Graduate Student Accomplishments

Check out what our graduate students have been doing.

2019 Graduate Student Accomplishments

Brown, Thommy (M.A.) received the Outstanding M.A. Student for 2018-19.

Choi, Heeyoung (Ph.D.) successfully defended her dissertation, "The Transnational Construction of National Music (Kugak): Musicking in the Korean Diaspora, 1903-1945 (E. Taylor Atkins, director).

Darsie, Heather (M.A.) has published a book entitled Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King's 'Beloved Sister.'

Garcia, Victor (M.A.) received the Lunsford Fellowship for 2018-19.

Kwosek, Susan (Ph.D.) received the Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2018-19. She successfully defended her dissertation, "'Voodoo' in the Black Atlantic, 1804-1915," on July 31, and will take up a position at South Carolina State University in fall 2019.

Luginbill, Kevin (Ph.D.) received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award for 2018-19.

2018 Graduate Student Accomplishments

Choi, Heeyoung (Ph.D.) received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award for 2017-18. She has had papers accepted for presentation at the 9th World Congress of Korean Studies and the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies' 11th Annual Symposium.

Dressler, Nicole (Ph.D.) successfully defended her dissertation, "The 'Vile Commodity': Convict Servitude, Authority, and the Rise of Humanitarianism in the Anglo-American World, 1718-1809" (director Professor Aaron Fogleman), and will be a lecturer at College of William and Mary. She also received the James Shirley Prize for best essay submitted for publication by a graduate student ("'Enemies to Mankind': Penal Servitude, Authority, and Humanitarianism in the British Atlantic World").

Fleming, JoAnn (Ph.D.) received the Hugh Jameson Prize for best research essay in a graduate seminar ("The Campfire Girl and the American Girl").

Wojtkiewicz, William (M.A.) received the Outstanding M.A. Student for 2017-2018.

2017 Graduate Student Accomplishments

Alcalde, John (Ph.D.) received the Hayter Young Grant and the Large Grant for summer 2017 research.

Billings, Mathieu (Ph.D.) received NIU's 2016-17 outstanding dissertation award in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and education. Mat's dissertation was entitled "Potent Legacies: The Transformation of Irish and Irish-American Politics, 1815-45" (Sean Farrell, director). He is currently a full-time lecturer at the University of Indianapolis.

Bishop, Zachary (M.A.) has been hired as Curator of the Downers Grove Museum.

Burns, Ian (Ph.D.) received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award from the Graduate School in April.

Carlson, Chester David (M.A.) received the Outstanding M.A. Student Award for 2016-2017.

Chludzinski, Katrina (Ph.D.) is a visiting scholar at the University of Washington this spring. She received the Hayter Young Grant for summer 2017 research.

Choi, Heeyoung (Ph.D.) presented "Multi-Cultural Settings in Hawai`i during the Early 20th Century: An Analysis of the Balboa Day Festival" at the 2017 the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) annual conference in Limerick, Ireland. 

Dressler, Nicole (Ph.D.) received the Large Grant for summer 2017 research. She will receive a Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2017-2018 and a Dissertation Fellowship from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia, PA. Nicole has been selected to participate in the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy workshop in Mainz, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland.

Iverson, Justin (Ph.D.) received the Hugh Jameson Graduate Student Essay Prize.

Knezovic, Jana (M.A.) received NIU's Outstanding Women Student Award (Graduate) for 2016-2017.

LoSavio, JoAnn (Ph.D.) received the Rhoten Smith Assistantship for 2016-2017. She also received the Hayter Young Grant for summer 2017 research, and the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship for 2017-2018.

Luginbill, Kevin (Ph.D.) received the Large Grant for summer 2017 research.

Marach, Robert (Ph.D.) received the Large Grant for summer 2017 research.

Reynolds, Marc (Ph.D.) received the Large Grant for summer 2017 research.

Steward, Journey (Ph.D.) received the Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2016-2017. She received the Hayter Young Grant for summer 2017 research. Her article, "Prostitution" appeared in the International Encyclopedia of the First World War.

