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Alumni News

1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1950s

Betty (Peterson) O’Brien (BA ʼ56) writes: “After a 40 year career as a theological librarian I have spent 24 years as resident librarian at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder, Colorado.”

1960s

Donald A. Robertson (Jay) (BA ʼ62) writes: “If it were not for PhD Candidate, Dr. John Keiser, I would have never survived. Billington, Leopold and Romani were outstanding, as were others, but as an undergrad in my early 20’s I was too immature to appreciate them. Dr. William McGovern in poly sci was also key to my survival. Studying history today would be much easier because I lived through it. In my limited opinion WWII was one of history’s biggest events and so easy to relate to so much more than earlier wars not involving America. On Vietnam I have many views that might not agreed with positions held by NU professors.”

William A. Hoisington, Jr. (BA ʼ63), Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was awarded membership in the Ordre des Palmes academiques in 2019 by the government of France. This award recognizes his career-long teaching, research, and publications on the history of France and colonial Morocco.

Judith Westlund Rosbe (BA ʼ63) has spent a good deal of her life furthering her interests in history. She has been a director of the Sippican Historical Society in Marion, Massachusetts since 1978 and has over the years been it president for 15 years and its treasurer for five years. She has written five local history books about Marion – four with Arcadia Publishing and one with the History Press. In addition, she has conducted over 30 oral histories with long-term Marion residents, which are posted on the Sippican Historical Society’s website. She also leads historical buildings tours in Marion, has participated in numerous preservation projects of historical buildings in Marion, has given many historical lectures, and has curated historical exhibits. She is a retired lawyer who practiced law for over 30 years.

Joel A. Tarr (PhD ʼ63) is the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2019 the National Council on Public History awarded him its 2018 Founders Award. In 2019 he published, with Edward K. Muller, Making Industrial Pittsburgh Modern: Environment, Landscape, Transportation, and Planning (University of Pittsburgh Press). In addition, he published “Lighting the Streets, Alleys and Parks of the Smoky City, 1880-1930,” Pennsylvania History, June, 2019.

Gretchen Cassel Eick (MA ʼ65) writes: “I have a new book coming out this year from U of Nevada Press, a double biography of Dakota physician, writer and activist Charles Ohiyesa Eastman and his Anglo wife, writer Elaine Goodale Eastman. It is also a history of the U.S. 1860-1940, showing the intersection of race, politics and popular culture. I also have two new novels, The Hard Verge: Britain 2025 (2019) and The Set Up, 1984: Britain’s Biggest Drug Bust, Classified Until 2064. My husband and I continue to teach spring semesters in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the University of Dzemal Bijedic, to write books, and run a small press.”

Gary Werskey (BA ʼ65) writes: “Currently I’m an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney’s Department of History. My ‘Picturing a Nation: The Art & Life of A.H. Fullwood’ will be published by NewSouth Books in November. This will coincide with an exhibition I’m co-curating at the National Library of Australia: ‘Imagining a Nation: The Artists of the “Picturesque Atlas of Australasia”’, which will run from November 26, 2020, to April 18, 2021. Fifty-five years after graduating from NU, I’m a fortunate man to be living in the Blue Mountains and still contributing to our discipline.”

Frank A. Cassell (PhD ʼ68) writes: “My book, Suncoast Empire: Bertha Palmer, Her Family, and the Rise of Sarasota received the Florida Book Awards silver medal in nonfiction. A new volume, Creating Sarasota County, was published by the History Press.”

John M Gleason, Jr. (BA ʼ68) writes: “My thanks to the comprehensive liberal arts program at NU. A bohemian lifestyle here in North Scottsdale is enriched with this renaissance background. A nearby venue of interest is my neighbor Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.”

Gregory Paus (BA ʼ68) writes: “After graduation, I studied Architecture in Boston. I currently am a practicing Architect and President of Silver Ridge Design, Inc., Architects, located in Northern Vermont. As a firm believer in community involvement, I have been chair of my town’s planning commission for 29 years, past chair of my regional Planning Commission, current executive committee of the Vermont Art’s Council, and other leadership positions on other civic boards. The study of History gave me a great foundation for subsequent pursuits!”

Bruce Elfvin (BA ʼ69) writes: “After graduating with a BA in History, I went to Law School and I am finishing my legal career in 2020 and celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary on Ground Hog’s Day with my spouse, Jackie. I have been blessed to have 3 children (2 live in Chicago area), and a growing group of grandchildren. I was a CAS graduate and believe that much of the modern trend of specialized education needs to be tempered with Arts & Sciences. History needs to be studied and debated. Good luck in the future.”

