Class of 2018


Ellen Boggs is a second year graduate student from Yorktown, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree in History at Virginia Tech, with a minor in Appalachian Studies. Her research interests include public history and the representation of Appalachia, particularly through cultural performance (festivals, carnivals, gatherings) and media (music, television, movies, etc.). After graduate school, Ellen hopes to put her public history certificate to use by working in a museum or a national/state park.


Katelyn Brown is a second year graduate student from Valrico, Florida. She received her undergraduate degrees in Economics and American Studies from Christopher Newport University before deciding to pursue her love of history. Her research interests focus on the relationship between visual culture and identity in the American Civil War. Following graduation from Virginia Tech, Katelyn hopes to pursue a career in museum education.

Classof18-4Emily Harmon is a second year graduate student originally from the Charlotte, North Carolina, area. She graduated from Erskine College, a small liberal arts college in South Carolina, in 2012 with degrees in Political Science and English. Her research interests include urban history and women’s role in city planning at the turn of the twentieth century.



Heather Ryan is a second year history MA student from the best state in the Union: New York. She majored in history and minored in French and English at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her interests include public history, social history, space history, and food history. In her spare time (ha!) she likes to bake, watch irreverent comedies, read for fun, and kayak.


Classof18-6Grace Hemmingson is a second year history MA student. Originally from Vienna, VA, Grace grew up with a deep love for history that stemmed from trips to the multitude of Civil War battlefields in the Northern Virginia region. While attending Virginia Tech as an undergrad, she had the good fortune of being selected for a unique research seminar whose focus was creating a database of all Virginians who had died of tuberculosis from 1870-1920. She was instantly drawn into the strange cultural practices and superstitions which surrounded the disease, as well as the seemingly anti-scientific methods used by physicians during that time frame. She also developed a love for museum work through her internship at Smithfield Plantation as an undergrad. Grace chose to come back to Virginia Tech in order to continue her education as a historian and to earn a certificate in public history. She hopes to spread her love for the history of infectious diseases to the public and increase awareness for the history of medicine as a field.