MA Students

Second Years

Pedro Arellano Garcia graduated from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Prior to Georgetown, he spent three years as a screenwriter and news correspondent of the first television program in Mexico dedicated to the analysis of global affairs. During his graduate studies, he wants to continue his research about the diplomatic relationship between the United States and his country during the 1920s, with particular emphasis on the Cristero War and the complex affair between the Mexican Government and Wall Street.

Roger Atwood has a history degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MIPP from Johns Hopkins University/SAIS. He is a journalist, author of a book on the illicit antiquities trade entitled Stealing History, and a contributing editor at Archaeology Magazine. He is interested in modern Latin American history, especially Central America and Peru.

Benjamin Brazzel (BA/MAGIC) is originally from El Dorado Hills, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. He began the MAGIC program his senior year at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His primary interests include the intersection between military and religious history in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the history of relations between Muslim and Christian communities in these regions.

Haris Chaudhry graduated from American University in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in religious studies. His area of focus is late medieval to early modern South Asia with an interest in Sufism, the Mughal Empire, syncretic and heterodox religious practices, social deviance, and Indo-Persianate culture.

Matthew Colletta graduated from Haverford College with a bachelor’s degree in History. His historical interests cover European history in the 19th century, with a particular focus on nationalism and imperialism in Germany and Great Britain. Looking forward, he hopes to research the causes of the deteriorating European order in the lead-up to the Great War, with an eye towards trade and economics.

Jared Davis graduated from Columbia University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history focused primarily on US history. Jared is thrilled to be returning to pursue his passion of studying international history after nearly a decade as an investment banker in New York City, advising businesses on cross-border and domestic M&A matters; he is also eager to be broadening his scholastic endeavors to engage in research that is more global in scope. Jared intends to study postwar transatlantic migration patterns and the intermingling and transmission of cultures in the Americas.

Fangchao Ji (J.J.) is originally from China. He graduated from Chinese Agricultural University in Beijing in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Before joining Georgetown, he received an MA degree in Global Studies from Brandeis University in 2018. His major research field is East Asia, particularly the interaction of European (British and Dutch) colonialism and overseas Chinese during the post-modern period. After MAGIC, he plans to pursue a history Ph.D. and become a history professor in the future.

Rachel Johnson graduated from Hamilton College in 2013 with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in Government, where her research focused on the U.S. military. After graduating, Rachel completed a teaching fellowship at the Collegiate School (Richmond, VA) and then moved to DC to continue teaching history at the Field School. Her academic interests focus on military history and conflict resolution. After graduating from the MAGIC program, Rachel hopes to continue working on conflict resolution before eventually heading back to the classroom to teach history.

Daniel Keifer is an alumnus of Penn State University and a former U.S. Fulbright research fellow to Bulgaria. His academic background is rooted primarily in Russian and Eastern European history and culture, having researched the development of both Russian and Bulgarian organized crime traditions.  He is interested in the role of communist-era labor camps as sites of “anti-reformation” that fostered criminal networks as a means of survival, as well as communist-era athletic programs and post-socialist transitions.

Rebeckah McGoodwin is from Eagle, Colorado and graduated from Whitworth University with a bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Spanish Language.  She is eager to return to academic study and hopes to explore the history of colonialism and immigration in the Americas.  Her interests include ideas and expressions of identity in migrant communities as they relate to religion, race, gender, and culture.  As one who appreciates dance, cooking, literature, and music, she is perennially curious about the ways that culinary traditions, storytelling, and popular culture have played a role in this context.

Alec Medine is originally from New Hampshire and is a recent graduate from Saint Michael’s College where he studied History and Political Science. His interests primarily focus on the topic of Austria and Germany during the Interwar Era, anti-Fascist resistance before and during World War II, and democratic deterioration in the twentieth century and the present. He hopes to continue studying authoritarian social movements and how dictatorships emerge from such movements.

Philip Murray is originally from Washington State and graduated from Montana State University in 2010 with a degree in Anthropology and minors in History and Military Studies. He served as an active duty Army Officer for the last eight years and has been around the world multiple times for training and operations. Academically, his interest is 19th- and 20th-century Chinese history, with an emphasis on the military institutions of the late Qing Dynasty and early Chinese Republic.

Erena Nakashima is originally from Japan and graduated from Chuo University in Tokyo. During an exchange program with East Tennessee State University, Erina was inspired to study African-American history. Her academic interest centers around how African American history is displayed in museums, including national museums and other institutions that African-Americans established themselves.

John Pollard graduated with a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014. For the past four years he worked as a high school history teacher in Illinois. He is primarily interested in the history of social movements and protest, with a particular focus on how those topics interact with the idea of performance.

Morgan Robinson graduated from Spelman College in 2017 with a BA in History, concentrating in United States and African American History. Her academic interests include Black property owners in the 19 th century, the Black Power movements of the 20 th century, and the history of the Black Bourgeoisie. Morgan hopes to one day obtain her PhD and become a History or African American Studies professor. In her spare time, the Atlanta, GA native loves to try new foods, watch historical films, and catch up on her always-growing book list.

