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New Degree Candidates in History 

 New History Graduate Student Profiles, 2022-23

 Keri Blair

Keri Blair is a first-generation college student from Calhoun, TN. She earned a BA in History from Lee University in Cleveland, TN before attending graduate school at East Tennessee State University. She completed her MA in the Spring of 2020 and has come to Purdue to pursue a PhD in History. As a lifelong equestrian, her research interests focus on early modern England and horse culture. Her master’s thesis analyzed equestrianism used in coronation ceremonies while examining the rise of horse culture in Tudor England. She will be pursuing a PhD under the guidance of Dr. Melinda Zook.


Srishti Dutta Chowdhury

Srishti Dutta Chowdhury has a BA and MA in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She is a second-generation refugee from East Pakistan, which has had a profound impact on how she approaches the question of agency on memory, identity-formation and down-top history-writing at large. Her research interests lie in modern South Asian history focusing on migration, displacement, refugee-migrant identities, statelessness and citizenship in connection to India and Bangladesh post-1970. She will be working with Dr. Tithi Bhattacharya.


 John Huggins

John Huggins comes back to Purdue with a BA in Political Science with a minor in History. He is a life-long Civil War and World War II buff, having collected and read many books on these two conflicts. He plans on eventually either teaching military history, working for the U.S. Government as a military intelligence analyst, or attending law school. John is pursuing an MA in U.S. History at Purdue, where he plans to focus on the comparisons between the U.S. military performance in both the Vietnam War and the Afghan War. His academic advisor is Dr. Randy Roberts.


 Shelby Jones

Shelby Jones earned her BA in History-Social Science Education from Millikin University. While at Millikin, she also competed on the women’s varsity tennis team. Shelby is now pursuing her PhD in History at Purdue. Her research interests revolve around US political, economic, and cultural engagement with the Arab world within the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as modern Middle Eastern society. She will be working under the guidance of Dr. Stacy Holden.


 Anisha Kar

Anisha Kar earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the Rashtreeya Vidyalaya college of Architecture in India. From there, she went on to earn an M.Sc. in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute in New York. A second-generation immigrant, her appreciation for India's biased history turned into a professional endeavor while she completed her master's thesis on contested narratives rooted in the disputed Saraswati River. Her research interests lie in weeding through memory and history, looking at how one transforms and distorts the other; and how the gatekeepers of history dictate what a nation remembers. She is pursuing a PhD in History under the guidance of Dr. Tithi Bhattacharya.


Cathy Kerton-Johnson

Cathy Kerton-Johnson graduated with her MA in Early European History at Ball State University. Cathy’s research focus is the changing nature of faith practices over the English Reformation, with a particular concentration on aspects of material and embodied faith expressions. Born and raised in South Africa, she lived with her family in England for seven years before moving to Indiana. She lives on a homestead farm in Upland with her husband, a flock of sheep and two college-aged children, and owns a local European-style cafe that she opened in 2015. She will be working with Dr. Melinda Zook.


 Stefano Palermo

Stefano Palermo was born and bred in Rome, Italy, and earned his BA and MA at La Sapienza University. He is broadly interested in European social history, history from below, and political economy. His current research focuses on the rise of Neoliberalism within the European integration context in Italy, France, and West Germany. He will be pursuing his PhD under Dr. Will Gray's guidance. Outside history, Stefano's main interests are heavy metal, cooking, and AS Roma soccer club.


 Secret Palermo

Secret Permenter is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to attend graduate school. She graduated from Hope College with a BA in History and Political Science and focused primarily on American History and Politics. Under the guidance of Dr. Yvonne Pitts, she will be pursuing an MA at Purdue with plans to study Disability history in the United States. 



Alicia Venchuck

Alicia Venchuk received an Honors BA in English with a Minor in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Policy from Michigan State University. She is pursuing a PhD in Twentieth-Century U.S. History at Purdue under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Cramer Brownell. Alicia plans to focus on women’s and gender issues, labor history, and social policy, including the relationship between history and public policy. Alicia is also a musician who in her spare time enjoys playing jazz and blues guitar as well as studying the history of the music.