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!

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!

PhD Candidate Anjuli Webster Publishes Articles in Journals of African and World History


African history graduate student Anjuli Webster has published two new articles drawing on her doctoral research. The first, a short piece titled “Water and History in Southern Africa,” was published as an Open Access “History Matters” contribution in the Journal of African History. The second article, titled “Inter-Imperial Entanglement: The British Claim to Portuguese Delagoa Bay in the Nineteenth Century,” appeared in the Journal of World History. Webster wrote the original version of this article in the graduate student seminar (HIST 584) and under the supervision of Drs. Clifton Crais and Jason Morgan Ward. Webster thanks the Research Workshop in History at Emory for support in the process of revisions and the History PhD program for funding image reproduction fees.

Webster’s dissertation, “Fluid Empires: Histories of Environment and Sovereignty in southern Africa, 1750-1900,” explores transformations in sovereignty and ecology in southern Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. She has won many grants for her research, including from the American Society for Environmental History, Harvard Center for History and Economics, the Luso-American Development Foundation, and Emory’s “Visions of Slavery” Mellon Sawyer Seminar.

Alumni Update: Alex Borucki (PhD, 2011)

The History Department was delighted to receive an update from Dr. Alex Borucki, a 2011 alumnus of the graduate program and Professor of History at the University of California Irvine. Read Borucki’s update below:

“I have worked in collaborative research since my days in Bowden Hall by witnessing the creation of the Slave Voyages website fifteen years ago, but I engaged in a radically different way of teamwork more recently.

“In 2021, the writer/cartoonist/marketing mastermind Gonzalo Eyherabide asked me for historical guidance because he was creating a graphic history, or historieta histórica in Spanish, about Joaquín Artigas, an African man who had fought in the wars of independence in the early 1800s Uruguay, and who was enslaved to the family of Uruguay’s founding father, José Artigas.

“As a result of two years of emails and discussions, Gonzalo adapted my article about the U.S. slave ship Ascension to recreate the story of Joaquín’s enslavement in Mozambique (because we knew Joaquín was from there) and, subsequently, his forced crossing of the South Atlantic.

“Early in 2023, Artigas: Un Patriota sin Patria was published in Montevideo, selling 3000 copies in a semester, and a second edition was released by the end of 2023. I met Gonzalo while visiting Montevideo last December when he gifted me a copy of his beautiful work. He also drew on the first blank page of the book a fine depiction of me and him talking in the bar next to the Río de la Plata, or River Plate, where we usually met. He added this inscription: ‘Culture is and must be generosity and solidarity,’ which encapsulates some of the best collaborative research outcomes.”

Summer 2024 Funding Opportunities for Undergraduates


Through the generous support of donors, the History Department is pleased to offer multiple funding opportunities for undergraduates in the summer of 2024 to pursue research, study, or experiential learning in the United States or abroad. Students graduating in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025 are eligible. Applications should include a faculty letter of recommendation and be submitted electronically to Becky Herring by 4pm on March 4. Browse a summary of our funding programs below, and find more details on the Undergraduate Research section of our website.

  • The Loren & Gail Starr Award in Experiential Learning: The Undergraduate Studies Committee hopes to fund up to *5* experiential learning projects proposed by History majors or minors with junior or senior status. The awards, which can range from $500 to $3,000 each, are intended to support students who wish to use the knowledge & skills they have acquired in history courses to create or participate in projects in settings outside of the classroom. The committee seeks proposals from students that are bold, creative, & off-the-beaten path. The only rule is that engagement with the past be central to the experience undertaken by the student.
  • George P. Cuttino Scholarship for Independent Research Abroad: The Cuttino Scholarship is offered annually to rising senior history majors or joint majors in Emory College. The scholarship provides for a summer of research and travel abroad between the students’ junior and senior year. The stipend may be up to $10,000. All junior history majors and joint majors in Emory College with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or above are eligible. Early in the spring semester (normally mid-February) a notice with deadline for submission of Cuttino Scholarship applications to the Director of Undergraduate Studies is issued. The Cuttino Scholarship recipient is selected by the Department of History Undergraduate Committee.
  • George P. Cuttino Fellowship for Summer Programs Abroad: The Cuttino Fellowships for Summer Programs Abroad are offered annually to rising senior history and joint history majors in Emory College for study outside the United States in a summer study program. Priority is given to students enrolled in Emory Study Abroad programs. Several awards are given each year and can be as much as $4,000 each. The recipients of the fellowships must provide documentation of enrollment in an academic summer study abroad program in order to receive the awarded funds. Upon returning to Emory in the fall, the recipients must also provide documentation of their successful completion of the summer study program.
  • Theodore H. Jack Award for Independent Research in the US: The Theodore H. Jack Award is offered annually to an Emory College history major or joint history major who has attained senior status (75+ credit hours) at the time of the award. It provides modest funds for summer research in the United States outside the city of Atlanta on topics that deal in whole or in part with American history. It is expected that recipients will use the award to research an honors thesis, though students not in the honors program are welcome to apply.
  • James L. Roark Prize for Independent Research in the US: The James L. Roark Prize will be awarded annually to advanced undergraduate History majors (75+ credit hours). The award will provide funds for undergraduate research in American history to be conducted within the United States over one summer.Recipients will be expected to use the prize towards research for an honors thesis, or a similarly significant research project.
  • Bell I. Wiley Prize in U.S. History for Independent Research in the US: The Wiley Prize is offered annually to an Emory College history major or joint major who has attained senior status (75+ credit hours) at the time of the award. It provides funds for summer travel within the United States outside of the city of Atlanta in support of innovative research in the history of the United States. It is expected that recipients will use the award to research an honors thesis, though students not in the honors program are welcome to apply. All history and joint history majors with senior status in Emory College and with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or above are eligible.

