Department News, Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Donor Recognition

Message from the Chair

Katrin Schultheiss
Chair Katrin Schultheiss

Welcome! I am very happy to share with you highlights of the past academic year and to give you a glimpse of some of the plans we have for the future. We were fortunate to have hired two new faculty. Joel Blecher joined us this fall as a specialist in the history of early and medieval Islam. Arie Dubnov will arrive in January 2017 as the inaugural Max Ticktin Professor of Israel Studies. On a more wistful note, in spring we celebrated the career of Professor Emerita Linda Levy Peck, who retired after 19 years.

Several of our current faculty garnered notable honors this year: Marcy Norton was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The department also earned four university-wide teaching prizes, two each for Denver Brunsman and Christopher Klemek.

This year, we are launching a new initiative in public history that will enable students to explore the many uses of history in the “real world,” including in museums, at historical sites and in the political arena. We are also continuing popular programs such as The Price of Freedom: Normandy 1944, which features a trip to France for undergraduates who visit the sites of the D-Day invasion.

As you can see, the department has ambitious plans. Unfortunately, funding reductions have impeded our efforts to extend critical support for graduate student summer research, student conference travel, and talks by important visiting scholars. Please consider donating to the department this year, if you can. Your support has a real impact on our research and on the educational activities we are able to offer our students.

Most of all, however, we would like to stay in touch with you. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. Thank you for your ongoing interest in the History Department.


Department Spotlights

Professor Joel Blecher Joins the Faculty

Joel Blecher

The department is delighted to welcome Joel Blecher as our new specialist in early and medieval Islamic history.  Professor Blecher is a social and intellectual historian whose Arabic and Urdu language skills have taken him to archives in Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India. His first book project, In the Shade of the Hadith: Islam and the Politics of Interpretation across a Millennium, investigates the understudied practice of hadith commentary within and across classical Andalusia, medieval Egypt and modern India. Beyond this manuscript, he has already published essays in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, the Encyclopaedia of IslamOriens, the Oxford Bibliographies in Islamic Studies and several edited volumes. He is currently working on his second book, Profit and Prophecy: Islam and the Spice Trade from Venice to India. The study will examine how Muslim scholars and merchants in the Mamluk period (13th-15th centuries) mixed religion and business along trade and pilgrimage routes that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Sea and beyond. 

Prior to his arrival in Foggy Bottom, Professor Blecher taught at Oberlin College and Washington and Lee University (W&L). He has also been invited to speak about the Islamic world on National Public Radio, college radio and various podcasts. In addition to offering a wide range of courses in early and medieval Islamic history, Professor Blecher plans to continue a digital humanities project that he began with his W&L students, who collected, analyzed and visualized biographical data about the earliest transmitters of Islamic law.  

Read the GW Hatchet's profile on Professor Blecher here.

Linda Levy Peck

Professors Linda Levy Peck, Andrew Zimmerman, Denver Brunsman and Erin Chapman at Professor Peck's retirement celebration.
Professors Linda Levy Peck, Andrew Zimmerman, Denver Brunsman and Erin Chapman at Professor Peck's retirement celebration.

This April, the department honored the distinguished career of Columbian Professor Linda Levy Peck on the occasion of her retirement.  A full day of events featured scholarly presentations by her former doctoral students as well as roundtable discussions of her critical contributions to the field of early modern studies—at GW, in the broader D.C. community, through the seminars she led at the Folger Shakespeare Library and beyond.  As Professor Denver Brunsman observed, Professor Peck’s influence has not stopped at the shores of England. Instead, it “stretches to topics and fields as diverse as the coming of the American Revolution and the European intellectual influences on Thomas Hobbes—the national and the transnational. Linda has set an impressive and timeless example for all of us to follow.”

