PHD STUDENTS

Please meet the PhD students and candidates in the Department of History at Florida International University:

 

 

JESSICA ALLISON
Jessica is in the accelerated Ph.D. program in Latin American History. In 2008, she graduated with a B.A. in History from Drury University. At FIU, her primary advisor is Noble David Cook. In 2010, Jessica earned a pre-dissertation research grant-in-aid from the Rockefeller Archives Center. She also received a Tinker Field Research Grant in 2011. Jessica presented her paper, “Developing Medicine: The University of Havana Medical School, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Professionalization of Medicine in Cuba, 1919-1946,” in a joint panel at the 2012 American Historical Association Annual Meeting and the Conference on Latin American History. Her dissertation will address public health and transnational scientific discourses in Cuba during the first half of the twentieth century. View CV

ADRIAN ALZATE
Adrian is a sociologist with an M.A. in History. His research interests focus on nineteenth-century Colombian political history. He has worked on topics such as civil wars, political associationism, electoral processes, and political journalism. His publications include “Una mirada a las asociaciones políticas colombianas de las décadas de 1860 y 1870: Fidelidades, rivalidades, conflictos internos y mutaciones” and “Pedagogía societaria en el régimen radical colombiano (1863-1878): La enseñanza del ‘buen sufragio’ y el aprendizaje de la política moderna.” Adrian joined the Atlantic History doctoral program as the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship. He plans to develop a project that explores the construction of democracy and the evolution of democratic processes in Colombia during the second half of the nineteenth century. View CV

PAUL BURKART
Paul’s interests focus on political, cultural, military, and environmental history in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America as well as biographical studies. His current research explores the construction of memoirs and autobiographies written by Northern generals in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Paul received his B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Miami in 2007. He obtained his M.A. in American History from Florida International University in 2012, where his major research project investigated the life and autobiography of Confederate General Samuel Gibbs French. In the following year, Paul joined the doctoral program in Atlantic History. View CV

M. STEPHANIE CHANCY
Stephanie’s research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century material culture, specifically portraiture, in the European Atlantic world. Stephanie obtained a B.Sc. in Communications with a double major in European History as well as an M.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in History from the University of Miami. As a university lecturer in Art History, she has taught a variety of undergraduate courses physically and online. She has curated two exhibitions on Haitian Art for Florida International University’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum. Stephanie has also given numerous presentations to the docents at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum and at FIU’s Frost Art Museum. Additionally, she has gathered experience in arts administration while working for an international music festival and a professional dance company. View CV

JASON DANIEL
Jason earned his M.A. at FIU in the Spring 2013 semester and continued to the Ph.D. program in the fall of the same year. He holds a B.A. in History and English from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. Jason’s research interests are focused on maritime history and environmental history, for which he received a Tinker Field Research Grant in 2016. Jason has served on the executive board of the Department of History Graduate Student Association in different capacities and he spent two academic years teaching first-year Writing and Rhetoric for the Strategic Writing Initiative at FIU. Currently, Jason is working on his dissertation, which combines the maritime and environmental histories of eighteenth-century Cuba. View CV

CHRISTOPHER DAVIS
Christopher joined the program as a student on the accelerated Ph.D. track. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Christopher received his B.A. in History from Hunter College at the City University of New York. At Hunter, he was both a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a Mellon Mays Fellow. During his undergraduate studies, he began focusing on the history of twentieth-century Germany. He has researched topics such as German racial science, immigration, and sporting culture. In addition, Christopher took part in the 2011 University of Illinois at Chicago’s Summer Research Opportunity Program, where he researched the role vaccinations had on American immigration in the twentieth century. Now a Ph.D. Candidate, Christopher’s research focuses on race and science in the Atlantic World with a focus on the circulation of eugenic ideology in the British Caribbean. View CV

