Previous Students

2022-23 Students


Kathrine-Mackenzie Bodnar delights in bringing history to life through foodways programming. She spent the first part of her professional life working as a Career and Employment Counsellor, but as a self-proclaimed “history geek” she always dreamed of working in museums. To that aim, she began to volunteer with a historic cooking group in a pioneer village where she completed hearth and woodstove training that qualified her as a costumed demonstration cook.

In 2016 Kathrine decided to transition careers and enrolled in a post-graduate program in Culture and Heritage Site Management at Centennial College. Upon completion, she obtained a series of administrative contract positions that included work in archives, policy writing, and workshop development. To improve her cooking skills, Kathrine obtained a Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts through George Brown College and a diploma in Culinary Management from Durham College. The City of Toronto Museums acknowledged her work in foodways programming with an award of ‘Leadership Excellence’. This work included public cooking demonstrations, cooking workshops, and historically themed dinners and teas.

Because of her Indigenous heritage, Kathrine has an interest in promoting the often-invisible histories of Indigenous peoples in Canadian museums. In 2019 she took a sabbatical to complete a degree in Indigenous Studies from Trent University, graduating in 2022 with an Honors B.A. and inclusion on the President’s Honour Role. She eagerly looks forward to further developing skills that will enable her to deliver history to the public in engaging and meaningful ways.

Jessica Hugh

Jessica Hugh graduated in Spring 2022 with distinction from The University of Toronto with an Honors B.A. in History and International Relations. Upon graduation, she was awarded the William Kilbourn Prize for her academic achievements and intent to continue studying Canadian history. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Jessica volunteered with Peace by PEACE, a non-profit community building program for elementary school students. As a teaching mentor, she developed a passion for hands-on learning, which further prepared her for work in the public history sphere.

Jessica’s research pays special attention to the ways in which Canadians are taught and understand their history, and how this impacts the development and maintenance of national identities. During her time at Western, Jessica hopes to expand her research interests and study how Canadians interact with their own history, whether through school curricula, national parks, or museums.

Hannah Mantel

Hannah Mantel graduated from The University of Ottawa in 2021 with an Honors B.A., majoring in History and minoring in French as a second language. Through her undergraduate courses, Hannah focused on themes of Racism and Empire, the Holocaust, and the First and Second World Wars. Her first engagement with public history was at the Port Burwell Marine Museum where she accessioned and handled artifacts, and created and rearranged displays. Hannah took her passion for public history to the Beachville District Museum, where she gained additional skills in the field of public history through creating social media content and conducting artifact-based research. In the summer of 2021, she was employed as Beachville’s Collection Manager where she became responsible for rehousing hundreds of artifacts in the museum’s storage facility.

From 2020 to 2021, Hannah Mantel participated in the University of Ottawa’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), where she assisted Professor Serge Durflinger with his research regarding the Veterans’ Guard of Canada. Hannah is looking forward to gaining additional skills and experience with public history and is very excited to collaborate with other students and professionals to gain a deeper understanding of the field.

Sarah Pointer

Sarah Pointer graduated from Mount Royal University in 2021 with a B.A. in History, double minoring in Business and Indigenous Studies. During her degree, Sarah’s research focused on the intersection of environmental and social histories to understand the role of the Canadian Government in the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands to create our parks systems in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Her research is guided by the principles that research should be interdisciplinary, collaborative, and community-minded.

Her passion for the history of parks was ignited while working for Parks Canada as a Visitor Information Program Student. Sarah further explored this passion for parks while attending the American Civil War: History and Memory Field School and continued to study parks as a Research and Collections Assistant for Buffalo Nations Museum.

Sarah also worked as a research assistant on a Stoney Nakoda lead research project, Enhancing the Reintroduction of Plains Bison through the inclusion of cultural monitoring and traditional knowledge in Banff National Park. Here she conducted research, transcribed oral histories, and co-authored a final report. This solidified her passion for working on collaborative and community-minded research. Currently, Sarah works for Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Provincial Park, as an Information Officer where she works to share natural and cultural history.
In the future, Sarah hopes to work as a Historian for Parks Canada. She looks forward to assisting with projects that centre collaboration and interdisciplinary knowledge in the areas of environmental and social histories.                                                                                                                                         

2021-22 Students

Emma Bronsema

Emma Bronsema graduated from Carleton University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Global and International Studies Honours. She specialized in global and transnational history and completed a minor in German. Through the years, her love for history has grown and her interest in public history became more prominent. Last summer Emma had the pleasure of working for the Diefenbunker Museum National Historic Site, where she co-ran a children’s camp, led tours and learned about the inner workings of a smaller regional museum. She also worked on an online exhibit for the 75th anniversary of Igor Gouzenko’s defection to Canada from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. This helped solidify her interest in museums and historic sites.

Emma is particularly interested in examining public understanding of history outside of the classroom, with regards to both content and delivery. Her interests also include 20th century history, culture and language. She looks forward to delving further into the field of Public History through her studies at Western.


Image of Emily Clink

Emily Clink graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History with a Minor in German from the University of Alberta. Her undergraduate thesis focused on how German identity was transformed through music with a specific focus on how it was developed and expressed in Mozart’s operatic work “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” Related to this project, Emily published a paper on the historiographical issues of this area in the University of Michigan’s inaugural volume of the Central Europe Yearbook titled “Musicology and German National Identity.”

Emily co-curated the exhibition Forgotten Fronts, which chronicled the First World War through objects from the Kellett Collection. The goal of the exhibition was to humanize and personalize the traumatic experiences of the war and to expose Western Canadians to the stories of the Eastern fronts with which they might not be familiar. She curated the display on the Italian Front and helped give tours of the exhibition to members of the public. She also gave a companion public lecture for the Wirth Institute’s Central European Cafe on rare photographs from the Italian Front.

During her undergraduate program, Emily helped re-establish the History and Classics Undergraduate Society at the University of Alberta acting as its Vice-President External, and later, as one of its Co-Presidents. In these positions, she had the pleasure of working with local historical organizations to provide tours aimed at university students. The goal was to get undergraduates involved with public history and help them forge important connections that they could later draw on to further their studies.

