Graduate Students Accomplishments AY 2016-17 | Department of History | Kent State University

Graduate Students Accomplishments AY 2016-17

Completed MA Thesis


Megan Smeznik, “’Whose Digital History’: Closing the Gaps Between Academic Historians, Public Historians, and the Public”

Joseph Stewart, “The Appropriation of Abraham Lincoln by Ronald Reagan and Conservative Notions of Lincoln’s Legacy, 1980-1989”



Alyssa Cady, “Representing the Holocaust: German and American Museum in Comparative Perspective”

Kayla Mason, “Verite et Severite: The Politics of Memorialization and Cultural Interpretations of the Rafle du Vel d'Hiv, 1945-2012”

Christine Pienoski, “Pyramids of Lake Erie: The Historical Evolution of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Egyptian Collection”

Philip Shackelford, “Fighting for Air: Cold War Reorganization and the U.S. Air Force Security Service, 1945-1952”

Whitney Stalnaker, “Good at Heart: The Dramatization of 'The Diary of Anne Frank' and Its Influence on American Cultural Perceptions”

Nicholas Staudacher, “Theodore Roosevelt's Construction of the 'Public Interest': Rhetoric, Ideology, and Presidential Intervention, 1901-1906”

Ian Varga, “From Living World to a Dead Earth: Mars in American Science since the Space Age”

James Williams, “The Road to Harper's Ferry: The Garrisonian Rejection of Nonviolence”

Jobadiah Christiansen, “The Crucifix of Memory: Community and Identity in Greenville, Pennsylvania” Dr. Ken Bindas, Advisor, May 2015.

Continuing MA Students

Colin Grenig, 2nd year,

Paper Presented: “Creating an Independent Foreign Policy: Conservative Internationalist Rhetoric in the Harding Administration” Kent-Akron Graduate Symposium (February 2015).

Cyrus Moore, “The Ohio National Guard Before the Militia Act of 1903”

Kayla Mason1st year,

Public History concentration,

will be an exchange student in Wurzburg Germany in Fall 2015 as part of the Department’s Cultural Landscapes program at the MA level

Christine Pienoski, 1st year,

Public History concentration,

Ohio Museum Association Student Scholarship

Conference attended: Ohio Museum Association Annual Conference

Philip Shackelford, 1st year,

GSS Research Award,

Research Trip; Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery Alabama

Conference Papers Presented:

“Silent Mavericks: The U.S. Air force Security Service and Signals Intelligence in Cold War National Security” Kent-Akron Graduate Symposium (February 2015) and at the  KSU Graduate Research Symposium (April 2, 2015).

“Flying High: The U.S. Air Force Security Service and its Rise to Preeminence in the U.S. Intelligence Community.”  Society of Military History Conference, April 2015.

Whitney Stalnaker, 1st year,

Public History concentration.

Ohio Museums Association Student Scholarship

Paper Presented: “Questions of Collective Memory: the Diary of Anne Frank and the Traumatic Evolution of Holocaust Narratives” Akron-Kent Graduate Symposium. February 2015.

Conference attended: Ohio Museum Association Annual Conference,

will be an exchange student in Wurzburg Germany in Fall 2015 as part of the Department’s Cultural Landscapes program at the MA level.

James Williams, 1st year,

Member of KSU Model NATO team representing Slovenia, Washington DC, February 2015

PhD Students


Melissa Steinmetz, “National Insecurity in the Nuclear Age: Cold War Manhood and the Gendered Discourse of U.S. Survival, 1945-1960” Dr. Ann Heiss, Advisor. August 2014.


Joel Baehler, ABD

Conference paper Presented: “’Evidence of a Lower Standard’: The Navy, Homosexuality, and Robert A. Martin Jr.’s Discharge Trial” Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, March 21, 2015.

