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History | Current History Graduate Students

Greg Atkins

PhD Candidate


Greg Atkins, ABD, is a doctoral candidate studying with Dr. Matthew Sutton. His research focuses on how Colorado Springs carved out a national reputation over the last 150 years. Initially touted as a refined resort in the West, boosters of Colorado Springs later emphasized health, tourism, the defense industry, and evangelical Christianity to promote the city. Throughout these iterations, boosters and religious leaders worked closely. As these campaigns built upon and constrained each other, they also fed and set important precedents for the American West, conservative politics, and American religion that helped make the city a hotbed for the cultural wars of the 1980s and 1990s.

Outside of his research he likes to work on his beat-up ’66 Chevy pickup and enjoys spending quality time with his family.



David Bolingbroke

David Bolingbroke

PhD Candidate

David Bolingbroke, ABD, is a doctoral candidate from Reno, Nevada working with Dr. Jeffrey Sanders. His research focuses on environmental history in the American West. He has a BA from Brigham Young University and an MA from Utah State University. His Master’s thesis focused on northern Nevada’s Pyramid Lake and lower Truckee River fishery, narrating the ruin and restoration of the fishery and emphasizing what restoration meant to different resource users from the 1940s onward. At WSU, his tentative dissertation title is “Atomic Restoration: An Environmental History of the Hanford Nuclear Site.” His research will examine Hanford’s dynamic relationship with the environment from the era where it produced plutonium during World War II and the Cold War to more recent times when nuclear waste cleanup efforts began in the late 20th century and continue to the present day.

Since moving to Washington State in the fall of 2015, he has worked with Northwest Public Radio journalist Anna King for her Daughters of Hanford story on nuclear scientist Leona Woods Marshall Libby. More recently (Summer 2016), he worked for the Hanford History Project at WSU Tri-Cities.

Ryan W. Booth

PhD Candidate

Curriculum Vitae


Ryan W. Booth, ABD, is a doctoral student in the history of the American West working with Dr. Peter 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 1942 in the American 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.  He was a WSU Research Assistant for Diverse Scholars in 2016-2017.  In 2015, Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed Booth to the Humanities Washington Board of Trustees for a three-year term ending in 2018.

Jared Chastain


MA student



Jared Chastain is a MA student in the Public History program, working with Dr. Orlan Svingen. His work is in American Indian History, specifically the eagle hunting controversy on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fort Washakie, Wyoming.  Jared’s thesis work is a legal-historic analysis of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho at Wind River—specifically, their mutual and differing use of eagle feathers and parts in cultural ceremonies. He is a contributing participant in Dr. Svingen’s  “In Good Faith” documentary in conjunction with Naka Productions, set to debut in Summer of 2018.

In addition to his research, Chastain has recorded and edited a number of video recordings of tribal elders and members of the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation in Fort Hall, Idaho. Currently. his videographer work includes drone-mounted cameras



Samantha Edgerton


MA student





Samantha Edgerton is a second-year MA student studying modern U.S. history with Dr. Laurie Mercier. Her research interests include gender, race, ethnicity, and popular culture in the post-World War II American West.  Her thesis is a regional case study of the battered women’s movement in Oregon and Idaho covering the period 1975 through 1989.  Non-historical interests include travel, whitewater rafting, film, and attempting to be a decent photographer.


James Feller








MA student




James Feller is a MA student working with Dr. Raymond Sun.


Sam Fleischer

Doctoral student





Sam Fleischer is a second-year doctoral student working under Dr. Matthew Sutton. His primary research fields are gender, race, and politics in twentieth-century America, examining the intersection of women’s athletics and the Olympic Games during the Cold War era.




Daniel Fogt

Daniel Fogt

PhD candidate




Daniel Fogt, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Jesse Spohnholz and holds degrees from Wheaton College and the University of Idaho.  His research examines Dutch Reformed refugees in early modern Europe that assesses their experience of exile through the lens of gender.



Zach Hagadone

MA student





Zach Hagadone is a MA student working with Dr. Jennifer Thigpen.