Emily has particular interest in historiography and the ways in which people think historically, which led to her winning the Roger S. Smith Research Award in 2019. Her project “Lonergan and Foucault: A False Dichotomy” compared the historical methods of French philosopher Michel Foucault and Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan. She would love to further her understanding of this topic and place it within the context of how history is presented on the stage, during her Master’s. Emily is very excited to get more experience working in historical organizations and expand.

Image of Patrick Kinghan

Patrick Kinghan has returned for the fall semester to complete his Public History cognate paper.

He graduated with distinction from Huron University College in 2020 with an Honours B.A. in History and a minor in Public History from Western University. His research for his undergraduate thesis investigated class and gender tensions among Irish American men in the mid-19th century and how those tensions erupted in the 1863 New York Draft Riots. During his time at Huron, Patrick was a part of several projects including one that developed scripts for a historical walking tour about the history of mental illness treatment in London, Ontario, and a personal research project on historical reenactment and its place in teaching the public about the social history of the military.

He also worked as a research assistant for a SSHRC-funded project called The Black Press, which digitizes Black Canadian newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries to provide open access to researchers and the public. Patrick also spent two summers working at the Uxbridge Historical Centre as their its, taking Uxbridge’s local history and making it digestible for children.

Since joining the program last fall, Patrick has completed his summer internship at Banting House National Historic Site. While there, he managed various collections and catalogued new acquisitions. He mainly focused on the Ted Ryder collection, using it to mount both an online and in-person show titled "I'm a Fat Boy Now." Both shows take visitors through the life of Teddy Ryder and his experiences with Frederick Banting and diabetes more generally. The online show is live on Banting House's website, presenting the Teddy Ryder story through photos and letters. The in-person show is being installed in September 2021, presenting the Teddy Ryder story through personal artifacts from Teddy's life.

Image of Avi Shaver


Avraham “Avi” T. Shaver, an international student, graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in December 2019 and received a B.A. in History and Jewish Studies with a minor in Hebrew. His undergraduate history specialty focused on atrocities, religious persecution and the memory of violence. The majority of his work has been on the Holocaust as well as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Throughout most of his undergraduate career, Avi has worked to bring awareness to certain events and relevant histories through museums, archives, historical research, and exhibit creation. He has worked at institutions such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Upper Midwest Jewish Historical Society Archives and the Hennepin County History Museum.

Avi recently moved to Silver Spring, Maryland and was an in-person teacher this past year. (Yes, during COVID!) Through Western’s Public History program, Avi is looking forward
to learning how to educate about emotionally laden events, eliciting empathy through the lens of history and developing his skills as an historian.

Image of Keely Shaw


Keely Shaw is an international student from San Angelo, Texas. She graduated from Angelo State University with a B.A. in History in May of 2021 and worked for her university archives, The West Texas Collection, for three years.

Prior to her position with the archives, Ms. Shaw worked on a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded oral history project, War Stories. In the summer of 2019, she worked in tandem with other students to create programming and educational materials about different aspects of the Holocaust for Kamp Westerbork, a Nazi transit camp located in the Netherlands. Most recently, Keely served as a Junior Fellow with the Library of Congress developing resources for K-12 educators from the Library’s holdings.


Madeline ShawMadeline Shaw graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2020, double majoring in History and English. During her undergraduate degree, Madeline volunteered extensively with the History department as President of the History Society, as an undergraduate representative, and as coordinator of an outreach project. As a student researcher with the Map Room at the Queen Elizabeth II Library at Memorial University, she charted the movements of captured members of the Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War. She has also worked with the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation as a Collections Assistant and as a volunteer, assisting with their ongoing digitization project.

Madeline’s academic background is in American history and literature, but after spending much of the pandemic in PEI, she has developed an interest in Atlantic Canadian cultural history and the region’s connection to the 18th century slave trade.

Image of Danielle Sinopoli


Danielle Sinopoli graduated from Brock University in 2019 with a combined B.A. (Honours) in History and Biological Sciences and has since also completed her M.A. in History there. Her major research paper focused on the practice of British naval medicine in northern climates during the mid-nineteenth century. She is primarily interested in the intersection of medicine, disease and bodies, specifically in a colonial context.

Professionally, Danielle is looking forward to broadening her experience in public history through her studies at Western. She has worked on several public history projects throughout her graduate degree, including her collaboration on an online exhibit which featured artifacts from Niagara-based museums. This experience was an opportunity to develop her skills in web design, while also adapting historical materials to suit an online format. More recently, she developed a podcast through Fixt Point’s Empathy Squad titled “Fractured Narratives: Historical Interpretations in Film & Television.” This podcast focused on the ways in which history is portrayed across various forms of digital media. This allowed her to develop the technical and creative skills associated with conducting online interviews, as well as developing and editing podcast content from scratch. Additionally, Danielle has experience teaching French to elementary school students in a virtual learning environment, while also pursuing a French language certificate from the University of Toronto.

During her time at Western, Danielle intends to continue her education, refine her skills and develop new ways to make history accessible to everyone.

2020-21 Students

Image of Kat Bexaire

Kat Bezaire graduated from the University of Windsor with Bachelors Honours degrees in History and Modern Languages (German Option). Growing up, Kat was always interested in museums; she loved to hear the stories of the past and could spend hours gazing at artifacts. Throughout her undergraduate years, she spent her time volunteering and working for the Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village (CTMHV), Museum Windsor, and the History Student Association.

Kat performed several roles during her two summers at the CTMHV. As historical interpreter, her research into the site’s buildings enhanced the Village’s tour packages and her project on the Jack Miner Homestead is in the process of being published. As the Assistant Education Coordinator the following year, Kat created an enormously popular senior’s outreach program that focused on memory and storytelling. At Museum Windsor she was involved in exhibit development as well as educational programming. Kat hopes to become a coordinator either in education or exhibition for a museum or historic site and is excited to follow this dream as a member of this year’s MA Public History Program.