Attended the American Historical Association Meeting in New York City, January 2015

Organized the Akron-Kent Symposium, February 2015

Michele Curran Cornell, ABD,

Grants Received:

General and Mrs. Matthew Ridgeway Grant 2014/2015

Research travel: Gettysburg College; the Military History Institute, Carlisle PA; and Bowling Green State University

Conference Paper presented:
“Be Good: Sexual Tension in American Military Marriages during World War II” Society for Military History Annual Conference, Montgomery Alabama, April 10, 2015.

Guest lecture at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA

David Demaree, ABD,

Research travel: United States War College, the Pennsylvania Historical Society and the University of Pennsylvania

Guest lecture at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA

Daniel Farrell,

Paper Presented: “The Arresting of the Maryland Legislature, 1861: A Historiographical Discussion” Akron-Kent Symposium, February 6, 2015.

Conferences Attended: Society of Civil War Historians (June 2014) and the Southern Historical Association (November 2014)

Michael Goodnough,

Papers Presented:

“Peace Be with You: Leftist Activism at John Carroll university, 1967-1969” 15th Annual Bakhtin Conference, Stockholm, Sweden July 2014.

“Untangling the Tingle: Deep Throat, ‘Deep Throat’, and Symbols of Cultural Production” Phi Alpha Theta Ohio Regional Conference, Lourdes University, March 21, 2015. Awarded Best Graduate Paper honors.

Journal Article: “Peace Be with You: Leftist Activism at John Carroll university, 1967-1969” Ohio History Journal, March 2015.

Jacob House,

Conference Paper Presented: “From Radical Reform to ‘A New Despotism”: Commentary and Welfare Programs”

Akron-Kent Symposium. February 2015. Winner of the “Z” award for Best Paper.

Emily Hager Kasecamp, ABD,

GSS Travel Award

Research travel: University of Pittsburg, West Virginia University, and Frostburg State University.  Also traveled to the Pennsylvania Historical Society and the Library Company of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia, and the William and Mary Swen Library and the Colonial Williamsburg Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, VA

Conference Paper:  “Oldtown Maryland—historic crossroads” Frontier Forum” and “Roundtable on Local History”, Michael Cresap Museum June 6 2014

Forthcoming Publication: “Oldtown Maryland: A colonial Crossroads”, Journal of the Alleghenies, 2016.

Bryan Kvet, ABD,

Research travel: John Ford Paper, University of Indiana

Leon Perkowski, ABD,

Papers presented: “Deterrence vs Disentanglement: Military Resistance to Nixon’s Troop Withdrawal from South Korea, 1969-1971”, Society of Military Historians, 11 April 2015.

Aaron Pride, ABD,

Grant Received: Harry B. Leonard travel grant: U.S. intellectual history

Conference Papers presented:

“Producing Protest in Page” US Intellectual History Conference, October 9, 2014;

“Religious Ideology in Racial Agitation” Midwest Popular Culture Association, October 3, 2014.

Robert W. Sidwell, ABD,

Grant Received: Mellon Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society Departmental travel grant

Conference Paper presented:  “Charles Scott Venable: Scholar and Soldier,” Kent-Akron Graduate History Symposium, 2015

Stephanie Vincent, ABD,

Kent State University Fellowship, Spring and Summer 2014

Research travel: New Castle PA, Columbus Ohio, and Newell, WV

Conference Paper submitted: “Competition and Cooperation in the American Pottery Industry” submitted for the 2016 Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Providence, RI. 

Sarah Zabic, ABD,

Conference Paper Presented: “Replying to the Devil: The Polyphony of Praxis in 1960s Yugoslavia,” at 15th International Annual Bakhtin1 Conference, Stockholm, Sweden (July 2014).

Conferences Attended: European Association of Social Anthropologists in Tallinn, Estonia (July-August 2014)

New MA and PhD Assistantships for 2015-16:


Jacob House (2nd year PhD), 20th Century Intellectual History, MA University of Illinois Springfield.

Nick Mays (2nd year PhD), 20th Century African American Political History, MA Kent State.

Joseph Bean, 20th Century American Political History, MA University of Illinois, Springfield.


Megan Smeznik, Public History, BA Wooster College.

Joseph Stewart, Early American History, BA Ohio University.