Current W&S Graduate Students
Joel R. Bius
Joel R. Bius is a Ph.D. student of American History with a War and Society emphasis. Joel has a MA in Military Studies (Civil War) from the American Military University, a MA in Military Operational Art & Science from the Air Command and Staff College, and a BA in Business Administration from Valdosta State University. Joel’s research interests include ninetheenth-century America, and specifically the father and son experience in the American Civil War, definition and transmission of masculinity and honor in Southern culture, and how these elements affected combat motivation, individual identity, and political allegiance. He is also interested in the societal and cultural aspects of warfare and how these impact the development and execution of grand strategy. As a faculty member at the Air Command and Staff College, Joel’s research focused on the history and development of American air power, as well as the history, theory, and practice of stability and reconstruction operations. Joel is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.
Hunter R. Boyd
Hunter is a Ph.D. student focusing on American War and Society issues in the nineteenth century. Hunter received a B.A. in History from Southeastern Louisiana University in May 2008, where he also received a M.A. in History in December 2010. Hunter’s research interests include partisan conflict and the legacies of guerilla warfare in the US Civil War. His additional interests include the U.S. sectional politics and underlying Southern social/class tensions of the nineteenth century. A lifelong resident of Louisiana, Hunter currently resides in Hammond. Hunter is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.
Allan is a Fargo, ND native and M.A. student studying the U.S. Civil War Era, specifically Reconstruction and the rehabilitation of veterans, families, and communities in Mississippi. He received a BA in History from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011. In 2009, he interned with the U.S. State Department in the Economic Office of the American embassy in London. His study of British foreign policy during the U.S. Civil War was awarded the MSUM History Department’s Ingren-Iverson Award recognizing the best paper by a graduating senior in 2011, as well an award for the best paper by an undergraduate by the Society for Military History at the 2010 Northern Great Plains History Conference. In 2012, Allan was awarded a travel grant to conduct research at the National Archives in Washington, DC and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, MS. His research interests are U.S. History and War & Society. Currently, he is studying the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, madness, and “scalawags” as lenses by which to examine the Civil War era’s political, social, and cultural history. Allan is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served with during two mobilizations during the Iraq War. Allan is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.
Cantrell received her BA and MA in history from the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently is a Ph.D. student in American history with minor fields in Latin American history and War and Society, and .has completed her comprehensive exams. Her research explores the politics of food and the role that food plays in shaping American society during World War II. She has published articles on women and rationing during World War II and her dissertation continues to investigate that topic. She also is a full time instructor at East Mississippi Community College in northern Mississippi. Kelly is working is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Haley and Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Colin M. Colbourn
Colin received his BS in History from Ball State University in 2007 with a minor in Anthropology. From 2006-2009, Colin interned with the U.S. Marine Corps History Division in Quantico, Virginia, aiding the Chief Historian as well as Reference and Historical branch historians in researching and writing official Marine Corps history. Colin received his MA from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009. Now ABD, Colin’s dissertation will combine social and institutional history in an analysis of the U.S. Marine Corps’ employment of public relations from the turn of the twentieth century through the Second World War. During his time at Southern Miss, Colin has presented his research at conferences such as the Society for Military History’s Annual Meeting, the Naval History Symposium, and the Meeting of the American Journalism Historians Association. Other conference work included both chairing and organizing the 2009 Regional International Security and Internal Safety Conference, hosted at USM. Colin also had the opportunity to participate in battlefield tours and studies of Italy, Sicily, Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and Vietnam. Colin was recently awarded the General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Memorial Dissertation Fellowship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for 2012-2013. Colin is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Wiest.
Dennis Conklin is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in the colonial and antebellum south, with an emphasis on religious and political history. Dennis is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Conflict and Controversy in the Confederate High Command: Johnston, Davis, Hood &The Atlanta Campaign of 1864.” The most salient feature of the study is a reevaluation of John Bell Hood’s behavior throughout the campaign. Dennis has publications in the Encyclopedia of North American Conflicts to 1775, and The United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. He has served as Graduate Student Liaison to the faculty, as a member of the Graduate Student Senate, and as a member of the Advisory Committee to Select the Dean of University Libraries. He also received the University of Southern Mississippi Department of History Graduate Teaching Award in 2006. From 2010-2012, Dennis was granted an opportunity to serve as a visiting instructor of History at Southern Miss. Dennis is working under the direction of Dr. William Scarborough and Dr. Susannah Ural.
Michael Doidge is a PhD candidate currently researching his dissertation "An Army Worth Fighting For: Doctrinal, Strategic, and Bureaucratic Transformation in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1963." The work argues that the Army's post-World War II relationship to national security policy was the primary driving force behind the sweeping transformations it underwent during the early Cold War. A 2008 fellow at the West Point Summer Seminar in Military History, Michael was also awarded travel grants to the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy Presidential Libraries, a George Marshall/Baruch Fellowship from the George Marshall Foundation, The Harry J. Carman Fellowship, and the U. S. Army Center of Military History Dissertation Fellowship. In addition to working on his dissertation, Michael co-edited, with Professor Andrew Wiest, Triumph Revisited: Historians Battle for the Vietnam War, which examines the current state of Vietnam War historiography. Michael is currently an historian for the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Michael is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Wiest.
