Current Graduate Students


Anna Bennett is a fourth-year doctoral candidate of culture, gender, and society in Renaissance Italy and premodern Europe, working under the guidance of Dr. Guido Ruggiero. She is particularly interested in analyzing witchcraft and popular magic in early modern Venice through the lens of material culture studies. The culmination of research conducted in the Venetian state archives in summer 2016, her seminar paper entitled “Bagatelle or Stregamenti: The Spiritual Potential of Material Objects and Spaces in Late Rinascimento Venice, 1580-1630” received the 2017 Journal of Women’s History Graduate Student Article Prize and the 2018 UM Center for the Humanities Early Modern Essay Prize. Emerging from archival work conducted while an independent researcher at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice during summer 2017, Anna’s dissertation examines the objects and places described in anti-magic cases of the Venetian Holy Office from the late sixteenth through the early eighteenth centuries. She argues that by studying the objects and places associated with nebulous magical beliefs, we can better understand how ordinary Venetians defined, delineated, and engaged with the material and spiritual realms in daily life. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Anna is returning to Venice to conduct the fall semester of her research assistantship at the Venetian state archives, and will continue her writing as a Spring 2019 Dissertation Fellow at the UM Center for the Humanities. Anna received her B.A. in History from Berry College in Rome, Georgia (2012) and completed her M.A. in History at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingston, Rhode Island (2015). While at URI, Anna wrote her master’s thesis on politically-motivated accusations of witchcraft brought against socially influential women throughout the late medieval period, and presented this research at the ninth annual University of Rhode Island Graduate Conference in 2015. Anna can be reached by email at

JACOB BRANNUMJacob (Jake) Brannum

Jacob (Jake) Brannum is a third-year PhD student studying the social, cultural, and political history of late medieval and early modern Europe under the direction of Dr. Guido Ruggiero. His work focuses primarily on analyzing the myriad of factors that contributed to instances of social tension, violence, and resistance to government authority in the city-states of Renaissance Italy. Jake’s current research project attempts to offer a fresh look at a topic in Venetian history—the War of Chioggia—that has long been identified as integral to the city’s course of development. Employing previously unconsidered archival evidence, his argument shifts the focus of the war away from more traditional narratives centered on military and economic activity in favor of the effects of the war on the city and its inhabitants. Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Jake received his B.A. in Honors History from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2016 before beginning his graduate studies at the University of Miami that same year. He has previously worked as a tutor for students of history and economics as well as those who study the Latin and Italian languages. Jake has also served as a historic interpretation intern at Bulltown National Battlefield near Burnsville, WV, and as an intern at the Museo di Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, Italy. He can be reached at 


Matthew Davidson, a fourth-year doctoral student, works on U.S. empire and public health in the Caribbean during the early twentieth century. He is currently studying under the direction of Dr. Kate Ramsey. Matthew completed his M.A. from Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, where he wrote a thesis on the 1915-1934 American occupation of Haiti. He was subsequently employed as the Coordinator of the Peterborough chapter of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. Matthew has presented at a number of international conferences, has contributed book reviews and entries for various journals and projects, and has also published articles in a number of magazines. Matthew can be reached at .

GABRIELA (GABY) FAUNDEZGabriela (Gany) Faundez

Gabriela (Gaby) Faundez is a third-year doctoral student studying the development of cultural identity during the Anglo-Norman period, under the supervision of Dr. Hugh Thomas. She is particularly interested in researching the ways in which the Norman invasion altered cultural expressions such as Anglo-Saxon hagiographies. Gaby grew up in Virginia and graduated from Marymount University in the Spring of 2010 with her Honors and Bachelor's degree in History. She obtained her M.A. in the Humanities in the Fall of 2012 with her thesis “ ‘The English Exodus to Ionia’: The identity of Anglo-Saxon Varangians in the service of Alexius Comnenos I (1081-1118)”. After a year of working for the historic district of Alexandria, VA, she returned to Marymount University as an Adjunct and later an Assistant Professor for the History and Politics Department, where she has taught: Western Civilization I & II, Research and Writing, Women and Power, Modern British History 1603 - Present, Renaissance & Reformation, and Virginia History.  Gaby can be reached at . 

