Department news


History major Jalil Kochai has won the Faculty Endowment for Student Scholarships Award.  

Katerina Lagos will appear on the TLC show, Who do you think you are?, on Sunday, April 16th at 9:00 pm.  She will help John Stamos (aka ‘Uncle Jessie’) learn more about his Greek heritage. Historians can do more than just teach in a classroom!  Here is the tv link to the show:

James Volmensky (BA 2014) has been accepted into the PhD program at McGill University in Montreal.  Congratuations James!

For those of you who missed it, the department's brownbag discussion "Is this the Death of Democracy? Populism, Totalitarianism, and Fascism in Historical Perspective" is available on YouTube.  Thanks for recording, Dr. Dym!

Jeffrey Dym's short film on the production of a Noh mask is available on YouTube.

Jeffrey Dym's short film on Sacramento's lost Japantown is available on YouTube.

Michael Vann's interview on his forthcoming book on Thinktech Hawaii.


MA student Francesca Golia's poster presentation “Female Heroines, National Martyrs: The Gendering of Female Resistance During and After the First World War” received an award of Honorable Mention at the annual meeting of the Western Association of Women’s Historians, which was held in Sacramento in May.

Public history MA students Jason Sarmiento, Monica Mello, and Annie McCausland each presented posters on the master’s thesis projects at the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History meeting in April in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Sacramento State public history master’s program had one of the largest contingent of student presenters at the conference.

MA alum Jennifer Norton was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.  This is a 3 year, fully-funded research and teaching grant that will allow Jennifer to pursue her work on the history and memory of the Kindertransport. That project began as a graduate seminar paper here at CSUS.

MA student Aaron Jackson was selected to receive the Betty Nesvold award for best graduate paper presented at the 40th annual CSU-wide Social Science Student Symposium.  Aaron won the award for his paper, "Why They Endured," a historical analysis of Anglophone trench journalism from the First World War.

MA alum Jordan Biro Walters received an appointment to a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the College of Wooster (Ohio).

Congratulations to all the history graduate student participants in the 2015 CSUS Student Research Symposium: Bobby Edwards, Caleb Sanders, Trevor Deane, Francesca Golia, Tori Horton, Bill Archer, Kelley Vincent, Michael Rodriguez, Ann Ching, Aaron Jackson, and Ann Ching. A special congratulations to history department winners and honorees:

  • Bill Archer, “Otto Dix: The First World War, Art, and Aftermath” Provost's Award Winner, Graduate Poster Division. 
  • Caleb Sanders, “The Awakening Dragon: China, Self-Determination, and the First World War” - runner-up and invited to present at the CSU Student Research Competition in San Bernardino, Graduate Oral Presentations.

Jamie Rose, History BA, was named the College of Arts & Letters honor student for 2014-15. She gave a fantastic talk at the Spring 2015 commencement ceremony.

MA students Mieke Lisuk and Shannon Smith both gave presentations at the University of Toronto's Graduate History Symposium.


Tom Swift, Professor Emeritus (1966-1998), is working on an itinerary for inexpensive independent travel in Japan tentatively titled, “Japan Step-by-Step.” The suggested two-week itinerary will provide complete information on where to stay, where to eat, what is important to see and do--also detailed information on travel, including city bus and subway directions for each day’s sightseeing. During his years at CSUS he often led study tours to Japan, sometimes to China. He visited Japan four times in the last couple years, partly for work on this itinerary. It will soon be complete. If you wish a copy, contact him at

Former student Dan Winkelman has published a book, Lake Natoma: A Ranger in Search of Walden Pond, containing his reflective essays - Ranger Logs - as he calls them, on his experiences canoeing on Lake Natoma. He can be contacted at:

Claire Tynan (MA 2012) has been hired by Quinnipiac University as an assistant to the director of the Great Hunger Museum, a forthcoming museum dedicated to the history of the Irish potato famine. She will have various responsibilities tied to the museum’s collections, exhibits, and public programming. The University is located in southern Connecticut. For further information, see a story about the museum at,0,1447646.story.