The celebration concluded with a reception featuring tributes from undergraduate students and colleagues, past and present. Professor Peck arrived at GW in 1996 and for the next two decades taught popular classes on the history of Tudor and Stuart England. She is the author of the award-winning Consuming Splendor: Society and Culture in Seventeenth Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2005), The Mental World of the Jacobean Court (Cambridge University Press, 1991) and numerous other books and articles. Though she is no longer teaching, Professor Peck remains hard at work. She is currently in London completing the manuscript for her forthcoming book, Networks of Fortune: Money, Marriage, and Murder in Early Modern England, under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Faculty Kudos

Tyler Anbinder’s long-awaited book, City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), is hot off the press. Of the three articles he also published this year, he co-authored one—“Which Irish Men and Women Immigrated to the United States During the Great Famine Migration of 1846-54?” (Irish Historical Studies, Nov. 2015)—with GW undergraduate Hope McCaffrey.

Edward Berkowitz was appointed co-chair of the advisory board of the Workers Compensation Research Collection at Rutgers University. He also published “The Leviathan and Its Detractors” in Ohio Valley History (Spring 2016). His collection of 23 interviews is the centerpiece of an oral history project entitled Insights from the Top: An Oral History of Medicare and Medicaid

Nemata Blyden published “'This na true story of our history': South Carolina in Sierra Leone's historical memory,” in Atlantic Studies: Global Currents (2015).

This July, Gregg Brazinsky published a Woodrow Wilson Center Working Paper on Chinese economic aid to Guinea and Mali in the 1960s. His participation in the Korea Foundation’s film and lecture program designed to introduce Korean history to general audiences was covered in both the local and Korean press.

Denver Brunsman won the Morton A. Bender Teaching Award and the Dean's Research Excellence Award for Mentoring (DREAM) in 2016. In February, CSPAN3 broadcast the discussion he moderated with alumna Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon, PhD ’10, about her 2014 book, For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789, for GW’s annual George Washington Lecture.

Erin Chapman published an online article, “Black Radicalism in 20th Century United States,” in Oxford Bibliographies in African American Studies, ed. Gene Jarrett (Oxford University Press, 2016). 

Theo Christov’s new book, Before Anarchy: Hobbes and his Critics in Modern International Thought, appeared in January with Cambridge University Press. He spent 2015-2016 as a Kluge Fellow with the Library of Congress. In May, the Bulgarian Embassy co-sponsored his public lecture at the Kluge Center about the influence of Swiss-born Emer Vattel’s Law of Nations (1758) on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the early American republic.

This June marked the release of Diane Harris Cline’s new book, National Geographic's The Greeks: An Illustrated History. The book was written to accompany the National Geographic and PBS three-part TV series, The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander. In connection with the book, Professor Cline also gave tours at the simultaneous museum exhibit of the same title and spoke to groups including the National Hellenic Society, AHEPA (another Greek-American association), the Princeton Alumni Association of D.C., and various community groups. 

In spring 2016, Eric Cline was one of the first 36 recipients to win the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Public Scholar Grant, described by The Washington Post as “a major new initiative designed to promote the publication of scholarly nonfiction books for a general audience.” The award freed him up to work on Digging Up Armageddon: The Story of Biblical Megiddo from Canaanites to Christians, on contract with Princeton University Press. In September 2015 a paperback version of his 2014 book, 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed, appeared with a new afterward. 

Hope Harrison published "United Germany at Twenty-Five: Progress, Pitfalls and a Lingering Legacy of Division" in Advisor, the journal of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (September 2015). In addition, she was one of three Americans invited to serve on the academic board of the Berlin-based Foundation for German-American Academic Relations. She was also interviewed about German politics and the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh on CNN, Deutsche Welle and CCTV (Chinese TV).

This spring, Jim Hershberg was interviewed on Al Jazeera and other news outlets regarding Obama's trip to Cuba and the breakthrough in United States-Cuban relations.  

