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Alumni and Careers

Graduate Alumni Spotlight

 

Beth Shalom Hessel

Beth Hessel PhotographBeth recieved her Ph.D. in history in 2015. Since earning her TCU degree, she has served as the Executive Director of the Presbyterian Historical Society and in May 2019 was named the Executive Director of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. The Athenaeum is an independent member-supported library and museum founded in 1814 to collect materials connected with the history and antiquities of America, the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge for public benefit. It is an important research facility for early American history, especially for the Philadelphia region for the period 1800-1945.

 

 

Career Diversity Resources

TCU, in cooperation with the American Historical Association, actively encourages graduate students to think about a wide variety of careers. A growing number of resources present creative options for graduates with the Ph.D. View information on resources here.

 

Meet our Graduates 

Dr. Jennifer McCutchen (TCU PhD, 2019) works as an Assistant Professor in the history department at University of Southern Maine. Dr. McCutchen completed her dissertation, “Gunpowder and the Creek-British Struggle for Power in the Southeast, 1763-1776” under the supervision of Dr. Alan Gallay.

Dr. Jessica Webb (TCU PhD, 2019) works as Program Coordinator for the TCU In- program at the Center for International Studies at TCU. Dr. Webb completed her dissertation, “Prostitution and Power in Progressive-Era Texas: Entrepreneurship and the Influence of Madams in Forth and San Antonio, 1877-1920” under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

Dr. Brady Winslow (TCU PhD, 2019) Dr. Winslow completed his dissertation, “Receptivity to Mormonism in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, 1830-1860” under the supervision of Dr. Alan Gallay.

Dr. Kallie Kosc (TCU PhD, 2019) works as a lecturer in the history department at TCU. Dr. Kosc completed her dissertation, “Daughters of the Nation: Stockbridge Mohican Women, Education, and Citizenship in Early America, 1790-1840″ under the tutelage of Dr. Alan Gallay.

Dr. Brennan Gardner Rivas (TCU PhD, 2019) works as a lecturer in the history department at TCU. Dr. Rivas completed her dissertation, “The Deadly Weapons Laws of Texas: Regulating Guns, Knives, and Knuckles in the Lone Star State, 1836-1930”  under the supervision of Dr. Gregg Cantrell.

Dr. Brooke Wibracht (TCU PhD, 2018) works as an Adjunct Professor in the history department at TCU. Dr. Wibracht completed her dissertation, “The Texas Fence-Cutting Wars, 1883-1937” under the supervision of Dr. Greg Cantrell.

Dr. Michael Burns (TCU PhD, 2018) works as an associate editor for the South Dakota State Historical Society. Dr. Burns completed his dissertation, “War and Nature in Northern Virginia: An Environmental History of the Second Manassas Campaign,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Brett Dowdle (TCU PhD, 2018) works as a historian and volume editor of the Joseph Smith Papers for the church history department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He completed his dissertation, “‘Beyond the Pale of Human Sympathy’: Utah and the Reconstruction of the American West, 1856-1890,” under the supervision of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

 

Dr. Lisa Barnett (TCU PhD, 2017) works as an Assistant Professor in the history department at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She completed her dissertation, entitled “The Politics of Peyote: The Construction of Religious and Racial Identities in the Creation of the Native American Church, 1880-1937,” under the tutelage of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Johnathan Engel (TCU PhD, 2017) completed his dissertation, “The Work and Experience of Company and Field-Grade Officers in the Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Andrew Forney (TCU PhD, 2017) completed his dissertation, “The Federalist Empire: The Search for Stability in the Revolutionary Atlantic,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith

Dr. Jamalin Harp (TCU PhD, 2017) works as a Lecturer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas. She completed her dissertation, “The Capital’s Children: The Washington City Orphan Asylum, 1815-1890,” under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Stevens.

