Class of 2016

David Atkins

David Atkins is a second year graduate student in the History M.A. program from Salem, Virginia. He graduated with a B.S. in History and Social Science from Radford University in the spring of 2012. In May of 2014 David earned his Master’s degree from Florida State University in Library and Information Studies. He plans to study 20th century American history, specifically examining how scientific movements impact society. Upon completion of the M.A. program David hopes to work in an academic archive or special collections library.

 

Carmen Bolt

Carmen Bolt is a second year graduate student from Floyd, Virginia, working toward her M.A. in History with a certificate in Public History. She graduated with a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2014. Her area of research is Environmental History with a focus in disaster history. She has interned with several historical sites, including the North Carolina Museum of History and the History Museum of Western Virginia. Following graduation from the program, she hopes to continue working in the field of Public History, specifically in the sphere of museum curation.

Kevin "Tiny" Dawson

Kevin "Tiny" Dawson graduated from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2014.  While there he majored in History, minored in Political Science, and he earned the Military, Political, & Diplomatic option. Tiny has worked in the field of Public History at Colonial Williamsburg and Meadow Farm Museum. He has also worked in 19 historical films, often as an historical adviser. Tiny’s fields of interest lie in the following areas: the American Civil War, the United States Life Saving Service (1871 – 1915,) the Great War, and World War II. His current research is focused on “Dispelling the Myth of the ‘Ragged’ Rebel:’ An In Depth Survey of Photographs of Confederate Prisoners and Soldiers Killed in Action.” Tiny is interested in working in the field of public history, either in museums or at public history sites.

Sara Evenson

Sara Evenson is a 2010 graduate of Hartwick College with a dual B.A. in History and English, and is currently a second year student at VT. Prior to returning to school, she worked in interpretation, school programs, and public programs for the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum. She enjoys working with public audiences and hopes to return to museum education upon graduation. Her research interests include the cultural history of 18th century America and the Atlantic World, as well as early American foodways. She is working to complete a Public History Thesis as well as a Certificate in Public History.

Claire Gogan

Claire Gogan is a second year History Master's student from Silver Spring, Maryland. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Hood College, she worked in the Human Services field before returning to school to further pursue her academic interests. An aspiring cultural historian, her research interests include religious and social movements in the United States post-WWII, the history of American popular music, and oral history. After graduating, she hopes to enter an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program where she can pursue her dual interests in history and ethnomusicology.

Kate Good

Kate Good is a second year graduate student in the History M.A. program. Originally from Albany, NY, she graduated from VT with her History B.A. in 2011, completed an M.S. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Radford in 2013, and has now returned to her Hokie roots. Kate’s primary research interests involve the history of America in the Atomic Age, specifically the culture surrounding nuclear technology. Her current research thesis delves into the complex relationships between “nuclear optimism,” “nuclear fear,” and the Army Food Irradiation Program of the 1950s-1970s. Kate hopes to begin a career in curation, exhibit design, and restoration work after she graduates.

Faith Skiles

Faith Skiles, a graduate of Mary Baldwin College, is a second year graduate student pursuing a Master’s in History. Originally from Alabama, she now calls Floyd County, Virginia home. Faith’s research interests lie in East Asian history, specifically cross-cultural encounters between American women and Korean women at the turn of the twentieth century. Upon completion of the Master’s program, Faith plans to possibly seek a Ph.D. as well as explore writing opportunities in the historical field.

Class of 2017

Mason Alistock

Mason Alistock is a first year graduate student from Hot Springs, Virginia. He is on a dual-degree track for an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction and an M.A. in History with a certificate in Public History. He graduated with a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2015. His primary research interests include military history from the perspective of the homefront and socioeconomic historical studies. Following graduation from the program, he plans to go into education, hopefully at the collegiate level.

Kevin Caprice

Kevin Caprice is a first year graduate student from Sweetwater, NJ, pursuing his M.A. in History. He graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2014 with degrees in History and Education. Kevin’s historical interests include the American Civil War, with a specific focus on Civil War Memory. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Kevin hopes to go on to pursue his Ph.D.

