Current Graduate Students

Cari Babitzke entered the PhD Program in 2015 after earning her BA and MA from Texas Tech University. She is studying 20th century U.S. history with Professor Bruce Schulman and is interested in modern American conservatism.

Andrew Bell entered Boston University’s PhD program in 2014 after receiving his BA from the University of Northern Iowa, earning an MA from Purdue University, and spending two years in China in between. He studies American interactions with the world (especially East Asia) in the twentieth century; his adviser is Professor Brooke Blower.

Patrick Browne earned his BA in English in 1994 and his MA in History in 1996, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After working nearly 20 years in the field of public history as executive director of a historical society and an accredited museum, he entered the Boston University PhD program in 2015. He is studying 19th century American history with Professor Nina Silber, with a particular interest in the history of reform movements before and during the American Civil War.

Alexis Buckley entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2012 after earning her BA in History from UT Austin in 2008. In the interim, she sailed tall ships and taught English in the Republic of Georgia. She is studying early American history with Professor McConville.

Daniel Burge studies twentieth century US history with Professor Bruce Schulman. After receiving his BA at the University of Puget Sound in 2010, Daniel entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2011. He primarily focuses on political and economic history, with a particular interest in the history of elections and voting behavior.

Agnes Burt received her BA from The Catholic University of America in 2011. She entered the MA/PhD program in 2013 under Professor Arianne Chernock. Her research interests focus on cultural history, memory, and gender in modern Britain, particularly during the Second World War.

Kristen Carey entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2013 after earning her BAs from the University of Montana in 2010.  She is studying African history under Professor Diana Wylie and Professor James McCann, with particular interest in economic, social, and political treatment of children in the post-colonial era. She is also interested in transnational history, focusing on the role of children in the evolution of warfare and human rights.

Christina Carrick entered the Boston University PhD program in 2011 after receiving her BA in History from the University of Indianapolis.  She is studying Colonial and Revolutionary American history with Professor Brendan McConville, and is particularly interested in Loyalists in the American Revolution.

Christopher Conz entered the PhD program in 2011. He earned his BS from the University of Hartford and a Master of Education from UMASS, Amherst. Chris taught courses in World and U.S. history at Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts before serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho from 2007-2010. With support from a Fulbright Grant in 2014-15, he conducted archival and oral history research in Lesotho, South Africa, and the UK for his dissertation which is titled Acquiring Environmental Knowledge: Interactions and Inequalities in Lesotho, 1880-1960s. This project examines a historical process by reconstructing specific interactions where rural Africans in disparate social positions acquired environmental knowledge, especially about agriculture. The dissertation encompasses his broader research interests in Southern Africa, Lesotho, environmental and agricultural history, knowledge, and social inequality. Professors McCann and Wylie are supervising his dissertation.

Andrew David entered the Boston University PhD program in 2009 after receiving a BA in history from BU in 2005 and an MA in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2006. He is working on topics relating to US foreign policy with Professor David Mayers. He is especially interested in Anglo-American relations in the twentieth century, the evolution of the National Security Council, and the foreign policy decision-making process.

Zach Fredman received his BA from the University of Arizona in 2003, and worked in China for five years before entering the PhD program in 2009. His dissertation, written under the direction of Andrew Bacevich, examines the U.S. military and Chinese society during the 1940s.

Jamie Grischkan entered the Boston University Ph.D. program in 2015 after earning her B.A. from Duke University in 2009 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2012. She previously practiced corporate law at an international law firm in Chicago. She will be studying 19th and 20th century American history with Professor Louis Ferleger, with a particular interest in American legal and economic history.

Dalia Haitayan entered the Boston University PhD program in 2014 after completing her BA and MA at Fresno State. She is studying 20th century U.S. history with Professor Schulman and is interested in the religious and political culture of the American West.

Elizabeth Hameeteman received a LL.B. from InHolland University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in 2008, after which she earned a BA in American Studies from the University of Groningen in 2011 and a MA in American Studies from Utrecht University in 2012. Prior to entering the PhD program in 2015, Elizabeth worked for several NGOs and in the legal department of a municipality in the Netherlands. She is studying U.S. environmental history with Professor Sarah Phillips, and is particularly interested in water resources and conservation in the American West.

Lilly Havstad is a PhD candidate in the Department of History and member of the BU African Studies Center. Prior to joining the program in 2010, she completed a BA in History at the University of California, Davis in 2008. She studied for one year at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College in Durban, South Africa, in 2006-2007. Since then, she has focused her studies on nineteenth and twentieth century southern Africa. For her dissertation, Lilly is researching changing foodways and the emergence of an African middle class in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, from the early twentieth century to present times. She is using food as a lens to explore social and cultural change in an urban setting. Lilly is particularly interested in understanding processes of cultural mixing and gender dynamics that have shaped Maputo’s middle class over time. Her fieldwork is supported by a 2014-15 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, the BU African Studies Center, and a BU Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship.  Lilly’s advisor is Professor Wylie.

Ryan Hendrickson

Aaron Hiltner  entered the Boston University PhD program in 2010 after earning his BA in history at Gustavus Adolphus College. He studies American transnational and urban history. His dissertation examines American port cities during World War Two, focusing on the interactions between soldiers, civilians, police, and politicians. His adviser is Brooke Blower.