Dane Kennedy published two books this year: Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2016) and How Empire Shaped Us (Bloomsbury, 2016), co-edited with Antoinette Burton.  He also authored “Lost Expeditions, Lost Histories,” in Resplendent Adventures With Britannia, ed. Wm. Roger Louis (I. B. Tauris, 2015) and “Rewriting the Revolution: The Decolonization Seminar Helps Forge a New Field,” (Perspectives on History, September 2015). In addition to his writing, he co-convened the bi-national workshop, Culture and Conflict, funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by the Library of Congress in November.

Dina Khoury published, "The Making and Unmaking of Spaces of Security: Basra as Battlefront, Basra Insurgent, 1980-1991," in Violence and the City in the Modern Middle East, ed. Nelida Fuccaro (Stanford University Press, 2016). 

Jisoo Kim published two books in 2016: The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press) and The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation (Columbia University Press). Professor Kim also secured a major Core University Grant from the Academy of Korean Studies. The grant will enable GW to establish the Institute for Korean Studies, with funding for conferences, graduate fellowships, new courses and more. She will spend 2016-17 as a fellow at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at the Seoul National University.

Chris Klemek received the university’s Writing in the Disciplines Distinguished Teaching Award and the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence.

Tom Long took a break from his annual spring break undergraduate student trip to Normandy, France, to deliver a lecture at the U.S. Embassy’s George C. Marshall Center in Paris. His students received a special tour of the center, which occupies the rooms in the Hotel du Talleyrand where the U.S. government administered the Marshall Plan after the war.

Shawn McHale spent a month in the French military archives in Vincennes to carry out the final archival research for his book on decolonization, violence and empire in southern Vietnam, 1945-54. The book, based on Vietnamese and French language sources, investigates local histories in the Mekong delta and shows how the French empire played a key role in the conflict more broadly.

Marcy Norton is using her recent award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to spend 2016-2017 as a long-term fellow at the John Carter Brown Library, where she will continue the research for her much anticipated book on animal-human relations in the early modern Atlantic world. With the support of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship she also won this past spring, she will spend 2017-2018 completing the book.

This August, Linda Peck delivered the keynote address at a conference about the cultural influence of the Jacobean literary patron Lucy, Countess of Bedford at Oxford University’s Lincoln College. She also participated in the History Department’s April 2016 symposium in celebration of her career on the occasion of her retirement.

Leo Ribuffo published “Jimmy Carter, Congress, and The Supreme Court” in A Companion to Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, ed. Scott Kaufman (Wiley Blackwell, 2016) and "Intellectuals vs. Scholars," The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 29, 2015.

In an online essay entitled, “Of Scholars and Secrets,” Shira Robinson weighed in on the controversy sparked by the recent decision of the Israel State Archives to close its reading room to researchers. In March, she participated in a Brown University public forum on the Palestinian citizens of Israel, covered in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz

Having completed his latest book, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America (Harvard University Press, 2016),  David Silverman is hard at work on his new project. Provisionally entitled, No Thanks, and on contract with Bloomsbury Press in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of Plymouth's founding, the book will offer a Wampanoag-centered history of Plymouth colony and the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Ron Spector was featured in a China Central Television documentary, Oriental Main Battlefield, and served as a consultant on a new Vietnam War documentary directed by Ken Burns that will air in 2017. He also delivered public lectures at Ohio State University and at the China Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Zimmerman had a prolific year, publishing an newly edited edition of Marx and Engels’ The Civil War in the United States (International Publishers, 2016), three articles on the transnational history of the American Civil WarU.S. Reconstruction and German modernity, respectively, and a coedited forum in German History on “ Surveillance in German History.” He also gave invited lectures on his research at Rutgers University, East Carolina University and the University of Alabama.

