Current Graduate Students

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Photo: Elena  Backus Y Herrera

Elena  Backus Y Herrera

MA Student - email

Education: Bachelor of Arts in United States History from Whittier College, Whittier, California.

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: American West History, Museum Studies 

Photo: Carter Barnwell

Carter Barnwell

PhD Student - email

Education: BA-The City College of the City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.), Political Science; MA-C.U.N.Y., Modern European History

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Modern Europe; The Spanish Second Republic and Civil War; Intellectual and Cultural History Notable Awards: Fulbright Research Award, 2021-2022; Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) PhD Fellow, 2019-2020; LAII PhD Fellow, 2022-2023

Photo: John Behnken

John Behnken

MA Student - email

Education: 2. B.A., English Secondary Education, Minors in History and Religious Education from Concordia University, Texas.

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Late Medieval Byzantine History, Black Sea Studies, Religious iconography, Socioeconomics of the Balkan Slave Trade, and their transmission across the Mediterranean.

Photo: Gina Benavidez

Gina Benavidez

PhD Student - email

Education: MA-Georgia Southern University, History MAT-Armstrong State University, Secondary History BA-University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, History and Humanities

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Modern Europe, Spanish Civil War-Interwar Period, Gender and Sexuality, Politics and Antifascism

Photo: Rachael Cassidy

Rachael Cassidy

PhD Student - email

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Rachael Cassidy is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History where she specializes in Indigenous history and methodologies, urban Native history, memory studies, oral history, and public history. She was the first Native person to serve as the Managing Editor of the New Mexico Historical Review during the journal’s 95-year publication history. Her dissertation explores the social history of Native residents of Washington, D.C., including Indigenous diplomats and their relatives, activists, federal employees, and local tribal nations. Rachael’s background in filmmaking will contribute to an interactive website that will share her research and primary sources with wider audiences. This public history style digital space will include short, edited videos that feature individuals, organizations, and locations. Rachael’s decade of public history experience includes initial educational program development at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington D.C., and living history interpretation at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Photo: Meghann Chavez

Meghann Chavez

PhD Student - email

Education: : M.A. Florida International University, Public History. B.A. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, History and Economics

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Modern Latin America, politics and economy. 20th Century Chile; female entrepreneurship; women’s labor; business regulations; gender and beauty standards; women’s political activism.  

Photo: Jessica Cochran

Jessica Cochran

PhD Student - email

Education: B.A. German and Japanese with minor in Professional Writing, Elizabethtown College/ M.A. German, University of Wisconsin-Madison/ M.A. History, University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Medieval Europe, Paleography and Codicology,  Manuscript Studies, Material Culture,  the Animal Turn, Frontiers and Borderlands, Intersections of Magic and Faith, Indigenous History, History Pedagogy, Museum Studies  

Photo: Janet Coen

Janet Coen

MA Student - email

Education: B.A. English Studies University of New Mexico, B.A. History University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: American West, race relations

Photo: Candolin  Cook

Candolin  Cook

PhD Student - email

Education: BS Southern Oregon University, MA University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: US West, myth and popular culture, borderlands, race, public history

Photo: Katie Despeaux

Katie Despeaux

MA Student - email

Education: BA in French and Psychology from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland; MS in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland; currently dual-enrolled in the French and Francophone Studies MA program at UNM

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Late medieval Europe, especially the Mediterranean and the role royal women played in politics, cross-cultural interactions, and responses to trauma; obedience to sovereignty between the late medieval and early modern periods transition; uprisings and societal changes in these time periods; and the role of art in demonstrating cross-cultural interactions, political upheavals, and responses to trauma

Photo: Marvin Dominguez

Marvin Dominguez

MA Student - email

Education: B.A., History, minor, Anthropology, Texas A&M International University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: 19th Century Mexico, Second Mexican Empire, International relations between Mexico and U.S. 