Stewart, Victoria (Ph.D.) accepted a tenure-track position at Northwest Florida State College starting in Fall 2017. She received the Large Grant and the Hayter Young Grant for summer 2017 research. Victoria presented a dissertation section to the Society for Military History Conference. She is also working on an M.A. in Political Science, with an emphasis on American Government. She defended her dissertation, "Conscripting Billy Yank and Johnny Reb: The Plight and Consequence of Conscription Dodgers, Disruptors, and Resisters," on May 18.

Terry, Kallen (M.A.) presented a paper at NIU's Southeast Asian Conference in March. She received a summer FLAS Fellowship to Cambodia, and a FLAS Fellowship for the next academic year.

Villaraza, Lily Ann (Ph.D.) defended her dissertation, "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: A Study of Aurelio Tolentino’s Articulation of Nationalism and Identity Through Theater in the Philippines During the American Colonial Period," in March 2017. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Philippine Studies Department at City College of San Francisco.

Graduated Spring 2017

  • M.A. - Chester David Carlson; Jana Knezovic; Nathan Rankin; Gregory Smith

Graduated Fall 2017

  • Ph.D. - Lily Ann Villaraza


The Historians Against Slavery NIU chapter is pleased to have received the national organization's start up grant this month. The grant will help us lead efforts on campus to raise awareness and inform activism concerning contemporary slavery.

2016 Accomplishments

Anderson, Christopher (M.A.) received the Outstanding MA Student Award for 2015-6. His article, "Native Americans and the Origins of Abraham Lincoln's Views on Race," has been published in the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (vol. 17, n. 1, Winter 2016, 11-29). He is working on his Ph.D. in History at the University of Illinois-Chicago in Fall 2016.

Knezovic, Jana (M.A.) received a University Fellowship for 2016-17.

Kroker, Molly (M.A.) is currently working at the prestigious Field Museum in Chicago.

Abel, Scott (Ph.D.) completed his dissertation under Dr. Jones and graduated December 2016.

Bates, Edward (Ph.D.) defended his dissertation, entitled "Disposable Labor: Urban and Rural Agricultural Migrants From the Monterrey Center Through the Nuevo Leon Corridor to San Antonio, 1915-1925," on March 28. Ed's dissertation was directed by Rosemary Feurer and Barbara Posadas. Ed currently teaches at College of DuPage.

Bereiter, Gregory (Ph.D.) passed his dissertation defense. Title: "Clerics in Arms: Militant Catholicism and Religious Violence in France, 1584-1598" March 24. Greg’s dissertation was directed by Brian Sandberg. Graduated May 2016. He is currently employed as an historian at the US Navy's History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C.

Billings, Mathieu (Ph.D.) completed his dissertation under Dr. Farrell and graduated December 2016.

Burns, Ian (Ph.D.) reviewed The National Library of Ireland's online exhibition, The 1916 Rising: Personalities and Perspectives, for Breac: An Online Journal of Irish Studies.

Dressler, Nicole (Ph.D.) received the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award for 2015-6. She received a research fellowship from the Library Company of Philadelphia, where she will spend the fall semester doing research for her dissertation.

Fulton, Robert (Ph.D.) presented a paper entitled "Building an Information Infrastructure: Complex Adaptive Systems and the Le Tellier War Department," at the 62nd annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies in March 2016.

LoSavio Fleming, JoAnn (Ph.D.) was accepted to, and will attend the Oral History Summer School in Chicago. She also received a FLAS Fellowship for Summer 2016 and will attend the Southeast Asian Studies Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study Burmese.

Luginbill, Kevin (Ph.D.) received a pre-dissertation fellowship from the North American Conference of British Studies. He completed some research in the United Kingdom this summer.

Marach, Robert "BJ" (Ph.D.) is currently working on a dissertation entitled "Textbooks and Traitors: A History of Patriotic Education After the Civil War."

