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Alumni Spotlight

Ismael Biyasev
I learned throughout the course of my DePaul education was due in no small part to the erudition, patience, and teaching finesse of the history department’s faculty, who challenged me intellectually and academically to strive for excellence both in and out of the classroom. The most memorable example of exactly such a push came when Professors Benton Williams and Lisa Sigel persuaded me to take part in the intercollegiate Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar (NLUS). Participation in this seminar gave me an opportunity to take a project from the first stages of genesis to the final stages of presentation. This was extremely important for my preparation for my current graduate studies because it taught me to formulate my research questions succinctly and how to adapt and defend my ideas through criticism.
Rosa Gallagher
Rosa Gallagher just completed a summer internship with the Chicago History Museum.  

Recapping her experiences, she explains, “As Digital Asset Management Intern, I prepared five photographic collections for digitization, and then added item- and collection-level metadata to their new records in the CHM database. In total, these collections include over 1,200 photo negatives. Earlier staff prioritized these collections for digitization because they have high research value and, more than other collections, are at risk of physical deterioration. 

They brought me on as an intern to do a test run of such a medium-scale digitization project. Previously CHM's digitization was mostly limited to a few very large collections and individual items as they were requested by researchers/public. My project represents the Museum's effort to more actively put out materials for the public.”

Rosa also helped outside researchers and other CHM department find items and materials in the Museum’s collections. This photo was taken as she was retrieving a drawing of Lincoln on his deathbed from the oversized broadsides/flat files storage room in the CHM’s basement. 

 She is now exploring graduate study in museum studies and public history.  Congratulations, Rosa!

Ramiro Hernandez
The tools that I obtained in my four years of study at DePaul have allowed me to be where I am today. Perhaps the most useful of these skills, and one that I attribute almost exclusively to the training I received by professors in the department of history, is the ability to conduct research-based writing.”

Rosa Gallagher

Judge LeRoy Martin, Jr., featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Insights, the alumni newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, translates life lessons into service.

"There is honor in being a public servant," says LeRoy K. Martin, Jr., (History, '81), presiding judge of the Cook County Circuit Court's Criminal Division, about his most valuable life lesson. He also learned the importance of education, hard work and respect for others from his parents, former Chicago Police Superintendent LeRoy Martin, Sr., and former teacher and elementary school principal Constance B. Martin (MED '57).

"I'm very proud to say that I have a degree from DePaul," Martin says. "DePaul allows students to fulfill their desires. It certainly has done it for me, even surpassing my goals."

Read complete alumni profile.

Cassie Miller
My undergraduate education at DePaul provided two invaluable experiences: the ability conduct independent, in-depth archival research and the opportunity to use the City of Chicago as a lens to understand the import of the historical developments we studied in the classroom.

I declared my history major after an honors program course on the Cold War taught by Professors Colleen Doody and Roshanna Sylvester, where I first experienced the excitement of fitting together primary sources to form my own historical arguments. After encouragement from Professor Sylvester, I pursued original archival research as a Newberry Library Undergraduate Fellow. I was later fortunate enough to work with some of the Newberry’s rarest and most valuable materials as a Library Assistant in the Department of Special Collections.

Being in Chicago brought an exciting dimension to my courses at DePaul. The city became an extension of the classroom: a class excursion to the lakefront brought Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago to life, a walking tour of public housing helped me to understand the ways urban renewal unfolded, and the chance to work on a public history project headed by Professor Amy Tyson illuminated how Lincoln Park transformed from an affordable haven for folk artists into one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. I came to see that the city today – with its multitudinous problems as well as charms – was the resulting of overlapping historical processes.

