Student Achievements

The USF Department of History is immensely proud of the many achievements of its graduate students. Below are a few of them. If you would like to see your achievements or the achievements of another graduate student detailed on this page, please email Matt King with information about them and their work!

Stephan Hassam, who received his PhD from USF in 2023, has accepted a three-year Visting Assistant Professor position in the Department of Classics and Archaeology of Randolph-Macon College (VA).

Sarah Hassam received the 2024 Time Sifters' Cornelia Futor Student Research Grant to conduct field research for her thesis in Malta and Sicily.

Ummul Muhseneen received a 2024 Diversity Travel Award from the Board of Directors of the National Council on Public History to attend the annual conference of the National Council on Public History.

Lisa Shorts was one of the winners of the Arts & Humanities category of the USF Graduate Research Symposium. She received a $500 travel grant to attend a conference of her choosing.

CAS Chronicles spotlighted the work of M.A. student Hannah Thieryung at the May-Stringer House Museum. Hannah’s work shows what a difference public history makes to our community!

Ummul Muhseneen received the AIBS Fellowship Award for my research trip to Bangladesh few weeks ago. She also presented a poster on her research about the Liberation War Museum at the Oral History Association’s annual meeting last year in Baltimore and was featured in the museum’s newsletter. In addition to this, Ummul arranged and presented her own panel at the National Council on Public History’s annual meeting this April in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In December 2023, Don Zimmerman received the 2024 Chase Family Grant which provided housing/travel expenses during his three-day research visit to the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida in January 2024. While there, he was able to access several collections to advance his research on Freemasonry in Jim Crow Florida and the fraternity’s intersection with Florida's politics as well as racial violence. 

Christopher David Adkins published “The Canine Crucible of Labor, Love, Killing, and Kindness of the Gold Rush North” in the Fall 2023 issue of Alaska History, which is the premier journal for Alaskan historical scholarship. This article was the recipient of the Morgan and Jeannie Sherwood Award for the best article published in the journal. The article is drawn from research that Christopher conducted for his doctoral dissertation.

The Institute for Digital Exploration (IDEx) partnered with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to preserve more than 80,000 items that date back to the late 19th century – some for historical purposes, others than can hold the key to solving crime. PhD student Lisa Shorts and MA students Sarah Hassam, Lourdes Vickers, Sofia Almeida, undergraduate student intern Gloria Lopez, and undergraduate student intern Aiden Eylward contributed to this project.

Christopher David Adkins presented a paper at the 2024 Florida Conference of Historians in Melbourne, Florida, "Ask Now the Beasts: Chronicling the Houndsman Tradition of Southern Appalachia." The paper explored the tradition of hunting with dogs in Appalachia: its centuries-old history to the present, the historiographical lacunae associated with it, and opportunities for scholarship and the imperative for preservation from an academic historical perspective.

M.A. student Juliana Whittinglow has been awarded the Time Sifters' Cornelia Futor Memorial Student Grant to participate to the IDEx's excavation project in Malta (Melite Civitas Romana).

Ph.D. student Rachel Sanderson received a Fulbright Award to study in Spain in the 2023-2024 academic year for her dissertation project, "Identifying Race, Racializing Identity: Belonging in Colonial Florida, 1565-1702."

M.A. student Kylie Dillinger won first prize (arts and humanities category) at USF's 2023 Graduate Research Symposium for her project, "Digital Preservation of Fading Memories: Virtualization and Online Dissemination of the WWII-era Japanese American Detention Camp Amache (Granada, Colorado)."

Ph.D. student Ryan Hom was a People's Choice winner at USF's 2023 Graduate Research Symposium for his project, "Rediscovering an Ancient Greek city in Sicily: Multi-sensorial Remote Sensing of Heloros."

Ph.D. student Madeleine Kraft has joined the editorial team of the peer-reviewed journal "Reviews in Digital Humanities", edited by Jennifer Guiliano (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis) and Roopika Risam (Dartmouth College), as Topic Editor for the endangered cultural heritage area. In that role, Madeleine will coordinate a team of two junior editors. The journal is published through the support of the Mellon Foundation and Digital Humanities and Social Engagement at Dartmouth College.

Ph.D. Candidate Christopher Adkins published two piecies of poetry in The Eckerd Review. "Better Dog" is a tone piece about werewolves in love at dusk in the Springtime, and "September Story" is an interrogation of nostalgia and how longing for days gone by can lie to us. They can be accessed here on pages 82-85. Christopher also published a peer-reviewed article in the academic journal Preternature (Penn State University) that considers shapeshifters in Norse mythology using comparative Medieval and Renaissance texts and Scandinavian folklore.

Madeliene Kraft and Ryan Hom presented their research at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in New Orleans. Madeliene's paper, "Digitization of the Abbatija tad-Dejr Catacombs in Rabat, Malta" considered her current archaeological research on the island of Malta. Ryan's paper, "Ancient Greek Mercenaries Abroad Mapping Project" looked at the geographic distribution of ancient Greek mercenaries.





A project spearheaded by Angela Costello and Kylie Dillinger for the Institute for Digital Exploration that digitizes and visualizes a Japanese-American detention camp in Colorado was featured in the HUB.

Stephan Hassam, Kaitlyn Kingsland, Madeleine Kraft and Juliana Whittinglow presented to USF donors the highlights of their archaeological work in Malta!

Angela Costello was selected for the Dumbarton Oaks Museum Graduate Study Day The award will cover her travel/lodging expenses to get to Washington, D.C. and to conduct one day of research there.