Chira to Lead Inaugural Study Abroad Program to Cuba


The Emory History Department will inaugurate a study abroad program in Cuba in May 2024. Titled “History, Environment, and Society,” the 4-credit program will be led by Dr. Adriana Chira, Associate Professor of History, and be run in collaboration with the Fundación Antonio Nuñez Jiménez de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in Havana and Learn from Travel. Highlights of the program include: experiencing a rumba street party, visiting a tobacco farm, and snorkeling at a starfish reserve. If you are interested and/or have questions, please contact Prof. Chira at adriana [dot] chira [at] emory [dot] edu.

Andrade Provides Insight on Ancient Grenades Found along Great Wall


Dr. Tonio Andrade, Professor of History, was recently quoted in a Newsweek article about the historic discovery of 59 ancient stone grenades along the Badaling section of the Great Wall, just about 50 miles away from the center of Beijing. This is the first munition of this type that archeologists have found along the Great Wall. Andrade, a specialist in Chinese and Global History and author of the 2016 book The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (Princeton UP), provides context for the archeological find with insights on the history of Chinese military technologies. Read an excerpt citing him below along with the full article: “Ancient ‘Grenades’ Discovered Along Great Wall of China.”

“‘Bombs were used in China certainly by the middle of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.)—and used in the many wars the Song and its neighbors fought, hurled by hand or by catapult. It’s known that when Ming Dynasty leaders rebuilt and renovated the Great Wall, they defended it with gunpowder weapons,’ Tonio Andrade, a professor of Chinese and Global History at Emory University, who was not involved in the latest research, told Newsweek.

“‘In fact, the Ming Dynasty had more soldiers equipped with gunpowder weapons than any other state in the world, and it was in the Ming and in the preceding Yuan Dynasty (toward the end) that the gun evolved out of a weapon often called the fire-lance, a sort of stick with a barrel at the end that was loaded with gunpowder and, often, various other items, like rocks or iron. It’s a fascinating history.'”

Billups Investigates Global Dimensions of Anti-semitism with Support from TIJS, Lesser

Sixth-year doctoral candidate Robert Billups, who is currently the 2023–2024 Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded National Fellow in Technology and Democracy for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently authored a reflection about his research on the global dimensions of anti-semitism for Emory’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies (TIJS). Billups recounts how a story heard in his childhood home of Meridian, Mississippi, about the attempted bombing of a local temple led him to research in Emory’s archives and, ultimately, to discern links between anti-Black racial violence and anti-semitism among right-wing extremists. Billups realized those links had global dimensions, as well, and secured financial support from the TIJS to conduct research abroad. With the counsel and support of Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, Billups chose to pursue his inquiry in the British Foreign Office in London, which contained mid-20th century records from officials in British consulates and embassies around the world worried about the resurgence of fascism and antisemitism. Read Billups’ full reflection here: “Graduate Student Researches Antisemitism at the British Archives.”

Alumni Update: Bronwen Boyd (C22), from Atlanta to Tunisia, the US Senate, and Sciences Po


Bronwen Boyd, a History Honors student and French Studies major, graduated from Emory College in May 2022. Boyd took a gap year following graduation, during which she worked for the Carter Center as a nonpartisan elections observer on the 2022 Tunisian Parliamentary Elections and for US Senator Jon Ossoff and the Congressional Commission on Emerging Biotechnology. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Political Science as a Shepard Scholar from Emory at Sciences Po’s Paris School of Research. Her thematic interests include violence against women, LGBTQIA+ rights, human rights, law, and global history and politics. In 2022 Boyd was named a Graduating Woman of Excellence by the Center for Women at Emory. Boyd writes that she is a “Proud Emory History alumna— now and always!”

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

Goldstein to Lead TJIS Poland Study Abroad in Summer 2024

Students and faculty, including Dr. Ellie R. Schainker, in the inaugural TJIS Poland study abroad in 2023.

The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies launched a study abroad program to Poland in the summer of 2023 titled “Jews of Poland: History and Memory.” Dr. Ellie R. Schainker, Arthur Blank Family Foundation Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies, led the inaugural trip. Building on the successes of last year, the TJIS will offer an expanded trip this year, led by Associate Professor of History Dr. Eric Goldstein. The 11-day, 1-credit program will take students to Poland from May 19-30, 2024. The Berger Family Fund, established by Bruce, Michelle, and Emily Berger 23C with the purpose of supporting student experiential learning on topics related to antisemitism, Jewish life, and Jewish history, will allow TIJS to heavily subsidize the program for students. Read more about the experience from a student’s perspective from last year, and find about more information about the 2024 trip.

“Jewish engagement with Poland and Eastern Europe is a story of huge contrast,” Goldstein shares.  “It’s a story of vibrant Jewish life – it was the largest center of Jewish life in the world for many decades, if not centuries – and also a site of immense tragedy.  And then, in recent years, a site of a kind of cultural rebirth.  So I think (Poland) really provides a lot of very interesting tensions, interesting questions.”

As they unpack these tensions and questions, students will split time between Krakow and Warsaw where they’ll engage in dialogue with contemporary Polish and Polish-Jewish activists, university students, and cultural and community leaders.  Additionally, the program will feature excursions to historical locations such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, Wieliczka Salt Mines, and – new to this year – a former “shtetl.”  A shtetl “was a typical small town where Jews in Eastern Europe lived, especially in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries,” Goldstein explains.  “So we’ll not only have a chance to explore how Jews lived in the larger cities, but this kind of classic example of how they lived in the countryside as well.”