Patrick Simon is originally from Zionsville, Indiana and enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in 2010 while attending the Virginia Military Institute, where he earned a BA in History and commissioned in the Army Reserves in 2013.  He began working as a DoD intelligence analyst in Northern Virginia two years later and received an MA in Military History from Norwich University in 2017.  His academic interests include military history and theory, U.S.-Latin American relations, and domestic Latin American political and economic concerns with an emphasis on DTOs, maras, and illicit TNCs.  After the MAGIC program, Patrick hopes to become a Ph.D. candidate and pursue his passion for teaching and writing in academia.

Abigail Sweetman graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in History. Originally from Ketchikan, Alaska, she has particular interests in rural/urban social dichotomies. Her research at Georgetown will focus on gender relations in modern China.

Rachel Wheatley recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in History. Her area of interest is the American Civil War and slavery. She loves to travel, read, and ski. Rachel plans on joining the Department of State after completing the MAGIC program.

Maria Zyla is originally from Poland, but grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. She graduated from the University of New Haven with a bachelor’s degree in History, concentrating in Latin American Studies and Spanish Language and Art. She is interested in studying international imperialism, specifically focusing on the role of imperialism in building national identity within US-Cuba relations and USSR-Ukraine relations. Maria’s ultimate goal is to become a university professor and historian.

First Years

Yuxuan Cai is originally from China and graduated from Peking University in 2019, where she received a bachelor’s degree in history. Her academic interests is based around the Ottoman Empire, specifically the Balkans under Ottoman rule and the Eastern Mediterranean world. Besides typical historical research, she also has passion for translating historical works. She gets inspired a lot for her studies from accompanying operas and ballets, as well as traveling. After MAGIC she plans to do a PhD in history.

Valerie Cervantes graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies, and from Catholic University with a master’s in Library and Information Science. For the past decade, she has worked at the Library of Congress in film preservation and congressional research. Her academic interests include the history of science and technology, with a focus on the political, educational, and cultural influences on the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the US and Europe from the early modern period to the present.

Casey Donahue (MAGIC/MSFS) graduated from Tulane University with bachelor’s degrees in Linguistics and History. His research interests include Arab tribalism, language taboos, migrant communities, and social media propaganda techniques. Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, Casey has worked as an English teacher in Konya, Turkey and New Orleans, Louisiana, and as a political risk analyst in Washington, DC.

Jiahui Guo is from Chengdu, China, and recently graduated from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a B.S in Science Technology and International Affairs and a concentration in International Security. With fluency and experiences in full-stack development, hardware fundamentals, and data science, his on-going academic interests are on organizational and behavioral studies that encompass military history, information theory, and the history and theories of innovation systems.

Matthew Kirkpatrick is from Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2019 he graduated from Lyon College with a degree in history. His academic interest centers on the early 20th century trans-Atlantic political economy during the interwar period. Personally, Matthew enjoys the outdoors, playing basketball and listening to 90s hip-hop.

Allie Martin is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Boston University in 2018 with a double major in History and International Relations and a minor in Modern Greek. Her research interests include modern American political history and the history of the Soviet Union, focusing on the end of the Cold War. She looks forward to further exploring these topics and how they are recorded in the public memory.

Emmanuel Mehr is originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s Degree in History in 2018. His primary research interest is in twentieth century eugenics movements. In particular, he is interested in how legislation regarding these issues has developed in the United States and globally. The international and comparative aspects of the MAGIC program were a key point of attraction in his choosing of Georgetown as the destination for his graduate studies as he aims to track the spread of eugenical notions in an international context. Currently working in the Office of Audience Engagement at the National Museum of American History, and on the eve of beginning his graduate studies, he is interested in pursuing a career in academia, museums, or a combination of the two.

Andrew Messick graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2019, with a BA in History. His academic and research interests focus on 19th and 20th century British imperial, technological and political development, as well as the Western use of naval forces as projections of power and as means of imperial expansion. His ultimate goal is to earn his PhD and become a professor and scholar of British history.

Victoria Oswald graduated from Clemson University with a BA in History and a BA in Secondary Education. After graduating in 2018, she accepted a teaching position in Greensboro, North Carolina where she spent a year teaching World History to high school students. She has a wide range of interests that focus primarily around religion’s role in shaping history and culture and is very excited to explore that in more depth at Georgetown.

Lianyu Shi is originally from Shanghai, China and graduated from New York University with a B.A in history in 2019. His research interest focuses on the global socialist movement during and after the Great War, particularly on the socialist institutions in rural areas around the world. In the future, he would like to pursue a PhD and become a history professor.

Nathan Tashjy graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in History and Minor in Education. Nathan plans to study the tactics and motives of deception used throughout World War II and the Cold War period. He also has interest in the development of culinary history, particularly that of France and Italy. After completion of the MAGIC program, Nathan plans to become a PhD candidate in pursuit of his goal of becoming an educator, historian and writer.

Sophia Zahner is from Essex, Maryland.  She attained a B.A. in History and International Studies from Towson University in 2019.  She is excited to continue her studies at Georgetown University this fall.  Sophia’s academic interests include Russia’s use of disinformation and the Russo-Afghan drug trade.

Yujin Zhou graduated from Samford University in 2019 with a B.S. in Mathematics. Originally from Changsha, China, he developed an interest in history of modern China and Asia. Yujin loves reading, writing and traveling. His ultimate goal is to obtain his PhD and become a history professor.