Class of 2024

BD5565B1-285F-4E42-AB7C-1654E3FE0616 - Mae Early-Wilmer
Mae Early-Wilmer is an interdisciplinary scholar, merging her primary discipline of history with other transdisciplinary methodologies to create comprehensive and expansive research on Genocides since the nineteenth century, the role of social and national identities in perpetrator behavior in genocidal societies, the genocide of Native Americans during westward expansion in the United States, and decolonial epistemologies. Although she earned her undergraduate degree in history from Southern New Hampshire University, the bulk of her coursework was completed at Appalachian State University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in History at Virginia Tech and is planning to accelerate into the Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought doctoral program at Virginia Tech post-graduation. Mae grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, but lived in North Carolina for many years and did a bit of international travel before deciding to move back to the area to pursue graduate school. She currently works in the Department of Sociology, where she runs administrative operations and is also the graduate program coordinator.

Bailey Evans


Kaitlynn Harless is pursuing a MA in History. She completed her undergrad at the University of Colorado Boulder and earned a Bachelor’s in History. She is from Giles County, Virginia and resided in Boulder and Denver, Colorado from 2015 to 2022. She is interested in the history of her home region of Central Appalachia, especially in unionization labor movements in coal mines and factories and the roles of women in these movements.

Jared Kimball is pursuing an MA in history at Virginia Tech. He received my bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in international relations from Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is from Atlanta, Georgia. He is interested in modern European history. Specifically he is interested in the relationship between European imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries and the affect it had on genocide and the World Wars. After graduation, he plans to pursue a PhD in history.

Julia Lucas grew up in Riner, Virginia, not too far away from Virginia Tech. Her interests lie in the history of the New River Valley; this includes her family’s genealogical ties to the area, as well as studying the African American population of the region and those associated with the Christiansburg Industrial Institute after emancipation. These interests highly influenced her Bachelor’s Degree from Radford University in History where she graduated in 2021. Since graduating from Radford, she has become Intern/Curatorial Assistant to the Christiansburg Institute Museum and Archives where she has helped foster a growth of learning about race, inequities, love, hope, and those who had to persevere through hardships. Julia will be working towards earning a MA in History and a Certificate of Public History in hopes of working at a local museum after she graduates to continue her research and love for history.

Jonathan Okoe is pursuing a Master of Arts in History with a Certificate in Public History. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in History with an English Minor. He also holds short course Certificates in Business Studies and Insurance. His central academic focus lies in the History of Health and Medicine with concerns in Health and Medicine Policies and Practices, Health Promotion, Education and Management. After completing his Master of Arts program, he aims to pursue a PhD degree in History focusing on the same thematic area―the History of Health and Medicine.

Tim Pfeifer is pursuing a MA in History. He is from Baltimore, Maryland and completed his undergrad at Virginia Tech. He earned a BA in History and Political Science alongside education in Spanish and Chinese. He has a strong interest in intellectual, political, and cultural history with a focus on the history of political philosophy. After graduation, he plans to continue his education in a Ph.D. program.

Elizabeth Bucklen is pursuing her M.A. in History. She is from Saugerties, New York. She has two children Bubba 3, and Faye 7 months. She completed her associates degree in Foreign Language and Liberal Arts from Thomas Nelson Community College. She completed her Bachelor’s in History from Virginia Tech. She has a strong interest in Colonial American history, the Civil War and environmental history. A research topic she is interested in is the environmental impact of the Civil War. After graduation, she plans to pursue both an M.A. in French and a Ph.D. in History.

Devon Reynolds is pursuing a M.A. in History, as well as a M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction for Social Science Education. Devon completed his undergraduate studies from George Mason University, where he earned a History B.A., with a Minor in American Government. He is from Haymarket, Virginia. His research interests are in U.S. History and European History. Devon plans on becoming a high school dual enrollment instructor after completing the program.