Commencement 2020

Class of 2020

May 15, 2020

The faculty and staff of the Department of History congratulate the class of 2020!

Photo of some Department of History faculty members on Zoom.

Department of History Commencement page



Courtesy of the American Historical Association.

Lonnie G. Bunch III's Graduation Speech to the Class of 2020
Lonnie G. Bunch III is the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He served as the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture from 2005 to 2019, and as president and director of the Chicago History Museum (Chicago Historical Society) from 2000 to 2005. In this video, he speaks to the history majors graduating in spring 2020.
Mary Lindemann's Graduation Speech to the Class of 2020
Dr. Mary Lindemann is professor of history and chair of the Department of History at the University of Miami, where she has taught since 2004 and where she offers courses on the history of early modern European, urban, and medical history. She is currently serving as the president of the American Historical Association. In this video, she speaks to the history majors graduating in spring 2020.


Class of 2020 History Majors:

Please click on the graduate's name to watch a personalized congratulatory video on behalf of the department. 

Julia Andrews
Nathaniel Bear
Nathan Charissis (Highest Distinction)    
Hugo Christensen-Diehl
Benjamin Feldsott
Jose Fernandez
Quinn Gallagher
Elizabeth Geiser (Cum Laude, Distinction)
Charles Gould
Merve Gulbay
Mahwish Hamayun (Highest Distinction, Take 5 Scholar)
Elle Herman (Take 5 Scholar)
Sarah Hogan (Highest Distinction)
Jessica Hunsicker (Highest Distinction)
Trevor Lee (Cum Laude, Highest Distinction)
Ziyi Li (Highest Distinction)
Elise Lia
Chunhao Liu (Cum Laude, Highest Distinction)
Jordan Mangefrida
Ryan McDonald (Cum Laude, Distinction)
Benjamin McGowan (Highest Distinction)
James Murphy
Brandon Pachman (Cum Laude)
Russell Phillips
Piffanie Rosario
Jimmy Yang


History Minors:

Agustin Diaz Herrero
Joseph Ginnane
Kristine Gurcan
Luis Gutierrez
Ryan Liedegott
Devin Marty
Monica Morgan
Julianna Savitz
Steven Spiewak
Matthew Swanson
Miranda Vasso
Wenbo Yang


Undergraduate Prizes and Awards in History:

Wilson Coates Senior Honors Essay Award in History
To the senior student who has written the best senior essay in the department this year.
Jessica Hunsicker

N.B. Ellison Prize
To the member of the senior class concentrating in history who has done the best work in the department.
Benjamin McGowan

History Seminar Prize
To the History major who has written the best HIS 300W level Seminar Paper.
Kaylee Kisselburgh

Webb Prize
To the undergraduate student who has done the best work in a course dealing with the Black experience in America.
Adam Hollies

Herbert Lawrence Sadinsky Memorial Prize
To the best undergraduate history paper on an aspect of World War II.
Hannah Yeager

Hugh Mackenzie Memorial Prize
To the first year woman who has shown the highest achievement and interest in a history course, and to the freshman woman who has shown the greatest improvement in a history course.
Megan Emery, Molly Raichle, Isabel Rivera, and Loren Cardani

Christopher Lasch Fellow in History

Christopher Lasch Fellows is an opportunity offered to students who have provided strong work in their time as a History major. Students register for one or both semesters of graduate-level work in their senior year.

Trevor Lee and Brandon Pachman


Honors in History:

Elizabeth Geiser
"Paintbrushes and Paramilitaries: Northern Ireland's Murals as Narrative Tools"

Mahwish Hamayun
"The Wailing Brown Woman: Gender, Violence, and the Sexual Politics of Partition, 1945-1950"

Elle Herman
"Death at a Training School: an Analysis of Processes of Juvenile Incarceration in 1970s New York"

Jessica Hunsicker
"Constructing Adirondack Wilderness: A History of Misconceiving what it means to be 'Forever Wild'"

Yolanda (Ziyi) Li
"The Extradited Kidnapper: Criminal Jurisdiction Disputes between Hong Kong and Mainland China"

Ben McGowan
"'Lex Lyth Doun Over Al': The Legal Failures of the Edwards"


Phi Alpha Theta:

Nicole Marilyn Babkowski
Elizabeth R. Geiser
Jessica J. Hunsicker
Elise A. Lia
Alyssa Nelson
Brandon Pachman


MAs Awarded:

Jeffrey Baron
Rachel Cox
Marcia Cristina Esteves Agostinho
Justin Grossman
John Portlock
Alice Wynd


PhDs Awarded:

Camden Burd
The Ornament of Empire: Nurserymen and the Making of the American Landscape

Katherine Elena
From Masochism to Innocence: Changing Social Conceptions of Domestic Violence in America

Rohma Khan
Cab Fair! Taxi Driver Activism and South Asian Immigrant Identities, 1979-1999

Phillip Koyoumjian
Maps and the Making of Geographical Knowledge, 1660-1730

John Portlock
America Will Be! Black Anti-War Voices and the Modern Civil Rights Movement

Daniel Rinn
Garden, Forest, and Farm:  Pragmatic Naturalism in the United States

Jonathan Strassfeld
Phenomenology and American Philosophy


Graduate Prizes and Awards in History

Sanford Elwitt Memorial Prize
To a graduate student in European history for research and travel in memory of Professor Elwitt.
Josie Bready and Marissa Crannell-Ash

Harkins Prize
A prize in memory of William F. Harkins Jr. to the graduate student who has written the best seminar paper.
Rhianna Gordon

Donald Marks “Dexter Perkins” Prize
To perpetuate the name of Dexter Perkins and to encourage and assist a worthy student in his/her cultural and intellectual development.
Jeffrey Baron, Justin Grossman, Andrew Russo, and Alice Wynd

Meyers Graduate Teaching Prize
To the graduate student who has most demonstrated excellence in teaching.
Alice Wynd

David B. Parker Memorial Prize
To the student in the PhD program who best exemplifies David B. Parker’s qualities of historical imagination and dedication to learning.
Alyssa Rodriguez and Rachel Walkover

Lina and A. William Salomone Prize
To the graduate student in the PhD program who has done outstanding work  in European cultural and intellectual history.
Anna Michas and Katrina Ponti

VanDeusen Award
To support travel and dissertation research for a fourth-year history graduate student.
Justin Ramsey and Daniel Gorman Jr.

Dorothy Rosenberg-Passer Fellowship
For the support of a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree
Ling Yang

Willson Havelock Coates Book Award

To the graduate student having among other qualifications, a conspicuous gift for historical imagination and the capacity for sustained and accurate research (in British history, European intellectual history, or philosophy of history).
Andrew Russo 


The Abraham J. Karp Teaching Excellence Award

Made annually to a junior member of the faculty, alternately each year in the Department of Religion and Classics, and in the Department of History

Brianna Theobald