Current Students

Congratulations to our doctoral students who received competitive grants to pursue their research and deepen their language skills: Elham Bakhtary (CLIR/Library of Congress Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Sigur Center Summer Grant for Asian Field Research); Kate Densford (Fulbright Fellowship in Austria and the Czech Republic); Bob Isaacson (GW Summer Dissertation Fellowship, AJS Knapp Family Foundation Graduate Student Travel Grant); Kyla Sommers (Silberman Foundation Fellowship, Historical Society of Washington, D.C.); Katharine White (AHA Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant, GW Summer Dissertation Fellowship, IERES Hoffman Dissertation Fellowship); Ben Young (Fulbright Fellowship in South Korea); Naz Yucel (IMES Summer Language Study Grant).

Robert B. Isaacson was invited to participate in a University of Maryland panel on "Rising Anti-Semitism in the Western World," in April 2016.

Charles Kraus published "Researching the History of the People's Republic of China," in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project Working Paper 79 (April 2016). His article “American Orientalism in Korea”(Journal of American-East Asian Relations 22, no. 2 [2015]) was discussed in a forum on H-Diplo in March 2016. In July, he published two book reviews on the same website.

Since January 2016, Alexa Price has been hard at work as a digital scholarship intern at The Fred W. Smith Library for the Study of George Washington, where she edits and formats entries for the library's Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington. A fourth-year doctoral student and modern Britain specialist, Alexa also creates infographics that the library publishes on social media.

Katharine White was invited to present at an April 2016 symposium entitled, "A New Materialism? Rethinking the History of Global Capitalism at the Nexus of Culture and Political Economy" at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2015-2016 Graduate Student Awards! Ronald Leonhardt and John Garratt won the Charles Herber Teaching Prize. Gregory Graves won the Howard M. Sachar Prize for Best Research Paper by a Graduate Student.  

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2015-2016 Undergraduate Student Awards. Madeline Crispell, Robert Hansen, Emily Niekrasz and Jennifer Sherman won the Jesse Fant Evans Prize for Excellence in Contemporary History. Nicholas Holy, Matthew Maresca and Edward Rickford won the Gardiner G. Hubbard Memorial Prize for Excellence in American History. Ross Berry and Caley Donovan won the Thomas F. Walsh Prize for the Best Essay in Irish History. John Lindsay and Matthew Maresca won the Charles Clinton Swisher Historical Club Prize for the Most Outstanding paper in Medieval History. The department also awarded Deixler/Swain Prizes for the Best Undergraduate Theses to Olivia Franklin, Robert Wasserstein, Caroline Sandri, Charlotte Prenn and Farieha Shah for their honors and senior theses.


Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Farah al-Nakib, BA ’01, published Kuwait Transformed: Oil and Urban Life with Stanford University Press in April.  Farah is assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait.  She was recently profiled in Bazaar magazine, where she credits her experience writing her senior history thesis with setting her on the course to becoming a professional historian.

Nancy Baker, MA ’93, became an associate professor of history in 2013 and won the Sam Houston State University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015. She has been appointed interim associate vice provost at Sam Houston State University for 2016-2017.

Rachel Barker, BA ’12, a policy analyst and outreach manager at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, recently co-authored The Making of Global Cities, a survey of cities strengthening their position in the global economy.

Kata Bartoloni, PhD ’10, had her book, For Fear of an Elected King, profiled in GW Today. Dr. Bartoloni delivered the 5th Annual George Washington Lecture at the George Washington University Museum/Textile Museum. Her lecture, "The Road to 'Mr. President': George Washington and the Title Controversy of 1789," was also covered in GW Today.

Richard Boles, PhD ’13, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at Oklahoma State University.  Richard is currently in the final year of his three-year position at City College of New York. He has also signed a book contract with the McNeil Center series of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Christopher Bright, MA ’03, PhD ’06, completed a four-year term as a GW trustee in 2014. He remains a subcommittee staff director for the Committee on Armed Services in the U.S. House of Representatives, producing reports on pressing national security topics.

Michael Jabara Carley, BA ’67, received Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada three-year grant for work on Soviet-western relations; published, Une guerre sourde: l'émergence de l'Union soviétique et les puissances occidentales Presses de l'U. de Montréal 2016

Lewis Chapin, BA ’47, is 97, having broken his attendance at GW with serving in World War II. He is happily married with three daughters and two grandchildren. He retired as a division manager from what is now Verizon after 38 years of service.

