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Alumni of the History Department at Sacramento State

The Graduate programs in History at Sacramento State are known for the tight-knit and diverse communities that form with every cohort. On this page, you will find many testimonials to this effect, as well as have access to some of the excellent scholarship being pursued by recent graduates.  


Vanessa Madrigal-Lauchland Answers Question at the Graduate Student Symposium

Vanessa Madrigal-Lauchland
MA in History, 2017
PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis

The faculty facilitated a strong and dynamic support structure, including mentorship, professionalization opportunities, and connected me to valuable academic resources. This support structure, strengthened by the fellowship and assistance of my colleagues, prepared me to present and publish my research, teach in the classroom, and pursue my PhD at UC Davis.

My fondest memory in the program is the collaboration that took place with my colleagues to create the First Annual Student Research Panel.

Aaron Jackson Presenting on WWI Trench Journalism

Aaron Jackson
MA in History, 2016
PhD Candidate, Univeristy of California, San Francisco

Access to the faculty has to be one of the greatest strengths of the MA history programs at Sacramento State. From the time I applied to the program through my last seminar, it has never been difficult to get one-on-one attention from all of the faculty and staff. They have truly cultivated a collegiate environment and put their students' concerns first. The curriculum, too, has to be counted among the program's strengths. It is difficult, no doubt, but also engaging in a way that going through the program becomes one of the hardest things you will ever look forward to doing!

The faculty's efforts at fostering professional development in their students really stands out. Whether it is Dr. Michael Vann taking time out of a seminar to explain how to find a job in academica, Dr. Candace Gregory-Abbott sharing her advice on how to lecture, or Dr. Mona Siegel encouraging her World War I seminar students to present their research to a wider audience, the program at Sac State has really helped me develop a strong curriculum vitae, which made me a strong candidate for PhD programs.

Finally, the diversity and camaraderie that develops with your peers at Sacramento State is something that cannot be understated. We share in each other's success and bond in our common experiences. I know that in this program, I not only gained an invaluable education, I made friends for life!

Trevor Neely

Trevor Neely
MA in History, 2014
Administrative Support Assistant, Peer and Academic Resource Center (PARC)
Sacramento State Univeristy

The History MA program at Sacramento State builds upon foundational knowledge of the discipline, including major topics and themes, research skills, and writing skills. Beyond that, however, the program helps create academic and professional connections for graduate students, both inside and outside the field of History.

The MA program helped me to develop as a scholar of History and as a writer. At the same time, the program helped me to plug into the campus community and to develop teaching and networking skills necessary for a career in higher education. Upon exiting the MA program, thanks to the teaching and facilitating experiences provided to me during the program, I felt ready to pursue a career in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

My fondest memories of the program include gathering with other MA students for riveting, in-depth discussions of historical monographs each week in seminar. I will also always remember fondly the experience of working with such inspirational, wise teachers and mentors as Dr. Chloe Burke, Dr. Rebecca Kluchin, and Dr. Mona Siegel, as I prepared for my comprehensive exams.

2013 hooding Ceremony with Brittany Long, Megan Randolph, and Katie Healy

Katie Healy
MA in History, 2013
PhD Candidate, Yale Univeristy, History of Health Science and Medicine
Improviser and Sketch Writer, Upright Citizens Brigade, NYC

The history department's professors are equally inspiring as top-notch scholars and unflaggingly commited as mentors. They provide opportunities for and encourage students to publish with Clio, present at Phi Alpha Theta meetings and conferences, and lecture in undergraduate classes--all invaluable preparation for PhD programs or teaching.

Diana Reed
MA History, 2010
Full-Time Faculty, Consumnes River College
Los Rios Community College District

What is the greatest strength of the MA History program? The faculty! I feel so fortunate to have benefitted from the guidance, expertise, and friendship of the exceptional faculty in the MA program at Sac State. Also, the evening course offerings allowed me to work while completing my MA degree.

The MA I earned from Sac State provided me with the academic training and eligibility to achieve my professional goal (and dream job!) of teaching community college at Consumnes River College in the Los Rios Community College District here in Sacramento.

My fondest memories are of engaging in lively, smart discussions with my outstanding colleagues and professors in the terrific seminar format of the MA program.