Earl Cherry

Earl Cherry is a first-year graduate student in the History M.A. program from Comer’s Rock, Virginia. He graduated with B.A. degrees in both History and Classical Studies from Virginia Tech in 2015. His study interests include the history of colonial America, early U.S. history, and the history of educational equality in the U.S., as well as the influence of the Classics upon U.S. History. He works as a substitute teacher and hopes to pursue a career in education upon completion of his History M.A. and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Gavin Dawson

Gavin Dawson is a first year graduate student in the History M.A. and Public History certificate programs from Grit, Virginia. He graduated with a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2015. Though his historical interests vary significantly, he plans to focus on the early nineteenth century and the coming of the American Civil War, a particular interest on the global political stage. He has worked closely with several state and local historical sites, including Smithfield Plantation here in Blacksburg. Upon completion of the M.A. program, Gavin plans to work within the public history field developing educational programs for sites or museums.

Jonathan MacDonald

Jonathan MacDonald is a first year graduate student in the History M.A. program from Hampton, Virginia. He graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2014 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Philosophy & Religious studies. Jonathan’s research interests are in post-WWII American identity, society, and culture, with a particular interest in educational films. He hopes to pursue further graduate study after successful completion of the program.

Ricky Mullins

Ricky Mullins is a first year History Master's student, but a second year Ph.D. student in the School of Education at Virginia Tech in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on history and social studies education. Upon completion of his studies at Virginia Tech, Ricky will have earned an M.A. in history while simultaneously completing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Ricky is from Wise, VA, where he attended UVA Wise and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in History and a minor in Secondary Education. After graduation, he taught history and special education. While teaching, he received an M.Ed. degree from Liberty University in Administration and Supervision and became an assistant principal. Now, he has returned to school full-time to pursue his goal of becoming a professor. Ricky is particularly interested in African American education curriculum history, the value of visiting historical sites in teaching history, oral history, as well as the American West.

Jenny Nehrt

Jenny Nehrt is a first year graduate student in the History M.A. program from Winchester, VA. She graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in History. Her Senior Honors Thesis was titled “The Models of Masculinity: Youth, Gender, and Education in Fascist Italy, 1922-1939.” Her research interests pertain to historical currents of thought and frequently leans towards gender history. She is also pursuing the certificate in Public History because she is interested in how history is consumed outside of academia.

Daniel Newcomb

Daniel Newcomb is a first year graduate student from Monterrey, Virginia working towards a dual M.A. in both History and Curriculum and Instruction. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2013 with a B.A. in History and has completed various internships and fellowships at museums like Historic Deerfield, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and Historic Smithfield Plantation. His main research interests focus on early American history and he has published research in the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts Magazine, Philologia, titled “Stealing Themselves: Enslaved Virginians and Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation.” After graduation, Daniel plans to begin his career as a Social Studies teacher.

Nick Nowland

Nick Nowland is a first year graduate student in the History M.A. program from San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with a B.S. in Military History from the United States Air Force Academy in the spring of 2015. He plans to study Confederate partisans and their defense of southwestern Virginia. Upon completion of the M.A. program, Nick will attend Undergraduate Pilot Training.

J. B. Potter

J. B. Potter, a native of Central Virginia, graduated from Hampden-Sydney College 
with a B.A. in history in 2011. After serving as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and working as a translator in Mainz, Germany, he earned an M.A. in German through Middlebury College’s C.V. Starr School at Johannes Gutenberg-University. As an aspiring military historian, he explores the evolution of armed conflict in the modern age. To this end, the wars of United States and Germany form the backbone of his writing and research. With a Schwerpunkt that places strong emphasis on the Civil War and the Second World War, J.B. employs a comparative historical approach that crosses cultural and national lines. He is especially interested in mobile and armored warfare, observers and volunteers from foreign armies (e.g., officer attachés), military myths, and collective memory through the lens of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (coming to terms with the past). Upon completing his studies in Blacksburg, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

Rebecca Williams

Rebecca Williams is a first year History Master's student from Radford, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in History under the Social, Cultural, and Economic option. Her Senior Honors Thesis was titled “Winters of Content and Discontent: Factors in differing relations between the Corps of Discovery and Native Americans during the winters of 1804-05 at Fort Mandan and 1805-06 at Fort Clatsop.” Along with a fascination with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, her research interests involve the early American Republic and the history of its western frontier. She has held internships at the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia and the History Museum of Western Virginia, and currently works in Virginia Tech Special Collections. In addition to her Master’s, she is pursuing the certificate in Public History because she is especially interested in the means and growing potential, especially in a world of such technological advances, of presenting history to the non-academic community.