Albert Cramer, BA ’12, has been working for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission since 2012, charged with building the Eisenhower National Memorial a block off the National Mall. He states, “It's been an honor to help memorialize this great general, our 34th president, and champion of peace.”

Craig Daigle, PhD ’08, author of The Limits of Detente: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969-1973 (Yale University Press, 2012), is associate professor of history at City College of New York. 

Bert Deixler, BA ’73, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his graduation from Columbia Law School in May. He continues to practice law at the Los Angeles law firm Kendall, Brill & Kelly LLP.

Nick DelDotto, BA ’05, married Katharine McCown in May 2015 and moved to Kennett Square, Penn. He currently teaches social studies at Unionville High School, annually named one of the best high schools in both Pennsylvania and the United States by US News and World Report.

Daniel (Dan) Demers, BA ’70, published Old Wine and Food Stories, a social history culled from the Library of Congress' digital newspaper archives. The book is comprised of 284 pages and 90 historical vignettes. Available through

Gregory F. Domber, PhD ’08, author of Empowering Revolution: America, Poland, and the End of the Cold War (UNC Press, 2014), is associate professor of history at the University of North Florida.

Christina Firpo, BA ’01, published The Uprooted: Race, Children, and Imperialism in French Indochina, 1890-1980 with the University of Hawai'i Press in April.  Christina is currently assistant professor of history at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Congratulations to Dr. Kelsey Flynn, MA ’11, PhD ’16, student of Linda Levy Peck, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, "Information Management and the Early English Atlantic Empire."

Barbara Fox, MA ’07, for the last eight years, has been an adjunct instructor at Pima Community College, where she teaches several courses, including an elective on the Holocaust, and actually created one in Tudor/Stuart England. She is also a survivor of fourth stage breast cancer!

Ben Friedman, MA ’94, since graduating with an MA in history from GW, has been working in government contracting.  He is the director of operations and SEWP PM for SMS Data Products Group.  His is married and has two sons, Alex (15) and Jacob (17).

Malgorzata Gnoinska, PhD ’10, recently received tenure at Troy University and is an associate professor of history. Her dissertation on Poland and Asia during the Cold War (more than 800 pages) should develop into two books.

Sallie Greenwood, BA ’65, is wrapping up research and writing a history of women who pioneered in mountaineering from her base in Boulder, Colo. Research has taken her to the National Library of Scotland, Royal Geographical Society, Alpine Club and American Alpine Club.

Rachel Groves, BA ’04, is currently serving as president of the Tennessee Library Association.

Felix Harcourt, MA ’09, PhD ’14, having worked as a lecturer in United States history at Georgia State from 2015-16, is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University and is working on a project that looks at prejudice and politics in the 1920s, focusing on the Ku Klux Klan's D.C. lobbyist. 

Andrew Hartman, PhD ’06, was promoted to full professor of history at Illinois State University in 2016. In 2015-2018 he is serving as Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians (OAH). His 2015 book,  A War for the Soul of America (University of Chicago Press), has now been reviewed 48 times, including in The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, LA Review of Books, and Times Higher Education. He was named editorial advisor at the University of Chicago Press. This year he published two online essays: “Beyond the Whack a Mole Left,” in Jacobin (June 6); and “Taking Liberties: The Glories and Hazards of Self-Exposure in the Digital Age,” in Bookforum (December/January), 20-21. He also participated in the keynote debate of the Progressive/Conservative Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

Candice Shy Hooper, MA ’08, had her first book, Lincoln's Generals Wives, published in June by Kent State University Press.

Lily House-Peters, BA ’05, received her PhD from the School of Geography and Development at University of Arizona in August 2016. She has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Geography at California State University, Long Beach.

