Loyola University Maryland

Department of History

News and Highlights

Former Student's Book Release

Dr. Lee Wilson, a former History Major and graduate of Loyola released her book Bonds of Empire

Three History Majors Complete Internships

In Spring 2021, three History majors completed internships. Samantha Burnett interned virtually with the American Historical Association’s Communications and Marketing Department. Samantha worked on a membership recruitment project for the AHA, which is the main professional organization for historians in the United States. Christopher Linfante and Joseph Seminara interned with Archives and Special Collections at Loyola Notre Dame Library, where they worked on a collection of materials related to Father John J. Griffin, who taught at Notre Dame. Christopher processed the collection and wrote a finding aid and Joseph designed the physical exhibit. Together they also designed an online exhibit related to this collection.


Dr. Carey Interview

Dr. Carey was interviewed by Loyola Magazine on How to collect and record oral histories

Dr. Okoh and Dr. Sandler host a webinar with Dr. Tiffany Florvil

On April 13th, Dr. Tiffany Florvil presented "Afro-German Activism in International Context.


Phi Alpha Theta Induction

Dr. Willeke Sandler held the 2020 - 2021 Phi Alpha Theta Induction on April 21, 2021. Alumni Phoebe LaBat (class of 2019) was a guest speaker. Please congratulate the 2020 -2021 Inductees:

Class of 2021:

Crystal Bahn, Brittany Bonin, Gillian Chambres, Mark Cojocaru, Matthew Cunniff, Geoffrey Ford, Neel Ghose, Megan Kaiser, Emily Robinson, Matthew Zamow

Class of 2022:

Daniel Ayd, Tyler Bluestone, David Chango, Gabriella Cirincione, Edward Fine, Stephen Kaiser, Christopher Linfante, Sachin Medler, Katie Metzgar, Emma Niles, Madison O'Donnell, Gabriel Pavia, Joseph Seminara, Luke Verdon, Patrick Waters

Class of 2023:

Duce Diaz-Alvaranga


Dr. Thomas Pegram consults on a new film about the Klu Klux Klan

Along with several other historians, Dr. Pegram provided on-screen commentary for a recently released Smithsonian Channel film entitled "The Klan Makes a Movie," which explores a mysterious 1920s movie made by the Ku Klux Klan. Documents in Pegram's possession provided critical evidence in the investigation.

Dr. Okoh's Collaboration with Baltimore Museum of Art

This past Fall (’20) Dr. Okoh collaborated with the Baltimore Museum of Art to enhance her classes’ exploration of matriarchy and kinship in the course –Gender and Power in Modern Africa. It was perfect timing that the exhibit –A Perfect Power– debuted just as they began this unit in the course.

Here is Dr. Okoh’s reflection on the success of this collaboration: Having access to the wide variety of images and objects in the exhibit really enriched our discussion by engaging how concepts of matriarchy were actually symbolized in many West and West Central African societies. This worked beautifully with the readings I selected on this topic and made the discussions much more vibrant. Most enriching was the opportunity to have Dr. Kevin Tervala, the exhibit’s curator, guest lecture and engage with the students. Attached to our discussion was a visual assignment that asked them to situate selected objects from the exhibit in the historical context we were learning about. At Loyola, we pride ourselves in engaging high impact teaching and learning practices. This was an excellent engagement with this pedagogical mission. Students not only came away feeling enriched, many were excited to engage historical thinking through this visual medium, having it anchor the more abstract concepts of kinship and matriarchy in material culture.IncorporatingA Perfect Power into this iteration of the course has expanded my own imagination for how to excite and challenge students in my history courses – courses that, on the surface, can be quite intimidating to prospective students. This was the most engaged iteration of this course, which I’ve taught three times in different settings. This is most surprising given the constraints of the current pandemic. I am most grateful for this experience


2019-2020 Whiteford Medal & Whelan Medal

The History Department wishes to congratulate Jack Weeks for receiving the 2019-2020 Whiteford Medal in History. The Whiteford Medal is the greatest honor and most prestigious award of the History Department and is bestowed at graduation. It is granted to a graduating senior history major who achieved an outstanding grade point average and whose written work holds promise of noteworthy contributions to historical scholarship. In addition to the Whiteford Medal, Jack also was the recipient of the Whelan Medal, given to the graduating senior with the highest academic average.  Congratulations, Jack!


2019-2020 History Essay Contest Winners

The History Department also would like to congratulate the winners of the 2019-2020 History Essay Contest. Congratulations to Nicholas, Kyra, Naylah, David, Vivian, Katie, Alexandra and Sam (twice)!

HS 100-Level Essay:

  • First place: Nicholas Bosi, "Sex and Revolution in Rio De Janeiro: The Emerging Gay Community in Post-War Brazil." Written for HS 108D, The Making of Modern World: Latin America, Prof. Carey, Spring 2020. 
  • Second place: Kyra Atkinson, "The Call for Remembering the Forgotten." Written for HS 103, The Making of Modern World: The United States II, Prof. Pegram, Spring 2020.
  • Third place: Naylah Perodin, "The Struggle to Assimilate." Written for HS 103, The Making of Modern World: The United States II, Prof. Pegram, Spring 2020.