David Hurlbut entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2014 after earning his BA in history from Lewis and Clark College in 2014. He is studying African history with Professor McCann, with a particular interest in the history of Christianity in West Africa.

Julie Keresztes entered the MA/PhD program with a BA in History from Amherst College. In the interim she worked at Amherst College as the Eugene C. Wilson Admission Fellow. She wrote her senior honors thesis on the history and culture of war photography in the context of World War II and the Holocaust. She has interests in modern European cultural and intellectual history, her advisor is Professor Jonathan Zatlin.

Jeanna Kinnebrew entered the Ph.D. program in 2015, after a decade spent as a development director for various nonprofit organizations. She holds an A.B. in History from Harvard University and a M.A. in History from Middle Tennessee State University. She studies the role of NGOs and foreign policy in the Cold War with Dr. Brooke Blower.

Krista Kinslow entered the Boston University Ph.D. program in 2011 after graduating from the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and History. She is studying nineteenth century United States history, specifically dealing with Reconstruction following the Civil War. Her advisor is Nina Silber.

Benjamin Kochan received a BS from MIT in 2006. Prior to entering the PhD program at Boston University in 2011, Ben spent five years working for a Boston-based seafood processor and distributor. His interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century U.S. environmental history, particularly the history of New England’s maritime industries. His advisor is Professor Sarah Phillips.

Kathryn Lamontagne received her BA at Providence College. She holds MA’s from Providence and the University of London. She has lived and worked in London for the past three years at both the Royal Household and BU Study Abroad. Kathryn’s dissertation is on Catholic feminism in Britain,1880-1914. Her advisor is Prof. Arianne Chernock.

Matthew Lavallee  entered the PhD program in 2014 after earning a B.A. in history at Boston University. Under Professor Louis Ferleger, Lavallee studies nineteenth century United States economic history with interests in Gilded Age labor, business, and politics.

Nina Martin entered the Boston University PhD program in 2013 after earning her B.A. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her M.A. from Georgetown University. She is studying 20th century American history with Professor Brooke Blower, with a particular interest in the transatlantic political culture of the 1930s.

Hannah Metheny entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2013 after earning her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary. She is studying 19th century American history with Professor Nina Silber, with an emphasis on women’s history, looking specifically at women’s relationship with the US government and the military.

Katie Moore received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2009 and her MA from Boston University in 2014. She works on early American history with Professor Brendan McConville and is completing a dissertation on money and value in North America before 1750.

David Olson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from McGill University. He has broad interests in international and global history. In 2008, he received a travel grant from the European Union Center of Excellence in order to pursue archival research in Europe. He entered the Boston University PhD program in 2009 and is studying transatlantic relations in the seventies with Professor William Keylor.

Philip Rotz received a BA in history from Eastern Nazarene College in 1999 and entered the PhD program in African history in 2010. From 2002 to 2010, he worked in public health programs in Southern Africa for the Harvard School of Public Health and the Clinton Foundation. Phil’s research interests are located at the intersection of environmental, health, and urban history. Guided by Professors McCann and Wylie, his dissertation explores mosquito-borne dengue fever and the evolving urban ecologies of Durban, South Africa, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His fieldwork is supported by a Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship (GRAF) from BU and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship.

Ryan Shaver entered the Boston University PhD program in Fall 2015. He obtained his BA in History from Rice University in 2012 and worked for Google for several years after graduation. Ryan is studying 19th century US History with Professor Nina Silber, with a focus on immigrant transnationalism.

Robert Shimp graduated from Marquette University in 2011 with a BA in both History and Broadcast and Electronic Communications. He is currently studying with Professor Brendan McConville in early American history. His major interests are in the development of American political history and diplomatic history in the early Republic.

David Shorten received his BA in History and Philosophy from NYU in 2011 and entered the PhD program in 2012. He is studying twentieth century American history under Professor Bruce Schulman with an emphasis on the intersection of business and politics.

Benjamin Twagira received his MA in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His MA thesis explored the history of state formation and centralization in pre-colonial Rwanda. He entered the Ph.D. program at Boston University in 2010 and is working with Professor Diana Wylie on a dissertation project that explores the history of Kampala.

Benjamin Welton received his BA from West Virginia University in 2010 and received his MA from the University of Vermont in 2013. He is studying 20th century American history with Dr. Bruce J. Schulman.

Sarah Westwood served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal before joining the Boston University MA program in 2007. She entered the PhD program in 2009, focusing on the social, political, and military history of West Africa and the Atlantic World. Her dissertation project, directed by Professor John Thornton, studies the development of martial race theory in the French colonial military and the formation of the tirailleurs sénégalais force. She is particularly interested in military culture and modes of warfare in pre-colonial Africa and the Atlantic world. Sarah is also a Visiting Scholar with the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University.

Chenguang Zhu studies nineteenth-century British history with Professor Arianne Chernock. He entered the Boston University PhD program in 2015 after receiving his BA in history and art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the same year. His researches focus on the material culture of the British Empire–how the transmission of artifacts and techniques in the empire influence the life and ideas of people in both Britain and other countries. He is particularly interested in the British museums, as well as the collection and display of exotic artifacts in the context of empire-building.