Shawn Hoyer, BA ’99, continues his career in corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, leading the Mid-Atlantic growth technology efforts.  Mr. Hoyer earned his MBA in 2013 from The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Nate Jones, MA ’07, is the director of the Freedom of Information Act Project for the National Security Archive. He has just published a book entitled  Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War.

Tate Jones, MA ’96, is executive director, Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, president of Northern Rockies Heritage Center, both at Fort Missoula, Montana and author of Images of America: Fort Missoula (2013).

Jonathan Kahan, BA ’70, is presently a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP. He is also an adjunct professor at the GW Law School teaching medical technology law and regulation.

Artemy M. Kalinovsky, BA ’05, is author of A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Harvard University Press, 2011) and an assistant professor of East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Shaadi Khoury, PhD ’16, has accepted a faculty position in history and social studies at King's Academy in Madaba, Jordan. King's Academy is the first New England-style boarding school in the Middle East.

Sora Kim, BA ’05, got engaged to Collin Meyers, ESIA ’04, in May 2016. They met at GW when they were in college together.

Joseph Kirschbaum, PhD ’08, is a director in the Defense Capabilities and Management team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He overseas reviews of homeland defense, cyber operations, intelligence, weapons of mass destruction and other defense emerging threats.

Benjamin Klubes, BA ’87, is a co-managing partner of 160+ lawyer law firm, BuckleySandler, located in D.C., N.Y., L.A., Chicago and London focusing on financial services and enforcement/white collar work.

Michael Todd Landis, PhD ’11, published an online essay, "Dinesh D'Souza Claims in a New Film that the Democratic Party was Pro-Slavery. Here's the Sad Truth," on the History News Network.  Michael is an assistant professor of history at Tarleton State University.

Dan LeClair, BA ’05, is serving as director of development for the international nonprofit 1% for the Planet.  He is responsible for guiding philanthropic strategy and growing revenue by garnering regional, national and global support.

Chelsea Lenhart, BA ’14, recently appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi Show blog to discuss the controversy over the children's book A Birthday Cake for George Washington. She authored the entry on Hercules, “Washington's enslaved chef and purported birthday cake baker,” in the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington.

Mary Lou Lesser, BA ’67, is a retired librarian. Her favorite history professors were Howard Sacher, Lois Schwerer and Peter Hill. She states, “Actually the entire department was outstanding. Please keep us informed of any lectures we can attend. Thank you!”

Jason Levin, BA ’10, left his position as communications director for Los Angeles City Council member Bob Blumenfield to become a senior account executive at Cerrell Associates. He got engaged to Jessica Weiss in June 2016.

Cynthia Little, BA ’67, has been the historian for the Philadelphia History Museum for the last 12 years.

Maureen Logue, BA ’79, MS ’00, has just retired after teaching as a special educator for 26 years.

Carol MacHorton (Erlebach), MA ’84, retired from Federal Service in 2013, and was awarded a Career Commendation Medal. Since then, she has worked as a consultant for a federal project pertinent to the review and release of historical documents to the public.

Edward Marolda, PhD ’90, is currently conducting oral history interviews with retired admirals for the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md. He is also teaching a course on China and the United States at Georgetown University and completing work on the history of the U.S. Navy.

Jerrilyn Matthews (Shepard), BA ’66, is now retired and busy volunteering for community nonprofits. After GW, she went on to graduate school and received a MAT degree from Oakland University. She worked for various educational, government and nonprofit agencies, mainly as a social worker.

Christel McDonald, BA ’86, thanks to having been elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Society upon graduation, focused in her private life on networking with other Phi Betas and young people who strive for academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and success in life.

Blaine McPhillips, BA ’06, is living both happily and healthy in Los Angeles, Calif. His job is representing the County of Los Angeles as a lawyer in juvenile dependency cases. He states, “Cheers to all of my GW family!”

David Miller, BA ’69, was a broadcast journalist at WRVA AM and WRIC TV 1971-1991 in Richmond, Va., and is now at Miller Insurance Services in Louisville, Ky.

