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Alumni News

Alumni News is based on input from PhD, or BA, graduates who contact the department, or stay in touch.  We would love to hear from our graduates! Please email Heidi Welch with news.  The information below is updated once a year during the summer. updated October 10, 2017.

Caree Banton (PhD, 2013) Assistant Professor of History and African and African American studies at the University of Arkansas, has received the 2016 Lapidus Center Fellowship. She will use the fellowship to write and research her forthcoming book, More Auspicious Shores: Post-Emancipation Barbadian Emigrants in Pursuit of Freedom, Citizenship, and Nationhood in Liberia, 1834-1912.  Caree discusses her project on a podcast at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery. Also, the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas has selected Banton for the 2015 OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology endowed Faculty Award.

Nicholas M. Beasley (PhD, 2006) The Reverend Nicholas Beasley is Rector of the Church of the Resurrection Episcopal, in Greenwood, South Carolina. His book, Christian Ritual and the Creation of British Slave Societies 1650-1780, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2009. More recently, he has published book reviews in Anglican and Episcopal History and Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief. Dr. Beasley taught history courses in the European Studies summer program at University of the South in 2008 and 2009.

Paul H. Bergeron (PhD, 1965) is Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of Tennessee. His latest book, Andrew Johnson's Civil War and Reconstruction , was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2011.

Stephen Berry (B.A., 1992) is Associate Professor of History at Simmons College, Massachusetts. His first book, A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life and Atlantic Crossings to the New World, has been published by Yale University Press, 2015.

Michael Boden (PhD, 2010) Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired) is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  He also teaches courses on Leadership and Warfare Studies for the Air War College’s Masters Program.  He works extensively with Veteran groups on his campus and in the Hudson Valley, and is a career mentor with the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Boyd (PhD, 2007) is the Academic Dean at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee and teaches 11th and 12th grade history classes. Dr. Boyd's book, Georgia Democrats, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Shaping of the New South (Gainesville, 2012) is available from the University Press of Florida. An article based on a chapter from the book on the 1966 election of Lester Maddox appeared in the Journal of Southern History (May 2009) and an essay on the growth of the Republican Party in Georgia after 1945 was included in the collection edited by Glenn Feldman, Painting Dixie Red (Gainesville, 2011).

Kimberly Breuer (PhD, 2004) is Assistant Professor in Practice in the Department of History, University of Texas at Arlington. 2016 received University of Texas at Arlington, College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award for Distance Education, and was named UTA Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab PLC: Learning Analytics Fellow for 2016-2017 AY . She is Co-Investigator on "Preserving HERstory: Mapping Women's History in Texas" Digital Humanities Project. The “HERstory” project seeks to develop a sustainable archive that uses GIS capabilities to organize information about women in the public sphere with politics being the first phase followed by business, science, engineering, literature, education, and the arts.  The only website I have for this is 

Jeff Broadwater (PhD, 1989) is Professor of History, Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. His most recent publication, "James Madison, the War of 1812, and the Paradox of a Republican Presidency" appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of the Maryland Historical Magazine. He has also received an Edna Earl Boykin Fellowship in the Humanities to support research on his current book project, Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution.

Courtney J. Campbell (PhD, 2014), is a Lecturer of Latin American History at the University of Birmingham (UK). Courtney was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Tougaloo College through the Mellon Partners Program (2015-2016) and a Past & Present Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London (2014-2015). She has published articles in Past & Present, Slavery and Abolition, and the Luso-Brazilian Review and is currently drafting her book titled Region Out of Place: The Brazilian Northeast and the World (1924-1968). She is also Director of a British Library Endangered Archives Programme project in Paraíba, Brazil that digitizes the oldest and most endangered documents in the state. Courtney's dissertation, "The Brazilian Northeast, Inside Out: Region, Nation, and Globalization (1926-1968)," was selected for the 2015 LACS Dissertation Award for the Latin American and Caribbean Section (LACS) of the Southern Historical Association (SHA).

Tizoc Chavez (PhD, 2016) is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on interactions between world leaders, with a particular interest in diplomacy of the American presidency. His current project explores the origins, development, and use of leader-to-leader diplomacy by American presidents from the nation's founding to the present, with particular focus on the 20th century.

