2022 History Newsletter

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Alumni Class Notes
Faculty Kudos

Message from the Chair


Daniel Schwartz





Greetings to all of our alumni from the George Washington University Department of History! I am pleased to report that, after an unusual year of remote teaching and learning, we are back on campus and once again enjoying the benefits of in-person engagement and collaboration.

Through this newsletter, you’ll read about a few of the newsworthy things happening in the department, most notably the achievements of our faculty. You’ll also find updates from fellow history alumni.

Thank you so much for your support and involvement. Please stay in touch. 

Daniel B. Schwartz
Professor and Chair

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Department Spotlights 

Sara Matthiessen




Will Roe Ruling Challenge Parenting Choice?

In her latest book, Reproduction Reconceived: Family Making and the Limits of Choice after Roe v. Wade, History and WGSS Professor Sara Matthiesen examines how Roe v. Wade affected the decision to raise a family—and whether the Supreme Court is poised to make that choice harder than ever. She was featured in the CCAS Spotlight e-magazine.


Professor Nemata Blyden speaking to Dean Paul Wahlbeck on a stage with the CCAS logo in the background




Africa's Impact on the African American Experience

Professor of History and International Affairs Nemata Blyden spoke with CCAS Dean Paul Wahlbeck in a video conversation about the customs and traditions that carried over from the African continent centuries ago and still influence the African American experience today.

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Alumni Class Notes



  • Marc Albert, BA ’70, JD ’73, has practiced bankruptcy law for the past 50 years.
  • Robin Arteaga, BA ’20, accepted a position in the Department of the Air Force's History and Museums Program after completing an internship at the Marine Corps History Division at Quantico. Robin is now an Air Force Wing historian at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
  • Judith Benderson, BA ’67, MFA 70, is a retired Justice Department attorney. She is currently exhibiting art in the International Women's Month exhibit in Chevy Chase, Md., at Oasis Gallery in Bethesda and part of installation at Windows on Wisconsin at 5510 Wisconsin Ave.
  • Ann Charnley, AA ’57, BA ’58, was Cokie Roberts’ researcher for her books on the history of women in America prior to retiring. She now lives on Martha's Vineyard and enjoys digging into Wampanoag tribal history.
  • Rebecca DeWolf, BA ’04, MA ’08, is a historian and writer. Her forthcoming book, Gendered Citizenship: The Original Conflict over the Equal Rights Department, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in October.
  • Laura Donnelly, MA ’78, teaches history and art history for the Osher program at The Johns Hopkins University. She also is a docent at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
  • Michael Furman, BA ’04, is a radiologist in Providence, R.I., and lives with his wife, Zoe, and their four children. His greatest mentor remains the late Howard Sachar.
  • Michael Greenwald, BA ’06, is in a senior executive role at Amazon Web Services. Previously, he was director for digital asset education at Tiedemann Advisors and served as the first United States Treasury Attaché to Qatar and Kuwait.
  • Sallie Greenwood, BA ’65, presented a talk about Caribbean historian Irene Aloha Wright (1879-1972) at the Colorado Women's History Symposium.
  • Sarah Haggerty, BA ’19, completed her master’s degree at New York University. Her thesis focused on the League of Nations, specifically New Zealand's mandate over Western Samoa and exploring the league's empire building role.
  • Jared Hall, MA ’10, relocated with his family to Shenzhen, China, where he is helping to launch Broadstone Academy, a new K-12 school, as founding dean of faculty.
  • Mike Jackson, BA ’04, is chief of staff at Worldwide ERC, Inc., a D.C.-based trade association for professionals in the workforce mobility industry. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
  • Jonathan Kahan, BA ’70, JD ’73, clerked on the U.S. District Court in D.C., and has been a partner at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) for the last 48 years. He is also an adjunct professor at GW Law School.



  • Keith Kenny, MA ’80, switched from research to writing speculative fiction and last year had three stories published. His novel The Starflower was picked up for publication. He lives with wife, Carole, and dogs, Freya and Cato, in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Greg Kershaw, BA ’07, is the senior director of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards. He is finishing his 11th season with the team.
  • Ben Klubes, BA ’87, was appointed principal deputy general counsel at the Department of Housing and Urban Development after 32 years in private practice, including 13 years as managing or co-managing partner at Buckley, LLP.
  • Mary LeMaster, BA ’10, and her husband have owned a Home Inspection Firm in Houston, Texas, since 2012.
  • Haldon Lindstrom, BA ’08, is the clinical placement coordinator for the George Washington University Physician Assistant Program.
  • Gus Mellander, BA ’59, MA ’60, PhD ’66, is a former member of the New Jersey State Board of Education and retired as a graduate school dean from George Mason University. He is the contributing editor of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.
  • Nicole Phelps, BA ’00, is an associate professor of history at the University of Vermont. In March 2022, she published a new diplomatic history textbook, Americans and International Affairs to 1921, with Cognella.
  • Clifford Rees, BA ’74, is a retired public health attorney living in Santa Fe, N.M. He recently completed a contract with the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee to draft Fiscal Impact Reports during the 2022 New Mexico Regular Legislative Session.
  • Edward Rickford, BA ’16, published his last book in his historical fiction series, the Tenochtitlan trilogy.
  • MaryKate Smolenski, BA ’18, is pursuing her PhD in American and New England Studies at Boston University.
  • William Taylor, PhD ’10, is the Lee Drain Endowed University Professor of Global Security Studies at Angelo State University, series editor for Studies in Civil-Military Relations with University Press of Kansas and author or editor of four books.
  • Dan Whittier, BA ’11, is senior risk advisor at McKinsey & Company, where he is responsible for managing client service risk for McKinsey's Latin America offices.
  • Qingfei Yin, PhD ’18, is an assistant professor of international history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Qingfei previously served as an assistant professor of history at the Virginia Military Institute.
  • Tsing Yuan, BA ’60, MA ’62, tries to keep up scholarly activities by reading the AHR regularly and attending the last two virtual AHA annual meetings.

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Faculty Kudos

  • Professor Steven Brady published Chained to History: Slavery and U.S. Foreign Relations to 1865 (Cornell University Press, 2022). Beginning with the immediate aftermath of the War of the American Revolution, Chained to History shows how slavery was interwoven with America's foreign relations and affected policy controversies ranging from trade to extradition treaties to military alliances.
  • Professor Hope M. Harrison published a nine-part lecture series with Audible on the history of the Berlin Wall titled “The Berlin Wall: A World Divided.” She was the U.S. representative on an international delegation sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service to observe the German elections in September 2021.
  • Professor Benjamin Hopkins was awarded the 2021 Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize for his book Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State (Harvard University Press, 2020). The prize is awarded annually by the Association of Asian Studies for an outstanding book in South Asian Studies.
  • Professor Shawn McHale published The First Vietnam War: Violence, Sovereignty, and the Fracture of the South, 1945-1956 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). The book explores why the communist-led resistance in Vietnam won the anticolonial war against France (1945–54), except in the south.
  • Professor Eric Schluessel, a social historian of China and Central Asia, won the 2021 John K. Fairbank Prize for Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia (Columbia University Press, 2020), awarded annually by the American Historical Association for an outstanding book in East Asian history. 
  • Professor Emeritus Ronald Spector’s new book, A Continent Erupts: Decolonization, Civil War and Massacre in Postwar Asia 1945-1955, will be published by W. W. Norton in August 2022.
  • Professor Ashwini Tambe’s co-edited volume, Transnational Feminist Itineraries, was published by Duke University Press in fall 2021.

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