Graduate Students

arnold,-matthew.pngMatthew Arnold

Hi – I’m Matthew Arnold. Up until moving to Oxford, I lived my whole life in North Canton, OH. I commuted to my undergraduate studies at the University of Mount Union, where I dual-majored in International Affairs & Diplomacy and History. I’ve been called: “Pizza Fiend,” “Future Supervillain” and “Unexpected Delight.” As of now, I’m working with Dr. Conn to graduate through the examination tract, focusing with him on American politics during the Great Depression. I like teaching as a TA and the pizza at Armstrong Student Center is pretty good.


Abdul Walid Azizi Abdul Walid Azizi

I am Abdul Walid Azizi, from Afghanistan. In my undergraduate, I studied International and Comparative Politics, Literature, and History at the American University of Central Asia. I am a first-year graduate student and a graduate assistant in the Department of History at Miami University. My primary research interest is the modern history of Afghanistan and the contestation of powerful states in Afghanistan; this would include the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1900s and the early 20th-century presence of the United States in Afghanistan.


cherry-zachary.pngZachary Cherry

My name is Zachary Cherry and I am a first-year graduate assistant in the history department of Miami University. I also obtained my undergraduate degree in history from Miami University, while also obtaining a minor in German. My research focuses primarily on the Weimar Republic and the rise of nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. The time that I have apart from my research and school is often spent playing games with my family, spoiling my pets, or writing creatively.


conn-morgen.jpegMorgen Conn

My name is Morgen Conn and I am a first-generation student, currently in my second year of the History Master's Program. I graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, as well as a Minor in Studio Art. My research typically revolves around gender studies, disability studies, and marginalized histories; I am passionate about challenging traditional narratives and asking new questions. I would love to see any cute pictures of your pets!


photo of Laura JanosikLaura Janosik

My name is Laura Janosik and I am a second-year graduate student in the Department of History at Miami University. I completed a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in history along with two minors one in classics and another in human-animal interactions. My graduate research focuses on human-animal interaction in mid-nineteenth-century America. Specifically, I will be observing the pig industry in the Cincinnati area and the impact that technology from this period had on this industry and the pigs. In my free time, I enjoy being around animals and reading.


Luke-Marara.jpgLuke Marara

My name is Luke Marara and I was born and raised in Macheke, Zimbabwe. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in History with minors in German and Linguistics from the University of Zimbabwe in 2015. For my graduate research, I am interested in conducting historical research on educational disparities from the onset of colonialism (1890) to the present, particularly focusing on gender and rural-urban disparities in the educational sector. Another potential area of interest is commercial sex work and illegal trade at Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. During my spare time, I enjoy watching mars and moon landings, hunting, and playing social soccer with my friends.


Photo for Casey OlthausCasey Olthaus

My name is Casey Olthaus and I am a graduate assistant in the Department of History at Miami University. I am originally from Cincinnati and completed my bachelor’s degree in history along with a minor in sociology at the University of Cincinnati in 2017. After graduating, I moved abroad for several years and am excited to now be back in the US and returning to my research. My primary research interests are the history of medicine in early to mid-twentieth century US and European societies with a focus on the medical disparities experienced by women and gender minority populations. When I am not reading or researching, I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, and traveling.


soren-powell.jpgSoren Powell

My name is Soren Powell, and I am a second-year Graduate Assistant. My field of study is American history, and I am researching the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Although the rebellion only survived four years, its legacy has continued on for over one-hundred-and-fifty. I desire to understand what the tenets of the Lost Cause are and how it embedded itself into American culture, starting in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Apart from my historical background, I am a big fan of classic rock music, and I enjoy playing the guitar, playing video games, and reading literature in my free time. I can also whip out the harmonica in emergencies!

img_3359.jpgMikhail Svirin

My name is Mikhail Svirin (you can call me Mike), and I’m a first-year graduate student and graduate assistant at Miami. I was born and raised in Ukhta, which is a town in Northwestern Russia. I obtained my B.A. degree in History in Moscow at HSE University. My research interests include late Soviet and Post-Soviet history, especially socio-cultural aspects. I’m focusing on Soviet childhood, Soviet schools,  and the legacy of the Soviet period. I also have a strong interest in memory studies and public history. Outside of school, I enjoy discussing politics, playing video games with my friends, and watching animals on Instagram.

Photo of Sophia ToddSophia Todd

My name is Sophia Todd and I am a second-year graduate student. I grew up in West Chester, Ohio for most of my life and I love exploring Cincinnati every weekend. I went to Ball State University for my undergrad and while there I received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Studies Education along with a minor in African American Studies. My research here at Miami pertains to Black women's intersectional experiences at HBCUs from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Outside of school, I love to read, spend time with my friends and family, and travel to new destinations each year.


verniest-craig.jpgCraig Verniest

My name is Craig Verniest, I am a second-year Master's student and graduate assistant in the History Department at Miami. My research focuses on narratives of the Mexican Revolution and the role of discourse and power in constructing memory and meaning of revolutionary history in post-revolution México, as seen through the works and life of playwright Rodolfo Usigli. Hailing from Seattle, WA, in my free time I enjoy reading Spanish language literature and historical theory, listening to ‘90s rock, watching horror films, and hiking! You can find me most days of the week wandering the halls of Upham, perpetually exhausted, with a bottle of coffee in hand and about 30 books in my bag.