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 earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from Purdue University. His research revolves around archaeology, preservation, and American foreign relations. His advisor is Brooke L. Blower.
Charley Binkow studies 19th century social and intellectual history with professor Nina Silber. He entered the BU PhD program in 2016 after getting his BA in History from the University of Texas at Austin. He is interested in researching antebellum American arts, theater, and literature.
Patrick Browne earned his BA in English in 1994 and MA in History in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He entered Boston University’s PhD program in 2015 after nearly 20 years in the museum field. He is studying American antebellum and Civil War history with Professor Nina Silber.
Alexis Buckley entered the MA/PhD program in 2012 after receiving her BA in History from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her MA in 2014. She studies the religion and politics of colonial North America with Prof. Brendan McConville.
Daniel Burge studies twentieth century American 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. His dissertation explores the political economy of the savings and loans crisis from the Nixon to the Clinton Administration.
Agnes Burt graduated magna cum laude from The Catholic University of America in 2011 with a double major in history and English literature. She entered the PhD program at Boston University in 2013 where she studies under Professor Arianne Chernock. Her research focuses on society, women, and politics in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain.
Kristen Carey is a PhD candidate in history. She entered the program in 2013 after earning BAs in philosophy and political science at the University of Montana. Her research centers on youth and childhood in East Africa. Studying under Diana Wylie and James McCann, Kristen is beginning dissertation work that investigates changing conceptions of youth in Zanzibar.
Christina Carrick entered the BU PhD program in 2011 after completing her BA in History at the University of Indianapolis in 2010. She studies Early American History with Professor Brendan McConville. Her dissertation investigates the social and commercial correspondence networks created by Loyalist exiles during and after the American Revolution.
Joshua Castillo studies 20th century African political history with a focus on the independence period. He entered the PhD Program in 2016 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a BA in History. His advisor is Professor James McCann.
Andrew David entered the PhD program in 2009 after receiving a BA in History at BU and an MA in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Advised by Prof. David Mayers, his dissertation examines how Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy managed US foreign and defense policy and how Congress attempted to restrict their powers.
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 is 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. political history with Professor Schulman. She is particularly interested in the relations between evangelical conservatives and Latino immigrants in the post WWII years.
Elizabeth Hameeteman entered the PhD program in 2015. She studies U.S. environmental history with Professor Sarah Phillips, and is particularly interested in water issues and conservation in the American West. She holds a LL.B. from InHolland University of Applied Sciences, a BA in American Studies from the University of Groningen and a MA in American Studies from Utrecht University.
Lilly Havstad is a PhD Candidate writing a dissertation on urban food ways and the emergence of an African middle class in Maputo, Mozambique. Her dissertation fieldwork was supported by a 2015 Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Lilly entered the MA/PhD program in 2010 with a History BA from UC Davis (2008).
Aaron Hiltner entered the 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 and conflicts between soldiers, civilians, police, and politicians. His adviser is Brooke Blower.
Dima Hurlbut entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2014, after earning his BA in history from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He studies African history under James McCann, with a particular interest in the history of Christianity. His dissertation examines the history of Mormonism in Postcolonial Nigeria.
Jethro Israel entered the PhD program in 2016 after earning his BA in Africana Studies from Lafayette College. He is studying West African history with Professor John Thornton and is interested in precolonial Senegal.
Julie Keresztes entered the PhD program in 2013. She holds a BA in History from Amherst College. Her research interests include photography associations in Wilhelmine Germany and the social and political role of photography during the Weimar Republic and Third Reich. 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 PhD program in 2011, and her advisor is Nina Silber. She has a BS in Marketing and History from the University of Indianapolis. Her dissertation, “Contesting the Centennial” looks at the 1876 World’s Fair as a contested space following the Civil War and will be the first full-length study of that exhibition.
Benjamin Kochan received a BS from MIT in 2006. Prior to entering the History Department’s PhD program in 2011, Ben spent five years working for a Boston-based seafood company. His dissertation is on US and Canadian fisheries management policies in the twentieth century. His advisor is Professor Sarah Phillips.
Matthew Lavallee studies United States economic and political history. He entered the PhD program in 2014 after earning a B.A. at Boston University and studies with Professor Louis Ferleger. He published “Industrial Requiem: Management, Labor, and Investment at the Lowell Machine Shop” in the journal Labor History in 2015.
Nina Martin entered the Ph.D. program in 2013 with a BA in history from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in history from Georgetown University. She studies early twentieth century American transnational history, focusing on German-American political, cultural, and economic networks during and after World War I. Her advisor is Dr. Brooke Blower.
Hannah Metheny is a fourth year PhD candidate.  She studies 19th century US history with Prof. Silber, as well as gender studies and military history.  Currently, she is researching the experiences of women connected to the American Civil War during the post-war period.  She received her bachelors in History and Anthropology at the College of William and Mary in 2013.
Katie Moore entered the MA/PhD program in 2010 after receiving her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. She works with Professor Brendan McConville and is completing a dissertation on money and value in the English Atlantic World. Katie is a classically trained singer and member of the BU Symphonic Chorus.
Philip Rotz entered the PhD program in 2010. He earned a BA in history from Eastern Nazarene College (1999) and worked for nearly a decade in public health programs in Southern Africa. Phil’s dissertation explores mosquito-borne diseases and the evolving urban ecologies of Durban, South Africa. His advisor is Professor James McCann.
Ryan Shaver entered the PhD program in 2015 to study 19th century US history with Professor Nina Silber. He received his BA in history from Rice University, and worked for Google in the interim years. Research interests include nationalism, gender, and identity in the Gilded Age.
Robert Shimp is a Ph.D. candidate who joined the department in the Fall of 2011. He graduated from Marquette University in May 2011 with B.A. degrees in History and Broadcast and Electronic Communications. His dissertation explores John Quincy Adams’s Anglo-influences, and he is advised by Prof. Brendan McConville.
David Shorten entered the PhD program in 2012. He is an American historian specializing in twentieth-century business and political history under the direction of Bruce Schulman. His dissertation traces the relationship between the diplomatic power of American banks and the rise of neutralism in the era of World War I.
Ben Twagira is a doctoral candidate, and entered the program in 2010. He is interested in the history of urbanization in Africa with a special emphasis on social and cultural transformations in the twentieth century. In 2014 he won a Fulbright-Hays grant to conduct fieldwork research in Kampala. Ben’s dissertation project explores how urban residents of a Kampala neighborhood adapted to the changes that their city experienced after independence. Professor Diana Wylie is supervising his project.
Untitled Benjamin Welton joined the Boston University History Department in 2015. He received his B.A. at West Virginia University, while he received his M.A. at the University of Vermont. Currently, Mr. Welton is researching the history of American police reform during the Progressive Era under Dr. Bruce Schulman.
Sarah Davis Westwood entered the Ph.D. program in 2009; she studies the military and social history of West Africa and the Atlantic World. Her dissertation project, directed by Professor John Thornton, focuses on pre-colonial warfare, military culture, and slave identity in Senegambia, and the development of French martial race theory.
Jim Williams entered the PhD program in 2016. He received his BA from Grove City College and his MA from Kent State University. Currently, he is studying 19th century American religious and intellectual history with Dr. Jon Roberts.
Johnathan Williams entered the PhD program in 2016 after receiving his BA and MA from the University of Northern Iowa. He is studying modern US history under Bruce Schulman. His research focuses on the culture, politics, and social movements of the Reagan era.
Chenguang Zhu studies nineteenth-century British cultural history with Professor Arianne Chernock. He entered the PhD program in 2015 after receiving his BA in history and art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the same year. He is particularly interested in collections and displays in the context of empire-building.