Christina Dickerson Cousin (PhD, 2011) is an Adjunct Professor in History at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut. Her article, "Triangular Integration in a Black Denomination: James Sisson, African Methodism, and the Indian Mission Annual Conference," was published in Methodist History (April 2015). Her article, " 'I Call You Cousins': Kinship, Religion, and Black/Indian Relations in 19th Century Michigan," was published in Ethnohistory (Winter 2014). She is also the recipient of a 2015 Albert J. Beveridge Grant (American Historical Association) and a 2015 Racial/Ethnic History Research Grant (United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History).

Michael Crane (PhD, 2009), is Assistant Professor of History, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. He won an award for an article in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. His manuscript is currently under contract with the University Press of Florida to be published in their Contested Boundaries series.

Joel Dark (PhD, 1998), Professor of History and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN.

Mike Davis (PhD, 1996) is Head of School, Colorado Academy, a 900 student preK through 12 school in Denver.

Crystal deGregory (Ph, 2011) named director of Kentucky State University's new Atwood Institute for Race, Education and Democratic Ideal.

Jeremy Dewaal (PhD, 2014) currently holds a post doctoral fellowship at the Free University of Berlin. His dissertation, entitled "The Redemptive Geographies: The Turn to Local Heimat in Early Postwar West Germany, 1945-1965," just received the prestigious biennial Parker-Schmitt Dissertation Award given by the European History Section of the Southern Historical Association (2016).

Rachel Donaldson (PhD, 2011) has recently had articles published in The Public Historian and The History of Education Quarterly and is Assistant Professor in the history department at the College of Charleston. She has a Masters of Historic Preservation degree from the University of Maryland (2015). She co-wrote, with Ronald D. Cohen, Roots of the Revival: Folk Music in the United States and Great Britain in the 1950s, (University of Illinois Press, 2014)

Matthew Festa (M.A., 2002) is a Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. He is also a Kinder Fellow at Rice University, and an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School. His teaching and research are in the areas of property law, government, and legal history.

Charles H. Ford (PhD, 1992) History Professor and Department Chair, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA. Dr. Charles H. Ford and Dr. Jeffrey Littlejohn, were named recipients of the 2013 William M. E. Rachal Award, which is given annually for excellent scholarship. Their essay, "Reconstructing the Old Dominion: Lewis F. Powell, Stuart T. Saunders, and the Virginia Industrialization Group, 1958-65," explores the origins of modern conservatism in Virginia and was featured in the May-June 2013 rendition of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. In 2014, Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles H. Ford also published, "Arthur D. Morse, School Desegregation, and the Making of CBS News, 1951-1964," American Journalism, Vol. 31, Issue 2, (2014): 166-185, and, "The Crisis Responds to Public School Desegregation," in Protest and Propaganda: W.E.B. DuBois, The Crisis and American History, edited by Amy Kirschke and Phillip Luke Sinitiere, (Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2014). May 2015 Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles Ford published, The Enemy Within Never Did Without: German and Japanese Prisoners of War At Camp Huntsville, Texas, 1942-1945. Ford was named University Professor at Norfolk State for 2014. This is the University's highest honor for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Earlier this year (2015) the Norfolk City Council reappointed Ford as a trustee of the Norfolk Public Library system.

Pablo Gómez (PhD, 2010) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work examines the history of medicine and corporeality in the early modern African and Atlantic worlds. Before becoming an historian, Dr. Gómez earned his MD at the Universidad CES and did his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Pablo's book, The Experiential Caribbean: Creating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic has just been published by University of North Carolina Press (2017). Pablo has been the recipient, among others, of an ACLS-Early Career Fellowship, an ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, three Major Project Grants from the British Library, a John Carter Brown Library Paul W. McQuillen Fellowship, and an Elizabeth Crahan and K. Garth Huston Fellow from the Huntington Library. One of his articles, "The Circulation of Bodily Knowledge in the Seventeenth-century Black Spanish Caribbean," published in the August 2013 issue of the Social History of Medicine, was the recipient of the 2014 Andres Ramos Mattei-Neville Hall Biannual Best Article Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians and the Vanderwood Prize-Honorable mention for Best Article, from The Conference in Latin American History (CLAH), 2014-2015.