Image of Jake Breadman

Jake Breadman graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in History from Brock University where he is just completing his M.A. in History. His major research paper focused on the politicization of Sir Isaac Brock in Upper Canada and Canada West from 1812 to 1859. Jake’s interests include colonial Canadian history, particularly the War of 1812, and the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837-1838. He is also interested in historic monuments, social memory and amnesia, environmental history, sensory history, and the nineteenth-century British army. He has worked at numerous public history sites, such as Fort George National Historic Site, Brock’s Monument, and Old Fort Erie, and has volunteered with the Niagara Historical Society and Museum and the Brock University Historical Society.

Jake’s academic and public history interests intersect well. During his M.A., he wrote essays on the social memory and amnesia of the War of 1812 in the Journal of Major John Norton and of the Mau Mau Uprising in post-colonial Kenya during Jomo Kenyatta’s presidency from 1963 and 1978. The latter in particular focused on the maintenance and destruction of certain colonial-era British monuments and the erection of new monuments to historically significant Kenyans. While pursuing his M.A. in Public History at Western University, Jake will continue to study how historical myths are born and propagated and what role public history forums such as museums, monuments, and memorials play in the dilution or dissemination of myths.

Image of Victoria Burnett

Victoria Burnett graduated from the University of Western Ontario (2020) with an Honours B.A., majoring in Classical Studies and the Arts and Humanities. During her time as an undergraduate, Victoria was an active executive member of the Classics Society and a voting member on the Arts and Humanities Students’ Council. Through the Classical Studies Department and her enrollment in the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH), Victoria participated in the Vindolanda Archaeological Field School (2019) and undertook a semester long internship with London’s Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Working in conjunction with London Fringe and City Studio, Victoria assisted in the research and writing of a walking tour focusing on the city’s history of mental health care through the lens of Richard Maurice Bucke, a superintendent of London’s Asylum for the Insane. Under the supervision of Professor Mike Dove and the Soc Sci Dean’s Office, Victoria assisted in creating a comprehensive history of the Faculty of Social Science at Western to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Victoria has worked in the heritage and culture field for the past six years in a wide variety of roles, including researcher, curatorial assistant, volunteer coordinator assistant, excavation site assistant, and historical interpreter. Organizations have included the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, Historic Fort Willow, Coldwater Historic Mill, and Huronia Museum & Huron/Ouendat Village. At Western, Victoria is excited to expand her field of study into digital history and the new and continuing ways in which history is being re-examined in the current sociopolitical climate.

Image of Ivy Cooley

Ivy Cooley graduated from Brock University (2020) with a B.A. (Honours) in History. Throughout her degree, her research mainly focused on 19th century British society. This past year she undertook a thesis on London department stores and their potential to both liberate and control customers. She also delved into military history, publishing her article “Public Perception of the Illustrious Redcoat: An Examination of Martial Image During the Napoleonic Era,” in Brock University’s peer-reviewed undergraduate academic journal The General (Vol.5, 2020). While completing her studies she volunteered at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, where she scanned rare texts ranging from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Professionally, Ivy has spent the past three summers employed at Old Fort Erie, where she led specialized guided tours, narrated demonstrations, and participated in various re-enactments. She is passionate about engaging both the young and old on her guided tours and hopes to inspire visitors to reflect upon history. Ivy is excited to widen her experience in the museum field and develop more archival skills during her time at Western.

Image of Elisabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards graduated from Western University in 2020 with an Honours B.A. in Media, Information, & Technoculture and English Literature. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Elisabeth’s research centred around Indigenous cultures and epistemologies, especially in relation to heritage conservation and Indigenous co-management of resources in national parks.

Elisabeth has worked for Parks Canada for seven consecutive summer seasons as a student interpreter. In this role she created unique educational programs, engaged with public visitors, and conducted historical research. She has spent the last two summers as an interpreter at Georgian Bay Islands National Park, learning about the traditional cultures, languages, and homelands of the Anishinaabe and Métis peoples of Georgian Bay. She is passionate about sharing stories that respect and acknowledge Indigenous sovereignty in relation to traditional lands, waters, and resources. An avid explorer, you can find Lis either out in nature searching for reptiles and cool critters or with her nose in an identification guide looking to learn something new! Elisabeth is especially excited to continue to research and develop new methods of heritage presentation and conservation within Canada’s national parks.

Image of Katie Gaskin

Katie Gaskin graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto with a B.A. (Honours) Specialist in History and Major in Art History. Her undergraduate research focused on histories of violence and commemoration in Latin America and Europe. She is primarily interested in how children engage with historical ideas and the role of education in Public History. Her main interest for Art History is Graeco-Roman sculpture.

During her undergraduate degree, Katie focused on working with kids. She volunteered at her alma mater teaching lessons and helping with projects in the history department. This past year for example, she taught an entire sub-unit of history on the Holocaust for a Grade 10 class. Katie also volunteered at The Royal Ontario Museum, where she guided March Break children’s activities in the Graeco-Roman Gallery and studied conservation in hands-on labs using the Museum’s collection.

Image of Kestra Greer

Kestra Greer graduated with from the University of Prince Edward Island with a B.A. Honours History and a minor in Anthropology. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the intersection between social and medical history during the American Civil War. Kestra has worked in the Sir Andrew MacPhail Homestead as well as in the P.E.I. provincial artifact storage, both guiding tours and maintaining artifacts. Her research interests include medical history, the history of agriculture and labour history, especially the role of women in children in the Canadian workforce.

Kestra’s plans to continue researching the connections between society and science in history, focusing on how science was understood and utilized by ordinary people. As most of her work experience is in preserving and displaying physical artifacts, Kestra hopes to broaden her research skills and familiarity with digitization efforts. She looks forward to putting her existing experience in public history to use as well as learning new skills at Western. 

