News of Current Graduate Students

Two PhD students successfully defended their dissertations in spring 2015:

Bethany Harding, supervised by Kristen Foster, finished "'Breaking Up and Moving Westward': The Search for Identity in Post-Colonial America, 1787-1828."

Karalee Surface, under the direction of Tom Jablonsky, defended “In Harm's Way: Wisconsin Workers and Disability from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression.” Karalee was also the recipient of the Prucha-Theoharis Award for an outstanding PhD student.

Professional Activities by Current Graduate Students

Peter Borg delivered "Christianity at a Crossroads: Milwaukee's White Urban Churches in the Age of Suburbanization" at the Urban History Association Annual Conference in October 2014.

Alissa Condon presented “Equal Citizens in a Free State? A Summary of New Research on Irish Ex-Servicemen of the First World War,” at the American Conference for Irish Studies and Canadian Association for Irish Studies joint annual conference in June 2014 at University College Dublin.

Cory Haala participated in two academic conferences.  He gave "'Time for a NewMinnesota Leader': Mounting Left Wing Frustration with the DFL after 1944," at the Midwest Labor and Working-Class History Conference, University of Illinois-Chicago, and "Socialists for a New Generation: Educating Young Radicals in Duluth and Milwaukee amid the Great War," at the Northern Great Plains History Conference in Sioux Falls, SD.  Cory received his MA this spring and will enter the MU Phd program in the fall.

Mia Michael also delivered two papers this year: "Flight to Freedom: Soviet Jewish Émigrés' Visions of their American Future and Impressions of American Culture," at the History of the Future graduate student conference, Washington University (St Louis), and "Journey to America: A Comparison of Child and Adult Immigrant Perceptions and Experiences, "Loyola University History Graduate Student Conference.  Mia will enter the PhD program at Boston College in the fall; she was the recipient of the 2015 Prucha-Theoharis Award for Outstanding MA student.

Margaret Nettesheim-Hoffman gave "Mammon in the Temple of the Lord: Financial Management Practices at the New York Catholic Worker, 1959-1980,” at the American Catholic Historical Association Spring Conference at Xavier University.

Several graduate students gave papers at the Northern Illinois University Graduate Student History Conference in November:

Thomas Bouril, "Helpful or Harmful? The United Nations and the Angolan Civil War, 1975-2002.”

Matthew Costello, "Cultivators of Legend: Black Guides and White Tourism at Mount Vernon.”  Matt won the Best Conference Presentation award. 

Matthew Douglas, "Louis Maimbourg and his Histoire: Rewriting the Calvinist / Catholic Narrative on the verge of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.”

Ashley Meddaugh, "Britannia on the French Revolution: How Anna Seward and Frances Burney came to view the French Revolution and its Aftermath.”

Paul Sampson, “The Forgotten Frontier of Empire: The Hudson’s Bay Company in Western Canada”

Kelly Smale, "The United States’ Departure as Universal Defender of Democracyin the Vietnam War​”

A number of graduate students also gave papers at the Marquette University Graduate Student Humanities Conference in April, organized by Maggie Nettesheim-Hoffman, Michele Weber, and other History and English graduate students.  Check out the entire program at: [pdf of program]

Grants and Fellowships 

Alissa Condon received a Smith Family Fellowship and Peter Borg received a Schmidt Fellowship—both are competitive research fellowships awarded by the Graduate School.  Next year’s Departmental Teaching Fellows will be Aaron Hyams and Matthew Douglas.

The department instituted a new summer travel award for graduate students: the Casper Research Fellowships aim to facilitate archival research by our graduate students.  Two grants of $3500 each to PhD students and two grants of $1000 each to MA students were awarded.  Our first cohort of Casper Research Fellows are Michael Pulido (PhD candidate); Matthew Douglas (PhD candidate); Ashley Meddaugh (MA candidate); and Patrick Bethel (MA candidate).