Fred Hardyway






PhD Candidate




Fred Hardyway, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working under the supervision of Dr. Candice Goucher at the Vancouver Campus. His research, at least to date, examines principles of technological migration and concepts of revocation of Muslim identity in West Africa.  This research is focused through a case study examination of the Songhay Empire and the 16th century invasion of the empire by Moroccan forces.  Through the lens of blacksmiths and warriors, Hardyway seek to understand the greater expanse of West African technological complexity and diversity, as well as movements of this knowledge within and outside of West Africa.  Under this greater umbrella examination of war, he also examine the diverse complexity surrounding ideas of being Muslim, and cases of revocation of Muslim identity and subsequent enslavement by other Muslims.



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.


Matthew Hitchen







MA Student




Matt Hitchen is a MA student studying under Dr. Lawrence B. A. Hatter. He is originally from Upstate New York and grew up around Dutch, British, and German historic sites. Matt’s primary area of interest is in early colonial/American History. Most interested in tracing the values, ideas, and peoples who settled colonial New York, he will soon be researching Scottish migration in North America: 1700-1750. Matt double majored as an undergrad, earning a BA in History and Political Science before graduating with honors from SUNY Oneonta in December, 2016.

Aaron Jesch


Doctoral student



Aaron Jesch is a first year PhD. student hailing from Kearney, Nebraska where he attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney. There he received a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science in 2000, then a master’s degree in History in 2008. His Master’s thesis, A Peddler’s Progress: Assimilation and Americanization in Kearney, Nebraska 1890-1924, discusses the assimilation process of a small group of Syrian immigrants in central Nebraska at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and that as traveling peddlers, they skipped the factory work that other immigrants suffered, and quickly became an integral part of central Nebraska’s culture. Since receiving his master’s degree, he has traveled the adjunct circuit including stints at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, then back to Nebraska and UNK, and Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska where he has taught a variety of courses in Western Civilization and American History. Here, he will be working under the supervision of Dr. Laurie Mercier and plans to continue his research into the issues of immigration, but drift slightly into labor and labor radicalism in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Jesch has a daughter, who is in her third year at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He also has two dogs that you might see on walks at the disc golf park. When he needs to release excess energy, he likes to lace up his skates and play a game of hockey with the local adult league.


Amy L. Johnson

Amy Johnson





MA student




Amy Johnson is a MA student working with Dr. Laurie Mercier. Amy has a BS in Botany from the University of Washington and her research fields include Native American and Pacific Northwest history. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural interactions between Native and non-Native peoples.  Amy’s thesis will examine the Palouse/Palús people and their forced relocation from the Hanford area in 1943.

She loves to spend her free time exploring the Palouse region, hiking, biking and turning her yard into an urban farm.


Joshua Johnson

MA student



Joshua Johnson is a MA student studying Early Modern History with Dr. Jesse Spohnholz. His research interest includes cross-cultural and religious interactions. Josh plans to look into relations between Jews and Christians in Early Modern Europe and the radical theologies and practice of Anabaptist communities. In terms of language, he has studied ancient Greek and Hebrew, Spanish, German, and Yiddish, and plans to study Latin.

Outside of class he enjoys imbibing the majestic cheesiness of Christian heavy metal and the sugary pop goodness of Taylor Swift, translating ancient texts, and exploring the dusty back roads and trails of Washington and Idaho.



Kevin Kipers

Doctoral student




Kevin Kipers is a doctoral student 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.


Daniel Kotin

Daniel Kotin

PhD Candidate

Daniel Kotin, ABD, is a doctoral candidate studying Modern World and African History with Dr. Candice Goucher. His research interests include nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism, imperialism, and decolonization in the Atlantic World.


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 experiences of Russian Jews from Late Imperial Russia through 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.

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

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.


Elisha Madison

Doctoral student



Elisha Madison is a doctoral student studying American history with Dr. Laurie Mercier. She has a Bachelors in marketing from Regis University and a Master’s degree in Public History from American Military University as well as a Master’s of Ancient Celtic History & Mythology from Regis University. Madison is fascinated by the mythology and folklore of people, particularly the stories that are passed down orally and generationally that affect behaviors and lives of people still to this day. Due to this passion she has pursued public history, historic preservation, and archiving, hoping to find a universal way of keeping these stories alive for more generations in the future.

Madison was born in England but moved to California when she was young. She worked as a Graduate Academic Advisor for many years before quitting to become a freelance writer full time and has written lessons, articles, and also professionally edited novellas and journal papers. In her spare time she loves to cook, play video games, travel, and read with her husband who is also currently in the midst of his Management doctorate. She has eclectic music tastes that range from Dean Martin to Kesha!

Nicholas Martin

Martin, Nicholas

PhD Candidate





Nicholas Martin, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Lawrence Hatter.  Martin is studying the role that firearms access and commodities trade played in deciding the fate of marginalized and minority populations leading up to the Revolutionary War and in the Early American Republic. He has lived in various spots across the country, notably Massachusetts and Georgia, and holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts and master’s degrees from Minnesota State University and the University of Southern Maine.

Martin likes to spend his free time watching football, drinking craft beer, and traveling.

John Menard

MA student

John Tappan Menard is a MA student in Public History. His thesis research examines the corporate history of the Yakima Brewing Company in Yakima, Washington and explores the company’s influence on the craft beer industry from 1982-2015. John received a degree in History from WSU (BA ’15) and worked as a bookseller, freelance journalist, and substitute teacher before teaching world history, economics and U.S. government full-time at the high school level. He is currently working on a biography of former WSU President Glenn Terrell for WSU Press. His most recent publication on the North Idaho Civilian Conservation Corps appeared in Columbia Magazine (Fall, 2016).
John’s non-academic interests include craft beer (naturally), espresso, trivia, books, video games, and keeping up with the latest advancements in the computer hardware industry. He also works as a freelance and student play-by-play radio broadcaster for a variety of WSU and high school athletics.

Delaney Piper

MA student

Delaney Piper is a MA student working with Dr. Peter Boag. Piper’s research focuses on US settlement and agricultural history through the lens of race and gender.



Katie Perry

Katherine Perry

PhD Candidate



Katie Perry, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Heather Streets-Salter (Northeastern University, and Dr. Raymond Sun.  She received her BA in History (2006) and a MA in Modern European History (2009) from the university of North Carolina, Wilmington.  Perry’s areas of study include Modern Europe, Modern Britain, and Imperialism with a dissertation examining the role of British Parliament in the process of detention during Kenya’s State of Emergency, 1952-1960.  Katie is specifically interested in how the Conservative Party handled allegations of abuse from the numerous detention camps and villages that held an estimated on million detainees.


Randy Powell

Powell cropped

PhD Candidate




Randy Powell, ABD, is a doctoral student studying with Dr. Matt Sutton. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University-Idaho and a master’s degree in religious studies from Claremont Graduate University. Powell’s research interests include American religious history, Mormonism, and Evangelicalism.

Randy lives in Pullman, Washington with his wife, Heidi.


Melanie Reimann

Reimann 2

PhD Candidate




Melanie Reimann, ABD, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Robert McCoy.  Reimann’s research fields are Native American and First Nation history, as well as the U.S./Canadian West.  She received her B.A. in English and History and an M.A. in History from University of Bielefeld in Germany.

Melanie moved from Germany to Pullman in August 2015 and her thesis will focus on protest movements of tribes in Washington State and British Columbia against their treatment by the U.S. and Canadian governments.

James Schroeder

MA student



James Schroeder is a MA 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.


Brian Stack

Stack cropped






PhD Candidate


Brian Stack, ABD, is a doctoral candidate who also completed his MA at WSU. For both, he has worked with Dr. Peter Boag. Stack’s dissertation examines the history of bestiality in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West with particular emphasis on human-animal relationships, ideas about animal protection, power, and sexual assault.

Brian grew up in New England but has grown to embrace the Pacific Northwest. When not working he can be found gaming, watching comedies, or reminiscing about his mohawk!


Alicia Woodard


MA student





Alicia Woodard is a MA student working with Dr. Orlan Svingen.

Washington State University