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Alumni News

The History Department heard from many alumni this year - it was hard to keep count! Thanks for taking time to let us know how you are doing and what is new. As you read through the news below, maybe you will recognize a name or two. We hope you learn something new, and again, thank you for connecting with us. Oh! And if you are curious to see what else the History Department is up to, you can visit our YouTube channel.


Charles Zucker in fisherman's outfit with foot propped up on a boat

Alumni Highlight: Charles Zucker (Ph.D. ‘72)

During the pandemic, I began writing a family history based on my genealogical research.  However, I quickly grew frustrated with the project because I knew so little about my relatives beyond the dates they were born, whom they married, how many children they had and so forth ...

So, I decided to write about a subject that I found more interesting: my family fishing adventures with my brother, Joe; my wife, Shaya; and other relatives and friends over the past seventy years.  In fact, an unexpected bonus was reconnecting with John Reiger, a buddy from graduate school days, with whom I went fishing while we were students at Northwestern.


Last fall, Farcountry Press published my book, A Fisherman’s Journey A Lifetime of Angling Adventures from Northern Wisconsin to Northwest Montana, 1950-2020.


I am currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled, The Lost World of My Chicago Childhood:  Growing up on the Southside, 1945-1960.  My wife and I live in San Antonio and continue to spend our summers in Montana.  I volunteer at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. -Charles

1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s |  2020s

William Franklin (BA ‘65) - I am currently Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island (Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk) and I am a member of the faculty at the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Before these positions I was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York (Buffalo, Niagara Falls, etc.) During the last year I have published a number of articles and book reviews on the topics of Episcopal Church History and the history of the Ecumenical Movement, particularly on Bishop John Henry Hobart (the founder of Hobart College 200 years ago) and Bishop Charles Henry Brent ( my predecessor in Western New York-though died in 1929) the founder of the Faith and Order Movement, which evolved into the World Council of Churches.

David Nelson (BA ‘63) - I've retired three times. Once, after a 33-year career at IBM, including three years in Beijing. Second, leading an educational non-profit that taught high school students how to start a business to get them engaged in learning, for which I was recognized as a Purpose Prize Fellow.  And third, a software startup.

I regret not having kept up with my classmates over the years.  Recently, I've reconnected with some grade/high school classmates, and it has been rewarding.  I wish it were the same for my college friends.


John Reiger (Ph.D. '70) - has been working with a co-producer of Ken Burns' upcoming documentary on the American buffalo, supplying photos and analysis about the mentorship of Theodore Roosevelt by George Bird Grinnell. The latter was the subject of Reiger's dissertation under George Fredrickson, who, through his scholarship and activism, was a leader in the struggle against racism in this country and South Africa. If alive today, he would-- like his former student-- be angered and saddened by the rise of fascism in the United States and its accompanying ideology of racism and anti-Semitism.

William White (Ph.D. ‘74) - Fall of 2023, I will begin another 3-year contract as Associate Teaching Professor in the nationally known Cornerstone Liberal arts program at Purdue University. I no longer teach history.  Cornerstone is a hybrid program of public speaking and transformative texts mostly for Purdue's STEM majors.

Timothy Walch (Ph.D. ‘75) - I continue as the director emeritus of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library after serving 18 years as director. In retirement, I volunteer at the State Historical Society of Iowa where I process manuscript collections and work with the editor of The Annals of Iowa on various projects. I write monthly book reviews and occasional essays on Iowa history and serve as a regular commentator on historical issues for Iowa Public Radio.

Arthur Flicker (BA ‘71) - Having retired and then completing two terms as interim Rabbi at B'nai Israel here in Albuquerque, I am now working part time as the Chaplain for the Jewish Care Program, providing pastoral care in hospitals and nursing homes.

Henry Haake (BA ‘72) - Retired from decades of teaching US History AP in the Western suburbs of Chicago.  After NU I got my MA in US History at Northeastern Illinois University. Just a shout out to the great faculty there in the late 60's-early 70's -especially remember Clarence Ver Steeg and Timothy Breen. Still used their methodology and insights well into the 21st century! Students of mine that went to NU also came back with glowing comments about Henry Binford.

