Class of 2019

Nick Bolin is a first year graduate student from Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2017 with a BA in History with a minor in Classical Studies and a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. His research interests are varied and include digital history, late antique and early medieval history, and the history of language.


Taylor Boyd is a first year graduate student from Stuart, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degrees in History and Political Science from Randolph-Macon College, while also studying abroad for a year in Riga, Latvia. Her research interests include Cold War politics, American perceptions of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, the Soviet-Egyptian connection, and the Soviet usage of arms as a political tool in the Third World. Following graduation from Virginia Tech, Taylor plans on pursuing a PhD with the hopes of pursuing a career in government work.

Heath Furrow is a first year Master’s Student from Christiansburg, Virginia.  He graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in History in 2009 and with a MAED in 2010.  Then he spent the past five years frying chicken at Turner Place.  His research interest is in political history in Colonial Africa and the Middle East.



Jenni Gallagher is a native of northern Virginia. She completed her bachelor’s in history at UVA in 2003, and moved to Blacksburg in 2005. She is the proud mom of three kids, ages 6, 11, and 14, as well as several “furry kids.” Her interests are political and social history from colonial America to present.



Jeffrey Felton is originally from central North Carolina but has lived in Virginia for the last six years. In May, 2017, he finished my BA in History with a concentration in the Civil War at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. His research interests include the Civil War era, with a focus on political, social, and military history of the Confederacy. Other research interests include British Imperialism, World War II, 19th century military history, American history, and baseball history. He has been researching and writing for the last eight years on a history of Stephen Ramseur’s North Carolina Brigade during the Civil War and once completed he hopes to get it published. When he is not being a nerd, he enjoys spending time at the river, hiking, battlefielding, a nice beer, and time with friends.

Kaitlyn Martin is a first year graduate student in the History M.A. program from Galax, VA. She graduated from Emory & Henry College with a B.A. in History and Sociology. Her Senior Honors Thesis was entitled “Power Through Religion: A Woman’s Role in Ancient Greece.” Her research interests include the religious, social, and cultural history of Ancient Greece. Following graduation from Virginia Tech, she plans to pursue a Ph. D. in Classical Studies. 

Marlee Putnam, a graduate of Elizabeth City State University, is a first-year student pursuing her M.A. in History with a certificate in Public History. Having grown up on Roanoke Island and the surrounding Outer Banks of North Carolina, her research interests lie mainly in the cultural histories of the first English settlers in the New World. After having completed the program, Marlee hopes to work as a public historian.


Kathryn Walters is first year graduate student from the Charlottesville, Virginia area. She got her undergraduate degree at VT with a major in History and minors in War and Society, International Studies, & French. Her area of interests are public history and Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. She hopes to go into the museum field or do cultural resource management after graduation. 


Ryan Wesdock is in the dual Master’s program in History and Education. He got his undergraduate degree in history from Virginia Tech in 2016. His primary historical interest is intellectual history, including the history of political ideas and the history of science.




Emily Wild is a first year Masters student and is from a small town in Southern California. She received her BA at California State University of San Bernardino and was excited to change environments and move to the East Coast. She is passionate about Civil War history, particularly Civil War memorialization and Civil War Film Studies. After she finishes her Masters and Certificate in Public History she is unsure whether she wants to move to her Ph.D. or work to get a job in a museum in Northern Virginia. If she isn’t studying she is probably at home watching tv.