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Meet our Graduates

A pioneer member of the American Historical Association’s Career Diversity Initiative, TAMU prepares students for a full range of professional careers within and beyond the academy. Our students have been successful not only at securing faculty positions at universities and community colleges, but also jobs as historians in archives, university presses, museums, federal agencies, and the U.S. military. From admissions to graduation and beyond, we emphasize sustained and broad mentoring. With strong faculty communication, monthly professional development seminars, internships, summer research funding, an annual recruitment weekend, and a continuously updated curriculum, we help students compete for appointments in the careers of their choice.

Here are a few of their stories:

Ian Abbey

I am currently an assistant professor in history at Prairie View A&M University. I enjoy my position and feel I am making a difference here. Prairie View and other HBCUs are instrumental in educating the next generation of black lawmakers, scientists, and community leaders. PV has given me a great deal of initiative in pursuing projects that are of interest to me. I have already created a seminar focused on the history of piracy. I am also laying the groundwork for a culinary history course. My goal is to make those courses permanent additions to PV’s history curriculum. Students are starting to know me as “the pirate professor” and “that food guy.” I have been published in three peer-reviewed journals, most recently as co-author in the Journal of Social History. I am also close to finishing a chapter contribution in an upcoming book about the history of Prairie View A&M and another article about New Zealand UN peacekeepers that I plan on submitting to the New Zealand Journal of History. Finally, I am trying to convert my dissertation on privateers into a book.

My doctoral program at Texas A&M prepared me for this position by establishing a firm foundation. My dissertation committee was immensely helpful, my colleagues motivated me to do better, and the students were almost invariably enthusiastic.

Hillary Anderson


I am an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas. I also serve as the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Science in Education program. My scholarship examines lesbian feminist activism in the American South in the 1960s to the 1980s. My teaching fields include Recent US History, Queer History of the US, and Music and Identity Politics in America, besides teaching pedagogy to future social studies teachers. The history professors I worked with at TAMU were warm and supportive, always willing to answer my questions and provide guidance. Their consistency with and care for me as a graduate student prepared me well for my current position. 

Tiffany Gonzalez

I earned my Ph.D. in American History, focusing on 20th and 21st Century Mexican American and Latina/o History in August 2020. After graduation, I was selected as the Bonquois Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s History in the Gulf South at the Newcomb Institute of Tulane University. As a postdoctoral fellow, I am granted the time to revise my dissertation into a book manuscript for publication. I feel fortunate to have landed the postdoctoral position, as it has opened doors to present my work to a national audience and offered me the opportunity to receive mentorship from a constellation of scholars at Tulane University. My experience at Texas A&M University prepared me to handle my postdoctoral position. The Texas A&M History Department has a strong commitment to making sure its graduate students can attend conferences and assist with research needs, which are resources strongly needed to write a dissertation. The training I received from the professors in the department strengthened my commitment to pursuing a career in teaching, research, and service—leading to my recent appointment as Assistant Professor of History at James Madison University.


Rachel Gunter

Caption: Rachel Gunter on the set of the PBS documentary Citizens at Last

I earned my Ph.D. in history in 2017 from Texas A&M University, where I benefitted from several years as a teaching assistant, discussion leader, and instructor of record as well as from funding that allowed me to attend conferences and make professional connections that proved pivotal to my career. The teaching opportunities I had at A&M were crucial to me earning a position as a Professor of History at a community college in North Texas, where I have the pleasure of teaching classes capped at 35 students alongside colleagues who care deeply about both teaching and research. I recently was a consultant and co-writer for the documentary “Citizens at Last”. After contributing to an anthology and publishing articles in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the Journal of Arizona History, I am currently working on a manuscript that grew out of my dissertation research. I still keep in touch with my committee members, one of whom in particular has generously provided advice on my book proposal and the publication process.


Brooke Linsenbardt


I am an Analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where I develop quantitative and qualitative analyses to support recommendations to stakeholders and Congressional clients on audit reports. GAO is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress to provide information that can be used to improve federal government spending, function, and programs. At GAO, I am involved in the American Indian and Indigenous Community of Practice where I provide expertise to the agency and assist with the monthly newsletter and events. In 2019, I earned my Ph.D. in History, focusing on 20th Century U.S. History, Indigenous Studies, and Women’s Studies. My prior experience as an educator and historian, as well as the analytical, writing, organizational, and interpersonal skills I gained as a graduate student, are both highly transferable and valued in my current career. 


