Fall 2021 MA Program Newsletter

This fall term marks the fourth year of the Pace–Gilder Lehrman MA in American History Program. During the past nine terms, we have offered 30 courses, admitted 1,500 students, and conferred 277 degrees––thanks to our cohort, faculty, and administrators. To highlight where we have been and where we are heading, we have created this MA Program newsletter. Published each term, it will keep you apprised of student and alumni accomplishments, upcoming courses, and Abraham Lincoln Scholarship recipients.

Student and Alumni Accomplishments

In order to be included in a future highlight, email onlinecourses@gilderlehrman.org with the subject line MA Newsletter, and let us know what exciting things you are doing in the world of history or K–12 education.

Ron Poppie graduated in spring 2019 and has gone on to teach more advanced classes at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Wisconsin.

Ron Poppie with dual enrollment students

“The MA program was great! After graduating I was able to offer a dual credit honors program at our high school. We are partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the students in the dual credit program earn six history credits. Without the GLI MA program, we wouldn’t have been able to offer the course. It really changed history education in our district.”–Ron Poppie

Kim Denning-Knapp graduated in Spring 2019 and became a Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education for the UTeach-Liberal Arts Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I appreciate all of the scholarship I was able to do through the program so very much. Thank you for giving teachers the opportunity to learn from so many incredible scholars!” –Kim Denning-Knapp

Daily Life of Women in the Progressive Era

Kirstin Olsen graduated in spring 2019 and published a monograph entitled Daily Life of Women in the Progressive Era in summer 2019.

“This program helped me to grow enormously as a writer, researcher, and teacher. Contact with so many eminent historians and with a program of graduate study gave me the confidence to communicate with my students about the practices of the field.” –Kirstin Olsen

David Felsen was published in the Gazette of the American Friends of Lafayette in November 2020. Click here to read “The Curious Tale of the Man Holding the Horse in the Lafayette Memorial”.

Spring 2022 Course Offerings

American Colonies: A Continental History

Alan Taylor, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia

This course examines Spanish, French, Dutch, and British encounters with Native peoples of North America during the initial centuries of colonization: 1492–1800. The course combines the “Atlantic” approach to early America with a “continental” approach that accords dynamism and agency to Native peoples and enslaved African peoples in their relations with colonizers. The course defines colonial America broadly, extending beyond the British colonies of the North American coast to include New France, New Spain, and the West Indies.

The History of Childhood in America

Steven Mintz, the University of Texas at Austin

This course places contemporary educational, legal, policy, and psychological thinking about childhood and current concerns about children’s well-being into a sweeping historical perspective. The course will examine childhood both as lived experience—shaped by such factors as class, ethnicity, gender, geographical region, and historical era—and as a cultural category that adults impose upon children. The class will place a special emphasis on public policy. Adoption, child abuse and neglect, children’s rights, disability, juvenile delinquency, schooling, and social welfare policies are among the policy topics that this course will address.

Social Change in the Civil War Era

Catherine Clinton, the University of Texas at San Antonio

The multiple meanings to emerge from this dynamic era continue to ripple across the decades and create a powerful legacy into the twenty-first century. This course will be divided into thematic and chronological exposition. The first section will examine the origins of the Civil War, with special emphasis on the role of slavery and antislavery as factors of disunion. Then we can look at aspects of the war itself, emphasizing the civilian experience, looking particularly at the role of the social divisions—men and women, Whites and Blacks, free and enslaved, natives and immigrants with the republic in crisis. The emancipation of the enslaved was the dramatic centerpiece of the conflict, and thus the Civil War as a war of liberation and a war of reconstruction must be confronted. Finally, we must examine the contested memory and legacy of the Civil War, in both commemoration and popular culture.

Chinese in the United States

Madeline Hsu, the University of Texas at Austin

Considering US history through the lens of Chinese experiences emphasizes the national development of ideas and practices concerning immigration controls, rights to citizenship, multiracial societies, forms of multicultural integration and assimilation, and the relationship of the Constitution to varying conceptions of equality. Chinese as a race were the first targets of enforced immigration restrictions. As such, they have played key roles as the United States determined its powers and priorities in enacting immigration controls and its visions for democracy, along with the underlying racial ideologies and conceptions of national belonging.

This course offers an overview of the history of Chinese in America with an emphasis on Chinese American identity and community formations under the shadow of the Yellow Peril. Using primary documents and secondary literature, we will examine structures of work, family, immigration law, racism, class, and gender in order to understand the changing roles and perceptions of Chinese Americans in the United States from 1847 to the present.