JOHN ERMER
Focusing on issues of migration, gender, and language in the modern Caribbean, John joined the Atlantic History doctoral program in 2016. He will conduct field research in Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to investigate issues of gender in émigré groups who moved from Lebanon and Syria to the Caribbean basin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. John earned B.A. degrees in Political Science and Creative Writing from Florida State University in 2004, and he most recently graduated from FIU with an M.A. in Modern U.S. History in 2014. His Master’s research examined how ideals of manhood and the language of masculinity related to the Texas Rangers’ role in fomenting violence along the Texas-Mexico border during the 1910s. John also earned eleven years of teaching experience at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. View CV

ANDREINA FERNANDEZ FUENMAYOR
Andreína came to Florida International University from Venezuela. She obtained her B.A. in International Relations in 2007 and, subsequently, completed a Master’s program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in 2010. As a doctoral student, she is focusing her research on contemporary Latin America. Andreína is particularly interested in cultural, political, transnational, and gender history. As an adjunct professor, she taught Introduction to Latin American Studies between 2010 and 2011. Andreína also worked as a research assistant to the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU. View CV

WILLIAM B. GONZALEZ
William, a native of New Jersey, has been a full-time teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system since 2006. He currently teaches Dual Enrollment American History at Westland Hialeah Senior High. William graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. After working in corporate banking for several years, he decided to make History his career focus and completed an M.A. in American History at FIU. Topics of his research have included Quaker leadership of the anti-slavery movement in late eighteenth-century New Jersey and politics in mid-nineteenth-century Florida. For his dissertation project, William is focusing on the Whig Party in Florida politics. View CV

KATHARINE GRIFFIN
Katharine joined the doctoral program after receiving her B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from the University of North Alabama. Katharine’s Master’s thesis, “Three Influential Visits Crucial to Understanding the Anglo-American Abolitionist Relationship,” explores the Anglo-American abolitionist network in the years between 1833 and 1840. At the doctoral level, Katharine’s research interests include abolition, slavery, and reform in nineteenth-century America and Britain. Katharine gathered professional experience in the popular media as a on-air radio personality. View CV

ANDREW HART
Andrew earned his B.A. in History from the University of Florida and his M.LA. in Florida Studies from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. As a doctoral student in FIU’s Atlantic History program, he studies politics, sport, and tourism in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Florida, the American South, and the Caribbean. Andrew’s dissertation explores the rise of automobility in America and the Caribbean at the dawn of the twentieth century. View CV

FÉLIX JEAN-LOUIS
Hailing from New York, Félix joined the program after obtaining an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Hillsborough Community College (2005), a B.A. in History from Florida State University (2007), and an M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from FIU (2014). Félix is a Latin Americanist who specializes in Haitian history. His research interests include race, transnationalism, culture, and the African Diaspora. In fall 2014, Félix was awarded the Foreign Language Acquisition Scholarship (FLAS) for the study of Haitian Kreyòl. He has a long-standing ambition to publish his scholarship in that language. At present, Félix is developing his dissertation topic, which will locate the voice of Haitians in the transnational conversations of Afro-descended people in the early period of the twentieth century. View CV

RANDY KAUFMAN
Randy earned a B.A. in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1989 and obtained an M.A. in European History at the University of Florida in 1994. In 1996, he began teaching and holding administrative positions at various Community Colleges in the United States. Presently, he serves as the Chair for Humanities and Social Sciences at Miami Dade College’s Homestead Campus. With over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience, he joined the Atlantic History program to complete his doctorate in American history with a thematic emphasis on the Holocaust. His preliminary dissertation topic, “For Humanity’s Sake: The American Anti-Nazi Boycotts 1933-1938” centers on the Joint Boycott Committee’s largely unknown efforts to enforce a nation-wide ban on all German goods and services during the early Nazi period. Randy is also interested in military history, the history of medicine, and the history of science. View CV

