Celebrating Senior Prize Recipients

The Undergraduate Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the History Department’s Undergraduate Senior Prizes for 2023-2024. They are:

George P. Cuttino Prize for the best record in European History: Harrison Helms

James Z. Rabun Prize for the best record in American History: Joe Beare

The African, Asian, and Latin American History Prize for the best record in African, Asian, and Latin American History: Orion Jones and Yingyi Tan

Matthew A. Carter Citizen-Scholar Award: Anhhuy Do

These awards were presented at our in-person Senior Celebration on Wednesday, May 1, 2pm – 3:30pm, in the Emory Student Center. Congratulations to all!

Celebrating 2024 Graduates

From Left to Right: Dr. Jason Morgan Ward, Dr. William (Robert) Billups, Dr. Georgia Brunner, Dr. Marissa L. Nichols, Dr. Yanna Yannakakis, Dr. Kyungtaek Kwon, Dr. Matthew J. Payne, Dr. Melissa Faris Gayan.

The Emory History Department celebrates the graduate and undergraduate students who are completing their studies and degrees this spring. Five Emory History doctoral students will be recognized at the Laney Graduate School Diploma Ceremony on Friday, May 10. They are:

  • William (Robert) Billups, “‘Reign of Terror’: Anti–Civil Rights Terrorism in the United States, 1954–1976,” advised by Drs. Joseph Crespino and Allen Tullos
  • Georgia Brunner, “Building a Nation: Gender, Labor and the Politics of Nationalism in Colonial Rwanda, 1916-1962,” advised by Drs. Clifton Crais and Mariana P. Candido
  • Melissa Faris Gayan,* “The First Crack in the Ice: How the 1956 Protests Altered Soviet Cold War Hegemony,” advised by Dr. Matthew Payne
  • Kyungtaek Kwon,* “Identifying the City: Komsomol’sk-na-Amure Transformation from Military Outpost to the City of Youth in the Soviet Far East, 1932-1982,” advised by Dr. Matthew Payne
  • Marissa L. Nichols,* “Nurses, Indigenous Authorities, and Rural Health in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1934-1970,” advised by Dr. Yanna Yannakakis

*completed in summer 2023

Find out more information about all Emory commencement events here.

Congratulations, graduates!

Alumni Update: Tom Czerwinski (BA, ’03)

Calakmul ruins, Campeche

We are delighted to share news from Tom Czerwinski (BA, 2003), who has been a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State and career member of the Foreign Service for the past 10 years.  With a portfolio focused on management of Embassy operations, his postings have taken him to Washington DC, Mongolia, Mexico, Cyprus, and his current assignment as Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate General Durban in Durban, South Africa.  He and his family move every two-to-three years, and his next posting will be in Bogota, Columbia. While at the Department of State, Tom has learned Mongolian and Spanish.

His history credentials have come in handy in the Foreign Service, as he is able to quickly learn the facts on the ground and how current U.S. foreign policy connects with history, whether it’s the deep linkages between Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and the U.S. due to the 19th-century sisal trade (did you know that in 1900, Merida has more millionaires per capita than Paris and London?), or the centuries-old history that keeps Nicoasia, Cyprus the last remaining divided capital in Europe (and where the UN-protected “green zone” running through the center of the capital remains perpetually frozen in 1974, including a basement full of “new” 1970’s era Toyota Corollas, each with zero miles on the odometer).  It’s been an amazing, rewarding, and sometimes challenging adventure.

Tom is always happy to talk to any Emory students or alumni about the Foreign Service – just look him up on Emory Connects to get in touch.

Are you an Emory History alum? Please send us updates on your life and work!

Three History Majors Named to Emory 100 Senior Honorary


Congratulations to Senior History Majors Joe Beare, Anhhuy Do, and Harrison Helms on being inducted into the Emory Senior 100 Honorary. Every year, the Emory Alumni Board and the Student Alumni Board recognize the success of outstanding students and identify emerging alumni leaders from the current senior class through the 100 Senior Honorary. This year’s induction ceremony was February 6. These seniors are campus leaders, thought provokers, dynamic athletes, academic mentors, and community influencers. They are committed to their passions and pursuits, and they have made significant contributions to the Emory community. And each one is also committed to making significant contributions to their alumni communities around the world.

Lal in TIME: “What a Mughal Princess Can Teach Us About Feminist History”


Dr. Ruby Lal, Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently author an article in TIME, “What a Mughal Princess Can Teach Us About Feminist History.” Lal’s piece centers on her latest book, Vagabond Princess: The Great Adventures of Gulbadan (Yale, 2023), which chronicles the life of Princess Gulbadan, a fascinating figure who travelled widely and authored the sole extant work of prose by a woman in the early decades of the Mughal Empire. Lal’s article also addresses the marginalization of feminist and women’s histories, both in Gulbadan’s time and our own. Read an excerpt from the TIME article below along with the full article. Also listen to an interview with Lal on WABE’s City Lights.