Richard Moss, PhD ’09, will have his first book, Nixon's Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Détente, published in January 2017 by The University Press of Kentucky. 

Philip Muehlenbeck, PhD ’07, has published Betting on the Africans: John F. Kennedy's Courting of African Nationalist Leaders (Oxford University Press, 2014); Czechoslovakia in Africa, 1945-1968 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) [also under contract for a 2017 release in Czech by Nakladatelstvi Rybka Publishers]. His edited volume Gender, Sexuality, and the Cold War: A Global Perspective, is forthcoming with Vanderbilt University Press in 2017); and his coedited volume, Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War is forthcoming with I.B. Tauris in 2018. He has also contracted to serve as the editor of a new Vanderbilt University Press series entitled, The Cold War: Global Perspectives.

Rusty O’Kane, BA ’06, is a commercial litigation attorney down in Dallas, Texas.

George Petrov, BA ’71, shares that his long and winding road has not involved history, save for a modest collection of late 19th through mid-20th century maps. The study of aspiring empires, failed, transient and imaginary states has helped him navigate the corporate world.

Mark Plotkin, BA ’69, is a contributor to the BBC on American politics, and he writes a column for and The Georgetowner. He states, “2017 will hopefully bring full citizenship to the residents of the D.C. with statehood for D.C. Call your representatives and senators. Do it now.”

Lucy Pola (Gahm), BA ’81, is happily married to a GW alumnus Al Pola, BA ’81, and living in Skaneateles, N.Y. They have 3 children—Jeff, Ella and Erik—and are enjoying the transition to empty nesting.  She works for Cornell University in human resources and Al teaches high school criminal justice.

Karen Reap (Scott), BA ’64, after a 40-year career on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon and as a consultant, is enjoying retirement in a beach community in North Carolina. Her GW history studies helped hone her research and writing skills necessary for a successful career.

Clifford Rees, BA ’74, is a semi-retired public health attorney currently serving as the practice director for the Western Region of the Network for Public Health Law and is also an active community volunteer.

Jason Roberts, PhD ’07, graduated from the history program in 2007 with a PhD in 19th and 20th century American political history. Since August 2010, he has been teaching full-time at Quincy College in Quincy, Mass. He just received tenure at Quincy College as of this academic year.

Victoria Robinson, BA ’11, MA ’13, moved to Miami in 2015, where she now works as a fundraiser for Zoo Miami Foundation. She also serves on the committee of the GW South Florida Alumni Network.

Steve Rodd, BA ’70, works as an elementary school counselor for the Kingman, Arizona Unified School District. He was married this past June 4 in Kingman.  His daughter is currently a senior communications major at American University.

Kate Rosenberg, BA ’08, recently assumed duties as weapons officer on board the guided missile destroyer USS DONALD COOK, home ported in Rota, Spain.

Christopher Roy, BA ’06, is currently working as a physician at a Harvard-affiliated hospital in the Boston area.  He is also studying to receive his Master of Public Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Philip Runfola, BA ’64, after serving in the U.S. Navy and a career in the federal government, has visited and lived in 98 countries. He has been retired for over 20 years and is now traveling for pleasure and enjoying life in Florida.

Sara Sanders (Richman), BA ’07, after working for the Department of Defense, is now an affiliate relations manager at a national nonprofit outside D.C. In her spare time, she volunteers at the National Archives and loves to travel. Her and her husband, Brandon, have an adorable baby girl, Keira.

Lorenz Schrenk, BA ’54, after completing five books on railroad history, has been writing a series of children's stories. Three books are in the process of publication and will be available shortly.

Christine Sisto, BA ’12, published a four-part article "Brooklyn's Sacred Cathedral: Brooklyn's Effect on the Mythology of the Dodgers," in Baseball Magazine. 