Ronald Lorton (BA ʼ69) writes: “Continuing to enjoy retirement in San Antonio. Mixing in a little travel (mostly domestic) with some volunteer work and involvement with local groups interested in foreign affairs. Enjoyed the History Department’s reception in Harris Hall during reunions last October and appreciate the update on departmental faculty and activities presented at that time.”
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1970s

John F. Reiger (PhD ʼ70), Professor Emeritus of History, Ohio University-Chillicothe, continues his fight against the efforts in the federal government to undermine or even abolish conservation and environmental laws over a century in the making. In January of this year he published “For ‘Generations Yet Unborn’: George Bird Grinnell, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Early Conservation Movement” in Char Miller and Clay S. Jenkinson, editors, Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist in the Arena (University of Nebraska Press). The essay documents Grinnell’s mentorship of Roosevelt in his development as a committed conservationist.

Arthur Flicker (BA ʼ71) writes: “Retired from the pulpit of B’nai Israel in Albuquerque. Working as Chaplain for the Jewish Care Program as well as doing some teaching.”

Stephen P. Herr (BA ʼ72) writes: “I retired June 1, 2018 as Assistant Professor of English at Leeward Community College (University of Hawaii System) in Pearl City, Hawaii. I am married to Beth Kupper-Herr (WCAS ʼ72) whom I met in a class in Harris Hall in Fall 1971. I write for at least 45 minutes every day in my reflective writing journal and ride my bike 10 miles a day, four days a week. Beth and I live 400 feet from the Pacific Ocean in Kaaawa, Hawaii, a small village of 1,300 people, 12 miles from the nearest supermarket.”

William Willingham (PhD ʼ72) writes: “In my role as a public historian, I have been giving public lectures around Oregon on the importance of community journalism in these difficult times. These talks are based on my recent book, Grit and Ink: An Oregon Family’s Adventures in Newspapering, 1908-2018 (Oregon State Univ. Press, 2018). I am also finishing a book on the role of army engineers (mostly French) in the American Revolution and the founding of West Point.”

Charles Zucker (PhD ʼ72) writes: “I taught at Fayetteville State University (NC) and Carroll College before seguing into association work. I served as the Executive Secretary of the Illinois AAUP from 1980 to 1985. From 1985 to 1988, I worked for Illinois Education Association on collective bargaining campaigns in the SIU system. In 1988, I became the Executive Director of the Texas Faculty Association, retiring in 2007. After living in Austin for 30 years, my wife and I moved to San Antonio in 2019 to be closer to the grandchildren. I currently volunteer at the Institute of Texan Cultures where I do presentations for school children on the Apaches and at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. We own a summer home in Montana near Glacier National Park where we hike, bike, kayak and fly fish.”

David Gaynon (BA ʼ73) writes: “After 4 decades of a career that began as an archivist and transitioned to a records manager/e-discovery specialist I retired to Portland OR where I became involved with Senior Studies Institute, a group that sponsors more than 100 lectures every year. On Feb 12th I will present a Lincoln day program which will include a reading of 3 speeches and an open discussion on their relevance for today.”

Jim Schmotter (PhD ʼ73) has been named President of the Naples Council on World Affairs (Florida). With a membership of more than 2,700, the Naples Council is one of the largest in the World Affairs Councils of America network. The Council sponsors lectures by nationally recognized experts on diplomacy, world affairs and national security. It also conducts outreach and scholarship programs for Southwest Florida middle and high school students, including a large Model United Nations competition. In partnership with the Foreign Policy Association, it also organizes a small group study and discussion program on world affairs and foreign policy topics that annually engages 800 Council members.

William White (PhD ʼ74) writes: “My college of 32 years closed due to financial reasons in May 2017. I spent the next 8 months organizing Charles Halleck’s papers as a County Prosecutor from 1924-1932. My article on those years was published in the Indiana Magazine of History in December of 2018. In 2018 I was appointed at Purdue University where I still teach full time in their new Liberal Arts Cornerstone Program. I received the Antonia Syson Teaching Award in April, 2019 for my work in this program.”

Barbara Wolf Burton (BA ʼ75) writes: “My hometown of Westfield NJ is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2020 and I am co-chair of the celebration. This volunteer position is providing me with an opportunity to share our interesting past and also to create events that help to bring the community together. We are planning history talks, art and music from across the centuries, educational programs with the schools and a town wide party. I am working on a short, colorful book about Westfield history with the goal of making history appealing to the public. There is more information on this page.”