“Books and chronicles from centuries past are precious gifts. Holding onto their words, we can delve into the beauty and torments of human life. With such rare possessions, we come close to another time; watch her creation, her uncertainties, her discoveries, the stuff of history. But uncovering feminist history is a slow process, and too often, women historians are the only ones willing to do that work. Beveridge taught herself Persian to reveal Gulbadan’s history. I have spent years combining hundreds of documents to assemble the adventures of daring and imaginative Mughal women.”

Olivia Cocking Wins Award from the Society for French Historical Studies

Graduate student Olivia Cocking has won a Farrar Memorial Award from the Society for French Historical Studies to continue her dissertation research in France. Her project, “Droits assurés, droits bafoués: Race, Nationality, and the Right to Living Well in France After Empire,” has involved research in Paris, Lille, and Marseilles thus far. Cocking has presented her work at the French Colonial Historical Society Conference (Martinique) and the European Association for Urban History Conference (Antwerp, Belgium). Cocking also holds a 3-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship. Her dissertation committee is co-chaired by Professors Tehila Sasson and Judith Miller and includes Prof. Mariana Candido.

Alumni Update: Daniel Krebs (PhD ’07)

The History Department was pleased to receive an update from Dr. Daniel Krebs (Ph.D. 2007). Krebs writes that a year ago, he “left the University of Louisville, and my fairly narrow confines of early American military history, and joined the faculty of the Department of National Security & Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. My new position focuses much more generally on military history, security, strategy, defense, policy, and particularly on regional studies, especially in Europe. I am also the overall director of the advanced regional studies program. This program sends our students around the world on various trips and courses to learn about the strategic environment in other regions. Our students are all senior leaders in the U.S. military and government. Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels (or civilian equivalents) with 20+ years of experience in the military and government. We also have students from partner and allied nations in each of our courses. All students earn a Masters in Security Studies during a year-long stay in Carlisle. So, I went from teaching young BAs & MAs to adult education. From civilian state university to professional military education within the Federal Government/Department of Defense. From ivory tower academia to an institution that is much more concerned with contemporary policy-making and strategy. From thinking about history in the traditional sense to thinking about how history can be applied for strategic decision-making.”

Are you an Emory History alum? Please send us updates on your life and work!

Alumni Update: Marty Pimentel (C’20)

Pimentel at a youth climate workshop focused on women’s climate adaptation in Morocco

The History Department was pleased to receive an update from Marty Pimentel, a History major who graduated from the College in 2020. After graduating Pimentel went to Georgetown for a master’s degree in Arab Studies. After two years of classes, a year abroad in Morocco, and another thesis, he graduated in May 2023 with distinction. He spent a year in Morocco doing fieldwork for his graduate thesis and did more fieldwork in Morocco last fall. He was there researching environmental civil society and spoke with some incredibly inspiring people. Now he is starting a new full-time position as a Program Manager and Research Associate with the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the premier foreign policy and international affairs think tanks in DC.

Are you an Emory History alum? Please send us updates on your life and work!

Marissa L. Nichols (PhD ’23) Awarded Prestigious 2024 ACLS Fellowship


The Emory University History Department is proud to celebrate Dr. Marissa L. Nichols, a 2023 alum, on being awarded a 2024 ACLS Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The ACLS Fellowship Program supports scholars who are poised to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in any field of the humanities or interpretive social sciences.

Nichols has been recognized as one of 60 exceptional early-career scholars selected through a multi-stage peer review from a pool of 1,100 applicants. ACLS Fellowships provide up to $60,000 to support scholars during six to 12 months of sustained research and writing. Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments receive a supplement of $7,500 for research or other personal costs incurred during their award term.

Nichols currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Healthcare History and Policy in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The ACLS fellowship will support the writing of her book project, “The Backbone of Rural Health: Nursing and Indigenous Healing in Oaxaca.” Based on her dissertation, which was advised by Dr. Yanna Yannakakis, the manuscript traces how rural nurses and Indigenous communities shaped the expansion of rural healthcare in mid-twentieth-century Oaxaca, Mexico. It relies on research from archives and libraries in Mexico as well as oral histories conducted primarily as part of her dissertation research.

“The applications we received this year were nothing short of inspiring – a powerful reminder of the capacity of humanistic research to illuminate and deepen understanding of the workings of our world” said John Paul Christy, Senior Director of US Programs at ACLS. “As scholars face increasing challenges to pursuing and disseminating their research, we remain committed to advancing their vital work.”

Stein Discusses War in Gaza on LiveNOW

Dr. Kenneth Stein, Emeritus Professor of History, recently discussed the war in Gaza on LiveNOW, a national news service powered by FOX television stations. Stein analyzes the state of the military campaign, humanitarian needs of Gaza residents, and the geopolitical implications of the war. A scholar and public intellectual, Stein has contributed widely to scholarship and policy on contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science, and Israeli studies. Watch the conversation here: “Gaza ceasefire: Israel has agreed to a framework, US says.”