Dr. Meredith May (TCU PhD, 2017) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. She completed her dissertation, “Building a Business in the Bayou City: Houston and Women’s Entrepreneurship, 1945-1977,” under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

Dr. Leanna Schooley (TCU PhD, 2017) works as the Executive Director of the Center for Texas Studies at Texas Christian University. She completed her dissertation, “Sightseeing in Texas, 1836-1916,” under the supervision of Dr. Gregg Cantrell.

Dr. Miriam Villanueva (TCU PhD, 2017) works as a history teacher at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She completed her dissertation, “A Cultural History of Panamanian Militarism, 1968-1986,” under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Szok.

 

Dr. Chad McCuthchen (TCU PhD, 2016) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. He completed his dissertation, “Born of Pumas and Lions: Cutlural Mestizaje in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1532-1650,” under the supervision of Dr. Susan Ramírez.

Dr. Ronald Douglas Burriss II (TCU PhD, 2015) works as a Personnel Supervisor at Amazon in Fort Worth, Texas. He completed his dissertation, “A Higher Calling: The Lives of Addison and Randolph Clark,” under the supervision of Dr. Gregg Cantrell.

Dr. Liz Elvira Huertas Castillo (TCU PhD, 2015) works as a Lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University . She completed her dissertation, “Clubs and Whistles: The Institutional and Social History of the Police in Lima, 1890s-1910s,” under the tutelage of Dr. Susan Ramírez.

Dr. David Grantham (TCU PhD, 2015) works as a Senior Fellow of National Security for the National Center for Policy Analysis. He completed his dissertation, “Remapping the Cold War: Argentine-Arab World Transnationalism, 1946-1973,” under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Szok.

Dr. Beth Shalom Hessel (TCU PhD, 2015) works as the Executive Director of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. She completed her dissertation, “‘Let the Conscious of Christian America Speak’: Religion and Empire in the Incarceration of Japanese Americans, 1941-1945,” under the supervision of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Robert Little (TCU PhD, 2015) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. He completed his dissertation, “Unfading Halo: The Untold Progressivism of Elihu Root,” under the tutelage of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Johnathan Steplyk (TCU PhD, 2015) works as an Adjunct Instructor at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He recently published Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat (Lawrence, 2018). He completed his dissertation, “Citizen-Soldiers and Killing in Civil War Combat,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Amanda Bresie (TCU PhD, 2014) works as an American History Teacher and the History Department Chair at the Greenhill School in Grapevine, Texas. She completed her dissertation, “By Prayer and Petition: The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament’s Mission of Evangelization and Americanization, 1891-1935,” under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

Dr. Elizabeth Sodek Moczygemba (TCU PhD, 2014) is a former Research Assistant at the Briscoe Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a former member of the Texas State Preservation Board. She completed her dissertation, “The Enduring First Lady of Texas: Ima Hogg’s Influence on Historical Preservation in Texas,” under the supervision of Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

Dr. Jessica Parker (TCU PhD, 2014) works as an Instructional Designer for the University of Arkansas Eversity. She completed her dissertation, “‘Bursting to Speak my Mind’: How Matilda Fulton Challenged the Boundaries of Womanhood in Frontier Arkansas,” under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca Sharpless.

Dr. Jeffrey David Wells (TCU PhD, 2014) works as an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Kearny. He completed his dissertation, “The Reform Press: The Journalists of the Farmers’ Alliance and People’s Party,” under the supervision of Dr. Gregg Cantrell.

Dr. Keith Altavilla (TCU PhD, 2013) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas. he completed his dissertation, “Can We Call It Anything But Treason?: Loyalty and Citizenship in Ohio Valley Soldiers,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Jensen Branscombe (TCU PhD, 2013) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. She completed her dissertation, “Clamping the Lid on the Melting Pot: Immigration Policy and the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1965-1986,” under the tutelage of Dr. Gregg Cantrell.