Image of Brendan McShanePatrick Kinghan graduated with distinction from Huron University College in 2020 with an Honours B.A. in History and a minor in Public History from Western University. His research for his undergraduate thesis investigated class and gender tensions among Irish American men in the mid-19th century and how those tensions erupted in the 1863 New York Draft Riots. During his time at Huron, Patrick was a part of several public history course projects including one that developed scripts for a historical walking tour about the history of mental illness treatment in London, Ontario, and a personal research project on Historical Reenactment and its place in teaching the public about the social history of the military.

Patrick has spent the last two and a half years as a research assistant for a SSHRC-funded nationwide project called The Black Press, which aims to digitize Black Canadian newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries in an effort to provide open access to researchers and the public. Patrick has also spent the past two summers working at the Uxbridge Historical Centre as their programming associate, taking Uxbridge’s local history and making it digestible for children. Patrick’s present research interests, as he enters Western’s Public History program, focus on race and gender history in a Canadian context, particularly regarding topics related to Black Canadian history. He finds that educating people who have little or no background in history is especially fulfilling and is eager to learn more about the methods for best presenting Black Canadian history for public audiences.

Image of Robin Marshall

Robin Marshall graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2020 with an Honours B.A. in Histoire de l’art and Études autochtones. Being Franco-Ontarian, she pursued her undergraduate studies in French and hopes to continue to incorporate French in her future projects and career. Her research interests include Canadian history, art history and Indigenous issues. Robin was able to explore these subjects further while completing two major projects during her studies in Ottawa. In 2018, she conducted research at the University of Ottawa and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Archives in order to relate the foundation of the University and the colonization and displacement of the Algonquin communities that resided in Ottawa. This led to the creation of her first publication, Les complices d’une expropriation. That following year Robin completed a seminar presentation entitled, Food Sovereignty for the Next Generation: Indigenous food sovereignty within Nunavut and Nunavik homes, which delved into food insecurity among Northern Inuit communities. The project creatively connected Inuit art with Indigenous food sovereignty information, data, and perspectives.

Professionally, Robin has worked for Sainte-Marie among the Hurons (Midland, ON), the MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, ON), and the Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa, ON). She spent her time interpreting local history, providing in-depth interactive tours, animating gallery spaces, and updating interpretative and didactic tools. Robin is passionate about sharing knowledge and making history interesting and accessible for all. She is excited to enhance her knowledge and expertise in history this year at Western and mould these elements into employable skills that will be used to reinforce the public’s connection to history and culture within museums.

Image of Julia Richards

Julia Richards graduated from the University of Western Ontario (2019) with an Honours B.A. in History. Her research interests during her undergraduate career centred around social history, particularly women’s and gender history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

She has spent her summers working in various museums in the Hamilton and Niagara region where she fostered her interest in museum work. She first worked at the RiverBrink Art Museum facilitating tours of the historic town and engaging with the patrons. She later moved into an archive’s technician role at the Dundas Museum and Archives, digitizing photographs and further documenting the collection. Much to her excitement, she was able to create an online exhibit showcasing decades of women’s fashion that featured the museum’s extensive textile collection. Julia is looking forward to continuing her studies at Western and furthering her career in museum work.

Image of Margaret Schultz

Margaret Schultz graduated from the University of Alberta in 2018 with a B.A. Honours in History. Her undergraduate essay focussed on the self-presentation of women in nineteenth-century Red River, using the letters of the Alexander Ross family. An edited version of the essay was published as “Fault Lines: Race and Gender in the Fur Trade Family of Alexander Ross” in the Fall 2019 edition of Manitoba History.

After graduation, a search for experience in public history led Margaret to work as a Natural/Human History Interpreter for the City of Edmonton, delivering programs at the Muttart Conservatory, John Janzen Nature Centre, and John Walter Museum. A highlight was the opportunity to develop and deliver day camps for the John Walter Museum, since this gave Margaret an entire week to convince children that Edmonton’s history is wonderful and exciting. In the spring of 2020, Margaret also wrote a short, locally focussed history of agricultural drainage in central Alberta, which will be distributed at the centennial of the Hay Lakes Drainage District in spring of 2022. While at Western, Margaret hopes to develop skills to enable the Canadian public to meet their local histories, and is looking forward to working with other history professionals.

2019-20 Students

Image of Mike BartlettMike Bartlett retired on 30 June 2019 to become a Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Western. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) from Queen’s, an M.A. Sc. from Waterloo, and, after a seven-year stint with a bridge consulting firm in Vancouver, a Ph.D from Alberta. He is a registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

Mike’s interest in Public History may be genetic as his mother taught local history to high-school students. As a high-school student, he volunteered to photograph historic buildings in his home town of Manotick, near Ottawa, and his undergraduate thesis was on the construction of the Kingston City Hall (1842-44). He has since authored appendices to Cultural Heritage Evaluation Reports on the Meadowlily and Blackfriars Bridges in London. He currently chairs the National History Committee of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and in this role facilitates the nomination, recognition and monitoring of CSCE National Civil Engineering Historic Sites across Canada. Mike completed half of the Public History Minor in 2018/19 and so is very excited by this opportunity to further learn and apply skills to engage the public to explore history.

Image of Madison BifanoMadison Bifano graduated from Algoma University (2019) with a B.A. (Honours) in History and a minor in Visual Arts. Her undergraduate honour’s thesis focused on the use of the Scouting and Guiding movements in Anglican residential schools, and her other areas of interest include 19th and early 20th century Canadian history.

Since 2017, Madison has been working in the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) at Algoma University. While with the SRSC, she has held the role of archival assistant and most recently, research assistant for a project based on documenting early residential schools. Through her time there, she has helped curate various exhibits, processed archival materials, and facilitated historical site tours. She has also worked with Parks Canada as an interpreter at Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. While at Western, Madison is excited to learn new archival and digital history skills.