Eric Griffin Eric Griffin 

Eric Griffin is a first year doctoral student studying Latin American history under the direction of Dr. Eduardo Elena. He is interested in social conflict and identity formation in the Southern Cone during the Cold War. Eric completed his MA at Marquette University in 2017, served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Corrientes, Argentina in 2013, and completed his BA in History and Spanish at Southern Virginia University in 2010. Eric can be reached at


Elizabeth Gonzalez Jimenez

Elizabeth Gonzalez Jimenez is a first year doctoral student in Latin American history. Her research interests include social, cultural and political construction and transformation of sexual and gender identities in Latin America, She is particularly interested in culture and gender history in post-colonial Mexico. Her advisor is Professor Martin Nesvig. Elizabeth received her B.A. in History and Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a former McNair Scholar and can be reached at


Nelson Marques

I am a second year student under the supervision of Professor Guido Ruggiero. My work deals with soldiers, warfare, and literature in Brazil and the wider Portuguese world during the  seventeenth century. I am particularly interested in the ways soldiers recounted their experiences and how these accounts compare to literary representations of warfare. I received my B.A. and M.A. from York University in Toronto, Canada. I can be reached at



Ashley Mateiro

Ashley M. Mateiro is a graduate student of African History at the University of Miami.  She is working with Dr. Edmund Abaka.  She received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Relations (2006) and her M.A. in History (2010) from Florida International University.  Her research interests include 20th century African history with a focus on Lusophone and African-American studies. Focusing on Gulf Oil Corporation's operations in Angola, Ashley's dissertation explores the dynamics of Western and Portuguese interests in African natural resources, particularly in Angola's decolonization struggle and the destabilization of southern Africa. She can be contacted at: .  


Dale Pappas is a first year doctoral student studying modern Europe with a specialization in the Mediterranean. Dale is particularly interested in the political and cultural impact of architecture and urban planning in Liberal and Fascist Italy. He works under Professor Dominique Reill. Dale earned his B.A. in History and Italian Studies from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2014. Dale recently served as a Hellenic Legacy Fellow at the American College of Greece in Athens, Greece. He can be reached at


nicole-sintesNicole Sintes

Nicole Sintes is a first-year doctoral student in Early Modern Europe focusing on science and medicine under the direction of Dr. Mary Lindemann. She is coming from France where she completed a M.A. degree in History, summa cum laude, at Aix-Marseilles University in 2005. Her thesis was on the arrival of exotic medicinal plants in the 16th century, and their impact on European medicine and techniques as well as knowledge and economic circuits. She has long been interested in Spain, in Economic History, and in plants used as raw materials for chemical products. She earned a first Master’s degree, summa cum laude, in 1999. Her thesis, “The soda market in Marseilles in the 18thcentury; From Spanish soda plants to Leblanc’s chemical soda (1749 – 1807)” was awarded the prize of the Association for the Development of Economic History and published in 2000. She enrolled at the University Paris 1 – Sorbonne in 2006, and earned a Marie Curie Fellowships for Early Stage Research Training. She spent several months at the University Pablo de Olavide of Seville, conducting researches at the Archivo General de Indias and the Protocolos Archives. She presented several conference papers in Marseilles, Paris, Seville and Venice. Some of them have been published in academic journals. In 2016, she has decided to complement her cursus by a B.A. in Modern Languages Applied to Business to improve her language skills. Meanwhile, she has worked as a History and Geography tutor for people coming back to studies at the University of Toulon. She is particularly interested in the Early Modern Studies Concentration offered by the University of Miami. Nicole can be reached at

Dieyun SongDieyun Song

Dieyun Song is a first-year doctoral student in Latin American History focusing on political economy and diplomacy under the direction of Dr. Eduardo Elena. She is particularly interested in analyzing narcotic-driven policies on militarization and their connections with human rights violations, natural resources development, and foreign relations dynamics. Dieyun grew up in Beijing, China, and earned her B.As in Management and Economic Crime Prevention & Investigations from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia in May 2015. She continued her education at Lynchburg College and obtained her Master’s Degree in History in May 2017. Although specializes in Latin American History, Dieyun also has a strong interest in race relations and social motilities. During her graduate study, Dieyun conducted research on race, freedom, and social mobility of the immigrant, free colored, and white ironworkers of Lynchburg, Virginia during 1850 to 1860, and presented at the Virginia Social Science Association Conference in April 2016. Dieyun currently serves as the history department senator for UM’s Graduate Student Association, and can be reached via email at