Dr. Rebekah Crowe (TCU PhD, 2013) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. She completed her dissertation, “Civis Americanus Sum: George Francis Train and the Meaning of Young America,” under the supervision of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Brenda Fields Davis (TCU PhD, 2013) works as a Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. She completed her dissertation, “‘A Company of Three’: Transatlantic Conceptions of Masculinity, Tourism, and the American West in the Early Nineteenth Century,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. Chris Dennis (TCU PhD, 2013) completed his dissertation, “The Nineteenth-Century Image of Louisiana,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. David Grua (TCU PhD, 2013) works as a Historian and Volume Coeditor of the Joseph Smith Papers. He recently published an award winning monograph, Surviving Wounded Knee: The Lakotas and the Politics of Memory (Oxford, 2016). He completed his dissertation, “Liabilities of Conquest: Wounded Knee and the Politics of Memory,” under the tutelage of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Sam Negus (TCU PhD, 2013) works as an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Oklahoma Weslyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He completed his dissertation, “‘Further Concessions Cannot Be Attained’: The Jay-Grenville Treaty and the Politics of Anglo-American Relations, 1789-1807,” under the tutelage of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. Miles Smith (TCU PhD, 2013) works as an Assistant Professor of Government, History, and Criminal Justice at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He completed his dissertation, “The Kentucky Colonel: Richard M. Johnson and the Rise of Western Democracy, 1780-1850,” under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Stevens.

Dr. Christopher Siekmann (TCU PhD, 2013) completed his dissertation, “Basta Ya!: Pan-Mayan Activism in the Twentieth-Century Guatemala,” under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Szok.

Dr. Justin Solonick (TCU PhD, 2013) works as the Social Studies Department Chair at Lakehill Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas. He completed his dissertation, “The Vicksburg Siege Considered as a Problem in Military Engineering,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Joseph Stoltz (TCU PhD, 2013) works as the Digital Historian at the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon. He completed his dissertation, “‘A Victory as never Crowned the Wars of the World’: The Battle of New Orleans in American Historical Memory,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. Steven Nathaniel Dossman (TCU PhD, 2012) works as a Naval Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy. He completed his dissertation, “Long March to Vicksburg: Soldier and Citizen Interaction in the Vicksburg Campaign,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Brook Poston (TCU PhD, 2012) works as an Assistant Professor of History at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He completed his dissertation, “James Monroe and his Historical Legacy,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. Laurence Bartlett, III (TCU PhD, 2011) worked as an Adjunct Instructor at Texas Christian University. He completed his dissertation, “Not Merely for Defense: The Creation of the New American Navy, 1865-1914,” under the supervision of Dr. Gene Allen Smith.

Dr. Blake Killingsworth (TCU PhD, 2011) works as the Vice President of Communications at Dallas Baptist University. He completed his dissertation, “‘Tis God that Afflicts You’: The Roots of Religion of the Lost Cause among Charleston Baptists, 1847-1861,” under the supervision of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Jacob Olmstead (TCU PhD, 2011) works for the church history department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a curator of historic sites in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Olmstead is one of nine curators, including specialists in a variety of academic disciplines, who engage in the important work of researching, preserving, and interpreting these historic places. His work includes traditional historical research and writing, but also historical interpretation for the public. Dr. Olmstead is part of a group that is helping to develop a strategic master plan for the Church’s approach to its historic sites for the next twenty years. . He completed his dissertation, “From Old South to Modern West: Fort Worth’s Celebration of the Texas State Centennial and the Shaping of an Urban Identity and Image,” under the supervision of Dr. Todd Kerstetter.

Dr. Robert H. Butts (TCU PhD, 2010) completed his dissertation, “An Architect of the American Century: Colonel Edward M. House and the Modernization of United States Diplomacy,” under the tutelage of Dr. Mark T. Gilderhus.

Dr. Will Kelly (TCU PhD, 2010) works as an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He completed his dissertation, “Nothing Has Happened Here: Memory and the Tlatelolco Massacre,” under the direction of Dr. Peter Szok.

Dr. José Carlos de la Puente (TCU PhD, 2010) works as an Associate Professor of History at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He is the author of Andean Cosmopolitans: Seeking Justice and Reward at the Spanish Court (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2018). He completed his dissertation, “Into the Heart of Empire: Indian Journeys to the Hapsburg Royal Court,” under the supervision of Dr. Susan Ramirez.

