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Washington State University
History | Current History Graduate Students

Jordan Bergstrom

Doctoral Student


Jordan is a second year Doctoral Student studying under Dr. Matthew Sutton. Jordan is a historian of twentieth century social and political history from a transnational perspective. His areas of research include American foreign policy, formation of political identities, and radical political ideologies. Jordan earned BA’s in history and political science from Central Washington University in 2012. After a short time off, he returned to Central and earned an MA in history in 2015. Jordan’s MA thesis, entitled The Rise and Fall of the Minnesota Middle Ground: Henry Hastings Sibley and the Ethnic Cleansing of Minnesota, focused on the Dakota War and tracked the changing racial identities and racial attitudes of white Europeans and Americans in opposition to Native Americans that ultimately led to the attempted ethnic cleansing of the state. After his first round of graduate school Jordan earned an internship with the SCA and worked as a historian of Russian Empire and Native Alaskan Tribes for the National Park Service at Sitka National Historical Park in Sitka, Alaska. Jordan then took a position with Washington State Department of Correction as a Community Corrections Officer from 2016 – 2019 before returning to academia.

Ryan W. Booth

PhD Candidate

Curriculum Vitae

Ryan W. Booth, ABD, teaches at the WSU Vancouver campus and is a doctoral candidate in the history of the American West working with Dr. Boag.  Booth entered the program in the fall of 2016.  His research focuses on Native Americans and their interactions with the U.S. military.  Booth’s dissertation explores the history of the U.S. Indian Scouts from 1866 to 1947 in the US West and its imperial implications at the turn of the twentieth-century.  He holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago (BA 2001, cum laude) and Central Washington University (MA 2011).  Booth worked previously for the Society of Jesus Oregon Province, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and for Heritage University as a history instructor. In 2015, Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed Booth to the Humanities Washington Board of Trustees for a three-year term which ended in 2018. In 2019, Ryan Booth was named a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year to research the similarities between the American West and the British Raj in the late nineteenth century.

James Cornelius

MA student

James A. Cornelius is a first-year MA student studying under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Hatter. He is from southern Utah and completed his BA in history at Brigham Young University- Idaho. He is interested in studying the political and intellectual history of Virginia and the Atlantic World. He has been a contributor to the Journal of the American Revolution, recently publishing an article that compares the political opposition of John Taylor of Caroline in the early American Republic during the 1790’s with the opposition employed by Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke in England during the first half of the eighteenth century.

Samantha Edgerton

Doctoral student

Samantha Edgerton is a second-year doctoral student working with Dr. Laurie Mercier. Her primary research fields are women and gender, race and ethnicity, social movements, and popular culture in the 20th century United States. She received her bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Women’s Studies, then an MA in History in 2019. Her Master’s thesis, “Better Than Being on the Streets”: Oregon, Idaho, and the Battered Women’s Movement, centered on interpersonal violence (IPV) and the battered women’s shelter movement in Oregon and Idaho during the period 1975 through 1994. Edgerton examined how the battered women’s movement transformed public consciousness about IPV in the Pacific Northwest and offered a historical analysis of the people and institutions that created shelters, pursued legislation criminalizing IPV, and the political backlash they faced in the early 1980s.

Non-historical interests include travel, attempting to improve as a photographer, and being a soccer mom.

Sam Fleischer

PhD candidate

Sam Fleischer, ABD, is a fifth-year doctoral candidate working under Dr. Matthew Sutton. His primary research fields are gender, politics, race, and sports in twentieth-century America, examining the intersection of women’s athletics and the Olympic Games during the Cold War era. Sam has been teaching English and journalism at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA, since 2002, and in addition, he spent 20 years in educational administration and multidisciplinary course instruction as the Special Assistant to the Office of the President Emeritus at Michigan State University (1998-2018). Sam has earned graduate degrees in education, English literature, and history, and he also works as an academic success coach in the WSU Academic Success and Career Center.

Daniel Fogt

PhD candidate

Daniel Fogt, ABD, is a doctoral candidate from Houston, Texas working with Dr. Jesse Spohnholz. He holds degrees from the University of Idaho and Wheaton College. His dissertation is tentatively titled “Regulating Marriage and Socio-Religious Boundaries: The Reformation and Acts of Nonconformity in Netherlandish Refugee Communities, 1560-1600.” His research examines how sixteenth-century Dutch-speaking migrants utilized adjacent and overlapping religious spaces and legal jurisdictions to marry individuals their communities rejected, to abandon unwanted partners, or to escape accusations of bigamy and adultery.

Taylor Hermsen

PhD Candidate

Taylor Hermsen, ABD, is a doctoral candidate studying with Dr. Jeffrey Sanders. Hermsen’s research focuses on the development of the Washington wine industry, particularly in eastern Washington, over the last 80 years.  In particular, he is interested in the ways in which an agricultural region/community is able to reinvent its understanding of itself, its public image, and its relationship with the local environment.  Eastern Washington presents an interesting case study since even after the change, it was still an agricultural region, but had increased focus on the development of agritourism and the production of more luxury-orientated products.  Examining the changes and continuities in this process will form part of the basis for Taylor’s work.

Erin Hvizdak

MA student


Thank you for being patient with us while we create profiles for our new graduate students!