Steward, Journey (Ph.D.) received a 2016-17 Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Sutrina-Haney, Katie (Ph.D.) defended her dissertation, "The Food Pyramid: Mexicans, Agribusiness, Governments, and Communities in the Midwest Migrant Stream," directed by Rosemary Feurer, on March 29. Katie is the university archivist at Indiana State University.

Graduated Spring 2016

  • M.A. - Christopher Anderson; Janette Clay; Justin Iverson; Molly Kroker
  • Ph.D. - Edward Bates; Gregory Bereiter; Katie Sutrina-Haney

Graduated Summer 2016

  • M.A. - Kyle Balzer; Kevin Wienke
  • Ph.D. - Robert Fulton

Graduated Fall 2016

  • M.A. - Rachel Hradecky
  • Ph.D. - Scott Abel; Mathieu Billings

2015 Accomplishments

Anderson, Christopher (M.A.) presented "The Gentile Brethren in Mormon Nauvoo" at the 17th Annual Conference on Illinois History in Springfield, IL, on September 24. Christopher passed his M.A. thesis defense. Befitting someone who did his research on Mormon-non-Mormon relations in the mid- to late-nineteenth century United States, Christopher is something of a pioneer in the department.

Avila, William "Buddy" (M.A.) received the bronze Career Services Internship/Co-op Student of the Year award for 2014-2015 for his work with the Flagg Township Museum, Rochelle, IL.  Buddy is working with the Glidden Homestead Museum, DeKalb IL.

Bereiter, Greg (Ph.D.) has accepted a position as Historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C. Greg has just published a chapter of his work. The details: "'Ils ne tendent pas à la défense de votre Église': Discerner l’opposition ecclésiastique à la Sainte Union," in Sylvie Daubresse and Bertrand Haan, eds., La Ligue et ses frontières: Engagements catholiques à distance du radicalisme à la fin des guerres de Religion (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015), 157-173.

Billings, Mathieu (Ph.D.) presented "'Our Country Right or Wrong': How the Priests and People of County Westmeath won the Election of 1826" at the Midwest meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse on October 10.

Brindle, Traci (M.A.) accepted a position as Chief Curator of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT.

Burns, Ian (Ph.D.) was elected graduate student representative for the American Conference for Irish Studies. Ian presented "'Black Sunday', 1914: Bachelor’s Walk and a Problem of Commemoration" at the Midwest meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse on October 10.

Choi, Heeyoung (Ph.D.) received a travel grant from the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Young Scholars Fund. The grant allows her to travel to the ICTM's annual meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan in July, where she will present her paper, "Influence of Performing Arts on Nationalism And Cultural Interaction Between Ethnic Groups: Music And Dance of Korean Immigrants in Hawai‘i during the 20th Century," at the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, on July 20, 2015. She presented two papers at the 2015 Teaching World Music Symposium held at the School of Music, Northern Illinois University (April 9-11, 2015). The presentations were entitled "Korean Nationalism and Cultural Interaction between Ethnic Groups in Hawai‘i through the Performing Arts: The History of the Halla Huhm Studio," and "Developing Online World Music Resources: A Web Design Framework."

Daniel Louis, Gerald (M.A.) is working on a Ph.D. in History at Queen's University, Belfast.

Dressler, Nicole (Ph.D.) presented a paper at the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750 - 1850," in High Point, North Carolina. The paper was entitled "The 'Most Humane and Effectual Punishment We Have': Moral Sentiment and the Eighteenth-Century British Convict Trade." Nicole passed her Ph.D. candidacy exams. Nicole published her review of Gwenda Morgan and Peter Rushton, Banishment in the Early Atlantic World in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Volume 82, Number 4, Autumn 2015, pp. 556-559. Nicole passed her Ph.D. dissertation prospectus defense. Nicole's dissertation is entitled "Morality, Convict Servitude, and the Rise of Humanitarianism in the Anglo-American World, 1718-88" (director: Aaron Fogleman).

Fulton, Robert (Ph.D.) received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2015-2016, one of seven awarded across NIU.