SVEN KUBE
Sven joined the Atlantic History program after completing a Master’s degree in American Studies at Dresden University of Technology. Supported through a Canadian Government Award fellowship, he produced his thesis at Memorial University of Newfoundland on the cultural and economic implications of the Canadian Content regulations for radio broadcasting. At FIU, Sven is working on topics of transatlantic exchange and cooperation. His doctoral research investigates the domestic production, commercial distribution, and legal consumption of Anglo-American popular music in the communist German Democratic Republic during the Cold War era. Sven’s dissertation explains how the GDR’s state-owned music industry engaged in cultural commerce with record companies in capitalist countries, exporting cutting-edge classical music in return for the latest in Western pop, rock, and dance for the purpose of countering mounting opposition to cultural isolationism. His committee is comprised of Kenneth Lipartito, Jenna Gibbs, David J. Park, Peter Hanns Reill, and Victoria de Grazia. View CV

MARIA LABBATO
Maria obtained her M.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2014. Her thesis examined Spanish Civil War exiles in Mexico City from a gendered perspective. Maria worked as an adjunct instructor at UNC Charlotte and South Piedmont Community College. She taught courses on world civilization, European women’s history, the history of sexuality and gender, and modern Latin America. For her doctoral studies at FIU, Maria focuses on Latin American and Spanish history while further developing transnational research on Spanish exiles and immigrants in the Americas. Within her field of interest, the focus of Maria’s research is on Mexico and the U.S. as well as gender and generational differences in the twentieth century. View CV

SANDRA LONDONO-ARDILA
Hailing from Colombia, Sandra is an Anthropologist with an M.A. in Education who arrived at FIU in 2014. She earned her M.A. in History in the Spring of 2016 and subsequently continued to the Atlantic History doctoral program. Originally driven by persistent interest in cultural history, the focus in Sandra’s research is now on Latin American social and political history. Against the backdrop of ideological struggle, her work deals with contesting symbolic appropriations made by particular sectors of the Catholic Church and the laity on the Catholic Action Program. In her work, Sandra emphasizes the critical role of Catholicism in the contested construction of social institutions and political thought. View CV

GLORIA LOPERA MESA
Gloria is a lawyer who holds an M.A. in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Law. She has worked as a Professor of Legal Theory and as an Auxiliary Justice in the Colombian Constitutional Court. Her research interests have focused on the role of law in the construction of ethnic identities, the uses of such identities as means for claiming land rights, and property rights regulations within Colombian indigenous communities. Gloria joined FIU’s Atlantic History doctoral program to study how indigenous communities used colonial land titles in order to challenge the legal dissolution of indigenous resguardos by the late nineteenth century. View CV

JORDAN MALFOY
Jordan is interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century military history, with a focus on conflict in the European theater. Her research particularly focuses on the evolution and innovation of military rations in relation to improved military technologies and their impact on the state of armies at war in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jordan obtained a Master’s degree from Florida State University in International Affairs with an emphasis on war and conflict resolution. Jordan also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida State University. Jordan earned professional experience through four years of service in the United States Air Force. She now is as a Teaching Assistant at Florida International University’s Department of History. Her research is supervised by Dr. Gwyn Davies. View CV

MAITE MORALES
Maite earned her M.A. in History from Florida International University. As a native of Cuba who was raised in Miami, she developed a keen interest in Cuban history. Her doctoral research focuses on the culture of modern Cuba. Maite’s fields of interest include material and consumer cultures, identity, and nationalism. She is involved in FIU’s Strategic Writing Initiative and teaches first-year courses in Writing and Rhetoric. View CV

 

ROSS NEDERVELT
Ross studies the history of the American Revolution and the British West Indies. In 2010, he received B.A. degrees in History and Philosophy from West Virginia University. In 2012, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire with an M.A. in History. His dissertation project investigates the political and socioeconomic impact the American Revolution on the peripheral colonies and common spaces of the British Atlantic World. He current research interests include the effect of the Continental Congress’ military and trade policies on the Bahama Islands during the American Revolution and the political dialogue concerning Bahamian control of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the mid-eighteenth century. View CV

 