Barry Spiegel, BA ’65, is living in Bethesda, Md. He is the chief human resources officer for Cornerstone Montgomery, Inc., a nonprofit providing a variety of services to the mentally ill in Montgomery County.

Charles Szlenker, BA ’73, has recently retired from being an attorney and is looking forward to enjoying his retirement.

Jennifer Thibodeau, BA ’12, utilizes her analytic skills as a senior legislative analyst for the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics at the Pentagon and teaches yoga in her spare time!

Gregory M. Tomlin, MA ’10, MS ’12, PhD ’13, author of Murrow's Cold War: Public Diplomacy for the Kennedy Administration (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) is assistant professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Bonnie Wernik Levine, BA ’73, married her GW sweetheart Larry Levine, BA ’73. They have two children, one is married, & they are expecting their first grandchild in December. They live in Swampscott, Mass., just north of Boston.

Daniel Whittier, BA ’11, received a master’s in Latin American studies from Georgetown University in 2015 and is currently working on a consulting project dealing with the South American telecommunications industry.

Michael Zagaris, BA ’67, was recently featured in the 2016 summer edition of GW Magazine. This year Reel Art Press is publishing his coffee table book, Total Excess, replete with photos with outrageous stories from ock & roll, punk, and counter culture.


Donor Recognition


The Department of History would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund

Elizabeth Beveridge*

Emma K. Bilski, BA ’15

Charles Scott Bozik, BA ’13

Thomas E. Brinkman, Jr., BA ’79

Malcolm C. Clark, BA ’53, MA ’59

Neil DeHaan, Jr., BA ’70

Bert Howard Deixler, BA ’73

Ronald J. Denham, BA ’67

Joseph T. Enright, BA ’70

Michael Thaddeus Epstein, BA ’05

Christina Elizabeth Firpo, BA ’00

Juliet Folger*

Lee M. Folger*

Michele Frucht-Levy, BA ’70

Richard A. Gantz, MA ’71

Ilana R. Goldfus, BA ’10

Mary F. Goldwag, BA ’66, MA ’80

Warren Gould, BA ’51, MA ’55

Richard Anthony Grasso, BA ’09

Courtney E. Griffin, BA ’08

Katherine C. Hardwick, BA ’11

Richard Perry Harland, MPhil ’78

Alora K. Hasson, BA ’16

Charles J. Herber+

Joan Herber*

Deirdre Holleman, BA ’73

H. John Keimig**

Susan M. Keimig**

Joseph W. Kirschbaum, PhD ’08

Benjamin B. Klubes, BA ’87

Anne C. Larrick, BA ’53

Cynthia J. Little, BA ’67

Charles T. Long, PhD ’05

Wendy S. McClure*

Christel G. McDonald, BA ’86

Suzanne M. Noel, MPhil ’83

Linda Levy Peck+

Lynn R. Perkins*

Robin K. Pokorski, BA ’14

Ben Profeta*

Mary B. Pszonak**

Robert P. Pszonak**

Mary M. Raiser*

Karen J. Reap, BA ’64

Edward M. Rickford, BA ’16

Victoria M. Robinson, BA ’11, MA ’13

David S. Rosen, BA ’51

Lois Green Schwoerer+

Barbara G. Selzer, BA ’75

Daniel I. Sherman, BA ’01

Darina B. Sherwood*

John D. Sherwood, MPhil ’93, PhD ’95

Patrick D. Smith, BA ’15

Jessica A. Smoluchowski, BA ’06

JC Stiassni, BA ’14

Holly Melinda Turton, BA ’72

Ben Vinson, III+

Marion B. Von Heisermann, BA ’65

Daniel Jameson Waters, BA ’12

Michael W. Weeks+

Rosa D. Wiener, BA ’56

James C. Wigren, MA ’85

Kasi R. Wilkerson, BA ’13

Katherine S. Willard, BS ’16

Huiyu Zhai, BA ’16

* Friend
** Parent
+ Faculty/Staff
~ Student