Aaron Jesch

Doctoral student


Aaron Jesch is third year PhD student working under Dr. Laurie Mercier on a project that links the Industrial Workers of the World’s culture of labor radicalism to topics of art (tattoos and music) and sexuality, especially as they relate to ideas about protests and other forms of thought and behavior. It ultimately explores how protests as a performance (soapbox street speaking) became performance as a protest (working-class songs and theater) all in an effort to dismantle the inequities and unfairness of the capitalist system.

Kevin Kipers

PhD candidate

Kevin Kipers, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Lawrence Hatter. Kipers’ research focuses on settlement in the US West and how migration across the frontier during the nineteenth century gave way to the gradual rise of American capitalism, especially after the West’s declared closure in the 1890s.  Hailing from Reno, NV, he earned his B.A. in history from the University of Nevada, Reno with concentrations on Nevada and the West before going on to receive a M.A. in history from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis on public history and a minor focus on history of the American frontier.  Kipers’ has also conducted some regional study on the history of Orange County’s citrus industry.

In his spare time he enjoys sporting events (especially college football), watching movies, going for hikes, swimming, and traveling.

Karl Krotke-Crandall

PhD Candidate

Karl Krotke-Crandall, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Brigit Farley of the Tri-Cities campus. Karl’s research examines the creation and transmission of historic memory about the Holocaust within Russian Jewish community in the Soviet period. He received his MA in History from the University of Arkansas in 2015 and a BA in History and Journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2006. In 2018, Karl received a Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Association for Slavic, East-European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He spent the 2018-2019 academic year conducting research throughout the Russian Federation and returned to the WSU-V Campus in the fall of 2019.

When not reading, writing, or translating he enjoys a good Razorback football game (Woo Pig!) or watching Netflix with his wife.

Adam LaPorte

MA Student

Adam LaPorte is a second year MA student studying U.S. diplomatic relations preceding and during the Second World War under Dr. Noriko Kawamura. Born and raised in Upstate New York, Adam attended RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) and later UC (Utica College), where he earned his BA in History. During undergrad he was able to be part of his school’s study abroad program where he studied and lived at the University College of Dublin. He enjoys traveling, coffee, craft beer, and playing his friends in fantasy football.

Pamela Lee

Doctoral student

Pamela Hsinhsuan Lee is a Ph.D. student in economic and medical history at Washington State University and works with Dr. Ashley Wright. Her research interests include the social, economic and public health networks connecting Asia and the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and imperial and colonial policy.

Hongqiao Li

Doctoral Student

Hongqiao “Ted” Li is a first-year doctoral student studying contemporary Chinese history under professor Xiuyu Wang. His research interests include the evolution of Chinese nationalism in 19th and 20th century, borderland history and media studies. Hongqiao did his undergraduate studies in history at Skidmore College, and MA in East Asian Studies at University of Southern California, with research focusing on Chinese cyber-nationalism, relationship of government and netizens in online activism. When not studying, Hongqiao enjoys watching musicals, singing and learning new languages.

Sreya Mukherjee

Doctoral student


Sreya Mukherjee is a first-year doctoral student working under Dr. Ashley Wright. Sreya was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She has completed her B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Before moving to the United States, Sreya interned with the National Museum, New Delhi, and DakshinaChitra, Tamil Nadu. She was a Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellow in 2017. Her research interest caters to the subcontinent’s social history with a focus on the consumption of inebriants and gender dynamics in late 19th century and early 20th century India. When not working, Sreya likes to travel, sing, and play the ukulele.

Jessica O’Rourke

MA Student

Jessica O’Rourke is a first-year MA student studying under Dr. Rob McCoy. She received her Bachelor’s degree in History and Museum Studies from the University of Wyoming. She has a passion for museums and historic preservation. O’Rourke is pursuing her MA in Public History in hopes that she may enter into the museum field.

Mina Park

Doctoral student



Mina Park is a first-year doctoral student working under Dr. Noriko Kawamura. Mina was born and raised in Changwon, South Korea. Before she came to Pullman, she studied U.S. food aid to South Korea and the change of South Koreans’ dietary culture after WWII to complete the second MA in history from Miami University of Ohio. She earned the first MA in history from the Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea; the research focus was on Charles H. Haskins’s historical view which is based on the theory of the twelfth-century renaissance, who was an American historian of the early 20th centuryHer current interests are mainly in the U.S.’s 20th century foreign relations with Asia regarding agricultural policy, capitalism, and popular culture. When not working on her studies, she enjoys listening to music, doing exercise, and travelling.

James Schroeder

Doctoral student

James Schroeder is a doctoral student working under Dr. Noriko Kawamura. Schroeder’s research interest focuses on the military history and foreign relations of the United States in the twentieth century.

James enjoy traveling, reading, and drinking coffee.

MJ Vega


MA student

MJ Vega is a second year MA student studying Public History under Professor Orlan Svingen. Born and raised in Washington, he graduated from Washington State University in 2018 with a Bachelors in History. He returned to his alma mater where he plans to study the experiences of Japanese-Americans in the Palouse region during World War II and the role that local universities played for those affected by internment.

In his free time, MJ runs a website dedicated to the history of his high school football team. He also enjoys listening to music, local coffee shops, and exploring the Palouse.