Making Modern America: Business and Politics in the 20th Century

Margaret O’Mara, Howard and Frances Keller Endowed Professor, University of Washington

How has the past century of American history shaped the political and economic landscape of the early twenty-first century? What is the broader context and historical backstory of contemporary political and social movements, business practices, and global flows of people, capital, and ideas? How can we use historical knowledge and the tools of historical analysis to better understand and address present-day challenges? With these questions in mind, this course explores key moments and people in the history of the United States from the end of World War I to the present.

Course organization is both chronological and thematic, performing deep, evidence-based study of particular events and people in recent US history to explore the evolving role of government, grassroots activism and fights for individual and group rights, partisan political change, technology as a product and shaper of society, changing patterns of production and consumption, migration and immigration, financial systems and global markets, and America’s changing role in the world. 

Fall 2021 Abraham Lincoln Scholarship Recipients

We are pleased to announce that thanks to the generosity of an external funder, we are now offering 100 Abraham Lincoln Scholarships of $500 each to be distributed throughout the academic year. Applications for the 33 spring term Abraham Lincoln Scholarships will open soon. The recipients of fall scholarships are listed below.

Cynthia Ambriz | Viewpoint School | Santa Monica, California

Cynthia Ambriz
“I am so thrilled and grateful to receive this scholarship, especially at this point in the program. I will finish within the year, and I have learned so much in each course, with only two more elective courses and my thesis left. It was a huge relief and momentum boost to receive this scholarship at this point in my studies, making it that much easier to see how close I am to graduating with my master’s, something that seemed so far away just a year ago!”

Hugo Espanta | Eagle Rock High School | Los Angeles, California

Hugo Espanta

“I am ecstatic for the scholarship, thank you so much. Compared to what I hear from colleagues in other MA programs, the Gilder Lehrman MA program is one of the best. I have enjoyed it a lot. Keep up the good work, you are making a big difference in our lives and in the lives of the students we teach.”

Michael Sagehorn | Deer Valley High School | Antioch, California

Michael Sagehorn

“Throughout the program, the joy of historical inquiry through monographs has shifted from simply reading and absorbing secondary sources, shifting to the often hard demands and intellectual discipline of research tasks in archives and museums. Gaining access to the Bancroft Library collections through my collaborative work with the University of California History Project has been a key highlight during my enrollment with Gilder Lehrman. The Gilder Lehrman program has asserted the notion that history is simply a narrative shaped by the perspective and sources available during the period studied.

In addition to having an increased historical understanding of the American experiment, a master’s will satisfy personal goals, improve my professional competency, and gain the ability to teach the subject in community college. 

Sharing my enrollment in the program has been professionally enriching not only from the online colleagues and instructors, but also the respect gleaned from fellow high school teachers, site leaders, and district administrators. One of the joys of teaching is being asked by new teachers and administration to serve as a mentor for someone new to the craft. Since my participation in the GLI program, these opportunities have increased.

Alexander Wilkins | Hinkley High School | Denver, Colorado

Alexander Wilkins

The Gilder Lehrman MA in American History program helps me nurture my love for studying and teaching history while balancing the usual craziness of family life with teacher life. I look forward to being able to enrich the learning of all of my students, particularly those aiming for college credit via concurrent enrollment.

Alexus McIntyre | Alice Deal Middle School | Washington, DC

Alexus McIntyreGilder Lehrman has made it possible for me to complete my master’s degree as a full-time History educator and parent. The program is both accessible and challenging. The course structure accommodates an array of schedules while also equipping future historians with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the field. Additionally, the program is affordable for educators and awards periodic scholarships. I am extremely thankful that I found this wonderful program.

Nicole Sealey | Bok Academy | Lake Wales, Florida

Nicole Sealey

The Gilder Lehrman MA program is the only program with the caliber and accessibility for which I was searching. As a single parent and educator, I have been able to pay my own way. I have been challenged and inspired, yet I can manage my coursework without undue stress. I would challenge anyone seeking their MA to find a program that provides this level of accessibility to world-class professors.

Osvaldo Quintana | Miami Arts Studio @ Zelda Glazer | Miami, Florida

Osvaldo Quintana

I am beyond amazed at the support of the GLI program in giving me this scholarship. I have learned so much from my experience in the Master’s Program and it has opened my eyes to new modes and ways of thinking that I can apply in the classroom. The scholars are second to none and I am an advocate for the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the incredible work and service it has done for teachers and students across the nation. We are all better teachers because of them.