Jeff Rice (BA '72) - Despite being 'retired' I continue to teach part time in NU's Political Science Department for which I read entirely depressing books on genocides, failed states and famines.  To improve my mood, I read mystery novels and listen to great music.  (Bach, Beethoven, Talking Heads, Velvet Underground). Living in Galena Illinois, ten miles from the Mississippi River.

The History Department at Northwestern was brilliant at promoting intellectual culture whilst I was an undergraduate. Whether it was Bob Wiebe, George Fredrickson, Robert Lerner, Ivor Wilks or many others, that ideas mattered was a constant theme.  And hats off to the grad students of the time like Ed Steinhart, Mike Weisser, the late Rich Klimmer, and so many others.

Barbara McFarland (BA ‘76) - I am retired, my husband and I are snowbirds, and I am old. I ended my working career as an RN doing patient advocacy. I loved continuing my education, often, and satisfying my ADHD by having changing challenges with new careers.

My years at Northwestern were special for 2 reasons. First: I had wanted to go to Northwestern since I was about 4. Second: It allowed me to have lunch everyday with my grandmother before she drifted away with dementia.

Thank you, Northwestern, for making me the person I am today.

By the way, it was much easier living in Chicago with the name. Barbara Dailey than McFarland. So many perks!  

Mark Treger (BA ‘79) - Enjoying retirement after 18 yrs teaching business at University of North Texas & 20 yrs management consulting.

2022 brought 5th trip to Ireland; hikes in Colorado & Big Bend of west Texas;lot of acrobatic flying; connecting with old teammates from when NU had men's track and cross-country-in a less enlightened pre-Title IX epoch :(

Barbara M. Posadas (Ph.D. ‘76)

Barbara M. Posadas (PhD 1976) is CLAS Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at Northern Illinois University where she taught from 1974 to 2015.  With Roland L. Guyotte (PhD 1980), her husband of forty-one years, she published Anti-Miscegenation” and “Pensionados in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies in 2022.  She continues as a member of the Editorial Boards of The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and The Journal of American Ethnic History and as a consultant for Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) on US Department of State Foreign Service examinations.

Paul J (BA ‘73) - Paul J is in his 40th year of sobriety with Friends of Bill

David Gaynon (BA ‘73) - After a 40+ year career as an archivist, corporate records manager and ediscovery specialist I have been retired for 6 years and am actively involved with a senior studies group as curriculum chair. Our group provides programs on history, the natural world, literature, and arts.


Roland Guyotte (Ph.D. ‘80)

Roland L. Guyotte (PhD 1980) continues as Professor of History and All-University Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he has taught since Fall 1969.  With Barbara M. Posadas (PhD 1976), his wife of forty-one years, he published Anti-Miscegenation and Pensionados in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies in 2022 and reviews in The Journal of American History and The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.  In October 2022, his colleagues honored his fifty-four years of teaching at UMM with a festive celebration attended by friends, colleagues, and former students.

Brian Posner (BA ‘83) - Embarked on a new chapter as Executive Chair of Fika Community Ltd., and London-based emerging company in the healthtech/wellness space. After years of having visited London for business and fun, we are embracing fully the adventure of being residents of this phenomenal city all the while remaining actively involved with NU as a trustee and co-Chair of the WCAS Board of Visitors.

Joseph Francfort (BA ‘80) - Thank you to my history mentors, especially Ivor Wilkes. The deep analytical skills honed at the History Department, then translated to the written word in the many research papers I completed, set me up for a lifetime of critical thinking and the clarity and confidence of voicing my position on matters both professional and personal.

Happy to say, that tutelage has been passed on to my 10th grade daughter and 7th grade son. They understand the power of the written word and are thriving using the power of thought and expression. Those skills taught and learned decades ago, are shaping the future leaders today! Thank you, Northwestern History Department!!

Jonathan Mandell (BA ‘84) - I am a Philadelphia area artist. I took his first fine art class at Northwestern in my senior year. I went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. In the 30+ years since, I’ve been making wall-mounted panels and sculptures using hand blown glass shards, lapidary and ceramic tile. I recently installed my largest piece to date, a 5‘ x 30‘ installation at a senior living community in Bucks County. I would be happy to furnish you with professional photography of this installation that I am describing.

