Mason Ailstock is a first year graduate student from Hot Springs, Virginia. He is on a dual-degree track for a MA in Curriculum & Instruction and a MA in History with a certificate in Public History. He graduated with a BA in History from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2015. His primary research interests include Military History from the perspective of the homefront and Socioeconomic Historical studies. Following graduation from the program, he plans to go into education, hopefully at the collegiate level.
Carmen Bolt is a second year graduate student from Floyd, Virginia, working toward her MA in History with a certificate in Public History. She graduated with a BA in History from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2014. Her area of research is Environmental History with a focus in disaster history. She has interned with several historical sites, including the History Museum of Western Virginia. Following graduation from the program, she hopes to continue working in the field of Public History, specifically in the sphere of museum curation.
Kevin “Tiny” Dawson
Kevin Dawson, better known as “Tiny” by his friends, is a second year graduate student in the MA in History. He graduated from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2014. While there he majored in History, minored in Political Science, and he earned the Military, Political, & Diplomatic option. He is a member of the Marching Virginians, Virginia Tech’s 330-member marching band. Tiny has worked in the field of Public History as an historical interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, as well as at Meadow Farm Museum, an 1850 working farm in Richmond. He has also worked in 19 historical films, often as an historical adviser. Tiny’s fields of interest lie in the following areas: the American Civil War, the United States Life Saving Service (1871 – 1915,) the Great War, and World War II. His current research is focused on “Dispelling the Myth of the ‘Ragged’ Rebel:’ An In Depth Survey of Photographs of Confederate Prisoners and Soldiers Killed in Action.” He is also pursuing the certificate in Public History. Upon graduation, Tiny is interested in working in the field of public history, either in museums or at public history sites. Teaching at either the secondary or college level is also not out of the picture. Depending on the situation in the future, he may pursue a PhD in History; however, only time will tell.
Sara Evenson is a second year MA candidate from New York. She graduated from Hartwick College with a dual BA in History and English in 2010. Prior to returning to school, she worked in interpretation, school programs, and public programs for the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum. She enjoys working with public audiences and hopes to return to museum education upon graduation. Her research interests include the cultural history of 18th century America and the Atlantic World, as well as early American foodways. She is working to complete a Public History Thesis as well as a Certificate in Public History. Following this program, she plans to return to the public history field working in museum education or interpretation.
Claire Gogan is a second year History Master’s student from Silver Spring, Maryland, who graduated from Hood College with a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Hood College, she worked in the Human Services field before returning to school to further pursue her academic interests. An aspiring cultural historian, her research interests include religious and social movements in the United States post-WWII, and the history of American popular music. She is also interested in Public History, particularly Oral History and digital archives. Before entering the program at Virginia Tech, she volunteered in the Virginia Room archive at the Roanoke City Main Library. After graduating, she hopes to enter an interdisciplinary PhD program where she can pursue her dual interests in history and ethnomusicology.
Jenny Nehrt is a first year graduate student in the History MA program from Winchester, VA. She graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in History. Her Senior Honors Thesis was titled “The Models of Masculinity: Youth, Gender, and Education in Fascist Italy, 1922-1939.” Her research interests pertain to historical currents of thought and frequently leans towards gender history. She is also pursuing the certificate in Public History because she is interested in how history is consumed outside of academia.
Rebecca Williams is a first year History Master’s student from Radford, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in History under the Social, Cultural, and Economic option. Her Senior Honors Thesis was titled “Winters of Content and Discontent: Factors in differing relations between the Corps of Discovery and Native Americans during the winters of 1804-05 at Fort Mandan and 1805-06 at Fort Clatsop.” Her research interests include the American West and concepts of the “frontier” as well as the cultural history of the American Southwest. She has held internships at the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, the History Museum of Western Virginia, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and currently works in Virginia Tech Special Collections. In addition to her Master’s, she is pursuing the certificate in Public History because she is especially interested in the means and growing potential, especially in a world of such technological advances, of presenting history to the non-academic community.