Rose Beth Grossman (MA, 2007) is an attorney with Robertson Hollingsworth & Flynn in Charleston, SC, and practices in the area of construction litigation.  She occasionally teaches history courses at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. 

Mark Hampton (PhD, 1998) Associate Professor of History (tenured) at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, since January 2007; Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) of the Faculty of Arts, Director of the Centre for Cinema Studies, and Warden of the Jockey Club New Hall. Before moving to Hong Kong, he was Associate Professor (tenured) and Assistant Professor at Wesleyan College, Macon, GA, 1999-2006. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Hong Kong and Sookmyung Women's University. He is the winner of the Nonie A. and William F. Quillian Distinguished Teaching award (Wesleyan College, 2003) and a Teaching Excellence Award (Lingnan University, 2014). His books include Visions of the Press in Britain, 1850-1950 (University of Illinois Press, 2004); Hong Kong and British Culture, 1945-1997 (Manchester University Press, 2016); Anglo-American Media Interactions (co-edited with Joel H. Wiener; Palgrave, 2007), and The Cultural Construction of the British World (co-edited with Barry Crosbie; Manchester University Press, 2016). He is co-editor of the journal Media History (since 2005). He is currently working on a project on Hong Kong and British Radicals since 1840, funded by Hong Kong's Research Grants Council. In addition, he is general editor of a 6-volume collection entitled Cultural History of Media, under contract with Bloomsbury, and is serving as co-editor of volume 5, which covers the period 1800-1920.

Erica Rhodes Hayden (2013) is Assistant Professor of History at Trevecca Nazarene University.  She is co-editor and contributor to Incarcerated Women: A History of Struggles, Oppression, and Resistance in American Prisons published by Lexington Books in 2017.  Her article "'She keeps the place in Continual Excitement': Female Inmates' Reactions to Incarceration in Antebellum Pennsylvania's Prisons" appeared in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies (Winter, 2013). She has also published in The Social History of Crime and Punishment in American History (2012) and Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives (2015) both published by SAGE.

Cheryl Hudson (PhD, 2011) is currently Lecturer in American History at the University of Liverpool. Cheryl Hudson and Gareth Davies's book, Ronald Reagan and the 1980s: Perceptions, Policies, Legacies , was published by New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008. Her article, "An ‘Un-American Experiment’: Jane Addams’ Lessons from Pullman,” was published in the Journal of American Studies in 2013. She recently co-edited Why Academic Freedom Matters (2016) with Joanna Williams. Recipient of British Association for American Studies 2017 Founders' Award. Recognition as a Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy.

Robert Hutton (PhD, 2009) is senior lecturer and university historian in the Department of History of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His first book,  Bloody Breathitt: Politics & Violence in the Appalachian South , received awards from the Appalachian Studies Association, the Appalachian Writers' Association, the Kentucky Historical Society (where he was also a research fellow). His essays have appeared in The Tribune (UK), Jacobin, the History News Network, and the Society of US Intellectual History blog. He is an active member of the United Campus Workers/Communication Workers of America (Local 3865). 

Natalie Inman (PhD, 2010) is Assistant Professor of History, Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee. Dr. Inman has published articles in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and the Journal of East Tennessee History. She has a chapter entitled, “Militant Families in the American Revolution” in a forthcoming collection of essays published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Patrick Jackson (PhD, 2012) Nationally Competitive Fellowship Advisor, and Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies at Allegheny College, PA. His book review of Apostles of Reason by Molly Worthen, was published in The Journal of Southern Religion.

Craig Kaplowitz (PhD, 1999) is Chair of the History Department and Director of The Honors Program at Judson University, Elgin, IL. He is author of LULAC, Mexican Americans, and National Policy (Texas A&M, 2005) and serves on the editorial review board for Milestone Documents. His current project is on immigration reform during the Reagan administration.