Photo: Zonnie M. Gorman

Zonnie M. Gorman

PhD Student - email

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Native American/U.S. West, Native Masculinity and War, 20th Century U.S. Military History, WWII

Photo: Joseph Paul Hall-Patton

Joseph Paul Hall-Patton

PhD Student - email

Education: B.A. University of Nevada, Las Vegas; M.A. California Polytechnic State University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: American West, American violence, local history, public history

Photo: Adam Hamlin

Adam Hamlin

MA Student - email

Education: Bachelors in Secondary Education with Concentration in History from UNM

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: United States History, History in K-12 Education, Influence of Politics on Historical Record and Education

Photo: Emily Heimerman

Emily Heimerman

PhD Student - email

Education: Villanova University - M.A. in History (Concentration: Medieval Europe); University of St. Thomas – B.A. in History with a minor in Theology

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Medieval European history (14th century), the Black Death, and greater themes of crisis, trauma, death and dying, religion, material culture, art history, and society.   

Photo: Louis  Huning

Louis  Huning

MA Student - email

Education: B.A. History University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: U.S. West 

Photo: Brett Janos

Brett Janos

PhD Student - email

Education: B.A. - History - University of West Florida M.A. - History - University of Texas at Austin J.D. - Litigation - Western Michigan University Cooley Law School

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests:  U.S. History, U.S. Immigration History, Race and Ethnicity, Immigration Law.  Working Dissertation Title:  “Americans Face Migration:  A Comparative Study of State Immigration Policy by Region, 1865-1925.” Dissertation Adviser:  Dr. David Prior

Photo: Barbara Korbal

Barbara Korbal

PhD Student - email

Education: M.A. Purdue University, American Studies; B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison, English and Theatre (Double Major)

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: U.S. History; Gender, Sexuality, Race and Class Formation and Social Protest in the U.S.; Feminist Studies; Archive Theory and Practice

Photo: Steven R. Kostelecky

Steven R. Kostelecky

PhD Student - email

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Modern U.S. History: Radio, Politics, and Culture

Photo: Ryan  Kulcak

Ryan  Kulcak

MA Student - email

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas A&M University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Colonial Latin America/New Spain, race and ethnicity, syncretic African religious practices.

Photo: Leah Lam

Leah Lam

MA Student - email

Education: B.A University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Medieval History, Mediterranean History, Piracy, Slavery, Socioeconomics, Religious identity, and Politics and Foreign Relations.  

Photo: Sean Lausin

Sean Lausin

MA Student - email

Education: B.A in History and B.S in Spanish from Ferris State University, Michigan

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Latin American and U.S Cold War History as well as U.S Imperialism

Photo: Grace Leishman

Grace Leishman

PhD Student - email

Education: BA International Studies (Conflict, Peace, & Diplomacy; Europe; Spanish), magna cum laude, minor in History from UNM; MA History, with distinction from UNM

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: United States, twentieth century, the Long and Global 1960s, Black Power, the modern Civil Rights Movement, rock music studies; Race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

Photo: Alexander Marx

Alexander Marx

MA Student - email

Education: B.A. University of Heidelberg, Germany, American Studies; M.S. University of New Mexico, Geography

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: German History of the US West and Southwest, Early American History, US West and Southwest, Westward Expansion, US Military History

Photo: Richard Maska

Richard Maska

PhD Student - email

Education: MA, the University of Chicago (2018) BA, Lewis University (2017) AA, Joliet Junior Collect (2014)

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: North American Borderlands, U.S. and Canadian West, Indigenous History, Gender, Military History, Space and Movement, Capitalism.  

Photo: Dylan Maynard

Dylan Maynard

PhD Student - email

Education: B.A. Monmouth University; M.A. New York University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Argentina and Central America; Cold War Militaries; International Counterinsurgency Networks; and Gender & Sexuality.

Photo: Chase H. McCarter

Chase H. McCarter

PhD Student - email

Education: M.A. University of Alabama, History; B.A. University of Alabama, History

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Confederate Expatriation Movement; Nineteenth Century U.S. South; U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction; Transnational History; Affective History  U.S. to 1877/Race and Ethnicity

Photo: Kathy McCully

Kathy McCully

MA Student - email

Education: AA in Liberal Arts, AA in Pre-Management, BA in History and Anthropology, BA in Spanish and Chicano Studies.

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: U. S. West History, New Mexico History Finishing up my Master's Thesis on 20th Century Abiquiu, New Mexico.  It is a oral history work on this small NM town.  

