Department of History

 Congratulations to our 2022 Spring graduates!


Join us Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 3pm in Morton Hall 100 for our History Department Graduation Ceremony!





B.A. in History


Catherine Beall


"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller


  • Hometown: Originally from Charlotte, NC
  • Favorite area of study: Favorite area of study is Vietnam War, and Ancient Greek and Roman 
  • Future plans: Going to Graduate School for Secondary Education here at UNCW!


Abigail Clanton


"You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill, and away the stone goes, starting others..." -Mr. Enfield, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


  • Hometown: I am originally from Stony Brook, New York.
  • UNCW highlights: I was an intern in UNCW's Special Collections for all of senior year. I was in the Honors College for all four years and completed an Honors thesis. I received both the Jack-Carol Mills scholarship and the Wade scholarship. 
  • Favorite area of study: My favorite area of study was Medieval to Early Modern History.
  • Future plans: Post-graduation I will be applying to grad schools for museum studies programs in the upcoming year. 


Sarah Dutton

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making're Doing Something.” - Neil Gaiman

  • Hometown: Harrisburg, North Carolina.
  • UNCW highlights: I was the Collections and Curatorial Intern at the Gaston County Museum of Art & History for over a year from summer of 2020 to summer of 2021. Yes, I did! I was in the Honors College for all four years of my degree, and I completed my thesis this semester. I received the Calhoun Prize for best seminar paper in the fall of 2020. 


Olivia Fario


"Courage is grace under pressure" -  Ernest Hemingway 

  • Hometown: Monroe, North Carolina 
  • UNCW highlights: I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland at the beginning of spring 2020. Although my time was cut short, I really loved every moment I was there and am appreciative of the people I met and the places I got to see. For the past two years, I have worked in Randall Library's Special Collections. I worked under Rebecca Baugnon and Nicole Yatsonsky, cataloging and working with collections pertaining to North Carolina history. 
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I have always loved history and my experience as a history major at UNCW has given me the opportunity to truly explore that passion. I will always be grateful for my professors who have opened me up to new perspectives and ways of thinking. I think now more than ever the study of history is so important and I will take the lessons I have learned here at Wilmington with me in all my future pursuits.
  • Future plans: Next year I plan on staying in Wilmington where I will begin my job at the Children's Museum of Wilmington and continue to study for the LSAT. I plan on attending law school in the fall of 2023 to pursue a career as a human rights lawyer. 


Brian Fiore


"I'm Not Throwing Away My Shot!" - Lin Manuel-Miranda, Hamilton


  • Hometown: I am originally from New Milford, New Jersey

  • UNCW Highlights: I held an internship at the Cameron Art Museum as a research assistant. I worked alongside the Cultural Curator Daniel Jones in researching the USCT Regiments that fought at the Battle of Forks Road in the final year of the Civil War. The project is a continuation of local North Carolina artist Stephen Hayes' sculpture Boundless at the museum. I received the Dr. Andrew Clark Memorial Scholarship twice in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic school years. The Dr. Muriel Dimen Scholarship in the 2021-22 academic school year. I have just recently been awarded the Wade Scholarship for the upcoming academic year for the graduate history program.

  • Favorite area of study: My favorite area of study is cultural history. Example: Dr. Zombek's History of Rock 'n' Roll Music in America
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I chose to study history because of my passion and interest in the subject. All my life, I have had the best time studying history over any other subject. I am glad to have called UNCW my home for the past three years. I am also glad to have studied history under some of the most profound professors in the subject of history. These professors go above and beyond for us as students.
  • Future plans: As of now, I am planning on attending the Graduate History Program at UNCW to study Public History.


Kevin Gallagher


“Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing.” - Kimi Raikkonen


  • Hometown: Fayetteville, NC
  • UNCW Highlights: Traveled to Greece in 2022; Yes – Departmental honors: The Caesars and their Subjects: New Perspectives on the Roles of the Emperor; Alfred & Anita Schnog Travel Grant; I speak Latin, Greek, French, German
  • Favorite area of study: Ancient history
  • Future plans: Graduate school in History at UNCW


Draneice Hall


"I may walk slowly, but I never walk backwards." - Abraham Lincoln


  • Hometown: I am originally from Magnolia North Carolina.
  • Favorite area of study: My favorite area of study was Ancient Egypt.
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I speak English, but I am learning Spanish. I chose to major in History because I enjoy learning about people's lives from the past, their secrets, and dreams. What I appreciate most about being a history major is that what I learn is useful to everyday life and can help me understand the past to have a brighter future.
  • Future plans: My plans after college are to volunteer at the Cape Fear Museum of History and science and get an adult job.


Taylor Klauk

  • Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • UNCW highlights: Yes, I had an internship at the Bellamy Mansion in fall 2021. Pell Grant, I was also a Resident Assistant which funded my housing and meal plan. 
  • Favorite area of study: Local/public history 
  • Future plans: I will be attending the Cooperstown Graduate Program in New York for a MA in Museum Studies. I'd like to thank my family, as a first-generation college student, for always supporting me in any way they can. I'd also like to shoutout Dr. Crowe, Dr. Pilkington, and Dr. White for making sure I graduate and responding to every coffee-induced late-night panicked email with grace. 


