester strong and start working on new ideas for meetings and events in the future.  Come to their meetings every other Thursday at 5:30 pm in TMH 105 to meet the members and speak with someone about joining!  You can also get History Club information from the History Club website.


    • History December SpotlightThe Texas State University Oral History Project is a joint archival project of the Alkek Library, the University Archives, the Center for Texas Public History (CTPH), and university administration. Through funding generously provided by the library, the project objective is to build a broad-based collection of oral histories to complement and enhance the holdings of the archives. Over the past four years, CTPH staff members (students and faculty) have conducted multiple interviews with a wide range of participants, including past presidents of the university, as well as former students, staff and faculty members, and others who have unique perspectives on the recent history of the institution. CTPH students conduct background research for the interviews and then produce verbatim transcripts for housing in the University Archives and immediate use by researchers. The students also assist with transcripts from earlier oral histories of the 1970s and 1980s, in effect extending the range of the memoirs from the middle of the twentieth century to the present. As a result, the Texas State University Oral History Project is one of the most extensive collections of its type in the state and serves as a model for the systematic preservation of institutional histories via personal memories.

      CTPH personnel for 2016 are Dan K. Utley, chief historian, Kent Hemphill, student director, and public historians Savanha Esquivel and Max Hall. Providing immediate institutional support for the project are Ms. Joan Heath, Associate Vice President and University Librarian; Kris Toma, University Archivist; Dr. Mary Brennan, chair of the Department of History; and Dr. Lynn Denton, CTPH director. Dr. Ronald C. Brown, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, serves as technical advisor.