Kenneth Jones (BA ‘89) - Jane Schaefer (89) and Ken Jones (89) met at Northwestern and continue to make history together. After a stint in Houston, Texas in the 90s, their home is Chicago. Jane is a visitor experience consultant for museums, zoos, gardens, and other cultural institutions across the country. Ken is VP of Marketing for ScientiaMobile, an Cloud software company.

With one daughter at UC Berkeley and another finishing high school next year, we are looking forward to more travel, music (guitar, singing, piano), and Michigan beach vacations.

We were both lucky to have great professors who are now finishing up their careers (Sherry, Hein, Bushnell, Hayes, many others). These professors trained us to write and analyze, leading to great career opportunities. We try to pass on our love of history to our kids, leading to great discussion around the dinner table.

Honore Woodside (BA ‘81) - I am the owner of Woodside Dental and I am the dentist for the WNBA Chicago Sky team.

Scott Olson (BA ‘80) - Finishing my 11th Year as President of Winona State University in Minnesota


Mark Bazer (BA ‘95) - My long-running live (and sometimes PBS) talk show, The Interview Show, will included as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival this spring. One event, on May 11, at the Chop Shop in Wicker Park, will feature biographer Jonathan Eig, whose upcoming book on Martin Luther King Jr., King: A Life, is out this May.

Keith O’Brien (BA ‘95) - My third book, PARADISE FALLS, the true story of one of the great environmental crises of the 20 century, comes out in paperback on May 2. The book tells the forgotten story of Love Canal--an abandoned chemical landfill in Niagara Falls, a neighborhood built on top of it, and the residents' two-year fight to escape their own homes. The book, which was published in hardback by Pantheon Books in 2022, has been optioned for television by Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette.

Katherine Blackburn (BA ‘92) - My latest novel, A Shadow in Moscow (Harper Collins), will publish June 13th. It's a Cold War spy novel that took me back to my NU history days.

Tim Bale (MA ‘90) - It's been a long, long time since I left Northwestern with a Masters degree after deciding, having passed to continue into the second year of the PhD program, that 'academia wasn't for me'. Big mistake since I changed my mind two or three years later!  I went on to do a PhD in Political Science back in my native UK, since when I've been teaching the subject at a number of universities. For ten years now, I've been a professor at Queen Mary University of London and am just about to publish yet another book on party politics, albeit with (as per) a dash of (pretty contemporary) history.  I still have fond memories of Evanston and Chicago and those who taught me, even though they've pretty much all moved on or, sadly, passed on! Oh, and still mean to get around to someday revising and publishing my MA thesis on interwar anti-communism!

Susie Winders (BA ‘92) - I am excited to share that I have been promoted to SVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc.  Thank you

Every day I use what I learned in my history program at Northwestern!

Tim Hennum (BA ‘95) - I live in Minneapolis with my wife, our two teenage daughters and our almost 10-year-old red lab Jax.

Recently our 16-year-old has embarked on her four-year college search and wow this world is so much more complex than I remember. I wonder how many of my NU classmates have gone through this with their kids? Did anyone land at Northwestern?

The sticker price at NU today is hard to wrap my head around — and it’s only going up. But I was impressed to see how stunning the campus has become. Work out as you look over Lake Michigan? Sign me up! Of course, I imagine these two observations are not unrelated. Wish us luck!

Michael Tetelman (Ph.D. ‘97) - Lives in the Washington, DC area. He works for the development consulting firm Palladium Group, where he helps bring private sector investment into the education sector in emerging markets.

Wayne H. Bowen (Ph.D. ‘96), interim Associate Dean for the College of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of History at the University of Central Florida, recently published his ninth book, Spain and the Protestant Reformation: The Spanish Inquisition and the War for Europe, Routledge, 2023, and is under contract for his tenth, Working for Nazi Germany: Salvador Merino and Spanish Labor in the Third Reich, also with Routledge.