Photo: Edrea Mendoza

Edrea Mendoza

PhD Student - email

Education: M.A. Louisiana State University, History, B.A. University of Denver, History

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Latin America; 20th Century Latin America; Cold War; Mexico; State Making; Reproductive Choice; Family Planning; Sex Education; Dissertation Title: “'Planificar es cuestión de querer': Sex Education, Family Planning, and Women’s Reproductive Health in Cold War Mexico"  

Photo: Todd Morrison

Todd Morrison

PhD Student - email

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Historical archaeology, Late Antiquity, Celtic and Germanic peoples, the Early Middle Ages, Medieval and Early Modern Britain, and Eurasian nomads

Photo: Ethan Ortega

Ethan Ortega

PhD Student - email

Education: B.S. in Anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University; M.S. in Museum Studies from the University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: U.S. West; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communities; Gender and Sexuality; Identity; Cultural History; Oral History; Interdisciplinary Research.  

Photo: Erin Ostlund

Erin Ostlund

MA Student - email

Education: M. Ed. The College of St. Scholastica; B.S. Spanish Education, B.S. Social Studies Education with emphasis in History, B.A. Latin American Studies, Minor in Political Science, St. Cloud State University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Modern Latin America, Cold War Latin America, United States and Latin American Relations, Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, Immigration and Migration in the United States 

Photo: Marcellina Padilla

Marcellina Padilla

MA Student - email

Education: BA University of New Mexico Double major in History and Chicano/a Studies

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: 20th century U.S history. Focused primarily on the intersections of social movements, race, ethnicity, and major U.S. involved military conflicts of the 20th century. My area of interest also encompasses modern military history, veterans' lives and experiences, war and society, Mexican-Americans in the U.S. West and Southwest 

Photo: Brie Partida-Castillo

Brie Partida-Castillo

MA Student 

Education: B.A. Beloit College, History and Spanish

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: US West, US History focusing on Black, Native, and Latinx experiences, Environmental History, Gender, and Borderlands History. 

Zachary Perez

MA Student - email

Education: BA - University of New Mexico (2021) Double Major in History and Political Science, Minor in Classics, with a focus on Latin

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Roman Republic, Early Roman Empire, Anglo-Saxon England, Early Middle Ages in Western Europe, with an interest in Paleography and translating Latin  

Photo: Marisa Pickett

Marisa Pickett

MA Student - email

Education: B.A. German with a minor in Microbiology, Texas State University, 2018 M.A. German, University of New Mexico, 2021

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Europe 1815-present. Post-1945 history, cultural history, social history, African Diaspora studies, Black history, decolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, political activism, and forms of resistance. My area of study is the historical presence of Black/People of Color (PoC) in Central Europe, specifically in German-speaking countries. I also study the evolving perceptions of Blackness over time in the greater European context, from colonialism to the present. My thesis for German Studies (2021) unveiled anti-Black rhetoric in the German concept of ‘Heimat’ through investigating the documentary film Roots Germania, historical literature, and scholarly texts. My current thesis is a trans-cultural inspection of Black Art and Activism in Britain and Germany in the 1980s. I hope to utilize this research to combat the antithetical perceptions of European, specifically German, "culture" and question traditional concepts of "belonging" as Black/PoC in a traditionally white space.    

Photo: Carlyn N. Pinkins

Carlyn N. Pinkins

PhD Student - email

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: U.S. since 1877, Race and Ethnicity, 20th Century American Indian History, African -Americans in the Southwest

Photo: Laura Powell

Laura Powell

PhD Student - email

Education: BA Towson University, MA University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Latin America, race & ethnicity, colonial period & the 19th century

Photo: Andrej Radic

Andrej Radic

PhD Student - email

Education: B.S. University of California, Chemistry; M.A. San Diego State University, History

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Politics and Economy, War and Society, Race and Ethnicity

Photo: Sierra  Ramirez

Sierra  Ramirez

PhD Student - email

Education: MA in History, University of Texas at San Antonio; BA in History, University of Texas at San Antonio

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Western United States; Twentieth-century Indigenous sovereignty, land tenure, borderlands, & resistance; gender; environmental history; decolonial and critical Indigenous methodologies 

Photo: Anna Reynolds

Anna Reynolds

MA Student - email

Education: B.A., History and Political Science, minor in Gender Studies Lindenwood University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: The intersection of popular culture and reproductive history in 20th century US

Photo: Mari Rochelle

Mari Rochelle

MA Student - email

Education: University of New Mexico - BA in History and Political Science, National Security and Strategic Analysis Certificate; Community College of the Air Force - AAS in Communications; IC-CAE - Critical Technologies Studies Certificate.