Chelsea at the Statue of Lucy Stone in Boston

Chelsea Del Rio
MA in History, 2009
PhD, University of Michigan, 2016

Nothing has better prepared me for a career in academia than working closely with the History Department faculty during completion of my Master's degree. Their advising, guidance, and support helped me develop groundbreaking research and get into an R1 PhD program. They have continued to serve as trusted friends and mentors in the years since I graduated, remaining invested in my professional success.

The camaraderie developed in the History Department's graduate student community was vital to my educational experience, successful completion of the program, and admission to a top-ranked PhD program. Our spirited scholarly discussions and personal friendships continue to be a part of my professional development in the form of peer review, writing retreats, conference panels, and late-night pep talks.

Karen Raines

Karen Raines
MA History, 2007
Curator of History at the Mission Inn Foundation and Museum, Riverside, CA
PhD Candidate, Public History Emphasis, University of California, Riverside

I loved how student-centered the MA history program is at Sac State. Students are put first and they are provided a wealth of opportunities to enhance their hands-on experience and professional skills. Moreover, the program taught me how to be a graduate student and a historian. It taught me to think in new ways, to challenge ideas, and to write in a compelling and persuasive way. I don't think I would have been as prepared to enter a PhD program had it not been for my time in the history program at Sac State.

Damian Harmony

Damian Harmony
MA in History, 2006
High School Teacher & Comedian

The MA History program at Sacramento State has at its core two attributes that make it a stand-out program: diversity of content, and accessibility of professors. You would be hard-pressed to find a topic to write about which does not fall under the purview of one or more professors, and you would be equally hard-pressed to find a professor unwilling to help you, whatever your skill level in writing history.

I am a public school teacher in the Sacramento area, and I have taught history, which meant I taught teenagers how to write history. It was the skills I developed in my MA program, specifically under Dr. Mona Siegel, that enabled me to pull apart the Rubik's Cube of writing and teach my students how to put it back together. My studies in history have given me an incredibly broad base to draw from.

My most fond memories of the program are, whithout a doubt, the seminar classes. I was in a room of similarly-interested, though not always like-minded, individuals and discussing history. By far, it was the greatest chance for me to grow intellectually.

Recent Theses


Archer, William D. "The Merten Affair." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Golia, Francesca Maria. "The Making of a Female Revolutionary During the Neapolitan Republic of 1799: The Life and Work of Eleanora de Fonseca Pimentel." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Horton, Tori Anne. "Furies of the Guillotine: Female Revolutionaries in the French Revolution and in Victorian Literary Imagination." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Jackson, Aaron James. "Hostes Humani Generis: Piracy on the Tides of Empire in the Age of Sail." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Johnson, Antoine Sterling. "Voices of the Youth: Golden Era Rap Intellectuals." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Lehr, Ernest Emanuel. "Sutterville: The Unsuccessful Attempt to Establish a Town Safe from Floods." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Piring, Donald Estrella, Jr. "Kain na!: The Life and Times of Carlos Bulosan." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Smith, Shannon. "Demanding Inclusion: How Women at California State University, Sacramento, Transformed Academia and Claimed their Place in the University." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2017.

White, Lynell Hanzel. "Civil Rights Activists and California Politicians Challenge Housing Discrimination in Sacramento, 1950-1966." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2016.


Gosney, Adam Taylor. "Economic Floundering of California's Capitol: How Propositions 13 and 4 Affected Sacramento's Growth." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Hudson, Kenneth Charles. "Presidential Leadership in Time of Crisis: FDR Shifts the Public Discourse from Isolation to Intervention in World War Two, 1939-1941." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Lisuk, Mieke Nicole. "What is a Good Girl?: The Evolution of Feminine Identity in the American Hmong Community." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Lopes, Frank Albert. "A History of Grass Valley, California, 1849-1855." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

O'Brien, Bernadette M. "A Paradigm of War Reporting: The Sacramento Bee's Coverage of the Vietnam War from August 1964 through February 1968." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Roberts, Wayne Williams. "A History of Early Folsom, California, from 1842-1862." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Sault, Dean Scott. "The Power of Water: A History of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's Upper American River Project." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.

Tadlock, Timothy A. "Carved out of Wood: Exploiting the Forests in the Anglo-Atlantic and the Splinters that Followed, 1583-1776." Master's thesis, California State University, Sacramento, 2015.