Timothy George Walch (PhD ʼ75) writes: “This year, I will mark my ninth year of retirement after 18 years as the director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and 33 years with the National Archives and Records Administration. In retirement I continue to lecture and publish on various topics. Of particular note is my most recent book, Irish Iowa, published by the History Press in March. I continue as a volunteer in the Special Collections Department at the University of Iowa, as a volunteer at the State Historical Society on Iowa, and as a member of the Iowa Historical Records Advisory Board. In 2019, I celebrated my 50th year as a member of the Organization of American Historians.”

Dale T. Knobel (PhD ʼ76) writes: “After almost 40 years in the professoriate and the last 15 as president of Ohio’s Denison University, I thought I had safely retired to Texas. But I went on the Board of Trustees of Texas’ oldest undergraduate liberal arts college, Southwestern University, and when the president suddenly took another post, I found myself back in a college presidency. But I’ve promised my wife that this one is only “interim” –and it is a pleasure to be back on an active campus.”

R. Mark McCareins (BA ʼ78) is a Clinical Professor of Strategy at Kellogg and also serves as General Counsel of the Metals Service Center Institute.
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1980s

Jim Sanders (PhD ʼ80) writes: “Far from ‘the airless greenhouse of academic life,’ to borrow from Thorstein Veblen, I volunteer in a food distribution program in Alexandria, Virginia. Guests include a wide range of people requiring food assistance, including middle-class victims of unexpected job loss. Numbers increase toward the end of the month, when social security payments and food stamps are exhausted. Levels of hunger in prosperous northern Virginia surprise me. As Jacob Riis discovered in 1888, offering donated flowers, in addition to food, is ‘like cutting windows for souls that are being shrunk and dwarfed’ by their needs. Carnations, in particular, are wildly popular.”

Tami Amiri (BA ʼ82) writes: “I am a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist practicing in Westport CT. Studying history was a pleasure at NU. What a fabulous department. The skills I honed as a History major stood me in good stead while in Med school and residency , gathering histories on patients and now digging deeper with my patients in private practice. Thank you to my wonderful history professors, especially Profs. Petry, Hayes and Sheridan!”

Mark Kuhl (BA ʼ82) writes: “I retired last year after teaching at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Illinois, for 33 years. I worked in the Social Studies Department and my primary instructional assignments were in Advanced Placement United States History and World Civilization. The wide variety of courses offered by the History Department at Northwestern, and the high quality of instruction I experienced in them, well prepared me for my career as a history educator. Thank you very much.”

Eric Stromayer (BA ʼ82) writes: “After 31 years with the State Department I am currently the US Ambassador to the Republic of Togo. I have been in Togo since last March with my wife Susmita. This builds on my first West Africa experience in Senegal as a PCV right out of NU in 1982-83, and various other assignments over the course of my career. From the coast in Lome to the Burkina Faso border we have enjoyed the hospitality of the Togolese people, their culture, and the beauty of their country.”

James Lewis (PhD ʼ84) was appointed by Governor Rauner, and reappointed by Governer Pritzker, Chair of the State of Illinois Budgeting for Results Commission, a state body charged with implementing cost-benefit analysis and reviewing legislative mandates across Illinois state government.

Keith Medansky (BA ʼ84) continues as senior partner and co-chair of the Chicago Intellectual Property practice at the Chicago office of the international law firm DLA Piper, where he has worked since 1987. Keith focuses his practice on domestic and international trademark, copyright and technology law. Keith says studying history at Northwestern was one of his very best decisions!

Daniel Sack (BA ʼ84) presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and the American Society of Church History, drawing on research for a long-term project on American religion during the Great Depression. His day job is as a program officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Christopher Caratzas (BA ʼ88) writes: “I loved the History department at NU, especially Peter Hayes and Lacey Baldwin Smith. After graduating I went to work at Time, Inc. My career there lasted 17 years, split equally between Time and Fortune magazines in magazine production. I changed careers in 2006 and went back to school to study nursing. I have worked as a psychiatric and mental health registered nurse since 2008. Presently live in Metuchen, New Jersey and work at the Veterans Administration in Lyons, NJ but am transferring to a facility in Fairfield, CA in early March. Happily married with two children, Minerva and Dimitrios.”
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1990s

Kelly A. Cronin (BA ʼ90) writes: “After serving as the Social Studies Department Head for 12 years, in the fall of 2019 I was named the Upper School Director of The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio.”

Matthew Hirshfield (BA ʼ91) writes: “I have accepted an offer to become the new General Counsel of Bain & Company, the management consulting firm.”