Jason C. Engle
Jason is a Ph.D. candidate specializing Modern European History with a minor concentrations in War and Society and Social History. His dissertation, tentatively titled, “’Kamerad Schnürschuh:’ A Social History of Austria-Hungary’s ‘Second’ Army in World War I,” will seek to reveal the experience and the mentalité of Austro-Hungarian soldiers and field-grade officers that made up the empire’s motley army of teenagers and middle-aged men that fought it’s last war. Jason is also interested in the residual effects of the Great War on Austria’s First Republic, particularly as it relates to the role of paramilitarism in Interwar politics and political movements. He received his master’s degree in Military History from Norwich University (Northfield, VT) in 2008 and his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Union College (Barbourville, KY) in 1997. Jason has authored books reviews for Army History and H-Net as well as multiple encyclopedia articles for ABC-CLIO. When not working on his dissertation or prepping for class, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Jodie, and his son, Wilhem. He also enjoys hanging with friends, traveling, labrewing and consuming good beer, watching football, and plein air painting. Jason is working under the direction of Dr. Jeff Bowersox and Dr. Andrew Wiest.
John D. Fitzmorris
John Fitzmorris, a resident of New Orleans, is in his fifth year as a doctoral candidate in War and Society. He graduated with a B.A. from L.S.U. in 1989 in Political Science and Religious Studies, has a M.A. in Religious Studies from Loyola University, and an M.A. in History from the University of New Orleans, where he was awarded the George F. Windell Prize for Outstanding Thesis in History. The father of one daughter (Madeleine Rose), Mr. Fitzmorris was a high school and middle school teacher before returning to finish his doctorate. He has begun work on a dissertation examining combat chaplains in the Vietnam War. He has conducted research at the U.S. Army Chaplains' Archives at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and made the USM Study Abroad trip to Vietnam in 2009. He has written three entries in James Willbanks’ America’s Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan. In both 2011 and 2012, Mr. Fitzmorris was named Outstanding Graduate Instructor by the History Department. He currently serves as President and Historian of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in New Orleans, an organization for Irish Catholic men, and is an advisor for the Girl Scouts of America. John is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Wiest.
Originally from Windham, N.H., Lt. Aaron Foster is a Class of 2012 Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a B.S. in Military History and a minor in Portuguese. He was honored as the 2012 recipient of the Andrews Award and the Bong Award for the outstanding cadet in History and Military History respectively. In addition, he was awarded the Franklin C. Wolfe Scholarship as the outstanding cadet in the Humanities. In 2011, he was the Academy’s first recipient of the Portuguese Language Award. As an undergraduate, he presented his research at the Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum in 2011 and 2012 and the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Conference in 2012. His research interests include: European and early American History, with a special interest in the American Civil War. Upon completion of his M.A. in War & Society at Southern Miss, he will go to San Angelo, TX for training as an Air Force Intelligence Officer. Aaron is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.
Jeremy is a third year PhD student studying colonial New England. He earned his BA in History at Louisiana State University in 2006, and his MA in History at the University of New Orleans in 2008. His MA thesis examined the early Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies and their different policies and beliefs regarding land use. His research interests include colonial America, Atlantic History, War and Society, the History of Religion. Jeremy's dissertation will look at the Pequot War and its affect on different New England colonies. Jeremy is working under the direction of Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Timothy C. Hemmis
Timothy C. Hemmis is a Ph.D. candidate studying early American frontier history during the Revolutionary Era. His dissertation title is “Trading Identities: National Identity and Loyalty of Backcountry Merchants in Revolutionary America, 1740-1816.” The project argues that personal and economic relationships before and after the War for Independence forged identities that changed with new opportunities for profit Additionally, Mr. Hemmis has presented at several academic conferences, including the Society for Military History, and has published several encyclopedia articles including one in the upcoming The Encyclopedia of War entitled “The Mohawk-Mahican War, 1624-1628.” Furthermore, he has several book reviews pending for H-War. In addition to his research, Mr. Hemmis has taught several classes, including: World History I and II and American History I, 1600-1865. Timothy is working under the direction of Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Wesley is a proud native of Hopewell, Virginia. Several years after receiving his B.A. in History in 2002 from the University of Virginia, he decided to pursue a career in teaching and writing history. In 2007, Wesley earned his M.A. in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. While at VCU, his Master’s Thesis focused on Peter Francisco, a famous, yet oft-forgotten Revolutionary War hero whose unique life experiences as a slave, soldier, and citizen reflected on both the limits of early American republicanism and the popular memory of Revolutionary War veterans. Wesley is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi specializing in the Era of the American Revolution. Since passing his comprehensive exams in the spring of 2010, Wesley has been working on his dissertation, “Second Families of Virginia,” which focuses on the emergence and influence of professionals (i.e. merchants, lawyers, doctors, soldiers, and manufacturers) in colonial and Revolutionary Virginia. When Wesley is not reading, researching, or writing he can often be found rooting for his beloved Wahoos, complaining about the general public’s lack of historical knowledge, or espousing the superiority of his home state. Wesley is working under the direction of Dr. Kyle Zelner.
