M.A. in History Alumni

Andrew Vargas
2018, M.A., History

Currently: Ph.D. Student, West Virginia University

Duquesne History Alum Andrew VargasAndrew is currently a Ph.D. student and Graduate Instructor in West Virginia University's Department of History where he studies 20th Century American history with Drs. Elizabeth and Ken Fones-Wolf. His research interests broadly include the cultural history of the Cold War in America, Urban and Social History, and the history of American political culture. He received a B.A. in History from Mercyhurst University and a M.A. in American History from Duquesne University. 

"My time at Duquesne University was an invaluable experience both personally and professionally. While I am especially grateful for the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Simpson who-in both my coursework and my comprehensive exams-prepared me for the rigors of life as a doctoral student, the entire faculty at Duquesne was incredibly collaborative and supportive of my academic aspirations. In particular, Dr. Phillip Stelzel's classes on 20th Century Europe and the Cold War and Dr. Holly Mayer's class on early American History were major highlights of my Duquesne career. Under the direction of these faculty, I produced my first academic conference papers, which I was fortunate enough to present at some of Duquesne's excellent in-house conferences; the Graduate Student Research Symposium (GSRS) and the History Department's Mini-Con. I was also able to work on an article-length seminar paper, which serves as one of the pillars of my prospective dissertation research. Ultimately, my time at Duquesne was wonderful as both an independent experience and a building block to my current academic life. The personal and professional connections I made there continue to influence my academic outlook. " Contact Andrew!

David E. Harkleroad
2014, M.A., History

Currently: Internship and Education Program Coordinator, National Park Service, Pea Ridge National Military Park

Duquesne alum David Harkleroad stands in front of Alamo Building in San Antonio, Texas"I have worked in the Historical Interpretation Division of the National Park Service (NPS) for more than seven years and am currently the Internship and Education Program Coordinator at Pea Ridge National Military Park located in Benton County, Arkansas. Prior to this, my career with the NPS included positions at Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Friendship Hill National Historic Site, both in Pennsylvania. I've also worked on temporary assignment outside of the National Park Service at the Alamo State Historic Site in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to my career as a civilian, I have served over 16 years in the Pennsylvania National Guard and Army Reserve where I am now assigned to the Military History Detachment.

"I earned my Bachelor's degree in History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and my Masters in History from Duquesne University in 2014. Although I have spent my entire professional career in the public history field, my focus on historical research during my time at Duquesne significantly broadened and diversified my professional abilities, which has allowed me to work at a wide range of historical sites; it also gave me the skills needed to develop and deliver my own historical interpretations in a relevant and meaningful manner. The commitment of the faculty to student success extended beyond my time at Duquesne. Several professors, including Drs. Holly Mayer and Jay Dwyer, continue to provide professional support and guidance as I advance my career in the field of history. Whether one considers the History program or its faculty, I could not speak more highly of the academic and professional development that I received at Duquesne University." Contact David!

Ben Goff
2014, M.A., History

Currently: Ph.D. Student, Florida State University

Duquesne History Alum Ben Goff"Prior to entering Duquesne's M.A. program, I had already received a B.A. in history, but I had been completely unaware of historiographical trends, as well as different methodologies used by historians. At Duquesne, I found that individually constructed, directed-readings courses, and large, thesis-length projects complemented the seminar experience and made for a personalized and collaborative learning experience. I also benefited from mentoring by several of the department's faculty members to prepare me for the next step: applying to a PhD program. My time at Duquesne was well spent since it helped me to not only teach history at the community college level but also to earn fellowships for doctoral study, which I am currently pursuing at Florida State University." Contact Ben!


Lisa Sydeski
2014, M.A., History

Currently: Social Studies Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School

History Alum Lisa Sydeski"I am a Social Studies teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. I obtained my Bachelor's degree and Elementary/Secondary teaching certifications from St. Vincent College (1992) and my Master's degree in European History from Duquesne University (2014). The Duquesne Graduate History Program offered flexible evening classes. The program also offered the opportunity to increase the scope and depth of specific areas of historical content knowledge. The rigorous reading and writing provided a helpful guide to the historiography of modern European history. Duquesne University professors were knowledgeable, engaging and insightful in the classroom. The experience invigorated both the enthusiasm and expertise which transferred into the classroom. The professional relationships established through the MA program did not end after graduation, and, as a result, I was provided a unique opportunity to partner Thomas Jefferson High School with Duquesne University and develop a College in the High School Program. Junior and Senior Thomas Jefferson students can enroll in the courses "Shaping the Modern World" and/ or "Western Civilization II" to earn Duquesne college credits. The pioneering partnership established in 2015 allows students to tour campus, actively participate in a history lecture, and develop their historical research, thinking, and writing skills.

"I am an active member of the many professional organizations, including The College Board Advanced Placement European History Forum, Foreign Policy Research Institute, and The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. In 2015, I received the George C. Oehlmer Teacher Excellence Award through the World Affairs Council for my educational leadership in providing international learning opportunities for her students. Every two years, I lead a group of students on an enrichment travel opportunities to various European countries. In 2014, my students travelled to France, Switzerland, and Italy; in 2016, my students travelled to Germany, France, Monaco and Spain." Contact Lisa!

Bill McGovern
2010, M.A., History

Currently: Assistant Professor, Akita International University, Japan

Bill McGovern

"I am an assistant professor in the Global Studies program at Akita
International University
in Akita, Japan. My research interests include social and intellectual history, the history of childhood, social reform, social networks, and the Civil War era. I received a B.A. in History, Philosophy, and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. in United States history from Duquesne University. In September of 2016, I will complete a Ph.D. in United States history from the University of California, San Diego.

"At Duquesne University, I was enrolled in the M.A. in History program
and advised by Elaine Parsons. The faculty provided me with a solid foundation to pursue a doctorate. Over the course of my studies I developed close intellectual and professional relationships that helped me gain admission to several well-respected doctoral programs. Under the direction of these faculty I produced my first academic conference paper and a master's thesis. Many of the courses I took influenced my long-term research interests.
My studies benefited from a generous graduate assistantship from the Department of History." Contact Bill!