Graham Peck (Ph.D. ‘01) is completing an interdisciplinary grant project called Making Our History: Artists Render Lincoln’s Legacies. The project began in 2021 with a grant from the University of Illinois Presidential Initiative on the Arts and Humanities. University of Illinois Springfield colleagues Brytton Bjorngaard (art) and Meghan Kessler (social science education) partnered in the project. In the 2021–2022 academic year Peck and Bjorngaard supervised an innovative digital residency with twenty Illinois artists, each of whom created original artwork on Lincoln ‘s legacies. That spring, a professional film studio shot twenty short videos, one per artist, explaining the artists’ methods and concepts about Lincoln’s legacies. In the fall of 2022, three galleries in Springfield, Illinois collaborated to exhibit the art and the videos, and in February 2023 the exhibit traveled to the Beverly neighborhood in Chicago. Peck is currently writing twenty short essays to historically contextualize each artist’s work and is also working with Kessler to create social science education teaching modules based on the project. Photographs of the art, and the videos, are available here.

Jeffrey Manuel (BA ‘01) - This 2022-2023 academic year, I am the Fulbright Canada Research Chair of Energy Transitions and Deindustrialization at the University of Calgary. In this role, I am researching gender in Alberta's energy sector, the history of energy transitions in light of the climate crisis, and enjoying winter in the prairies and mountains of western Canada.

Collin Hansen (BSJ with history double major, ‘03) recently published his critically acclaimed first biography, Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation, covering one of the most significant Christian leaders of the 21st century.

David Lourie (BA ‘04) has expanded his decade long business and legal career to pursue his love of teaching.  He teaches Organizational Behavior, Organizational Risk Management, Negotiation Skills, and Securities law at Northwestern, USC, Cornell, and Western Colorado University.

Jason Konik (BA ‘04) - Just published his first book The Dharma of the West last year. It is available on Amazon.

Lane Demas (BA ‘02) - Still a history professor at Central Michigan University. 2021 served as a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan teaching African American history. See for more info, including book publications. 

Rhiannon Stephens (Ph.D. ‘07) - My most recent book, Poverty and Wealth in East Africa: A Conceptual History, was published by Duke University Press in December 2022. In it, I trace the history of how people living in eastern Uganda have sustained and changed their ways of thinking about wealth and poverty over the past two thousand years.

Matthew Richardson (BA ‘06) - Matthew Richardson ('06, SCS '12) has joined the Texas Medical Center Library's McGovern Historical Center as Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. He is also serving as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect for Texas Archival Resources Online, a consortia that provides access to historical materials across Texas.

Barry Goldberg (Ph.D. ‘05) - After receiving his Ph.D. in History from the CUNY Graduate Center, Barry Goldberg was awarded a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellowship and recently became a Senior Writer/Editor at the Partnership for Public Service, a D.C.-based good government organization.

Brian Maxson (Ph.D. ‘08) - I continue to enjoy being a professor of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern history! In March 2022 I was appointed as an articles' editor for the journal Renaissance Quarterly. Over the past year I have published four different books, most notably A Short History of Florence and the Florentine Republic (Bloomsbury, 2023).

Ryan Erickson (BA ‘09) - After five years working for the State of Rhode Island, most recently as Chief of Staff for the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals, I moved to Social Finance, a Boston non-profit that helps governments design and implement outcome-centered programs and contracts that help people get healthier and climb the economic ladder. Since switching jobs, I've had a chance to reflect on my career experiences in state and local government and in national politics. Studying history at Northwestern gave me the framework to think critically about the problems that confront governments and provided me with an excellent foundation for developing the ideas that help governments confront these challenges for the benefit of the people they serve. For this reason and many others, I cherish all the time I spent in Harris Hall. Other than that, I find myself thinking that winters in Boston are too long, much the same as I did in Chicago. I hope you're all well!

Arianne Sedef Urus (BA ‘09) - Arianne Sedef Urus has accepted a position as assistant professor of history at the University of Cambridge, where she will be a fellow at Christ's College. Thank you to all my professors during my undergrad years at Northwestern, especially Sarah Maza, Henry Binford, and Tessie Liu!


Patrick Andres (BA ‘22) - Started as a breaking news writer at Sports Illustrated

Shanita Anderson (BA ‘13) - After graduation, I felt the calling to work within the not-for-profit industry. It was the best choice I could ever make. Working for a not for profit has been amazing and rewarding! I worked for The Morton Arboretum in the Development department under Operations for 6 1/2 years as a Development Coordinator, Fulfillment. I truly increased my knowledge of the importance of fundraising for a not-for-profit organization, where the mission was a passion of mine for what I feel, my entire life, (protecting and nurturing our environment). As I was feeling the need to progress into a bigger role, I resigned in December of 2021 to take a role as Programs and Operations Coordinator at the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Equally as important to me as protecting the environment, is to support veterinarians who help animals. My role offers me the chance to manage charitable care grants, disaster grants and veterinary student scholarships. The mission of this organization is truly an important one, which I am loving!