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Drawing on her military experience and undergraduate studies in the history and politics of Cold War and post-Cold War Europe and Russia, including the Impact of NATO expansion on Russia’s relations with the West, Mari's graduate-level focus is Europe’s post-Cold War geopolitical and cultural aftermath into the 21st century;  the history of Intelligence Collection and organizations; Aerospace History and Policy (including the gender divide and role of the American West).  Mari is concurrently working on a Professional Master of Science in Global and National Security, examining the national security and policy implications of space-based weapons developments, as well as the continued impacts of the Post-Cold War era on political, military, and economic stability in Europe.  Mari is an active scholar in UNM’s IC CAE National Security and Critical Technologies Studies Program (NSSP/CTSP).

Photo: Mateus Santos

Mateus Santos

PhD Student - email

Education: M.A. Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil); B.A. Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil)

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Public history, digital humanities and Latin America. YouTube link to Mateus's

Photo: Angela Stevenson

Angela Stevenson

PhD Student - email

Education: MA History, New Mexico State University; Master's of Secondary Education (M.Ed.), Eastern New Mexico University; BA History, BA Anthropology with a minor in Religious Studies from New Mexico State University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests:  U.S. West, Gender. Memory of the American Civil War and Reconstruction.   

Photo: Benedict Talley

Benedict Talley

MA Student - email

Education: B.A. in History and East Asian Studies (Japanese Concentration), UNM 2019

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Meiji Era Japan, Late 19th and Early 20th century America, Intellectual History, Transnational History  

Photo: Jacquelyn Truitt

Jacquelyn Truitt

MA Student - email

Education: Currently dual-enrolled in History and Museum Studies MA programs; BA History and Archaeology, Museum Studies Minor, UNM; AA Anthropology, CNM

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: The Viking Age, medieval Scandinavian and Nordic history, food culture, feasting and ritual, material culture, archaeology, public history, interpretation, collections management, provenance research, and interdisciplinary collaboration.  

Photo: Joseph Ukockis

Joseph Ukockis

PhD Student 

Education: M.A. Northern Arizona University; B.A. University of Arizona

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Nineteenth century U.S. Southwest and Borderlands; New Mexico history; Native history; colonialism, land, and resistance; bordertowns and policing; interdependence and relationality.

Photo: Marie  von Haas

Marie  von Haas

PhD Student - email

Education: MA University of Colorado, Denver, Global History, American West BA University of Colorado, Denver , International Studies

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests:  Research interests are focused on the Japanese within broader matrices of the American West and the United States. She also studies U.S. History,  World War I & II,  Japan’s history, and Immigration. Her M.A thesis drew from the experiences of her mother, a “Japanese War Bride” and herself, an “Occupation Baby” post-WWII. 

Photo: Taren-Layne Warfield

Taren-Layne Warfield

MA Student - email

Education: BA in History, University of New Mexico, AA in Liberal Arts, University of New Mexico

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: US History, US West. My area of study focuses on the history of people with disabilities in pop culture along with the history of activism for those with disabilities within the United States. 

Photo: Allison Wheeler

Allison Wheeler

MA Student - email

Education: BA in Spanish and History from Centre College

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Latin America, Immigration and asylum seeking, Andean history, Gender and sexuality

Photo: Ariel  Wiebe

Ariel  Wiebe

PhD Student - email

Education: B.A. in history, North Greenville University, M.A. in history, Liberty University

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Twentieth-century U.S. history, with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, citizenship, and the interaction between Western and non-Western cultures.

Photo: Kory Williams

Kory Williams

PhD Student - email

Education: B.S. Eastern New Mexico University. History major, English minor M.A. Midwestern State University. Concentration: Ancient and Medieval Europe

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Europe in the Early and High Middle Ages; prostitution, human trafficking, cross-cultural and interreligious connections/relationships, gender and sexuality, power, Beyond Exceptionalism.

Photo: Cassidy Zachary

Cassidy Zachary

PhD Student - email

Education: BFA in Design and Technology, University of New Mexico, MA in Fashion and Textile Studies, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

Area and Thematic Fields/Interests: Fashion, Race, Gender, and Embodied Identity;  North American Borderlands, U.S. West