Image of Jessica ChernichJessica Chernich graduated Magna Cum Laude from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (2018) with a B.A. in History (concentrating in Public History) and a minor in Technical and Professional Communication. She has worked as a museum interpreter at the historic Gruber Wagon Works and C. Howard Hiester Canal Center for the past four years. While there, she provided tours of the facility, developed an oral history program, and researched a variety of topics pertaining to the Berks County Parks System.

During her undergraduate degree, Jessica placed an emphasis on engaging the public in history through digital means including her creation of Shippensburg’s “#flashbackfriday”; a comparative photography series showing the many changes that have taken place at the University over time. Additionally, she examined the effects that Social Media and mobile gaming have on museums and the benefits of moving towards more digital interactive exhibits. Jessica is excited to attend Western and learn more about engaging public interest in an ever-expanding digital age.

Image of Margaret DingwellMargaret Dingwell graduated from the University of King’s College in 2019 with a Combined Honours B.A. in Early Modern Studies and International Development. Throughout her undergraduate degree, her research focused on issues surrounding and intersecting with gender. She explored topics such as the first midwifery textbook written by an Englishwoman, and the impact of masculinities/femininities on professionalism and development.

Near the end of her degree she began looking for ways to share her excitement for learning. This led her to a volunteer position with the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History where she delivered programs to elementary school students. She also began work with the living history program at the Halifax Citadel Society which aids visitors in developing an understanding of the historic importance of the fort. She is excited to continue developing her interpretation skills and find more creative ways to bring history to life.

Image of Daniel FarrowDaniel Farrow graduated from Cape Breton University (2019) with a B.A. Honours in History. His research for his undergraduate thesis surrounded working class history, labour history, oral history and their connection to leisure history. During his time at Cape Breton University, Daniel has worked at the Beaton Institute Archives, filling roles such as Student Digitization Technician for Parks Canada, Student Archival Research Assistant, and Project Coordinator for the Denny Project.

Daniel’s future research will utilize oral history interviews to explore how deindustrialization, technological advances and social change have produced distinct notions of “home” among generational groupings around Cape Breton Island. These interviews will also probe the concept of Cape Breton nationalism as it relates to what it means to be a “Cape Bretoner” in the 21st century. Daniel is looking forward to studying at Western and learning new ways of bridging the gap between academia and community involvement.

Image of Hope GresserHope Gresser graduated with distinction from Queen’s University (2019) with a B.A. (honours) in History and a minor in Art History with a primary focus on Early Modern Europe, though she also did work in medieval and early Canadian History. For the past three summers Hope has worked as a researcher with the Genealogy and Archival Research Unit at Indigenous Services Canada (formerly Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) creating family trees for indigenous individuals both for individual interest or to confirm entitlement to government or community resources and services, as well as perform archival research within the department. As part of this position she also worked on digitizing and making accessible the unit’s archives.

Hope has also spent the last four years working in the library of the Royal Military College of Canada. Having witnessed firsthand the effect that history, especially genealogy, can have on the lives of individuals, Hope is looking forward to exploring ways of connecting the public to history, in particular historical documents and data, which is relevant to their modern lives through this program.

Image of Thomas LangThomas Lang graduated with distinction from Huron University in 2019 with an Honours B.A. in History and a Minor in Political Science. Academically, his interests lie in the cultural history of imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the summer of 2017 to early 2018 he worked as the Archives Cataloguing Assistant at Huron County Museum where he helped update the museum’s records of documents, books and photos.

For the past two summers Thomas has worked on a variety of community history projects as a Research Fellow at the Huron Community History Centre. During his two years of employment, he worked on a digital history project aimed at mapping out Loyalist families displaced during the American Revolution, and assisted in the development of a travelling exhibition and designed a story map commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic in Canada. Through Western’s Public History Program, Tom is eager to learn new skills in digital history and explore how historical knowledge is transferred to the public.

Image of Kaitlyn MacDonaldKaitlyn MacDonald graduated from Queen’s University in 2019 with a B.A. Honours in History and a minor in German Studies. Her research interests include Indigenous soldiers in the First and Second World War, Indigenous veterans in the interwar and postwar years, Nazi Germany, and most recently the rise and impact of dark tourism.

During the summer of 2018 she was given the opportunity to conduct her own project on Kingston Penitentiary and its role in Kingston’s collective memory through a documentary entitled Behind the Bars. Throughout the project, she learned how to conduct oral interviews, completed primary research to supplement the interviews, planned and shot necessary footage and edited the documentary. Her newest project is currently a blog titled Haunting Canada that looks into the history behind some of Canada’s most haunted sites. Kaitlyn is looking forward to continuing her passion for engaging the public in history and continuing to explore how communities remember and interpret history.

Image of Brendan McShaneBrendan McShane graduated from Laurentian University (Cum Laude, 2018) with an Honours B.A. in Philosophy. His primary research interest, being the focus of his journal publication (2017) and undergraduate thesis (2018), was Philosophical Aesthetics. For the past six summers, Brendan has run tours, events, and programming as a Historic Interpreter at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. 

Brendan has also worked with the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, and the Sault’s Municipal Heritage Committee. He has been involved in the organization and running of numerous public history events, with notable examples being the War of 1812 Bicentennial Re-enactment “The Taking” (2014) and an Ontario Heritage Conference (2018). He looks forward to further developing his hard and soft skills, meeting passionate peers, and learning new ways to make history engaging and (heaven forbid) fun.

Image of Jenna PhilbrickJenna Philbrick graduated from the University of Waterloo (2019) with an Honours B.A. in Arts and Business with a major in History and a specialization in Applied History. While an undergraduate student, she had the opportunity to both curate an exhibition that examined mental illness in the early 20th century and create multiple short documentary films. In 2018, Jenna accompanied the Canadian Battlefield Foundation on their European tour, where she completed her third short documentary film “Loved and Honoured: Remembering the Life of Major Forbes Bell Fisher” by conducting both oral history interviews and primary source research.