Gabriel Gutierrez | West Boca Raton High School | Coral Springs, Florida

Gabriel Gutierrez

The Master of Arts in History is a wonderful program that has helped me add more depth to my lessons as a teacher. I am humbled to be chosen alongside so many other teacher-scholars who are committed to furthering their learning in order to better serve our students.

Michelle Luco | North Atlanta High School | Atlanta, Georgia

Michelle Luco

Working toward my MA in American History has made me a better educator as I am better able to make history relevant to my students.

Laura Avila-Peterson | Fenton High School | Des Plaines, Illinois

Laura Avila-Peterson

I feel incredibly honored that I can use this scholarship to continue my journey of developing my own historical understanding and that of my students. As a Mexican-American myself, I have always felt that there was a gap in my historical understanding and I never truly saw myself or people of my background in the history I was learning. I hope to use what I have learned and researched through this program to provide my students with a comprehensive course that teaches them about the involvement and impact Latinx people have had on the creation of this nation so that they too can feel connected and invested in their historical understanding of the past.

Andrew McCoskey | Wichita North High School | Wichita, Kansas

Andrew McCoskey

I am so honored to receive this scholarship! The GLI program is nothing short of incredible. The education I have received and the professors I’ve had the pleasure to learn from have enhanced the teaching in my own classroom dramatically. Thank you Gilder Lehrman!

Sarah Gilvin | West Jessamine High School | Nicholasville, KentuckySarah Gilvin

I am so grateful for this program. Having the opportunity to learn from professors who are at the top of their field is something that has not only benefited me personally, but has benefited my students. This program has allowed me to offer my students a richer curriculum and has pushed me to be a better teacher and student of history.

Oscar Ramos | Quince Orchard High School | Washington Grove, Maryland

Oscar Ramos

I’m so grateful for this scholarship! I’ve committed myself to a second master’s degree in order to become a better US history teacher for my kids, and it’s such a wonderful surprise to have GLI return the commitment in the form of this scholarship. Thank you so much!

Moncrieff Cochran | Weston High School | Boston, Massachusetts 

Moncrieff Cochran

Receiving a scholarship from Gilder Lehrman is just one of many reasons why I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my Master’s degree at this school. The faculty and staff have been truly supportive, and the rigorous work has helped grow and learn, even as a seasoned professional teacher. Thank you!

Coby Carlucci | Marblehead Veterans Middle School | Marblehead, Massachusetts 

Coby CarlucciI love this program. It is accessible and affordable for teachers but also rigorous and challenging. I highly recommend it to others.

Eileen Bailey | Tupelo Middle School | Tupelo, Mississippi

Eileen BaileyI am so thankful for the Gilder Lehrman MA program. I have a Master’s in Education and wanted to add graduate-level history classes to that degree. They graciously agreed to allow me to take the four history classes I needed. I love learning things that I can share with my students.

Emily Klein | Bayless High School | St. Louis, Missouri

Emily Klein

I started my first class in February of 2020, and since then, have grown more and more impressed with the quality of lead scholars, section professors, and the community created by the students in the program. I have been teaching for fifteen years, but I am learning so much more with every class I take – things I often use almost immediately in my classroom, or file away to include at the appropriate time next year. The readings, lectures, and Q&A sessions have taught me a great deal, but more importantly, they have given me a new energy and passion for American History, and for teaching it to the next generation.

Daniel Charlton | Billings Career Center| Billings, Montana

Daniel CharltonI’m overwhelmed with gratitude with receiving the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship - the MA program has provided a wealth of both knowledge and resources. With using these funds, I can continue education as well as gain insights about the various moments and historical moments that encompass how we consider historical thoughts and perspectives, including valuable methodological practices that are available to implement as well as primary sources to pass along in the process. I am especially appreciative of receiving funding and remaining a part of this program due to the current intellectual and political landscape in which many of us find ourselves apropos of education and the state it is currently in within the humanities and historical inquiry writ large. Overall, I remain appreciative of receiving the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship as I both continue and finish the program.

Theresa Maughan | East Orange STEM Academy | Randolph, New Jersey

Theresa MaughanI am extremely honored to receive this scholarship. The GLI MA in American history has provided me the opportunity to learn from some of the best historians while completing a rigorous academic program. This scholarship will allow me to complete my last two courses without incurring a large financial strain on my income. This program is exactly what teachers need to continue on their journey of professional growth.

Ariel Babcock | Weehawken High School | Hewitt, New Jersey

Ariel BabcockThe GLI program has made a tremendous impact on my teaching. It has expanded my knowledge of American history and helped me bring American history to light in my classroom in a transformative way. Receiving this scholarship is a great honor for me as an educational professional.