JOSEPH O’LEARY
Joseph received his B.A. in History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his M.A. from George Mason University. Recently, he presented his Master’s thesis, titled “Elua Aupuni Kuokoa o ka Amerkia Hui: Hawaiian Newspapers during the Civil War” at Texas A&M University’s annual history conference. His dissertation research at FIU entails a pragmatic interpretation of American westward expansion that includes Hawaii. As a teaching assistant, Joseph instructs his own classes in FIU’s Department of English. View CV

 

RICARDO PELEGRIN TABOADA
Ricardo Pelegrin Taboada studies Latin American and Caribbean history. He researches the history of law, legal education, legal systems, and the role of race in jurisprudence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ricardo has particular interests in world history of law, the Cuban legal system, and Roman law. He graduated from the University Of Havana School Of Law in 2004. In 2007, he attended the James Madison Memorial Fellowship in Georgetown University on History of the American Constitution. In 2010 he received his Master’s in International Law from the University of Miami along with a Dean’s Certificate of Achievement in Comparative Law. View CV

 

DOYLE L. PERDUE
Doyle received his B.A. in 2008 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he studied the Mexican Revolution under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Bortz. In May 2012, he completed his M.A. at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. During this period, Doyle ventured into the field of French history and wrote a thesis on the intellectual history of the Situationist International that was supervised by Dr. Michael Seidman. At FIU, Doyle is reconciling his many historical interests and focusing again on the history of Latin America. He is particularly interested in intellectual, social, labor, economic, and radical history as well as topics related to the environment, urbanism, and theories of commodification. View CV

DEYAN PEYKOV
Deyan graduated from a Foreign Language School in Bulgaria in 2001 with a profile in English. Beginning in 2001, he completed a B.A. program at History at Ithaca College, NY. Subsequently, he obtained his M.A. in Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. In his doctoral studies, Deyan specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Eastern European history, focusing on social issues and identities. From a comparative perspective, Deyan studies the representation of national hero images in works of poetry. View CV

 

ERIC RIVAS
Focusing on nineteenth-century American intellectual history, Eric is particularly interested in transatlantic political culture and journalistic practice. He received his B.A. in History and Philosophy from FIU, earning both departmental honors and acceptance into Phi Beta Kappa. His dissertation will explore the life and work of Charles Anderson Dana (1813-1897). Dana’s experiences, as second in command at the Brook Farm community, Horace Greeley’s managing editor at the New York Tribune, assistant Secretary of War within Lincoln’s Civil War cabinet, and owner of the influential New York Sun, merits new historical attention.Apart from his current graduate work in History, Eric also teaches Writing and Composition in FIU’s English Department. View CV

 

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ
Richard has been teaching U.S. History in Dade County Public Schools since 2006. His period of interest ranges from the pre-Columbian period to the Civil War and Reconstruction. He earned a B.A in History at Florida Atlantic University and an M.A in American History from Florida International University. He was among the first graduating class in the Teaching American History (TAH) program, which is a joint venture of FIU and Dade County Public Schools. Richard’s primary interest is in the intellectual history of abolitionists in the Atlantic World between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. He researches abolitionists who invoked prophetic scriptures to warn of Divine Retribution for Slavery. His advisers are Dr. Jenna Gibbs, Dr. Noble David Cook, Dr. Erik Larson, and Dr. Alexandra Cornelius. View CV

 

MICHELLE SAMMARTINO
Michelle is a South Florida native and Broward high school Advanced Placement teacher. She has won numerous awards and grants as an educator. Most recently, her project “The Civil Rights Cafe” was published in the A&E/History Channel Idea Book. Drawing from her background as a student of Political Science and Environmental Policy Studies at the University of Florida as well as her love of skiing in the American West, Michelle researches the impact of tourism on Park City, UT after its transition from a mining to a skiing economy. In her future life, Michelle expects to teach at the university level, open an environmental history museum, and lead history buffs around Park City’s abandoned mining structures. View CV