David Martin is a native of Picayune, Mississippi. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.A. in History with minors in Classics and Aerospace Studies. As an undergraduate, his thesis examined the role of George Washington’s mythos on the Southern war effort during the American Civil War. As a first-year MA student, he is currently focused on researching Thomas Jefferson’s role in Early American military development. David is working under the direction of Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Theresa L. Monserrat
Theresa is a first year Ph.D. student focusing on U.S. diplomatic and political history, more specifically, Korean-American relations. Her MA thesis at Millersville University examined the North Korean motives surrounding the 1968 capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo, as well as the impact of national and international opinion of the incident on both the Lyndon B. Johnson and Kim Il Sung administrations at a critical time in the Vietnam War. She has presented her research at many academic conferences, including The Seventh Triennial Vietnam Symposium. Her dissertation will explore gender roles during the Korean War and her other research interests include modern Korea and U.S. policy in the 1950s and 1960s. Theresa was raised in Quakertown, PA and comes to USM from Lancaster, PA. In her free time she enjoys training for triathlons, hiking, and watching Philadelphia Phillies games. Theresa is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Wiest and Dr. Ken Swope.
Stephanie Seal is a native of Poplarville, MS and received her B.A. in History with a minor in Anthropology at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011. She is currently a second year M.A. student studying US History with a minor in Early Modern European Studies. Her current thesis topic is dedicated to uncovering how society either responded to or ignored those who were accused of loyalism during the Revolutionary War era in Williamsburg, Virginia. Stephanie is working under the direction of Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Tanisha Staten is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and received her B.A., summa cum laude, in history, with a minor in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. Tanisha received the John E. Wallace Award for academic excellence in history and was named to both the National Dean’s and Chancellor’s Lists. Her thesis was a study of the early American political system, entitled “Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall: The Struggle to Build A Nation.” She is a second-year M.A. student studying American History with a minor in War and Society. Her current research focuses on American colonial history, particularly on political, constitutional, and legal history in Virginia. Her M.A. thesis topic is on the Randolph family of Williamsburg and their contributions to the colonial government as well as the founding of the Early American Republic. Tanisha is working with Dr. Kyle Zelner.
Samantha Taylor is a Ph.D. in American History with minor fields in Modern European History and War and Society. She obtained her M.A. from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City TN 2009 and has a B.S. from Lander University in Greenwood, SC 2007. Her research interests include American History from the Civil War to the Present, World War I, World War II, military technology as well their affect on American and European society. Other interests include the Cold War, Cultural History, and American Diplomatic History. Samantha’s current dissertation topic is a study of post-Cold War culture in the United States and Europe. Samantha is working under the direction of Dr. Heather Stur and Dr. Andrew Wiest.
Robert is a Ph.D. student from Alexandria, Virginia. He received a B.A. in History from Virginia Wesleyan College in 2006, and an M.A. in History from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2007. His interests include American culture, diplomacy, and political-military relations. Working under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Wiest, Robert is focusing on United States pacification efforts during the Vietnam War. Robert’s dissertation will expand on his 2012 Society for Military History conference paper “‘Appearance Lies’: Pacification in the Republic of Vietnam.” He will examine how poor intelligence and a culture of success doomed the U.S. Army’s late war pacification efforts in Phu Yen Province, South Vietnam. Robert has written book reviews for the Army History Magazine and H-Net. He also provided encyclopedia entries for The Encyclopedia of the Sixties: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture and The Encyclopedia of Warfare. Recently, Robert assisted Dr. Wiest with his forthcoming oral history of the Vietnam War. Robert is working under the direction of Dr. Andrew Wiest and Dr. Heather Stur.
Ruth P. White
Ruth is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and she received a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011. She is a second year M.A. student studying United States History with a minor in War and Society. Her current thesis topic is a comparative community study of Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi during the American Civil War. Her project will address the dynamic between Confederate "nationalism" and the devotion to local towns/cities. She is also interested in antebellum life and the immediate post-war experience. Ruth is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.
Rebecca Zimmer received a B.S. in Biology from Elon University in 2002. She graduated from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, with her M.A. in History in 2009. Her thesis "Uncommon Valor, Common Soldier: Edward Hall Armstrong, 3rd Regiment North Carolina Troops," argued that despite the fact that Armstrong was from a wealthy family, and his appointment as the captain of Company G, 3rd N.C.T., Armstrong was representative of the common Confederate soldier. Becky spent the summers of 2008 and 2010 at the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War as their George M. Nethken Fellow, which permitted her the opportunity to work on the seminars "Gettysburg: Retreat and Pursuit" and "Seige of Petersburg," the latter of which was presented in conjunction with Pamplin Park in Virginia. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Becky was an adjunct lecturer at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. She is currently a third year Ph.D. student, and teaching assistant at Southern Miss. Her research interests include the American Civil War, the social and political events leading up to the American Civil War, company-grade officers, and common soldiers. Her dissertation is on the Civil War in the Mississippi Delta. Becky is working under the direction of Dr. Susannah Ural.