The last few months have brought news about a diverse range of impressive job placements among the students and alums of our History PhD program.
Nathan Micalewicz, who received his PhD in early modern European history in 2020 under the direction of Professor Mack Holt, recently accepted a tenure-track position in history at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Queens is a small, private liberal arts college that was an all-female school until the 1980s. In recent years it established several M.A. programs (including an M.A. in History, which began in 2002). Michalewicz, who will be the only Europeanist in a department of four historians, is an expert in relations between Europe and the Islamic world during the early modern era. He is currently at work on a book project, The Ottoman Empire in French Foreign Policy, 1547-1610, which explores France’s alliance with the Ottoman Empire. Like many of our Ph.D. students, Dr. Michalewicz developed skills in digital history while at Mason. His major digital-history project, Mapping French Diplomacy, analyzes French diplomacy from 1494 to 1715 by mapping letters from French rulers to foreign correspondents. While at Mason he also worked with Professor Matt Karush to edit the Journal of Social History, a top-tier journal in the discipline of history.
Another PhD student (and soon to be alum) who secured a tenure track job is Anthony Guidone, who will join the History Department at Radford University in Fall 2023 as an Assistant Professor. Guidone is finishing up his dissertation, “The Empire’s City: Salem, Massachusetts, 1783-1815,” and will defend it this summer. The project, which was directed by Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri, examines the impact of global trade on the town of Salem during the Revolutionary era and the early American Republic. In addition to teaching classes on early U.S. history, he has been asked to build Radford’s digital history program. Guidone reports that his digital history history training in the PhD program, as well as his experience as a graduate affiliate at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, played an essential role in landing the job at Radford. Also important was his work on the leadership team for the Center for Mason Legacies, which gave him experience researching Virginia history and developing local history projects–both of which will be areas in which he plans to contribute at Radford.
Greta Swain is another soon-to-be alum of the Ph.D. program who will begin an exciting professional opportunity in the fall: a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. CPH was established ten years ago in conjunction with the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and has since become a hub of innovative research on the American presidency. While in residence at CPH Swain will have the opportunity to work on several digital and public history initiatives, such as The Past, The Promise, The Presidency podcast and the Collective Memory Project. The fellowship will also give her time to revise her dissertation, which is about how the Potomac River shaped the lives, networks, and socioeconomic trajectory of George Mason (our university's namesake) and his family as well as the people they enslaved during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As is the case with so many of our PhD alums, Swain has been asked by her new institution to teach a digital history class. Greta credits her success in landing the job at SMU to the extensive hands-on training in public and digital history that she received at Mason. In particular, she notes that her time as a Fellow and Research Assistant at RRCHNM “taught me the craft of making history more accessible to a wider audience” and gave her the unique opportunity to “envision, lead, execute and publicize collaborative digital history projects.”
From its inception, the History PhD at Mason was designed to prepare students for a variety of careers, both inside and outside of academia. Some of our most impressive job placements over the years have been in the latter category. Janine Hubai, a PhD student who is currently ABD, has continued in that tradition. Hubai will take her comprehensive exams later this summer and will then begin a dissertation project (under the direction of Dr. Christy Pichichero) on the early years of army desegregation and integration at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and its surrounding community. She also recently began a full-time job as a multimedia historian at the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History (CMH). There she will have the opportunity to work on various collaborative digital projects for both soldiers and the American public: creating curriculum tools to educate new soldiers about the history and heritage of the Army, designing digital products and exhibits for the CMH website, and producing digital stories and interactive maps for CMH exhibits. For Janine, as with all of the other PhD students profiled here, her digital history training helped get her the job and prepared her for the range of tasks she will be expected to perform. Janine gives special credit to her experience with RRCHNM's World History Commons project, her digital mapping work with Dr. Gabi Tayac, and her research assistantship at the Center for Mason Legacies.
May 08, 2023