David S. Karr (PhD, 2002) is Chair of the History, Philosophy, and Political Science Departments at Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri. He has published articles on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British radicalism; his most recent article is "‘The Embers of Expiring Sedition’: Maurice Margarot, the Scottish Martyrs Monument, and the Production of Radical Memory across the British South Pacific," *Historical Research* [U.K.], 2013. His current project is a cultural biography of the British Jacobin Thomas Holcroft.

Peter Kuryla (PhD, 2007) is Associate Professor of History at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has published a variety of articles, reviews, and book chapters having to do with American intellectual and cultural history, the most recent of which is "Vastations and Prosthetics: Henry James, Sr. and the Transatlantic Education of William and Henry James," chapter five in Willliam James and the Transatlantic Conversation (Oxford University Press, 2014).

David C. LaFevor (PhD, 2011) is Assistant Professor of Latin American History and Digital Humanities, University of Texas, Arlington. David LaFevor's project, "Siete Villas de Cuba," has been awarded a major project grant by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme. In conjunction with Vanderbilt's ESSSS Project, he hopes to digitize and preserve roughly 500,000 colonial documents pertinent to the African slave trade and Afro-Cuban life over the next two years. David is currently an Assistant Professor of Latin American History and Digital Humanities at the University of Texas at Arlington. His photographs of Cuba from the last decade have been on numerous venues including NBC news,

R. A. Lawson (PhD, 2003) is Professor of History, Dean College (Franklin, Massachusetts) where he also serves as Director of the Honors Program. Professor Lawson’s book, Jim Crow’s Counterculture: The Blues and Black Southerners, 1890-1945 (LSU Press, 2010) was awarded the 2011 Michael V.R. Thomason Book Award by the Gulf South Historical Association. In 2017 he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by Dean College’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Pi (National Society of Leadership and Success) and has also received the Hicks-Kennedy Award from the New England History Teachers’ Association for his service as Associate Editor at the New England Journal of History.

Werner D. Lippert (PhD, 2005) is Associate Professor, Department of History, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has published The Economic Diplomacy of Ostpolitik: Origins of Nato’s Energy Dilemma. 

Kathryn (Katy) McDaniel (PhD, 2000) is the McCoy Professor of History at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, where she is chair of the Department of History, Religion, and Philosophy.  She teaches a variety of courses in Modern European History and continues to publish and present on pedagogy as well as British literature and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Steven P. Miller (Ph.D., 2006) is the author of The Age of Evangelicalism: America’s Born-Again Years (Oxford University Press, 2014). His first book is Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). His articles, reviews, and commentaries have appeared in a host of scholarly and popular publications, including Journal of American Studies,, and Christian Century. Miller resides in Saint Louis, where he teaches at Webster University and Washington University. His website can be found here.

LeeAnn Reynolds (PhD, 2007) is Assistant Professor, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. Her book, Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920-1955 (Louisiana State University Press, 2018) is now available

Larry O. Rivers (PhD, 2010) is Assistant Professor, University of West Georgia. Larry's first peer-reviewed article, "'Leaning on the Everlasting Arms': Virgil Darnell Hawkins's Early Life and Entry into the Civil Rights Struggle" was published in The Florida Historical Quarterly (Winter 2008). His second peer-reviewed article, "'Militant Reconciling Love': Howard University's Rankin Network and Martin Luther King, Jr.," appeared in The Journal of African American History (Summer 2014).

Barry Robinson (PhD 2005) is Associate Professor and Chair of History at Queens University of Charlotte. He joined the Queens faculty in Fall 2012 after seven years at Samford University, receiving tenure at both institutions. He was the recipient of the Joseph W. Grier Distinguished Professor Award in 2017.  He offers a variety of courses in Latin American and world history, and participates in Queens' interdisciplinary general education program. His research centers on the end of colonialism in Latin America. Particular areas of interest include late-colonial Mexico, Latin American independence, ethnohistory, historical geography, and comparative colonialism and slavery. His recent book, The Mark of Rebels: Frontier Indians and Mexican Independence, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2016. The project examined social and cultural transformations among the indigenous communities of western Mexico preceding and during the struggle for independence.  Robinson co-edited a volume on the African Diaspora in the new world, entitled Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America.  He has also published on the role of women in Mexican independence and the use of GIS technology in the teaching of history. He led a GIS-based public history project to develop an interactive digital map of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Selena Sanderfer (PhD, 2010) is Assistant Professor, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky. Her dissertation, titled, "For Land and Liberty: Black Territorial Separatism in the South, 1776-1904," examines lower class black separatist movements from the South to Nova Scotia, Liberia, and the Midwest.