James Carroll | Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre | Brooklyn, New York

James Carroll

I am grateful to have been selected for the scholarship. The program has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of. It has been a driving force in keeping up in US History. Forcing me to look at subject material and readings I may not have seen or used into my teaching.

Leah Markey | Heritage High School | New York, New York

Leah MarkeyI am loving the Masters program. I have not been able to study history in depth in many years and the idea of digging into the time periods I teach, reading more resources and becoming better acquainted with the many interpretations and views of history is making me a better teacher.

Aeron Sizemore | Hugh M Cummings High School | Liberty, North Carolina

Aeron SizemoreI am honored to receive this scholarship as it will allow me to continue to increase my effectiveness in teaching students American History. The MA program through Gilder Lehrman is an excellent program for current full time teachers to enhance their teaching of American history.

Jessica Caldwell-Lehr | St. James the Less Catholic School | Blacklick, Ohio

Jessica Caldwell-LehrI was excited to find a master’s program that I could do online. My schedule as a teacher makes it difficult to find compatible programs, but the GLI program is just the right fit. I am very happy to be a part of this program.

Irene Alderman | Bushnell University | Springfield, Oregon

Irene AldermanI am pleased and grateful to receive the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship. The Gilder Lehrman MA degree program in American History is giving me a deeper understanding of the complexity of the American experience. I want to convey to my student teachers not only the joy of teaching American history, but also the responsibility to teach it well.

Leslie Miller | Brashear High School | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Leslie Miller

I am very excited that I received this scholarship. I’m paying for the program out of pocket so any scholarship is appreciated.

Leslie Sullivan | Palmetto Scholars Academy | Summerville, South Carolina

Leslie SullivanI’m very thankful to be given the opportunity to grow my American History knowledge so that I am able to continuously improve my instruction. I like to model being a life-long learner for my students and this scholarship gives me the opportunity to show them intrinsic learning and how hard work pays off.

Christina Milon | Battle Ground Academy | Brentwood, Tennessee

Christina MilonI have loved this program! I have had the opportunity to learn from the leading historians of our time. Dr. Blight won the Pulitzer Prize the day before our Q&A session with him. Experiences like that are part of the joy of earning this degree. The GLI program has improved my teaching as well. My students now engage in the authentic, meaningful work of a historian because I have learned how to do so through the GLI program. My students tell me that they love history. They don’t memorize facts, instead they ask great questions and are empowered to find the answers. Thank you to everyone who funded this scholarship; I sincerely appreciate it!

Meagan Solomon Holt | Wunderlich Intermediate School | Spring, Texas

Meagan Solomon HoltI am sincerely honored to have been selected for the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship! As an educator, I am grateful for the generosity of the Gilder-Lehrman program, which has allowed me to continue to pursue my career goals as a dual credit US History teacher.

JoLyne Merchant | Thomas Edison Charter School South | Hyrum, Utah

JoLyne Merchant

This program has been an incredible blessing full of both challenges and incredible highs. I have grown immensely both in my skills as a historian and as a teacher. The depth of background knowledge allows an enrichment to the curriculum that was previously absent and my gratitude for this immense blessing of the scholarship is beyond words. This program was and continues to be an answer to my prayers and lifelong dreams. Thank you will never be enough.

Amanda Eskeets | Centennial Middle School | Vineyard, Utah

Amanda EskeetsI was worried I might have to take a leave of absence for this semester to figure out financing, but now I can stay in my enrolled class! The GLI MA Program has reignited my love for history and transformed my teaching; it is one of the best things I have done for myself and my students.

Marlon Moran | Frederick High School | Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Marlon Moran\

I feel honored and humbled to have been selected to receive the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship. I plan to use this opportunity to continue to grow academically. I am grateful to be a part of a program that supports teachers, their students, and promotes the education of American History.

Rebecca Roth | Auburn High School | Brodhead, Wisconsin

Rebecca Roth

I am so thrilled and honored to receive this award. When I initially signed up for this program, I expected it to be good since the materials and opportunities provided by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute are top-notch. That said, I was skeptical that an online program would match an in-person learning experience (I started before COVID came in and I myself became an online teacher). This program has exceeded my expectations in every way. One of my favorite aspects of the program are the Q&As with our professors. They are rock stars in their field and yet they give their time to us so graciously and thoughtfully - answering our questions and pointing us towards innumerable ideas and resources.

My students have also benefited from this program because the new insights and inspirations I’ve gained are brought into my classroom. I’ve loved my time in this program and I’m looking forward to continuing.