Aaron Weiss (BA ʼ92): “Retired Marine Launches Entrepreneurial Venture in Heart of Communist Vietnam.” After retiring from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel, Aaron founded the GrüneStrasse Backpack Co to build all-weather backpacks for Bike to Work Commuters. Earlier this year he introduced GrüneStrasse’s first commercial product –the Shellback backpack–in a successful Kickstarter campaign. He currently lives in Hanoi, Vietnam with his family.

Adam West (BA ʼ93) writes: “In 2019 my family and I moved to my new posting at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Feel free to drop me a line if you’re passing through!”

Rosemary Metzger (BA ʼ94) writes: “Since graduation, I have not been employed in history: I have worked for the federal government, a boutique IT consulting firm, and am now working in financial services operations. I am also a weekend warrior, crewing on racing sailboats. I still keep my love of history alive as an avid reader.”

Stephen Caropreso (BA ʼ95) writes: “I reside in Chicago and am married to my wife Elissa. We have two sons, Nathan (13) and Zachary (10). I am an assistant principal at Palmer Elementary School in Chicago. My current favorite hobbies are watching my sons play baseball and running. We enjoy visiting the NU campus, seeing all of its ongoing changes, and cheering on the Wildcats at various athletic events.”

Nicole Hudgins (née Herz) (BA ʼ96) has come out with her second book in February: The Gender of Photography: How Masculine and Feminine Values Shaped Nineteenth Century Photography. She is an associate professor at the University of Baltimore (UB).

Samantha Kelly (PhD ʼ98) writes: “My edited volume, A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea, will be published by Brill in February. Four years in the making, its 15 chapters (plus intro) by various authors survey the state of the field in diverse disciplines of Ethiopian Studies from the 7th to the mid-16th century.”

Amanda I Seligman (PhD ʼ99) is a finalist for the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Arts and Humanities Faculty Mentor Award. This status recognizes her work with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students on the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee.
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2000s

Michelle Pinto (BA ʼ00) writes: “I completed my PhD in history at New York University in 2013 with a dissertation on the decolonization of French Africa in the twentieth century. I then moved to Philadelphia for a three-year postdoctoral position as a Teaching Fellow in the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Integrated Studies Program and Visiting Scholar in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. This position, which involved teaching across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, inspired my transformation into an interdisciplinary scholar. Subsequently, I obtained an Assistant Professor position in the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University, where I teach core texts in philosophy, politics, literature, and religion in a program centered on ethical reasoning and social justice. I bring my perspective as a global historian and social scientist, cultivated since my undergraduate years at Northwestern, to my interdisciplinary teaching, while simultaneously embracing other disciplines’ methods and lines of inquiry to enrich my understanding of history.”

Andrew Majit (BA ʼ01) was promoted to Block Captain for his Corte Madera, CA neighborhood, and has started the first ever Astronomy Enthusiasts Club in the city. After work, Andrew can be found searching for new galaxies while building a sense of community with his neighbors.

Jeff Manuel (BA ʼ01) is an associate professor in the Department of Historical Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He currently working on a book comparing the history of biofuels in the United States and Brazil, funded by a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

Marisa Chappell (PhD ʼ02) writes: “I am a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation during Spring 2020, where I am working on a book manuscript tentatively titled ACORN: Working-Class Politics in America’s Second Gilded Age.”

Sean L. Field (PhD ʼ02), Professor of Medieval History at the University of Vermont, has won the 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Medieval Academy of America. Any merits his own teaching may possess merely reflect the training he received at NU, particularly from his own mentor Robert E. Lerner (who in turn was trained by Joseph Strayer, who was trained by Charles Homer Haskins, one of the founders of the Medieval Academy of America).

Joseph Bubman (BA ʼ03): Urban Rural Action, the 501c3 that Joseph founded in 2019 to help bridge the urban/rural divide in the United States, is implementing a Democracy Renewal 2020 program to promote more constructive community engagement in our democracy across geographic and ideological divides.

David Lourie (BA ʼ04) is Chief Compliance Officer and Counsel at Cressey and Company, a private-equity firm that invests in and builds leading healthcare companies. He is responsible for ensuring the firm complies with federal laws and financial regulations. He is based in New York City and Chicago.

Jaclyn Sumner (BA ʼ05) earned her PhD in Latin American History from the University of Chicago in 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. In 2019 she published an article, “The Indigenous Governor of Tlaxcala and Acceptable Indigenousness in the Porfirian Regime,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Winter 2019): 61-87.

Julie Gamble (BA ʼ06) writes: “I am an Assistant Professor in Urban Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.”