Dr. Paul Schmelzer (TCU PhD, 2010) completed his dissertation, “A Strong Mind: A Clausewitzian Biography of U. S. Grant,” under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Leah Tarwater (TCU PhD, 2010) completed her dissertation, “Where Honor and Patriotism Called: The Motivation of Kentucky Soldiers in the Civil War,” under the direction of Dr. Steven Woodworth.

Dr. Dallas Cothrum (TCU History Ph.D., 1999) is Executive Vice President of Masterplan, a consulting company that specializes in obtaining government approval for building, developing, and zoning issues in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Cothrum has provided consultation for Oncor on more than 50 electrical substations and switching stations throughout the state of Texas. He has also worked on drilling, pipeline and compression facilities throughout north Texas and provided representation for the Hunt Consolidated Headquarters and Rosewood Headquarters in downtown Dallas. He has served as a city council appointee to several city boards and commissions.

Dr. Dorottya Halász (TCU History Ph.D., 2000) is assistant professor of modern world history at the University of Miskolc, in Budapest, Hungary, where she teaches courses on twentieth century world history, fascism, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and American history. Her main research interests include Jewish and Holocaust history and also U.S. social history, with a special emphasis on the twentieth century. She has published on subjects pertaining to American social and diplomatic history as well as Jewish studies. Her most recent work deals with the Hungarian Holocaust and the U.S. Refugee Board in WWII.

Dr. James Garza (TCU History Ph.D., 2001) is associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a specialist on nineteenth century Mexico during the age of Porfirio Diaz and teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on Latin American history, Chicano/a history, Mexican history, and the history of borderlands. In 2008, the University of Nebraska Press published his book, The Imagined Underworld: Sex, Crime and Vice in Porfirian Mexico. He serves as the program director for nineteenth century studies, program liaison for Latino and Latin American studies, and is assistant director for the Latino Research Initiative.

Dr. Steven Bunker (TCU History Ph.D., 2006) is associate professor of history at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Dr. Bunker specializes in the history of modern Mexico and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Latin American history, Mexican history, and U.S. relations with Latin America. His research interests include modernity, material culture, consumption, economic, and business history of Mexico and Latin America. The University of New Mexico Press published his book Creating Mexican Consumer Culture in the Age of Porfirio Diaz, 1876-1911 in 2012. Through case studies of tobacco marketing, department stores, and advertising, the book provides a colorful walking tour of daily life in Porfirian Mexico City.

Dr. David Coffey (TCU History Ph.D., 1999) is Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He teaches courses on United States history in the antebellum period, the Civil War, and Latin American history. He served as Chair of the department of history from 2003-2006 and as dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts from 2006-2010. Dr. Coffey is the author of Sheridan’s Lieutenants (2005) and is currently coediting a projected six-volume Encyclopedia of American Military History. In addition to writing and editing several books on Civil War and military history, the University of Tennessee at Martin has recognized him as the featured scholar and awarded him the Cunningham Teacher/Scholar.

Dr. Jennifer Royer (TCU History Ph.D., 2009) and Dr. Carrie Cothrum (TCU History Ph.D., 2009) are cofounders of Success Quest Academic Advocates, an educational consulting agency. Drs. Royer and Cothrum work with students and their families to help students succeed in an increasingly diverse and competitive college market.

Dr. Dana Cooper (TCU Ph.D., 2006) is associate professor of history and coordinator of gender studies at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Dr. Cooper teaches courses on United States history, women’s history, history of gender, and U.S. diplomatic history. In the process of finishing her PhD at TCU, she completed a certificate in women’s studies. She has published widely in the fields of women’s history and has completed a book manuscript on transatlantic marriages and Anglo-American relations between 1865 and 1945. She is currently working with Claire Phelan (TCU History Ph.D., 2008) of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on an edited volume on the topic of women and war.