Fred Wilson (MA 2010) has been hired as adjunct faculty at Salt Lake Community College.

Michael Meloy (MA 1998) has joined the California Department of Parks and Recreation's Monterey District’s Cultural Resources Program. He will be serving as a Historian II at Asilomar Conference Grounds where he will be working closely with the staff and concessionaires to ensure the enhancement and protection of the extensive architectural resources there.

Capital Public Radio broadcast an interview with Professor Joseph A Palermo on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Carol Francis, MA alum, has been hired to be a historian for the Sea Adventurer, Quark Expeditions.

CSUS alum Albert Hurtado will be presiding over the annual meeting of the Western History Association to be held in Denver on October 4-7. The subject of his presidential address will be the relationship between Frederick Jackson Turner and Herbert Eugene Bolton. This topic relates to Hurtado's most recent publication: Herbert Eugene Bolton: Historian of the American Borderlands (University of California Press, 2012). After completing his B.A. and M.A. at CSUS, Hurtado finished his Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara. His teaching career has included positions at the University of Maryland, Arizona State University, and the University of Oklahoma, where he retired in June as the Travis Chair in American History. He and his wife Jean Hurtado are now living in Folsom's American River Canyon area.

Senior David Kulczyk's third California history book, California's Fruits, Flakes and Nuts will be published Spring 2013 by Craven Street Books. Kulczyk's previous books are Death In California-the Bizarre, Freakish and Just Curious Ways People Die in the Golden State and Death in California - Shootouts, Lynchings and Assassinations in the Golden State.

Russell Fehr (BA 2007) is now a PhD student at the University of California, Riverside. He is currently researching a dissertation ("Anxious Electorate: City Politics in mid-1920s America") comparing elections in Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. He also received a Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant from the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California Riverside, a History Travel Grant from the History Department at the University of California Riverside, a quarter-long Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship from Graduate Division at the University of California Riverside, and the Mark C. Stevens Researcher Travel Fellowship from the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan.

Michael Gabbe-Gross (MA 2012) has taken a job as a genealogy researcher for a probate research firm "Brandenburger and Davis."

Annette Kassis (MA, 2010) published Weinstock's: Sacramento's Finest Department Store with The History Press. Sh has spoken about her book on Capitol Public Radio (listen) and will also have book signings and speaking engagements in Sacramento. For more info, see Annette's website:

Mike Vann was interviewed by The 7th Avenue Project on the topic of Vietnam under French rule. Listen.

MA student Katie Healey presented a paper entitled "Hollywood Signs: A Review of Deafness in the Media in the Twenty-first Century" at the Society for Disability Studies 25th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado in June 2012. She will also present her paper "Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Deaf Employment in American Firestone and Goodyear Factories during the World Wars" at a conference hosted by Project Biocultures (University of Illinois at Chicago) at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin in December 2012.

MA alum and current joint PhD student Ty Smith has been appointed Chief of Museum Interpretation at Hearst Castle.

MA graduate Chris Strickland is teaching African-American history at Mira Costa Community College in Oceanside, CA.

MA student Karen Richey (Elk Grove Mastering History Program cohort) won 1st place in the Civil War Trust's 2012 Best Civil War Lesson Plan contest for her lesson on Emancipation. The lesson was based on her MA project and used only Center for Sacramento History primary sources. In their award message, the Civil War Trust Teacher Institute noted "We were impressed by the creativity, relevance, and usefulness of your lesson plan, and the obvious dedication that went into creating it." Karen's lesson plan will be featured on the Civil War Trust website

MA student Elizabeth Dukovich had her book review of A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire accepted for publication in World History Connected.

Several history department MA students have been accepted into PhD programs: Anne Snider (Purdue), Justin Whitney (Mississippi State University), Scott Spitzer (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA).

The following history BA students have been accepted to MA programs outside Sacramento: Ryan Bach (Kansas State), Kris Santana (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo).