My experiences at DePaul fostered an interest in urban history that carried me into a doctoral program in History at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2016, I graduated with my PhD after writing a dissertation on race and the origins of grassroots conservatism among Catholics in Brooklyn. I am currently a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where I use my historical expertise and research skills to guide investigations and reports on poverty, mass incarceration, and economic inequality. The sense of curiosity, ability to think critically, and investigative skills I learned at DePaul are assets I rely on every day.                   
Alyssa Pullara
The critical analysis and research skills I’ve obtained as a history major at DePaul have well prepared me for the next step in my career path. I owe a great amount of thanks to Professor Margaret Storey, who guided me throughout my Senior Capstone Research Seminar and taught me the invaluable skills that will be transferable as I begin my JD degree at DePaul’s Law School.

Eliot Pope, MA History, 2008

My graduate education at DePaul University provided me with a platform to enhance my skills as a researcher, writer and communicator. These skills were invaluable assets for me as a high school teacher and continue to make a difference today as a college professor. The mentorship provided by the faculty was phenomenal! Academic and professional growth were the cornerstones of my DePaul education. My book, Forgotten Struggles: African-Americans Confront Racism During the Korean War Era, was published in 2022.

Michael Miles, History Alumni
I was fortunate to spend two years at DePaul earning my MA in History. The workload challenge, stimulating conversation in seminars, and interpersonal relationships with a diverse group of people all combined to shape the way I approach learning and knowledge. Since my graduation in 2013, I have used this knowledge in the study of the history of science fiction.

Amy Weber
Amy Weber earned her master’s degree from DePaul University in 1999. She originally selected DePaul’s MA program because of the combination of engaging classes and fitting into her lifestyle. Amy needed to be able to commute and work while earning her master’s and DePaul’s program enabled her to do that.

Amy’s interest in history dates back to her childhood. Her father was a U.S. history teacher. He used to bring her family to nearly every Civil War battlefield and to Colonial Williamsburg multiple times, so, of course, she had to study something different. Amy became interested in European and Asian history. She always enjoyed traveling and learning about other cultures and their history. When her high school teacher (current DePaul History Professor Gene Beiriger) suggested that she consider pursuing history as a major, it seemed a natural fit.

When she was in graduate school, Amy worked as the graduate assistant in the history department office. This gave her a unique perspective inside and outside of class. Because of her work experience in editing, her thesis advisor, Tom Mockaitis, asked her to edit his then unpublished book on terrorism (pre-9/11). Amy recalls sitting at the front desk in the department office answering phones, helping students, editing his book, and sipping a cup of very strong espresso that a Latino Studies professor had offered her. Then she ran to an Asian history class, where they discussed European and American influence in Japan. It was wonderful—and a multicultural experience.

Amy also had the privilege of being involved in the process of hiring a new assistant professor. At the time, she was weighing sticking with writing and editing books to continuing her education and earning a PhD in history to teach. As the student representative, Amy was introduced to the final three candidates (of more than 500 applicants from around the world), had the opportunity to ask them questions, and sat in on mini-classes that they taught. The faculty listened carefully to her opinion about which candidate she thought would be the best choice for the department. Coincidentally, that person got the job. In the end, this experience made Amy realize that editing and writing was really her forte, and that she would be a better "teacher" through the written and digital word.

Since graduation, Amy has been fortunate to use her history skills and degree. After graduation, Amy continued working in educational publishing, first at Encyclopedia Britannica and then at Pearson Education. Later, Amy started a company with her former boss. They write, edit, manage, and consult on numerous social studies and language arts projects and products in the K–12 market for clients such as Pearson, National Geographic, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ABC-CLIO, and Colonial Williamsburg. Every day, Amy utilizes the analysis and critical thinking skills that she learned in her studies at DePaul to help her develop educational materials and run her business. In addition, having history degrees has given Amy a solid foundation and a global perspective. An education in history has enabled her to build a deeper and richer understanding of what happens in our world today. When a news event breaks, Amy has the background knowledge and skills to analyze it.

Joseph Williams
While studying for a graduate degree in Old Testament, I developed a predilection for the historical study of black religious expressions as tools of resistance in American social movements…DePaul's graduate program was the best fit because of its emphasis on method and the flexibility to conduct research in my areas of interest, facilitated by several opportunities.