Professionally, Jenna has worked at Fort George National Historic Site, The St. Catharines Museum, Morningstar Mill Heritage Site, and the Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum. Most recently, she worked as a Historic Interpreter at Fort George, where she provided in-depth tours, shared her knowledge with visitors, and participated in special events and battle re-enactments. Jenna is excited to begin her time at Western and hopes to develop new skills while continuing to explore her passion for local museums and historic interpretation.

Image of Jared SchuttJared Schutt graduated from Brock University (2019) with a combined B.A. in Classics and English Language & Literature with First-Class Standing, and a Minor in History. At Brock, Jared took a wide range of classes on different historical time periods. In his final year, Jared used his research to curate his own exhibit on the role of wine in the ancient world using 2500-year-old artifacts.

Professionally, Jared has spent the past three summers working at two different museums. He spent the summer of 2017 working at the Fort Erie Historical Museum, where his focus was split between cataloguing artifacts, digitizing photographs, and helping with deaccessioning and rehousing. Jared spent the summer of 2018 and 2019 working at two sites with the City of Niagara Falls Museums, where, among performing other tasks, he led the photo-documenting project, assisted with the installation and deinstallation of various exhibitions, and helped the public with research requests. Jared is looking forward to learning new skills related to museums and public history at Western.

Image of Lorraine TinsleyLorraine Tinsley is an alumna of Western (B.A. History 1976) and holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University (1982) and a Graduate Certificate in Green Business Management from Seneca College (2011). Lorraine's policy consultancy has taken her from Ottawa to Washington to Cairo, focusing on heritage conservation policy, cultural and social program evaluation, and more recently on sustainable economic development. Lorraine is also a tenacious civic activist on local and global issues of air quality, waste management and social responsibility. She is a co-founder and director of the award-winning citizen's group, Friends of Toronto Public Cemeteries, whose recent landmark victory in Ontario Superior Court centred on the governance of public trust assets, including Toronto's historic Mount Pleasant Cemetery and Necropolis.

Lorraine is returning to her love of history at Western and is looking forward to learning about new digital techniques for bringing to life her study of the natural, cultural and urban heritage of her Toronto neighbourhood, Moore Park. She also maintains a deep personal interest in military history, in particular the Middle Eastern campaigns of the First World War. Her research on the friendship between T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell will be published in the August 2019 Journal of the T.E. Lawrence Society, Oxford. 

2018-19 Students

Katharine-Anderson.jpgKatie Anderson is a graduate from the University of Guelph with an Honours B.A. (2011) and Master’s Degree (2014) in History. Her graduate work focused on human-animal relationships in rural Ontario in the early 1900s. Her undergraduate thesis introduced her to the importance of documenting oral histories. Katie worked in partnership with the Ontario Veterinary College, where she conducted interviews with women who married OVC graduates in the mid-twentieth century, recording their unrecognized contributions to the veterinary profession in Canada. Professionally, her career has focused on museum education, beginning as a Teacher / Interpreter at both the Waterloo Region Museum and Schneider Haus Museum in Kitchener. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Western’s Bachelor of Education program, and has since worked as a Programming Assistant at the Wellington County Museum and Archives and Education Coordinator at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery. Katie is excited to learn new skills in digital history, archival work, and exhibit design, while continuing to build bridges between museums, public engagement, and education.  

Katrina-Bjornstad.jpgKatrina Bjornstad graduated with honors in 2018 with a B.S. in History (emphasis in Public History) and a minor in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Her research interests were primarily underrepresented populations in American history. For the past two years, Katrina has worked on expanding Hear, Here - an audio-documentary project that originated in downtown La Crosse. During her time with the project, she researched potential stories, conducted oral histories, edited interviews, and ran the phone lines behind the project. Katrina has also been a part of two other public history programs, History Hunt and [art]ifact. While earning her undergraduate degree, Katrina became particularly interested in approaching traditional historical narratives from different perspectives. She looks forward to an exciting year at Western and engaging the public in meaningful dialogue through digital history.

Sean-Campbell.jpgSean Campbell graduated from the University of Ottawa (2013) with an Honours BA in History and English, with a primary research interest in 19th and 20th century Canadian and European history. Sean subsequently completed his graduate certification in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management from Fleming College (2015). Focusing on his interest in military history, Sean completed his certification internship at the Imperial War Museums (IWM) in London and Cambridge, UK. While there, he performed conservation assessments and treatment on artifacts for two exhibitions including the gallery renewal of the American Air Museum at the IWM’s Duxford site. Sean has spent the past two years in his hometown of North Bay, Ontario, working on a two-year gallery renewal project for the North Bay Museum. In addition, Sean catalogued an extensive volume of North Bay history at the Museum's archives. Sean has also volunteered with the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence at CFB North Bay as an archival and events volunteer. Sean has become involved, as a result, with the Organization of Military Museums of Canada. During his time at Western, Sean hopes to develop new digital techniques and explore evolving practices that will help to engage the public in the many stories that history has to offer.


Originally from Toronto, Elizabeth Carbonneau graduated from Dalhousie University (2016) with a Combined First-Class Honours B.A. in History and Italian Studies. Although she did a good deal of work in art history, Italian culture and language, and earth sciences, the majority of her research was in medieval European history with a focus on ecclesiastical and women's history in the British Isles. As an exchange student in Glasgow, she conducted research for her Honours thesis, which documented medieval Scottish and Flemish political marriages and analyzed the agency of medieval noblewomen therein. Since beginning her studies, Elizabeth has worked in English and French interpretation, educational programming, and research and cataloguing positions at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Halifax Music Co-Op, the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, and the Discovery Centre (Halifax). She is looking forward to learning more about the research and historic management aspects of public history and using this knowledge to grow her interpretation and programming skills.

Rachel-Delle-Palme.jpgRachel Delle Palme graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph (2018) with an Honours B.A. in History, where her primary focus was gender history. She has worked as an interpretive guide at the Pickering Museum Village for the past four years. There, she researched, wrote and delivered a variety of tours, expanded interpretive programming, and assisted with special events. During her undergraduate degree she consistently sought practical learning opportunities to widen her skill-set and knowledge. She acted as Curriculum Coordinator for the In Unity project which worked to expand public awareness about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada. Furthermore, she co-curated a special exhibit about the women’s culinary heritage of the MacDonald Institute which was highlighted on Alumni Weekend and during campus tours. Through these experiences Rachel has developed a love for historical interpretation through different mediums which she is excited to explore in more depth during the public history program at Western University.


