Meet the Mentors!

Davide Colasanto, Co-Coordinator
I’m a fifth year History PhD student specializing in post-war European History. I have a strong interest in the history of sexuality in relation to war and violence. My research investigates how Fascism, and World War II influenced Italian masculinity from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. I have been teaching for the past two years at Queens College and I’m madly loving it. I am happy to help with undergraduate teaching issues, first/second year requirements, orals’ preparation, and international students’ adjustment to US academic system and life.

Madeline DeDe-Panken, Co-Coordinator
MDP HeadshotI’m a third-year Americanist with a focus on women and gender. My current research looks at gender and botanical work at the turn of the twentieth century. I am co-chair of the CUNY Public History Collective and have served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Lehman College. I am happy to chat about teaching, organization strategies for life and research, managing grad student anxieties, maintaining that tricky work/life balance, and all things first and second year experience. Reach out anytime!

Arinn Amer
ArinnAmerI’m a fifth-year fellow working on a cultural history of tarring and feathering in early America. My research areas include eighteenth century Anglo-Atlantic culture and the theory and history of violence. I also teach at Hunter College and co-chair the CUNY Public History Collective. I’m happy to discuss interdisciplinarity, student-centered pedagogy, exploiting library resources, New York living, entering the program with a less clearly delineated research area, or anything else that might be helpful!

David Campmier
david-campmier.jpgI am a fifth-year doctoral student in the History Department. I study military history, specifically I conduct research about the American Civil War. As a teaching fellow and adjunct at Lehman, Brooklyn, and Queens Colleges, I have instructed courses including the first half of the American history seminar, a seminar on the history of the State of New York, and a writing course. I can speak to a variety of concerns such as teaching issues and preparation, research questions, and exam preparation (first year and oral exam). You can reach me at any time at

Erin Cully
I’m a fifth 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
I 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 fifth 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.

Kate Kelley
img_51481-e1534964661299.jpgI am a second-year Modern European historian at the Graduate Center and Graduate Teaching Fellow at Hunter College. My research centers around arts and politics in the German Democratic Republic with a focus on ballet and modern dance. I am happy to discuss any and all first-year concerns from administrative woes to exam prep as well as adjusting to the joys and stresses of graduate school in general. I’ve been living in NYC for over ten years so I can also speak to any concerns about life in the big apple! Feel free to reach out anytime to

Adam Kocurek
I am a third-year American History PhD student who focuses on 20th century social movements, LGBT history, and history of labor, sexuality and gender. In addition to the American History PhD, I am pursuing the certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offered at The Graduate Center. I currently am a Teaching Assistant at Hunter College for Modern American History. I can be reached at and am happy to answer any and all questions regarding my experience at The Graduate Center, living in NYC, etc.

Maddy Lafuse
Maddy Headshot 6.29.18I’m a second-year Americanist interested in the history of emotions in the early republic, and I’m excited to start teaching at Lehman this semester. I can talk from experience about coming to the history program with little undergraduate preparation in the discipline, but I am also always ready to grab lunch, get coffee or lend a ready ear. Feel free to contact me at


Miriam Liebman
miriam-e1534964837128.jpgI am a fifth year History PhD candidate with a focus on early US History. My dissertation looks at the ways American women acted in diplomatic capacities abroad, specifically in London and Paris, during the Age of Revolutions. I teach US History at Queens College and am a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at the CUNY Law School. I am one of the co-founders, along with Davide, of the GC mentor initiative, “Teaching  Conversations.” I served as co-chair of EARS for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. Feel free to email me at

Stephanie Makowski
I’m a third year modern Europeanist. I’m particularly focused on how gender, race, and sexuality intersect with national identity in 20th century Britain and its colonies. Come talk to me about any part of the first year experience – from getting through your first year exams to adjusting to a grad student schedule.


Carli Snyder
carli-snyder-photo.jpgI am a second-year History PhD student (focusing on the history and memory of the Holocaust) and a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Brooklyn College. As a peer mentor, I’m happy to talk to new students about the first year experience at the Graduate Center, preparation for written exams, and the transition to living in New York. You can reach me at


Helena Yoo
Helena YooI am a second-year History PhD student and focus on early America. I am particularly interested in questions about imperial connections, communication networks, and provincial identity. I am happy to talk about anything and everything about my experiences thus far at the GC and can answer questions about the first year experience (settling in, preparing for exams, etc) and about living in NYC! You can reach me at


Mentors Emeriti

Chris Rominger
I am a 2018 GC graduate and Assistant Professor at the University of North Florida. 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. Feel free to email me at

Katrina Wheeler
wheeler-pic-for-bios.jpgI am a sixth-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 am happy to offer advice using library resources, preparing for the oral exams, writing at different stages of the program, and the WAC experience.

Katie Uva
I’m an ABD student whose dissertation focuses on urbanism at the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. I’ve taught for several semesters at Brooklyn College, Lehman College, and Baruch, and worked previously as a WAC Fellow at Lehman and a Mellon Predoctoral Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York. I’m also Associate Editor of the Gotham Blog and active in the Public History Collective. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions about teaching, public history, or working during grad school: