Graduate Student News

PhD Student Samantha Edgerton elected vice president of WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association

“I have held various leadership positions in my past life, and what I learned there I want to use to advocate and support graduate and professional students now. I am particularly interested in issues related to food security, mental health services, interpersonal violence, Title IX regulation changes passed by the Department of Education, childcare, and housing needs. In addition, COVID-19 presents new challenges for GPSA, and I see my role and the Executive Board’s role as crucial in ensuring graduate and professional students have access to resources and safety measures as we navigate the upcoming academic year. Finally, GPSA will continue to advocate and offer support and action for Black graduate students and graduate students of color as we affirm our commitment to fostering inclusion at all levels of graduate education and provide accessible student support services.” –Samantha Edgerton

PhD Student Brian Stack creates LGBTQ digital history exhibit

“The Palouse LGBTQ History Project’s digital exhibit was built from research I had done using the digitized WSU student newspaper The Daily Evergreen. Where I had expected to find only a handful of articles on WSU gay history, I found hundreds of articles and a story to tell. With the support of a summer fellowship from the WSU Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and assistance from the University of Idaho Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning, I put together an exhibit of articles, photos, interviews, and an interactive timeline based on local queer history. The exhibit has been popular. It was the basis for an exhibit in the WSU Library and an education campaign on CUB video monitors. The GIESORC bulletin board was redesigned to include information from it. In the fall, I gave a talk based on the exhibit to a packed crowd at the Neill Public Library in Pullman, connecting campus and community. A small rural community embracing its queer history is a wonderful sight!” –Brian Stack
Read more about Bryan’s project!

Nicholas Martin, May ’20 graduate, spends year working with Plateau Center for Native Americans

“I arrived at Washington State University skeptical of the relationship that academics maintained with the outside world. My past experiences convinced me that professors made little impact outside of the classroom, rarely interacting with those beyond academia. Faculty members like Robert McCoy and Jennifer Thigpen in the Department of History showed me that this was not the case everywhere, however. I did not realize this personally until the opportunity to work with the Center for Arts and Humanities offered me the chance to work directly with regional populations around our University. In this capacity, my dream of moving beyond studying the history of tribal populations to interacting with actual Native Americans in need came to fruition.

“Led by Todd Butler, and graciously supported by a quality team of individuals in the Plateau Center for Native Americans here in Pullman, I created a project designed to reinforce the relationship between tribal leadership and WSU. The initial intent was a refocusing of the educational opportunities available to regional Native Americans, including a greater emphasis of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Global Campus initiative. I envisioned a two-fold design that helped to strengthen the relationship promised by the University to regional tribes under long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements and an improved glimpse into what an expanded online education program could mean for Native Americans especially.

“Unfortunately, before the initial project could get off the ground, COVID-19 forbid in-person contact with tribal members and the large group presentations I had planned. As a result, I felt my brief involvement with tribal outreach was over and my window of time to make a difference closed. But with the support of Assistant Director Ken Lokensgard and the director of Tribal Relations, Tony Brave, one piece of my initial plan remained intact and able to proceed. With further guidance from Assistant Director Faith Price, I helped to develop plans to infuse the Native Youth Experiencing Higher Education (NYHE) Summer Camp with a broader range of educational opportunities.

“We focused on expanding the role of the camp from promoting what a degree in the STEM fields could offer Native American students to provide the camp with additional activities to promote degrees in the Art and Humanities. With this focus in mind, we worked to recruit prominent faculty members, including Clif Stratton, former chair of WSU’s President’s Teaching Academy. Working through the turmoil of not knowing if there would even be a camp, we were still able to create a lineup of activities for students with better representation from the College of Arts and Sciences as a whole. As a result, we anticipate these changes to be permanent additions to the camp’s curriculum for years to come.

“Sadly, this year’s NYEHE will need to be held online because of concerns over the spread of the pandemic. Due to the hard work of Native American Retention Specialist Joelle Berg, however, the camp was expanded to include all interested Native American high schoolers from the region. Despite an online-only presence, 2020’s camp is likely to reach more students than ever before and is poised to come out of this summer stronger than ever. I am proud to be a small part in what we hope will be the most successful NYEHE camp to date and look forward to continuing to assist WSU Native American Programs in any way I can. And I encourage the students and faculty members (past and present) in the Department of History to do the same whenever possible.” –Nicholas Martin

The department congratulates our MA and PhD students who successfully defended their theses and dissertations this spring!

Fred Hardyway.

Fredrick Hardyway, PhD

Songhai’s Fall: The Role of Scholars and Blacksmiths in the Adoption, Adaption, and Rejection of Gun Technology in West Africa, 1464-1612

Daniel Kotin.

Daniel Kotin, PhD

Soundscapes of the Black Atlantic: Music, Memory, Recreation, and Nationalism in Trinidad Calypso, Ghanian Highlife, and the African Diaspora

Nick Martin.

Nicholas Martin, PhD

From Crying Blood to Capitalism: The Transition of Tribal Leadership in the Revolutionary Era

Randy Powell.

Randal Powell, PhD

‘The Day Soon Cometh’: Mormons, the Apocalypse, and the Shaping of a Nation

Melanie Reimann.

Melanie Reimann, PhD

They Would ‘Access Canada at a Usual and Accustomed Gathering Place’: Cultural Survival and Preservation Across the US–Canda Border by the Sinixt Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation


Matthew Hitchen, MA

“A Republican Education: The Politics and Ideology of Education in Columbia County, New York, 1777–1850”

Chris Halderman.

Christopher Halderman, MA

“The Militarization of the Puget Sound: A Gateway to the Pacific, 1880–1900”

  • Jennifer Binczewski, 2017 PhD and current history instructor for the WSU Global campus, just published the article, “Power in Vulnerability: Widows and priest holes in the early modern English Catholic community” in the journal British Catholic History, by Cambridge University Press. Take a look at the article! Congratulations Jennifer!
  • Congratulations to Ryan Booth for publishing “Fort Keogh’s Commissary: A Global Market on the Great Plains from 1876 to 1900” in the new issue of Montana: The Magazine of Western History. Take a look at Ryan’s new article!
  • Randy Powell, doctoral spring graduate, was recently published in the Journal of Policy History by Cambridge University Press! See Randy’s article, “Social Welfare at the End of the World: How the Mormons Created an Alternative to the New Deal and Helped Build Modern Conservatism”!
  • Professor Ray Sun has partnered with doctoral student Samantha Edgerton to share the untold story of Washington State University’s “Fallen Cougars” of World War II. You can find articles in WSU Insider and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News!