Upper-Division Short Essay

  • First place: David Traugott, “The Phillis Through the Eyes of the Slavers and Enslaved.” Written for HS 345, The Peoples of Early America, Prof. Mulcahy, Spring 2020.
  • Second place: Vivian Nguyen, "The Cultural Endurance of VapoRub: Theories and Application of Humoral Medicine." Written for HS 422, Health and Illness in Latin America, Prof. Carey, Spring 2020/

Upper-Division Long Essay

  • First place: Katie Metzger, "Betterment Planning: Destruction and Defiance." Written for HS 400, History Methods, Prof. Okoh, Fall 2019.
  • Second place: Samantha Burnett, "Tuberculosis: An Agent of Apartheid". Written for HS 400, History Methods, Prof. Okoh, Fall 2019

Seminar Paper

  • First place: Alexandra White, "About 'That' in Post-Communist Russia." Written for HS 478, Global Histories of Sexuality, Prof. Ross, Fall 2019.
  • Second place: Samantha Burnett, "'The Child that Went with the Fairies': The Victorian Folklore of Disability and the Living Changeling." Written for HS 498, Histories of Intellectual Disabilities, Prof. Scalenghe, Spring 2020.


Alumni News


Two recent history majors know a thing or two about the history of disease and humanitarian outreach. While studying abroad in Ireland her junior year, Phoebe Labat (2019) became interested in a statue in the Irish countryside that commemorated a cash donation from the Choctaw Nation to help alleviate suffering during the potato famine. Thanks to a grant from Loyola’s Center for the Humanities, Phoebe spent a summer researching the history of the Native American-Irish connection and writing a paper which she presented on campus the following September. The subject of her research was in the news again this month, as the New York Times reported on Irish citizens repaying past kindness with donations to the different Native American nations as they struggle with Covid-19. “This kind of generosity is part of a larger history of reciprocation between Native American nations and Ireland,” Phoebe observed when we spoke with her recently. She noted that Irish citizens in Galway raised money for Choctaws in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. And activists from both sides of the Atlantic campaigned together for hunger relief in the 1990s. Phoebe is set to begin graduate work in history at Brown University next fall as a presidential fellow. Keenan Gibbons (2018) spent most of the year in Germany on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship exploring the history of medicine and infectious disease. Her interest in the topic began with her senior thesis at Loyola, which investigated the 1918-19 influenza epidemic in Baltimore. Among other issues, she traced the spread of the disease across the city by wards and explored how race factored in both the epidemic and its coverage in the press. “One does not need to look far to find similarities between the public health crisis in 1918 and the one outside our present doors,” Keenan told us. The newspapers are filled with similar stories, she noted: “Civilians sheltered in place, make-shift hospitals, public panic, and disparities in healthcare access. While the First World undeniably exacerbated the pandemic in 1918, I believe the lack of centralized federal public health infrastructure both then and now highlights a major obstacle we continue to face in the United States.” Although her Fulbright year was cut short by a few months, she spent seven great months in Berlin. Keenan will begin a Master’s in Public Health program in the fall. 

History is not a Useless major: Fighting Myths with Data

The American Historical Association has an article on the benefits of being a History Major. 

Dr. DeVries Web Series on Vanity Fair

In October 2019, Dr. DeVries along with Prop Master, Larry Zanoff, fact checked battle scenes from 'Game of Thrones', 'Gladiator', '300', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', 'A Knights Tale' and 'Maximillian'. Each movie is analyzed for their historical accuracy and Use of weaponry. Check it out!

Washington Post Article


Washington Post has an article regarding the importance of Humanities Majors. The article specifies English majors, however there is also information regarding importance of Humanities majors and courses. 

2019 Fall Publications

Dr. Ross's book was published this summer. Public City, Public Sex traces the relationship between prostitution, homosexuality, and urban change in nineteenth-century Paris.

2018-2019 Whiteford Medal Winner

The History Department wishes to congratulate Phoebe Labat for her receipt of the 2018-2019 Whiteford Medal in History!  The Whiteford Medal is the greatest honor and most prestigious award of the History Department and was bestowed on Phoebe at graduation.  It is granted to a graduating senior history major who achieved an outstanding grade point average and whose written work holds promise of noteworthy contributions to historical scholarship. Congratulations, Phoebe!

Phoebe Labat

Congratulations to all graduating History majors! Here is a short article you might find useful: "Entering the Job Market with a BA in History." 

2018-2019 Essay Contest Winners

HS 100-Level Essay:

  • First place: Brandon Miller, “How Frederick Douglass’ Literacy Paved the Way to His Freedom.” 
  • Second Place: Glenn Prushinski, “Opinions of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt.” 
  • Third Place: Kayla Lipson, “Sentimental Families.” 

Upper Division Short Essay:

  • First place: Rebecca Vincent, "Stories of Selfhood and Solidarity:  Exploring Women's Lives Throughout African Communities," HS 389D
  • Second place: David Traugott, "The Southern Ideology that Led to the Civil War," HS 348

Upper Division Long Essay: 

  • First Place: Brandon Miller, “Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral: Philosophies of Decolonization”
  • Second Place (Tie): Rodlyn-mae Banting, “Preparing for Judgment Day: The Economics and Moralities of U.S.-Regulated Prostitution in Colonial Manila (1898-1902)
    Maureen O’Kane, “An Opportunity for Agency: Religious Syncretism and Gender in Colonial Mexico”

Seminar Papers

  • First-place: Gavin Wolf, “The United States’ Cold War Misconceptions and its Consequent Effects on Southern Africa,” (Schmidt seminar)
  • Second-Place: Phoebe Labat, “Order Overseas: Peace, Aristocracy, and Entrepreneurship in New France, 1672-1675,” (Brennan seminar)

Faculty News



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Rana Malek

Rana Malek

The relationships she formed with faculty and fellow students prepared Rana for her career in medicine