Sagar K Shah (BA ʼ06) writes: “Currently working for the department of Veteran Affairs. Providing integrative medicine services on a local level and directing a national nutrition course for clinicians to affect systemic changes.”

Ben Clark (BA ʼ07) is an Enforcement Attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, DC. He and his wife, Julie Bowes, welcomed their first child, Adrian, in March 2019.

Rich Nassif (BA ʼ07) enters his third season as Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at the University at Albany in upstate New York. He previously served as Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Benedictine University, in Lisle, IL, and spent seven seasons on the sidelines at NU. Rich and wife Sara (‘10) have one daughter, Jacqueline, and another on the way.

Carla Karijolich (BA ʼ08) is teaching a course on employee training and development at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies this winter quarter. She also designed the course. She works as a Training Manager at iRhythm Technologies and is proud to be sharing her professional expertise with her students.

Lee Linderman (BA ʼ08) is an aspiring novelist who was recently reappointed to a 3-year term to serve as a commissioner on the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights.

Carling Spelhaug (BA ʼ08) is joining Denver-based startup AMP Robotics as a marketing communications manager. AMP works to advance sustainability using artificial intelligence and robotics, and raised Series A funding in November led by Sequoia Capital.

Chris Eckels (BA ʼ09) contributed a chapter entitled “The Antisocial Fabric: German and American Approaches to Flags as Hate Speech in Public Demonstration” to Flags, Color, and the Legal Narrative: Public Memory, Identity, and Critique (Springer, forthcoming Spring 2020), the first volume in a new series entitled Law and Visual Jurisprudence. His chapter uses the display of invidious flags by far-right protestors in Charlottesville, VA, at the 2017 Unite the Right rally and offers a comparative legal analysis under German and American free speech jurisprudence, against a broader backdrop of global normative democratic values in the post-WWII paradigm.
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2010s

After graduating from Northwestern University in 2010 with a degree in History and African Studies, Case Martin (BA ʼ10) completed a Masters in African Studies at the University of Oxford in 2012 followed by an M.D. degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2016. He now is in his fourth-year of residency in orthopaedic surgery in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Elizabeth, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist. The two welcomed daughter Mila last year. Case received an AO Trauma Fellowship to continue training in Zurich, Switzerland and will be pursuing an orthopaedic trauma fellowship upon completion of residency.

Stephanie Nadalo (PhD ʼ13) is still enjoying life in Paris, France, where she has been based since 2012. She is Assistant Professor of Art History at Parsons Paris, the European division of the New School in New York, and in Fall 2019 served as Interim Director of the MA program in the History of Design & Curatorial Studies. When she is not in the classroom, Stephanie works as a licensed museum guide at institutions including the Louvre, Orsay and the Museum of Jewish Art and History. She is an active board member of the Northwestern Alumni Club of France.

Robert Galliani (BA ʼ14) is currently enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Chicago and will be headed to the Investment Banking Department at UBS in New York this summer.

Wen-Qing Ngoei (PhD ʼ15) was a little busy in 2019. The year's highlights included the publication of his first book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell), visiting NU in April to deliver a talk about his book, and taking up a new position as Assistant Professor of Humanities at the Singapore Management University.

Valerie P. Jimenez (PhD ʼ18) is a producer with a historical documentary series that will be airing on NBC within the next year. In her two years in this field, she has networked with and advised many graduate students who are looking to transition to careers outside of academia.

After spending the past year and a half at Major League Baseball in the Office of the Commissioner, Katie Krall (BA ʼ18) was hired by the Cincinnati Reds as a Baseball Operations Analyst. She will develop and integrate new tools and technology to improve Baseball Operations decision making processes, provide comprehensive scouting coverage, and statistical request support to the front office.

Cairo Dye (BA ʼ19) writes: “I recently started as the Manager of Special Events at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.”

Ben Paolelli (BA ʼ19) writes: “I am working towards a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL, while interning in the Campus Ministry Department at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, IL. My end goal is to become a campus minister at a Catholic high school, but my history degree from NU (and particularly my experiences from my classes with Professors Hein, Immerwahr and Fitz) continues to help me write effectively and think critically, which I hope to pass on to the students I work with.”

Joy Sales (PhD ʼ19) writes: “I have two recent publications. One is an essay, ‘Revolutionary Care as Activism: Filipina Nurses and Care Workers in Chicago, 1965–2016,’ in the anthology, Our Voices, Our Histories: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women (NYU Press, 2020). The second is an article in Amerasia Journal entitled, ‘#NeverAgainToMartialLaw: Transnational Filipino American Activism in the Shadow of Marcos and Age of Duterte.’”
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