MEGAN SCALLAN MELVIN
Megan’s passion for the preservation of historic houses has been at the core of her academic career. She obtained a B.A. in History and Art History from the University of North Florida, an M.A. in History from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Collection Management from George Washington University. Additionally, Megan gathered eight years of curatorial and exhibit experience. As a doctoral student, she utilizes her expertise in visual and material cultures to explore eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American republican citizenship, nationalism, and gender ideals. View CV

SUSAN SCHWARTZ
Susan received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2002 and her Master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2009. She is interested in eighteenth-century British colonial history, with particular attention given to the southern colonies of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Her research examines the colonial South in an Atlantic perspective, which encompasses the political, economic, and cultural relationships between North America and Great Britain as well as the intercolonial connections that shaped reaction to imperial policies leading up to the American Revolution. Dr. Kirsten E. Wood, Dr. Sherry Johnson, and Dr. Jenna Gibbs are her dissertation advisors. Susan currently works as a teaching assistant at Florida International University. View CV

NATHAN SEELEY
Nathan’s research interests are in twentieth-century African American culture and American labor history. He received his B.A. in History with a minor in Black Studies from Saginaw Valley State University. Subsequently, he completed his M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University. As a student in FIU’s doctoral program, Nathan is researching musicians’ labor unions in Pittsburgh, PA. View CV

 

RENÉ J. SILVA
René specializes in questions of fidelity during the independence struggles in the United States and Spanish America. His dissertation project, titled “Revolution, Reconciliation, and Rupture: The Loyalist Reintegration Conflict in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” explores the efforts of Americans loyal to the British during the War for Independence to adapt to the new republican order. For 2015-16, the David Library of the American Revolution awarded him a research fellowship. René obtained his M.A. in American History at FIU in 2011. He has published on royalism in Spanish America in the Latin American Research Review and the web journal Panoramas. He has presented scholarly papers on race, politics, and commerce in East Florida during the Second Spanish Period at the Florida Conference of Historians and FIU’s Atlantic History conferences. René also holds an M.A. in International Administration, a B.A. in Communications, and has extensive experience in university administration, business, and non-profit management. View CV

GRACIA SOLIS
Gracia is interested in the cultural and political relations between the U.S. and Latin America, particularly Mexico and Cuba. She specializes in the trans-American ideas and networks which affected these relations during the nineteenth century. Her current research focuses on the convergence of factors including transnational print culture, liberalism, commercial networks, imperialism and gendered constructs of masculinity which led to a number of filibustering expeditions in Latin America during the mid-nineteenth century. Gracia earned her M.A. at FIU, where she has worked as a Teaching Assistant since 2010. She also earned her Bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University with an emphasis in Latin America. Her research there focused on Mexican, Cuban and U.S. diplomatic relations after the Cuban Revolution. View CV

TONYA ST. JULIEN
As a recipient of the Posse Foundation Full-Tuition Leadership and Merit Based Scholarship, Tonya completed her B.A. in Anthropology at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. She obtained her M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University. Tonya’s research interests include Atlantic and modern Caribbean history, the African Diaspora, race, nationalizing projects, post-colonialism, and peasant studies. For her doctoral work, Tonya investigates cultural representations of Haitian peasant culture from the Golden Age of Haitian tourism in the twentieth century. She is a McNair Graduate Fellow. View CV

KYLE R. STEIN
Kyle specializes in twentieth-century American economic and business history with a focus on the intersection between public policy and economic thought. He received his B.A. in History and Economics from Emory University. He has worked on a variety of topics that include American organized crime, the Prohibition, and the history of economic thought. As a doctoral student in FIU’s Atlantic History program, Kyle is working with Dr. Kenneth Lipartito. View CV

XAVIER E. VEGA
Xavier is a Ph.D. Candidate specializing in modern United States history. His research focuses on the connections among business growth, demographic change, as well as intra- and inter-racial class relations in Miami-Dade County between 1930 and 1980.  Xavier also engages in public history.  He has worked in various capacities as researcher, grant writer, and project manager on two historic preservation projects in Miami. View CV