Joseph A. Palermo was on Capital Public Radio's Insight program to discuss his book The Eighties.

Chris Castaneda, Rebecca Kluchin, and Jeff Dym all lectured for the Elk Grove USD Teaching American History Project. Mona Siegel presented a lecture entitled "World War I in Modern Memory" for Sacramento area high school teachers and the History Project.

Chloe Burke chaired and provided commentary for the panel, "Sexuality and Gender in 19th Century San Francisco" at the 2012 Western Association of Women Historians conference in Berkeley, CA. MA graduate Tom O'Donnell (now in the UC Davis PhD program) presented his paper, "Short-Skirted Harpies: Sex and Gender in San Francisco’s 1892 Anti-Dive Campaign" at the same conference.

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars and the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation has awarded a Fulbright grant to Mike Vann for his project "World History for the 21st Century Indonesian University." Dr. Vann will spend ten months as a Senior Scholar at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia's oldest and most prestigious university, in Yogyakarta, a historical city in central Java. He will be teaching a variety of World History courses to Indonesian undergraduates and graduate students.

On April 21, Joseph A. Palermo was a judge (with Sheriff John McGinness, a retired Air Force Colonel, a community college teachers' union leader, and a Berkeley student) at the District Lions Student Speakers contest sponsored by the Lions Club of Roseville. Four high school senior finalists competed for a $4,500 scholarship debating the question: "What Could the America of Yesterday Teach the America of Tomorrow?"

Justice Clarence Thomas cited former CSUS history professor Jackie Reinier's book From Virtue to Character: American Childhood, 1775-1850 in a recent US Supreme Court ruling.

Jeff Dym and Mike Vann have received a grant for $7000 from the Center for Khmer Studies to make a short film in Cambodia on the ways in which French colonial rule shaped Phnom Penh from the late 19th century to the 1930s.

Patrick Ettinger has been invited to participate in a seminar on the history of the border enforcement at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego in February. The seminar will focus on his book "Imaginary Lines: A History of Undocumented Immigration" alongside UCLA professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez's recent book, "Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol."

Joseph A. Palermo has been named to the advisory board of the PBS-sponsored Art21 project out of New York City. He is also working on a chapter about Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy for an anthology edited by Marc Selverstone, the Director of Presidential Studies at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia.

Arthur Williamson will speak at the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies at the Huntington Library (9-11 March), Harvard University (23 March), and the British Studies Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland (21-23 June).

Frederick Simonelli was a guest speaker at Monterey Trail HS in the Elk Grove School District, where he spoke to AP students on history as a college major and our department's offerings at Sac State.


Former BA student Candace Egbert has entered Norwich University (Vermont) in the Masters in Military History program.

Chloe Burke organized a two-day workshop in December 2011 on America during the era of the Great Migration and Great Depression for the Teaching American History Project "Doing History" program. She presented two talks for this workshop: "The Case of Ossian Sweet: Race and Rights in Jazz Age America" and "'Handbooks to the Nation': History Imagined in California, The Golden State."

MA graduate Ron Rife is teaching history at Dixie State College of Utah.

Mike Vann was re-elected Vice President of the California World History Association at their annual meeting. He is also helping to organize a conference on Southeast Asia in World History to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in January 2012.

Joseph A. Palermo appeared on RT TV's "Crosstalk" on October 20, 2011 to discuss the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Shirley Moore has helped to build a covered wagon.

Former CSUS MA students Tom O'Donnell, Chelsea Del Rio, and Jordan Biro have founded a blog They are all currently PhD students.

Nikolaos Lazaridis will be giving a lecture for the Hellenic Law Association of Sacramento at the end of September with the title “The legal legacy of Ancient Egypt”. He has also been elected Director at Large in the Board of the Northern California Chapter of the American Center in Egypt.

These history students were accepted to PhD programs for 2011-2012: Chris Deutsch (Missouri), Jennifer Norton, Jason Smith (Simon Fraser), Suzanne Eckes-Wahl (Hawai'i), and Trevor Jackson (UC Berkeley). Congratulations!