Stephanie Skenyon

Stephanie joined the History Department as a PhD candidate in the fall of 2013.  Originally from New England, she attended the College of the Holy Cross, achieving a B.A. in History and English Literature in 2002, and the University of York (United Kingdom), earning an M.A. in Medieval History in 2006.  She spent the last several years working in public history, and, in 2008, she joined the New Hampshire Historical Society staff as Director of Education.  At the Society, Stephanie wrote and delivered history programs to students and workshops to teachers focused on effectively using primary source documents in history classrooms, and she was responsible for the pursuit of grant funding for and the effective management of a department that served the state-wide education community.  While in New Hampshire, Stephanie taught history courses both in-class and online at Manchester Community College, and she served as an officer on the New Hampshire Council for the Social Studies and Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire boards.  Advised by Professor Hugh Thomas, Stephanie is particularly interested in local English chronicles composed between the 11th and 13th centuries and the different ways that monastic communities are portrayed by their authors in these sources.  Stephanie lives in Homestead with her partner, Stephen, and their five naturally demanding cats.  Stephanie can be reached by e-mail at:

Camilo VeraJ. Camilo Vera

J. Camilo Vera is a graduate student whose work deals with the history of science, medicine, public health, and the African diaspora in Latin America. His research examines the links among bioprospecting enterprises in the region, cartography, frontier encounters, the circulation of scientific ideas across political and geographic spaces, and the development of national identities in the nineteenth century. J. Camilo has presented at several academic conferences and has contributed to the Digital Library of the Caribbean’s Haiti: An Island Luminous. A former Florida Fund for Minority Teachers scholar, he received both his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Miami. He works under the direction of Professor Eduardo Elena and can be contacted at


Drew Wofford

Drew Wofford has had a life long interest in commercial aviation; having initially completed an undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and a Masters in English Literature, he decided to compliment his work in literature with a second Masters in US Diplomatic History, which he completed in May 2013 at North Carolina State University. His Masters thesis explores the effect that civil aviation had on the "Special Relationship" between the United States and Great Britain, how it challenged it, tested it, and ultimately reinforced it. His thesis was awarded honors for Best Thesis in History for 2013 by NC State. He has presented conference papers at Texas A&M, Temple, NC State and UNC-Charlotte; later in 2012 he presented in London, where his paper will soon be published in the electronic conference proceedings. His first published work is a paper on history and memory, and is a deep textural study of the Civil War diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut. It was published by Cambridge Scholars Press in December 2012 in a compendium titled "Lesser Civil Wars – Civilians Defining War and the Memory of War." For the academic year 2012 – 2013 he worked as an Adjunct Professor of History at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh. He has also worked as a Teaching Assistant at NC State for a number of years.

Drew enters the PhD program at the University of Miami with a concentration in Modern Europe, working with Professor Michael Miller. For his dissertation he plans on extending his previous work and explore the effect that civil aviation has had on Great Britain's relationship with Europe – France in particular – and how that affected its relationship with the United States. Using Concorde, and perhaps the Airbus Consortium, as case studies, the paper will explore how civil aviation can be used to forge relationships between nations, and to destroy them.  He can be reached at


Julio Yarce is a PhD Candidate with a cultural and political interest in twentieth-century Imperial French history, in particular Islam and immigration in interwar France. His dissertation project focuses on French domestic and foreign policy regarding Islam and Arab nationalist diasporas in Europe in the early 1920s. Julio received his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook in History, and Cinema and Cultural studies (2010). He completed a master’s in French Studies at New York University in 2015. His main research interests concern the representation of immigrants and foreigners in, but not limited to, French cinema, and how the construction and stigmatization of outsiders takes place in moments of crisis like war, epidemics, and economic decline. He recently presented at the English department graduate student symposium, Envisioning Horizons, a paper on consumerism and nihilism in Jean Rouch's Moi Un Noir, Claude Chabrol's Les Bonnes Femmes and Jean-Luc Godard's Deux ou Trois Choses que je sais d'elle. He can be reached via email