Meet The Mentors!

The mentors for the 2016-2017 school year have been finalized. Get to know us a little:

Arinn Amer


I’m in my third year at the GC and I do scholarship on the cultural and performative aspects of American crowd action in the 1760s and 70s. I’m a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Hunter and this year I’m also co-chairing the Public History Collective’s first conference. I’m happy to discuss interdisciplinarity, student-centered pedagogy, exploiting library resources, New York living, entering the program without a clearly delineated research area, and any other pressing or non-pressing issues.

Davide Colasanto

davideimgI am a History PhD student with a specialization in Modern European History. I have a strong interest in the interconnections between the history of sexuality and cultural military history.  I study the relationships between the Allied army and Italian civilians during the Allied occupation of Italy in World War 2 and its immediate aftermath (1943 – 1950). The main focus of my research is the notion of masculinity and its relations to war and violence. I’ve recently started teaching at Queens College and I’m madly loving it. I’m happy to help with undergraduate teaching issues, first/second year requirements, and international students’ adjustment to US academic system and life.

Erin Cully

img_0255I’m a third year PhD student researching US banking and finance in the late 20th century. I moved here from Canada, so if you are coming from abroad I can answer your questions about dealing with the International Students Office. As a peer mentor I look forward to speaking to new students about teaching, first year exams, attending conferences, academic anxieties, student activism, living in New York, and anything else that comes up. You can reach me at

Phelim Dolan
phelim-dolan-for-mentor-programI have returned to graduate school after a career in the film and television business where I wrote, produced and directed commercials, music videos, and short films. I graduated from Brown University in 1985 with a degree in English Literature, specializing in Early Modern dramatic literature. I am now in my third year at the Graduate Center where I focus on Early Modern Ireland and England. I am interested in the interaction of Early Modern religion and politics as well as book history. As a mentor I think I have (hopefully) valuable experience with pursuing graduate studies after / while pursuing another career.

John Kunicki

img_0667I’m in my fourth year studying the intellectual history of African-American political movements in the Civil Rights and Black Power periods. Happy to assist with the transition to graduate school (particularly coming from college); organization/study strategies for exams and seminar papers; balancing teaching and being a student; getting back on track after academic setbacks; and living healthfully and frugally as a grad student in New York. I can be reached at

Miriam Liebman



I am in my third year and study early US history with an emphasis on American women in Paris and London. I am also co-chair of CUNY EARS for the 2016-2017 academic year. I teach US History at Queens College. I am one of the co-founders, along with Davide, of the GC mentor initiative, “Teaching  Conversations.” I can be reached at


Mark Soriano

11863480_10153142563718507_5849100434907649801_nI’m a second year student on the modern European history side, broadly focusing on 18th/19th century Britain, specifically popular culture in the mid/late-Victorian period. I also teach American history at Lehman College. I would be happy to discuss anything (like last night’s Drag Race episode), but more to the point: my experiences studying for first year exams, teaching for the first time (including developing a syllabus), planning for first year papers, and balancing grad student life with part time jobs in the non-academic world. Please reach out to me at!

Chris Rominger

rominger-bio-photo-portraitAs a 5th-year PhD candidate in the History program, I study migration and political consciousness in the early 20th century Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on Tunisians during and following the First World War. I’m eager to help my fellow students with teaching, honing in on a dissertation topic, applying for grants, presenting at conferences, and overcoming the stresses and challenges of life as a graduate student in NYC. Feel free to email me at

Katrina Wheeler


I am a fourth-year PhD Candidate in early modern European history. My dissertation is on French Protestant (Huguenot) religious experience during the French Revolution, particularly their use of the Psalms in liturgical and devotional practices. I also teach at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I am happy to offer advice on navigating the first year in the history program, adjusting to life as a grad student in NYC, and preparing for the oral exams.

Mentors Emeritae

Megan Brown

I am completing my dissertation, which focuses on decolonization and European integration (more specifically: the example of Algeria’s status in France and Europe in the post-war era). Because I spent this past year conducting research in France and Italy, I am eager to discuss strategies of locating and researching in archives. I am also happy to talk through the grant application process.

Katie Uva

I’m an ABD student at the Graduate Center whose dissertation focuses on urbanism at the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. I’ve taught for several semesters at Brooklyn College and Lehman College, and worked previously as a WAC Fellow at Lehman and an Mellon Predoctoral Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York. Please get in touch with me if you have questions about teaching, public history, or working during grad school:

We’re looking forward to working with you this year!