Gabriel Lynn


"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right​.​" -- Robert Hunter 


  • Hometown: I am from Northern Virginia  
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: Being a history major has provided me great insight into the human experience and the context for our world today. Studying history has provided me an integrated perspective of the world and has allowed for me to gain a better understanding of the problems we face today. 
  • Future plans: Following graduation, I will be returning to the UNCW History Department as a Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing a Master's in US History. 


Christopher Moor


"Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower



  • Hometown: I am originally from Clayton NC.
  • Favorite area of study: My favorite areas of study are American colonial history, the Civil War, World War II, and the history of technology.  
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I chose to major in history because I love studying American history, and I want to be able to teach the subject to the next generation of Americans so that they can go on to be proactive citizens.  
  • Future plans: I will be attending grad school at UNCW starting in the summer to obtain a MAT Secondary Education degree.


Casandra Murray


"If lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us." - Anon. 


  • Hometown: Toccoa, Georgia 
  • UNCW highlights: I am a member of the Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society. I completed an Honors thesis entitled Enslaved African Americans’ use of the environment. I received the Neal/Clayton research funds to travel to Charleston to do research for my Honors thesis. I also received a second award for funds to present my thesis at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research conference held in April 2022. 
  • Favorite area of study: Two of my favorite areas of study are American and Environmental history. 
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I have always loved studying history. I am intrigued by how the past has shaped the present and even lays the foundation for the future in a sense. I feel fortunate to have gained the knowledge, critical thinking, research, and writing skills that I have obtained during my time in the UNCW history program. I am very passionate about what I have learned over the past few years as a history major and look forward to using the skills I have gained to share information with others.
  • Future plans: After graduation, I will be traveling to the Smoky Mountain National Park. I will then be traveling up the East Coast from Georgia to Massachusetts, stopping in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut along the way.  


 Corbin Powell


"It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours." -Diogenes


  • Hometown: Pilot Mountain, NC
  • Favorite area of study: Greco-Roman history
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I hated history in high school, but I took a history class with Mollenauer freshman year and loved it.


River Simpson


"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito." --Betty Reese 


  • Hometown: Mocksville, North Carolina
  • UNCW highlights: I have an upcoming study abroad program in Poland for two weeks beginning at the end of this month. I also held an internship last semester with the Borgen Project. This organization advocates to end global poverty by raising money as well as awareness. I wrote several articles for the organization which have been published on their website and in their magazine. I have just completed my honors thesis which focused on comparing the propaganda from the Protestant Reformation to the propaganda from the American Revolution. I will be graduating Summa Cum Laude.   
  • Future plans: I will attend the Citadel to continue my education and obtain my masters in history. 


Morgan Tamburro


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt 


  • Hometown: Suffern, NY
  • UNCW Highlights: I will be studying abroad for two weeks this summer in Scotland and England. I am a member of the Pi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. 
  • Favorite area of study: I really enjoyed learning about environmental history with Dr. Hart.
  • Reasons for becoming a history major: I have always really enjoyed history and I wanted to be able to indulge in the subject in more depth. I appreciate the skills I was able to gain from being a history major at UNCW. 
  • Future plans: I will be taking a gap year and applying to Physician Assistant programs to receive my Master’s degree.  I will be traveling after graduation in Europe and then traveling domestically to 10 different National Parks in Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.





M.A. in History


Heather Byrum


"Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality." -Dr. Jonas Salk


  • Hometown: I am originally from Suffolk, VA
  • UNCW highlights: Beyond the classroom I was a TA. I received scholarship funding both years I was here: funds from the Wade-Davis scholarship, the DAR scholarship, and the Stern scholarship
  • Future plans: After this graduation I will be returning home to Virginia to complete a MSEd at Old Dominion University in Secondary Education with a certification in history and am hoping to teach in a middle school classroom.


Aeris Carter


“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot” - Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre


  • Hometown: I grew up on a farm in a small rural township called Grantham, North Carolina. Grantham rests on the outskirts of the more widely known Goldsboro, North Carolina.
  • UNCW highlights: I worked as a graduate teaching assistant with UNCW for two years. During my summers, I ghost wrote autobiographies for private clients. For one year, I served as an editorial assistant on Interpreting the Civil War: Texts and Contexts under the guidance of Dr. Angela Zombek with Kent State University Press. I generated leads for potential authors and proofread PhD manuscripts or book drafts slated for publication. During my second year at UNCW, I worked in Visitor Services with the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science. When, back in 2021, I was considering writing a thesis regarding the influence of late seventeenth century health and medicine on the Salem Witch Trials, I traveled to Massachusetts and sourced primary documents for my research in the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum. From my time there, I was offered work in both historical interpretation for the House of the Seven Gables and in historical costume construction for Plimoth Patuxet Museums, but I declined in favor of moving to Wilmington. While in Wilmington, I produced a podcast episode for the university’s Object Project on a fire horn owned by foreman Valentine Howe of the Cape Fear Steam Engine Fire Company and its connection to the events of 1898. I also designed, patterned, and sewed seventeenth and eighteenth century costumes to bolster my portfolio. During both years of my graduate education, I operated a nonprofit to raise awareness for invisible disabilities of the autonomic nervous system. I received the Brunswick Civil War Roundtable scholarship to partially pay for my education.
  • Favorite area of study: My primary historical interests include early modern medicine and witchcraft, the pre-Columbian history of the Americas, and European colonialism in the Americas.
  • Future plans: I hope to secure a full-time museum education or educational content creation position in the eastern United States. Until then, I will occupy a temporary position teaching American literature through the Institute of Reading Development and will possibly continue my work with the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington. Later this year, I will be applying to PhD programs in American History for the Fall of 2023. I aspire to research how indigenous peoples of early colonial America culturally influenced English colonists and contributed to the formation of a distinctive American identity. 
  • My interest in colonial and pre-Columbian American history initially arose from a love for classic literature and early visits to living history museums like the Jamestown fort reconstruction in VA and the Oconaluftee Indian Village in NC between the ages of eight and nine. As a child, I spoke English and Japanese, but my grasp of the latter language has faded as I have grown older. I have since learned to speak French and Scots. I am a commended national merit scholar, a Brunswick Civil War Roundtable scholarship recipient, and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society.


Brittni Evans


“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain.


  • Hometown:  I am originally from Wallingford, Connecticut and I now live in Savannah, Georgia. 
  • UNCW highlights: Yes, I spent the 2019-2020 year working as a graduate teaching assistant for various undergraduate classes and I also served as a graduate assistant for the English Language Center at UNCW. I received the Neal award for my research travels, but unfortunately, due to Covid-19 this trip was cancelled. 
  • Favorite area of study: The Cold War, specifically anything with spies and Eastern Europe. 
  • Future plans: I will be continuing my work at the Savannah College of Art and Design as the Assistant Director of Enrollment.  
  • Fun Fact: I am the reigning Miss Heart of Covington Georgia, and I will be competing this summer for the chance to represent Georgia at the 2022 Miss America Scholarship Competition. 


Sam Marsicano


"The best view comes after the hardest climb.” -Unknown Eagle Scout


  • UNCW highlights: I interned at the Latimer House and went on to become an assistant manager there.
  • Why I chose to study history at the graduate level: I enjoyed the research process and critical thinking avenues which the history major involved.
  • Future plans: I will be pursuing an online Master of Library Science through North Carolina Central University. 


Kyle McGovern


"Life will always be difficult somewhere. But we can choose to experience that difficulty now, or push it off until later. Everything costs something. Nothing comes free. Hard isn't a choice, but where you experience it is." - Joshua Medcalf


  • Hometown: I am from Swansboro, North Carolina.
  • Favorite area of study: My favorite area of study was the Cold War. 
  • UNCW highlights: I did receive scholarship funding as a graduate student and worked as a History TA and a Graduate Assistant in the Spanish Conversation Center. 
  • Future plans: After graduation I will attend Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. 


Jack Paynter


"With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high." - Ayrton Senna


  • Hometown: Raleigh, NC
  • UNCW highlights: I interned at the Joel Lane Museum House in Raleigh in the summer of 2021.
  • Favorite area of study: Classes related to early United States history, from the Revolution to the Civil War.
  • Why I chose to study history at the graduate level: I've loved history my whole life and studying it the past six years here at UNCW both as an undergrad and a grad student has been extremely fulfilling.
  • Future plans: I'm moving back to Raleigh and starting a job at Mordecai Historic Park as a museum educator.


Mark Rothermel


"Every thought and act owes its complexion to the acts of your dead and living brothers” -William James


  • Hometown: From Chicago area originally. Prior to coming here was in army, got an MBA, worked in insurance restaurant industries
  • Favorite area of study: Military history as well as Religious/Intellectual history
  • Why I chose to study history at the graduate level: Always wanted to study history.  Best thing about history is the way it connects every subject.  Whether economics, religion, war, culture, people reflect continuously on the past and how we ended up here.
  • Future plans: Going to Ohio University in Athens Ohio to study military history.  Have a Fellowship with the Contemporary History Institute.



Conor Sastre


"As long as I'm learning something, I figure I'm OK - it's a decent day." - Hunter S Thompson


  • Hometown: Montgomery, New Jersey
  • UNCW highlight: Graduate Assistantship with Randall Library Digital Collections


The Department of History is pleased to announce its Spring 2022 graduation winners
Moseley Award for an engaged student interested in U.S. history: Casandra Murray
Clark Award for an engaged student interested in global history: Kevin Gallagher
Calhoun Prize for the best seminar paper written each semester: Bryn Haas
Bredbenner Award for the best HST 290 paper: Mikaela Chambers
Cashman Prize for the best M.A. thesis: Mark Rothermel