Tyler Peterson

I earned my Ph.D in History in 2017 after a four year journey at Texas A&M University.  Throughout my time in College Station, I worked with talented professors as a Teaching Assistant.  I also received funding to attend conferences and conduct archival research for my dissertation on the history of astronaut training.  Working on that dissertation marked the height of my career as a historian, because I spent every day studying a subject I felt passionately about and knew I could make a contribution in historical understanding of it.  The chance to have a former astronaut on my committee, now a member of the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Department, was gratifying as well.  After my graduation, Apogee Books published a revised version of my dissertation that was released in December 2017.  The research on space history that I carried out at Texas A&M prepared me well for the opportunities that have come my way in the years since as well: an article published in Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly (based on a piece I wrote in a Texas A&M seminar), a chapter published in a textbook on human spaceflight operations (also based on a piece I wrote at Texas A&M), a presentation at a NASA History Conference in Washington, DC, and an article published by the East Texas Historical Journal on the life of astronaut Rick Husband.  I have also had the chance to teach both halves of the U.S. History survey, both halves of the World History survey, and The Atlantic World at institutions in Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Carolina since earning my Ph.D.  At each of these stops, I have felt thankful for my seminars and teaching assistantship at Texas A&M that have sparked my enthusiasm for the past.     

Debra Reid

I leaped into the Texas A&M History Ph.D. program because I craved learning. At the time I held an endowed position at Baylor University (Curator of the Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village). I knew I needed to know more to do that job well, and I believed that Ph.D. work could help me realize that goal. What I did not expect was a life altering experience. The Texas A&M coursework, connections, and dissertation research propelled me on the journey of a lifetime. The guidance of Texas A&M professors helped me complete a dissertation that won the first Gilbert Fite Award from the Agricultural History Society. That project became the award-winning book, Reaping a Greater Harvest: African Americans, the Extension Service, and Rural Reform in Jim Crow Texas (recipient of the Texas Historical Commission’s Fehrenbach Award). Now, as curator of agriculture and the environment at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, I use things I learned every day to engage with the public on essential topics – agriculture and the environment. That’s a land-grant institution’s mission realized!

Blake Whitaker

Photo Caption: Dr. Whitaker (on the right in blue) leading a battlefield staff ride for officers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Photo Credit Colonel Stephen Lynskey)


I had no idea when I was a student how well the History graduate degree would prepare me for a career in the Intelligence Community. I use the skills I honed as a graduate student daily as a civilian intelligence analyst for the Department of the Army. While the deep subject matter expertise in my major field has been valuable, the most important aspects of my education was learning how to plan and perform in-depth research projects. My historiography course laid a foundation for considering how available information can bias the interpretation of an event. Discussions with my professors on evaluating sources, and source credibility are directly applicable to my career and help frame how I evaluate disparate pieces of information. Discussions in seminars, and debates over the work of other historians prepared me well to craft analytical arguments that help inform decision-makers.



Erika Weidemann



At Texas A&M University, I serve as the Historian in Residence supporting the Defense and POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). The DPAA is an agency of the Department of Defense that is tasked with recovering and identifying missing American servicemembers from World War II to recent conflicts. As a postdoctoral fellow, I am involved in research, education, and outreach. Because the history graduate program at A&M focuses on career diversity and holds its students to high academic standards, I felt prepared for the postdoc even though I knew I would be conducting research outside my field of expertise. The research, teaching, writing, and public speaking skills I needed to succeed as a partner of the DPAA were the skills I learned in graduate school at A&M. Working with the DPAA has expanded my historical knowledge, increased my professional network, resulted in designing and teaching a course for history majors, and given me the opportunity to serve my country.


Micah Wright



I am an Assistant Professor of History at Lincoln University, an HBCU founded by members of the 65th Infantry Regiment after the Civil War. My scholarship examines: race, gender, and nationalism in the twentieth-century circum-Caribbean; inter-American Relations; the evolution of Hispanidad and Pan-Americanism; and informal diplomacy in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, I am revising a manuscript that grew out of my dissertation, entitled Bridge Between the Americas: Puerto Rico and Inter-American Relations, 1898-1936. I have also begun to research my second book project, which deals with the influence of the Latin American Far Right on U.S. domestic politics during the early Cold War. My time at Texas A&M was crucial to my development as a scholar and a teacher. The department and College of Arts and Sciences helped fund research trips to Panama, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. My professors consistently supported my research goals, critiqued my manuscripts in working groups and faculty colloquia, and guided me through the publication process. And serving as a teaching assistant prepared me to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.


Marshall Yokell


I work as an archivist at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). As an archivist, I review, arrange, describe, and preserve presidential records that were created during the Bush administration. I also work with researchers, answering their questions about the Bush administration as well as locating and providing records related to their research. The History Department at Texas A&M – especially the faculty – was extremely helpful in getting me where I am today. In developing my analytical and critical thinking skills to encouraging me to apply for numerous fellowships and grants, I was able to gain valuable experiences. The department’s professional development workshops were especially useful, as they not only helped me prepare for applying for jobs, but also made me aware of opportunities in fields beyond the academic sphere. I am grateful to all my professors, as they were very encouraging and supportive of me in exploring all avenues for my post graduate career and their efforts were an important factor in bringing me the success I currently enjoy.