Skylee-Storm Hogan is a B.A (Hons.) graduate of Algoma University with a degree in Law & Justice Studies. While an undergraduate student, Skylee-Storm was elected to student government as the Diversity Student Representative, bringing forth issues that impact Indigenous and International students. They have also worked with urban Indigenous youth initiatives in Baawaating (Sault Ste. Marie) that focused on addressing youth poverty and racism within the community. Skylee-Storm's professional work has centred around the history of Indian Residential Schools on Turtle Island, working with Algoma University's Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) since 2015. While with the SRSC, Skylee-Storm has curated exhibits on various elements of the Indian Residential Schools system, as well as an exhibition on the Mother Earth Water Walkers in 2016. They have spoken and written on the uses of public history and archives as activism, and has an interest in contested histories. Skylee-Storm has co-hosted Wikipedia edit-a-thons since 2015 that highlight Indigenous Women, LGBTQA2I+ persons, and grassroots movements, and has been involved with The Land Mapping Memory Project since 2017, an in-progress research project that digitally maps former residential schools and connects the user to archival materials and oral histories. Skylee-Storm identifies with Kanien’kehá:ka and Irish identities, their ancestors originating from the Mohawk Nation of Kahnawà:ke and Newfoundland.


Louisa Orford has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History from McMaster University (2016) and an Advanced College Diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College (2018). Her primary area of research interest is 19th-20th century Canadian social history. Professionally, Louisa has worked with the Juno Beach Centre Association, the City of Ottawa Archives, the Guelph Civic Museum, and the Dundas Museum and Archives working in collections management, digitization, exhibition development, installation, and program development. She has also volunteered with the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, the Bytown Fire Brigade Museum and as a Content Consultant for The Confederation Debates. Louisa is particularly interested in the digitization of collections and archives for public access and collection longevity. Throughout her post-secondary career, Louisa has explored her passion for history and discovered a new interest in art history. Using the knowledge and skills she has acquired, Louisa hopes to explore the way history is perceived by the public and deepen her appreciation of its importance in society. Louisa is looking forward to studying at Western and hopes to explore new and exciting ways to involve the public in history!

Henrietta-Roi.jpgHenrietta Roi graduated from Queen’s University (2018) with an Honours B.A. in Art History. For the past four summers Henrietta has worked as a guide and supervisor at Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston. In this position she delivered programming and tours in both English and French and helped to develop future programs and methods of interpretation. While working at Fort Henry she was able to conduct research and aid in teaching information to incoming staff. From September to April of this past year Henrietta also volunteered with the Kingston Association of Museums. Volunteering provided her an opportunity to experience the histories of many different communities within the Kingston area. The Bring Your Thing events were a privilege to participate in as they were centred around members of the community bringing in objects in order to form an exhibition. Through this program, Henrietta looks forward to further exploring how communities create history in both formal and informal settings.

Leanna-Tran.jpgLeanna Tran graduated from Western University in 2018 with an Honours B.A. in History, where her research mainly focused on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Her interests lie in collections management, exhibit design, social history and memorialization. This past summer, Leanna worked at the Woodstock Art Gallery as a collections/curatorial assistant. There, she had the opportunity to help curate the Annual Juried Show: Visual Elements 60, as well as curate her own mini-exhibition, With Each Second That Passes. In the past, Leanna has volunteered at The Oxford County Archives, where she helped conserve and transcribe archival material. She also volunteers at Banting House National Historic Site in London, where she leads guided tours. Leanna is excited to be back at Western to continue her studies and is ready for the whole new set of challenges and experiences that await. 

Heather-Wilson.jpgHeather Wilson graduated from Laurentian University in 2015 with a B.A. (Honours Cum Laude) in Ancient Studies, her research interests being focused primarily on Roman Britain. In 2015-16 she completed two terms of the online MLitt in Scottish History through the University of Dundee; she then transferred to the University of Guelph where she completed a History M.A. with a focus on Early Medieval Scotland. Her MRP examined the concept of remoteness from the perspective of authors writing in Northern Britain in the late 7th and early 8th centuries C.E. Heather’s work experience with Public History includes both a summer working at the City of Greater Sudbury Archives and the summer of 2018 working as an Assistant Curator at the Komoka Railway Museum. In her spare time this past summer she volunteered as a Collections Assistant at the Elgin County Railway Museum. Her experience at Komoka was particularly valuable as she was given considerable independence in choosing how to approach projects she was assigned and in the pursuit of her own projects. She hopes to be able to continue with some of these projects on a volunteer basis over the next year. She is looking forward to the year ahead, learning more ways to preserve the past and share her passion for history with the public.  

2017-18 Students

Mackenzie BrashMacKenzie Brash graduated from Western University (2017) with an Honours Specialization in History, where her research interests mainly focused on twentieth-century Canadian and American History. It was during her year abroad in Malta that social history and memory began to interest her. Her main interest is in how communities commemorate events and immerse them into their national identities. For the past five years, she has been involved with the Friends of Keewatin, a not-for-profit group dedicated to preserving the historical steamship the S.S. Keewatin. This past summer, MacKenzie worked with Woodland Cemetery as a monument conservator, where she developed a Canada150 walking tour and gained valued experience working with the media. She looks forward to returning to Western in the fall and expanding her education in public and digital history.