Katerina Lagos was interviewed by New York Magazine regarding Greek Orthodox Church-state relations during the military dictatorship of 1967-74.

History MA alumni Karen Raines has been selected into the 2011/12 California State University Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. Karen is currently a PhD student at the University of California-Riverside.

Mike Vann called in to NPR's Talk of the Nation to make a comment on Greece vs. Persia: transcript, audio (starts at 13:15).

Shirley Moore received a special award in recognition of her contributions to the development of students in the Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program.

Mona Siegel has received a CSUS Research and Creative Award for summer and fall 2011 for my on-going research project: “Feminism, Pacifism, and Anti-Imperialism in the International Women’s Movement.”

Rebecca Kluchin gave an interview to bitchmedia about her book Fit to Be Tied. She also gave a talk for the Friends of the CSUS Library author lecture series in March.

History student Daniel Esquivel had a paper chosen to be published in an upcoming issue of the CSUS online journal Writing Across the Curriculum. Paige Poulos was also nominated.

Mike Vann, Jeff Dym, and Aaron Cohen will each present a paper for a panel entitled "Images of Power, Victory, and Defeat in Vietnam, China, and Japan" at the World Historical Association's annual conference in Beijing in July.


On December 7, 2010 Jessie Gaston will give the annual Anna J. Cooper Lecture as part of the Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program. The topic is "A Gift from Uganda: Faith A.K.N.K. Mulira" and is scheduled from 12 to 1:30 pm in the Summit Room of the University Union (please check with the department of ethnic studies to verify time and place).

Joe Palermo was interviewed on Pacifica Radio and RT TV on the topic of political violence in America.

Jeff Wilson was invited to participate in the conference "The Good Germans? New Transatlantic Perspectives" of the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin in the summer of 2011. His paper will be entitled ""The “German Forest” as an Emblem of Germany’s Ambivalent Modernity."

On October 20, 2010 Joe Palermo interviewed Dave Eggers (author of Zeitoun) at the Crest Theater.

In October Tom Clark presented the keynote presentation entitled "Mexican Land Grants in California History" at the annual open house of the California State Archives. In the summer he taught an NEH Summer Seminar at SUNY at Potsdam. The title of the seminar was "A Wall of Separation? Law and Religion in American History, Politics, and Culture."

Stephanie Seer-Murphy attended an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers called Ritual and Ceremony from Late-Medieval Europe to Early America at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. She also received a Mayer Fund Fellowship from the Huntington Library, has an article schedule for the online journal History Compass, and a book review in The Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (JSAE).

History graduate student Annie Snider will discuss historical memory in the former Yugoslavia for Phi Alpha Theta on November 18. Her presentation is entitled "Vukovar: Memory, Media and Myth." It will take place at 4:30 pm in ARC 1007.

On November 18 at 5:30 pm in ARC 3004, Chris Castaneda will present his research "Retiring Workers: CalPERS' Investment Policies in Historical Perspective" as part of the History/Humanities Faculty Research Forum.

History student Katie Healey has received the William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. Congratulations!

Patrick Ettinger's book Imaginary Lines has been named as a finalist for the annual book prize of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. From the announcement letter: "The judges commented favorably on both the prose and the research base of the book, and praised it for how directly it informs current debates over border enforcement and immigration."

Aaron Cohen, Mona Siegel, and Annie Snider will present papers for the panel “Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding: War Memory, Public Institutions, and the Potential for Reconciliation in Europe and the Balkans, 1918-2008” at the 2010 California World History Association Conference at Sac State in October.

In October Shirley Moore will serve as chair for the panel "Community Politicians: African American Intellectuals and Activism in the Western U.S." at the Western History Association's annual conference in Nevada.

Former CSUS history lecturer Erika Quinn accepted a tenure-track position at Eureka College.


Former CSUS undergraduate, graduate, and part time instructor Jennifer Terry was accepted into the PhD program at UC Berkeley (2009).