Several students were awarded external fellowships and grants:

Matthew Costello was a Visiting Scholar at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Mount Vernon and received a grant for research at United States Capitol Historical Society.  Margaret Nettesheim-Hoffman received a travel grant to deliver a paper at the spring meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association, while Michele Weber received a German Historical Institute Doctoral Fellowship that funded research on her dissertation, tentatively titled “When does our Liberation Come? The Policing of Homosexuality in American Occupied Germany, 1945-1949”

Other Professional Activities by current graduate students:

Matthew Costello and Matthew Douglas gained certification in "Facilitating an Online Classroom" from Marquette’s Center for Teaching and Learning, while Claire Marshall earned a place in the "Word and Image in the Renaissance" Research Methods Workshop for Early-Career Graduate Students at the Newberry Library in Chicago.  Margaret Nettesheim-Hoffman was a Seminar Leader at Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program and Paul Sampson, was a "Peaceworks Instructor” at Fitzsimmons Boys and Girls Club and Notre Dame Middle School, sponsored through Marquette’s Peace Studies program. 

Maggie Nettesheim-Hoffman and PhD alum Jeff Ramsey are co-researching a history of the MacBeath Foundation, to be published in the Urban Life Series with Marquette University Press.

Graduate Alumni News

In addition to the following, check out the reports from PhD alums that have appeared on the department in the series Alumni@Work: Catching Up With Our Former Students.  [link to].

Marcus Bouterse (MA, 2014) is a lecturer in History at Concordia University-Wisconsin.

Christopher Chan (PhD, 2013) played a role in getting the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to restore the popular "Green Sheet" to its daily paper. Chris became a local expert in the Green Sheet whose back copies he assiduously studied--focusing on the advice column of Dr. Ione Quimby Griggs. Chris's interest came to the attention of the Milwaukee Public Library which developed a display on this Milwaukee icon. After the new Green Sheet appeared, Chris's expertise and interest were cited in an interview with columnist Jim Stingl. (Info provided by Steve Avella.)

Ricardo A. Herrera (PhD, 1998), an Associate Professor of Military History at the School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, published For Liberty and the Republic: The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861 (NYU Press:

Christine Holthus (MA, 2014) will be working with Teach for America as a 2015 Chicago corps member. She’ll be teaching Special Education (reading and history focus) at Hansberry Prep High School in Chicago.

Charissa Keup (PhD, 2013) has accepted a full-time position at Bishop’s School, an independent college preparatory Episcopalian day school located in La Jolla, a near San Diego.  She has also delivered papers at conferences sponsored by the Western Association of Women Historians and the Society for the History of Children and Youth.

Alyssa Klubeck (MA, 2014) is on a Dean’s Fellowship in the MFA program in drawing at Savannah College of Arts and Design.

Steve Leahy (PhD, 1994), is currently Associate Professor of History in the Center for Global Studies teaching at Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong Province, China.  He is researching the opposition to civil rights in Milwaukee 1958 to 1968 and textile manufacturing in the Chaoshan Region of China, 1919-1941.

Christopher Lyon (MA, 2014) is a History and Literature teacher at the Founder’s Classical Academy (Leander, Texas)

John McCarthy (PhD, 2006), is in charge of the Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans Oral History Project at Robert Morris University, where he received a promotion to full professor.  See more at

Adam Mertz (MA, 2011), currently a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois-Chicago, published “The 1974 Hortonville Teacher Strike and the Public Sector Labor Dilemma,” in the Wisconsin Magazine of History (Spring 2015).  This is a much-revised version of a paper he wrote at MU.

Jeff Ramsey (PhD, 2014) is a Student Services Specialist at Herzing University in Milwaukee and a lecturer at Bryant and Stratton College.

Craig Simpson (MA, 1996) is an archivist at Indiana University, where he curated a centenary exhibit on Orson Welles ( He has a co-edited book on the Kent State tragedy, which should be appearing next year.

Adam Stueck (PhD 2012) became Director of the White Pillars Museum at the DePere Historical Society.

McKayla Sutton (PhD, 2014) is Development Director and Grant Writer for Lutheran Counseling and Family Services of Wisconsin and an adjunct instructor for Marian University.

Nina Teresi (MA, 2014) is an adjunct lecturer at the College of St Francis (Joliet, IL) .

Daryl Webb (PhD, 2006), assistant professor of history at Cardinal Stritch University, published “There is no place in our institutions for radicals”: The Vietnam War on South Dakota Campuses, 1965-1973,” South Dakota History (Spring 2015).

Hannah Werner (MA, 2014) is a PhD student at the University of Illinois in Modern Britain and South Africa.

Hannah Zimmerman (MA, 2014) is social media coordinator at Long Grove Historical Museum in Kentucky.








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