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Alumni News

It’s always great to hear from our alumni and what they are doing with their history degrees! Catch up on some news from our former students:

Alumni News:

Glen Bowman (MA 1992), was named one of the winners of the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Glen is a Professor of History at Elizabeth City State University and earned his PhD in history from the University of Minnesota.

Fabio Capano (PhD 2014), published an article: “Fighting for Trieste: Nationalism and Political Violence at the Edge of the Iron Curtain,” Journal of Modern Italian Studies 21 (4) (2016): 599-622. Fabio is Assistant Academic Director of the International Accelerator Program at American University in Washington DC.

Joel Christenson (PhD 2013), started a new position as Deputy to the Historian, Office of the Historian, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2017-present. Previously, Joel worked in the Historians Office at the Department of State from 2015 to 2017, and before that as a Historian in the Office of Secretary of Defense from 2013 to2015.

Chelsea Elliott (MA Public History 2016), interned last summer at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C, where she worked with exhibitions and visitor services, assisting in the development of a new temporary exhibit on the Vietnam War to coincide with the release of filmmaker Ken Burns’ documentary, “The Vietnam War”. Chelsea also accepted a contract position with WW2 History Archive based out of Harpers Ferry, WV. Chelsea has been hired to compile oral history interviews into a visual book with edited text, photos and other WWII related art.

David E. Goldberg (PhD 2013), published his first book: The Retreats of Reconstruction: Race, Leisure, and the Politics of Segregation at the New Jersey Shore, 1865-1920, (Fordham University Press, November 2016). In 2016, David was also hired as an Assistant Professor of History at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

Jacob Ivey (PhD 2015), was offered a permanent position as Assistant Professor of History in the School of Arts and Communication at the Florida Institute of Technology, starting in fall 2017. For the past two years he has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida Tech.

Beth (McMullen) Didiano (MA Public History 2012), became the first full-time Executive Director of the Reston Historic Trust and Museum in Reston, VA. Formerly she served as the Senior Development Manager at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburg, PA where she was responsible for fundraising through grants, individual and corporate donations, memberships, and special events. Prior to that, Beth was the Executive Director of the Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum in Lewisburg, WV where she was engaged in all aspects of running a historical society and house museum–from educational programs and tours, to marketing and fundraising, to preservation and construction projects.

Greg Michna (PhD 2016), accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of History at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR, starting in fall 2017. Greg will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in history.

Nilanjana Paul (PhD 2016), was hired as an Assistant Professor of History (World History with Special focus on South Asia) at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in fall 2016.

Jay Smith (PhD 2015), has accepted a full time position as an Assistant Professor of History at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV. Jay will begin this fall 2017.

Jinny A. Turman (PhD 2013), published an article: "Green Civic Republicanism and Environmental Action against Surface Mining in Lincoln County, West Virginia, 1974-1990,” Journal of Southern History 82, no. 4 (November 2016). Jinny is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in Kearney, NE.

Alex Villaseran (MA Public History 2016), has been hired by the National Archives and Records Administration in a permanent position beginning in July, 2016.  This is the second WVU public history student that NARA has hired!  

Godriver Wanga-Odhiambo (PhD 2010), published her second book: The Political Economy of Sugar Production in Colonial Kenya: The Asian Initiative in Central Nyanza (Rowman & Littlefield, Lexington Book, July 2016). Godriver is an Assistant Professor of History at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

Evanson Wamagatta (PhD 2001), published his book: Controversial Chiefs in Colonial Kenya: The Untold Story of Senior Chief Waruhiu wa Kung’u, 1890-1952 (Rowman & Littlefield, Lexington Books, 2016). Evanson is an Associate Professor of History at Biola University in La Mirada, CA.

Blake Perkins (PhD 2014) was named chair of the History Department at Williams Baptist College in Arkansas. Also, his book, Hillbilly Hellraisers, is scheduled for release from the University of Illinois Press on September 15.