Untitled.pngHaley Caldwell graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Arts (Hons) in History, where her research interests were primarily 19th and 20th century Canada. Hayley has a passion for oral history and through working on several oral history projects throughout her undergraduate degree, she became interested in the field of public history.  Her professional experience as a public historian began in 2012, when she spent two summers working as an interpreter with Parks Canada at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. She has since completed an internship with Canada’s History Magazine and worked as a tour guide in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District, where she delivered architectural, thematic, and culinary tours of the neighbourhood. Hayley was part of the Canadian Museum for Human Right’s inaugural team of interpreters in 2014 and has worked at Canada's newest national museum over the past three years.  In her role at the CMHR, she delivered tours and school programs to a wide range of audiences, facilitated dialogue sessions, delivered in gallery programming, delivered public talks and performances, and assisted with special events. She is looking forward to dedicating a year to her studies, and is eager to see how she can apply this new knowledge and skills to her career. 

Brooke CampbellBrooke Campbell graduated from Dalhousie University (2016) with an Honours B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science, where her research interests were primarily 19th and 20th century American history. For the past two summers, she has worked as an interpretive guide at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta. While there, she researched, wrote, and delivered tours, gave presentations, and assisted with special events. During her undergraduate degree, many of Brooke’s classes emphasized the ways that historical interpretation has changed over the years. This piqued her interest in how the public understands the past. In particular, Brooke is interested in moving the discussion beyond the official narrative that is often taught at museums and historical sites. She looks forward to gaining new perspectives through this program and exploring how to best engage the public in the historical dialogue

Alex Fitzgerald-BlackAlex Fitzgerald-Black graduated with distinction from Wilfrid Laurier University (2012) with an Honours BA in History and Political Science. He then completed a Master of Arts in Military History at the University of New Brunswick (2014). He has spent parts of the last three years turning his thesis into a manuscript due to be published in June 2018 by Helion & Company. Eagles over Husky, Alex's first book, is an account of the Allied air forces’ crucial role the Battle of Sicily, an important step to victory in the Second World War. His previous work experience includes a summer at the Billy Bishop Home and Museum in Owen Sound, Ontario and project work at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society. Alex is excited to learn and apply new methods and techniques for 'putting history to work in the world' this year!

Thora Gustafsson graduated from Huron at Western University (2016) with an Honours Specialization in History and a Minor in Art History with distinction where her research was primarily focused on nineteenth and twentieth century European History and Indigenous history from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. She has spent the last eight years volunteering and working at the Royal Ontario Museum in both March Break and Summer Holiday Camps as well as in Winter Break and Weekend Gallery educational events for children of all ages. Over the past year, she has been volunteering in various archives around Toronto including The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives, where she worked as a genealogist; St. James Cathedral Archives, where she did research for and helped with the design of a temporary exhibit; the Canadian National Ballet Archives, where she re-organized the Marketing Department Fonds; and the Center for Mental Health and Addiction archives, where she completed the organization of and finding aid for the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital/Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Fonds. In her third and fourth years of her undergraduate study, she also volunteered at the Anglican Huron Diocese Archives. Her experiences in undergraduate courses, museums and archives have fueled her interest in historical interpretation and making history more exciting, relatable and engaging for the public. She is particularly excited about digital history and how to engage the public further in historical discourse.

Lauren LambeFrom Newfoundland and Labrador, Lauren Lambe is a recent graduate of Memorial University where she completed an Honours BA in History with a minor in French. In the last year of her studies, Lauren was the president of Memorial's History Society and throughout her undergraduate degree, she worked in Memorial's Maritime History Archive where she digitized crew records for an online database. She also worked as a student editor with the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website, and learning about the process of making the province's history accessible to the public is where her interest in Public History began. Lauren's interests centre around public memory and the First World War. Her Honours dissertation, written under the supervision of Dr. Justin Fantauzzo, discussed aspects of performative masculinity and how they influences the sexual lives of British soldiers outside the Western Front during the First World War, and the oral testimonies they gave to interviewers at the Imperial War Museum decades later. Lauren is interested in all aspects of the First World War, especially the evolution of public memory, and she hopes to continue this study in her time at Western.

Delany LeitchOriginally from the rural community of Wallacetown, Ontario, Delany Leitch recently graduated with distinction from the University of Ottawa with an Honours B.A. with Specialization in History. During her studies, she pursued her passion for the study of the Second World War and the Holocaust, learned German, and was a member of the Bytown Museum's Youth Council. Professionally, she has has worked as a summer archivist assistant at Elgin County Archives, developed a digital cataloguing system and managed records for two cemetery boards in West Elgin, Ontario. She has been involved both as a volunteer and employee at Backus-Page House Museum in Tyrconnell, Ontario, for over five years, where she has cultivated a broad range of experience, and has maintained a weekly historical blog through the Tyrconnell Heritage Society's platform for three years. Delany is looking forward to an exciting year ahead at Western and hopes to gain new practical knowledge while using her skills to benefit the community. 

Martha SellensMartha Sellens has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Classics from the University of King's College (2009), and a Masters of Arts in Classical Archaeology from the University of British Columbia (2012). Her research interests include Roman Provincial Archaeology, culture contact in the material record, and Maritime History from ancient times through the modern era. She is an alumna of the Brigantine St. Lawrence II sail training program, and has also voyaged on the Schooner Appledore V and the HMS Bounty. She worked with the San Felice Archaeological Field School in Southern Italy, excavating a Roman Imperial Villa for four dig seasons and was a supervisor in both 2010 and 2011. Her duties included teaching archaeological methods, cataloguing finds, and creating and archiving site records. She has also volunteered with the Kaukana Project excavating a late Roman/early Byzantine house in Sicily. Martha is looking forward to exploring new opportunities to share the material record and living history projects with the public.

Madisen Sollars graduated from the University of Regina with a B.A. in History and German. Her particular areas of interest were twentieth century European and Canadian history. To supplement her German education, Madisen studied in Germany for two consecutive summers. After completing her undergraduate degree, Madisen worked at a military auction house as part of a research team creating a unique database of military orders, decorations, and uniforms. In addition to her work on the database, she translated and transcribed German documents and award certificates. While working at the auction house, she volunteered at the Dundas Museum and Archives and the Oakville Museum. Madisen is interested in public memory and creating historical discourse which extends beyond traditional narratives.