Hijar, Andres (Ph.D.) successfully defended his dissertation and received his Ph.D. His dissertation (Rosemary Feurer: director), entitled "Where is our Revolution? Workers in Ciudad Juarez and Parral-Santa Barbara During the 1930s," explores the ways that workers used various strategies to make the Mexican Revolution effective in their workplaces and communities in two areas of Chihuahua. Andres is a faculty member at Western Illinois University.

Jagel, Matthew (Ph.D.) successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Son Ngoc Thanh, the United States and the transformation of Cambodia" (Kenton Clymer, Chair). He was named the Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year for 2015.

Kroker, Molly (M.A.) presented her research at the annual graduate student conference at the University of Rhode Island on April 18th. Molly presented her paper, "Employing Confucianism to Direct Policy during Deng Xiaoping's 'Four Modernizations'" at Drew University's New Scholars Conference on June 6. 2015.

Kwosek, Susan (Ph.D.) was hired by Chicago State University to teach classes in the GSHAA (Geography, Sociology, History, African American Studies, & Anthropology) Department.

LaRocco, Alexa (M.A.) and Lovell, Michael (M.A.) were accepted as participants in the Newberry Library's workshop, An Introduction to Medieval Studies. Karen Christianson, the Associate Director for the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies, lauded both the quality of both applicants, underlining the competitive nature of the workshop selection process.

Lopez, Adam (M.A.) accepted a position as Program Coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Relations at Lake Forest College.

Louis, Gerald Daniel (M.A.) has begun the Ph.D., program at Queen's University Belfast under the direction of Dr Emma Reisz and Dr Ashok Malhotra. His research is "The East India Company and Transportation of Indian Convicts to the Straits Settlements, 1796-1857."

Lovell, Michael (M.A.) presented two papers at conferences in January and February. The first, entitled "Predestination, Grace and Free Will: Theological Thoughts and Tensions in Pseudo-Alcuin's Commentary on the Apocalypse," was delivered at The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies' Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. Michael also gave a paper entitled "Pseudo-Alcuin's Theological Reinterpretation of the Apocalypse: The Role of Predestination and Free Will" at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Illinois Medieval Association. Michael was named Outstanding M.A. Student of the Year for 2015, and attends the University of Tennessee for Ph.D. work in medieval history.

Nevins, Jennifer (M.A.) published "Standing Behind, Riding Astride: The Patriotic Order of Americans 1897-1924" in the Spring 2015 edition of the University of Toronto's journal Past Tense.

Revzan, Alex (M.A.) discovered previously unknown film footage of the 1915 Eastland Disaster in Chicago.  He received considerable media coverage with articles in the NIU Today and the Chicago Tribune in February 2015.

Schmack, Benjamin (M.A.) won the best graduate student essay award at the Mid-America American Studies Association. His paper was entitled, "'Denouncing the Masked Order’: Radicalism, Identity, and Dissent in the UWMA."

Steward, Journey (Ph.D.) gave an invited lecture entitled “Moral Reformers and Immoral Women: International ‘White Slave’ Trafficking at the Turn of the Century,” at the Hull History Center in Hull, Yorkshire, UK on October 13th.

Stewart, Victoria (Ph.D.) successfully defended her prospectus for a dissertation entitled "Conscripting Billy Yank and Johnny Red: The Plight and Consequence of Resisters, Dodgers and Disruptors." Victoria presentedher work at the Great Lakes History Conference at Grand Valley State University on October 9.

Villaraza, Lily Ann (Ph.D.) was elected chair of the Philippine Studies Department at the City College of San Francisco.

Wescott, Tracy (M.A.) was accepted to "Introduction to Medieval Studies," a workshop at the Newberry Library.

Graduated Spring 2015
  • M.A. - Ryan Broce; Wayne Duerkes; Scott Hanley; Adam Lopez; Benjamin Schmack; Isabelle Squires
  • Ph.D. - Matthew Jagel

Graduated Summer 2015

  • M.A. - Krista Albers; James Dewitz; Michael Lovell
  • Ph.D. - Andres Hijar

Graduated Fall 2015

  • M.A. - Samantha Bohlin, Gerald Daniel Louis