In all my activities in Church leadership and my academic career I owe a great debt to the faculty of the Northwestern History Department. In fact, my undergraduate thesis at Northwestern was on Bishop Charles Grafton who was   second bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac in Wisconsin, and this began a trajectory of activity which I hope to continue.

David Smith (Ph.D. ‘10) - I just accepted a new position with SoCalGas as an Energy Policy Advisor and am now living in Pasadena.

James Zarsadiaz (Ph.D. ‘14) - James Zarsadiaz's first book, Resisting Change in Suburbia: Asian Immigrants and Frontier Nostalgia in L.A. (University of California Press, 2022), received the 2023 Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians. He accepted the award at OAH's 116th Conference on American History in Los Angeles. James is featured in season 2 of Hulu's Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi for an episode about Filipino cuisine and Filipino American communities in the Bay Area. He is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.

Devika Basu (BA ‘14) - I am now a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, GA after finishing my doctorate at Emory University. I specialize in working with adolescents with OCD and anxiety disorders.

Julia Miglets-Nelson (Ph.D. ‘18) - I am Senior Manager of Research Programs and Partnerships at the American Brain Foundation. Much of my work involves translating complex neurological research into more broadly accessible language, along with developing research initiatives and grant writing, all of which rely on skills developed during my PhD. I continue to teach adult education courses in history and have advised other graduate students who are exploring careers outside of academia.

Wen-Qing Ngoei (Ph.D. ‘15) was promoted to Associate Professor of History (with tenure) at the Singapore Management University on January 1, 2023.

Adam Shimer (BA ‘18) - Adam has spent the last 3 years working at the Chicago Mayor's Office as a Director for Economic Development. In his role, he manages the Mayor's INVEST South/West initiative, which aims to marshal investment towards the city's South and West Side commercial corridors to reverse decades of government and corporate neglect. As Mayor Lightfoot's first term comes to an end, he will be starting at Harvard Business School in the fall to pursue a career in community development.

Fiona Maxwell (BA ‘18) - I am a History PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. My dissertation project, Democratic Ensembles: Spoken Art and Politics at Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920, grew out of the History senior thesis I completed at Northwestern. In addition to my research and teaching, I coach fellow graduate students in public speaking as a UChicagoGRAD Graduate Career Consultant, I am the Director of Museum Operations and Communications at the Center for Women's History and Leadership's Frances Willard House Museum, and I teach youth improv and storytelling classes at the Piven Theatre Workshop. I have also contributed to recent public history projects at the Newberry Library and the David Rubenstein Forum.

Benjamin Paolelli (BA '19) is completing his first year as Director of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, IL. He is responsible for the religious formation of over 800 students at the largest single-gender high school in the state of Illinois. He is very grateful for his time at Northwestern, and particularly to his history professors, for helping him learn to think critically and consider facts from multiple perspectives.


Maxwell Brooks (BA ‘22) - Since graduation, I have moved to Milwaukee where I work remotely for a tech startup as a CRM Analyst. The skills I learned during my time at Northwestern have been crucial for attaining and being successful in my current role.

Fiona Asokacitta (BA ‘21) - Following up from my newsletter article about applying to graduate schools during the pandemic, I wanted to share that I have completed my master’s from Oxford with distinction! I am now working at the British Academy within the Early Career Researcher Network. The network supports a diverse collective of young academics working within the Social Sciences and Humanities—providing the kind of invaluable mentorship and guidance I received from the History department’s faculty!

Mary Grace Ramsay (BA ‘21) - In fall 2023 I will begin the Indiana University Higher Education and Student Affairs master’s program. My focus areas of study will be institutional equity/inclusion and the intersection of religion and gender/sexuality in student experiences. My assistantship will be with IUPUI’s Office of Pre-Professional and Career Preparation.

William Boatman (BA ‘22) - I am currently living in Whistler, BC working as a boot fitter and ski technician. I am going to law school next year (undecided where) so I am spending this time in Whistler to ski and reset before heading back to school.


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