Class of 2022

EricaErica Blake is from Lexington, South Carolina. She graduated from Furman University in 2018 with a BA in History and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her interests include Colonialism, Indigenous history, and Public History.


Mary Culler is working towards an MA in history as well as a public history certificate. She is from Woodstock, Virginia, and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in History from Messiah College in December of 2019. Her research interests include historical memory and US Women’s history, specifically in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Upon completion of this program, she intends to continue in education and enter a Ph.D. program.

unnamedSavannah Flanagan is from Elm City, North Carolina. She graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan College, where she majored in History, Entertainment Theatre, and Religious Studies. She is pursuing an MA in History and a certificate in Public History. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, religion, and early American culture. After graduation, she plans to move on to a PhD program in History.


Bradley Kraft is a graduate of Christopher Newport University and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Master of Arts in Teaching. He taught as a history teacher at Blacksburg High School for eleven years before coming to Virginia Tech to pursue a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Sec. Social Studies Concentration) along with a Master of Arts in History.  He works as a graduate teaching assistant within the School of Education under Dr. David Hicks in social studies teacher preparation. His primary areas of interest include the Byzantine Empire, Islamic History and the influence of historical consciousness and collective memory on the writing/teaching of historical narratives. 

unnamed (1)Savannah Lawhorne is from Rockbridge County, Virginia. She graduated with my undergraduate degree in History from Virginia Tech in Spring 2020. She is interested in modern war history, which is a pretty broad topic. More narrowly, she is interested in how history and psychology intersect – specifically in examples like WWII era Germany and the American Eugenics movement. She plans to get a M.A. in History and the Public History certificate while here for the next few years.

Derek Pearson is from Southbury, Connecticut. He graduated with a BS in history with aimage0 minor in Anthropology from Southern Connecticut State University. His interest in history revolves around the history of technology and its relationship with humanity. But, his focus lies in aerospace history. While he does enjoy the space race, he also loves looking at contemporary space flight. He finds himself enamored with humanity’s goal to reach for the stars and push their own horizons.

KianaKiana Wilkerson is from Suffolk, VA. She is a 2018 graduate from the College of William and Mary, where she received a BA in History and Anthropology. She is currently pursuing a MA in History with a certificate in public history. Her research interests include African American women’s history and how gender and sexuality interact within the community.

AlfonsoAlfonso Zavala grew up in the small town of Othello, Washington, in the Columbia Basin region of Washington State. Growing up in a small farming community made him discover his love for reading since there was nothing much else to do, which eventually developed into his fascination for history. It was thanks to his middle school librarian Mr. Smith that he became interested in Civil War history. Once he left high school, he reconnected with him and had conversations about the period and other topics in U.S. history. It was then he decided to pursue a degree in History and graduated from Central Washington University in 2018 with his BA. His goal is to enter the field of Civil War history as a professional historian and contribute with his scholarship on that very pivotal moment in our nation’s history.