Mary L. Sanderson (PhD, 2010) lecturer at the University of Dayton, Ohio.

Edward G. Simmons (PhD, 1980) After retiring in 2005 from a 34 year career with the Georgia Department of Human Resources, I began teaching history part-time in 2011 for Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, and Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, GA. I am pleased to inform you that my 2016 book Talking Back to the Bible: A Historian's Approach to Bible Study won the 2017 Illumination Gold Medal Award for Spirituality. Illumination Awards are given annually by the Jenkins Group to spotlight the best in religious writing.

Appu Soman (PhD, 1995) is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Maryland University College. His latest work, Through the Looking Glass: Diplomacy Indian Style was published as an ebook in 2012

Amy H. Sturgis (PhD, 1998) has authored four books and edited another five, and she has more than twenty published essays and two hundred professional presentations to her credit. She serves as Department Chair at the innovative Mythgard Institute at Signum University and also teaches in the Liberal Studies Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University. In 2006, she was honored with the Imperishable Flame Award for Accomplishment in Tolkien/Inklings Scholarship. Since 2008, she also has been one of the pens and voices behind StarShipSofa, which in 2010 became the first podcast in history to win the prestigious Hugo Award. Her official website is

Angela Sutton (PhD, 2014) has an article, "The Seventeenth-Century Slave Trade in the Documents of the English, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Prussian Royal Slave Trading Companies," in Slavery and Abolition, vol. 36, issue 3, 2015.

Kevin Vanzant (PhD, 2013) has been awarded a two-year, post-doctoral fellowship through the Mellon Partnership for Humanities Education.   Kevin was one of three recent Vanderbilt PhDs chosen for this award.  He will receive an appointment at Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN.  Kevin's article, "Political Fragmentation in Early Maryland and the Imperial Origins of North American Liberalism," has been published in American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture, Vol. 5, Winter 2016, pp. 1-25.

Nicholas Villanueva (PhD, 2013) received an NEH grant for the NEH Summer Seminar, "View from the East: The Federal Government and the American West.”  His group will work with the staff at the Library of Congress, Smithsonian museums, Department of the Interior, and the Mexican Cultural Institute. Nick's book Lynching of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands won a 2017 Southwestern Studies Book Prize though the University of Texas and the Border Regional Library Association. This book also won the  2018 NACCS Tejas Foco Non-Fiction Book Award from the  National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS).

David Wheat (PhD, 2009)  is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. His book Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean,1570-1640 was published by UNC Press on behalf of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in 2016. This book received the 2017James A. Rawley Prize for the integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century from the American Historical Association. David speaks at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery on April 24, 2017. 

Tom Williford (PhD, 2005) is Professor of History at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, Minnesota. His research interest is the political rhetoric in Colombia in the decades leading up to La Violencia, the civil conflict between members of the Liberal and Conservative parties which left 200,000 dead between 1946 and 1964.  Dr. Williford has published articles and book chapters on the debates concerning the role of the Church in Colombian society, the influence of the Spanish Civil War on the rhetoric and the actions of party militants, and the theatricality and ritual of the Church and the political parties in the 1930s and 1940s.  He was an invited speaker at a September 2015 symposium on Conservative Party leader Laureano Gómez at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Bogotá.  Additionally, Dr. Williford has been active in the Interfaculty Organization of the Minnesota State University professors, advocating on behalf of public higher education at the state capitol, and for world languages at Southwest Minnesota State.

Adam Wilsman (PhD, 2014) is an upper school history teacher at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee. In the Spring of 2015, he won the Heath Jones Prize for the Promise of Excellence in Teaching, which Harpeth Hall awards annually to a standout teacher who has had five years or less of full-time classroom experience.