Meet Our Alumni

Meet Our Alumni

Alumni Profiles

 Jessica Leaf, 2014:

Jessica LeafMost people do not believe me when I say I was a history major. I mean, what does history have to do with saving people? The historian is that overly-erudite individual locked away in the library, a veritable Gollum mumbling "my precious" over fragments of ancient parchment and fossilized Viking feces (yes, there is such a thing).

 Since graduating from the University of Dallas in December 2013, I have been a part of The A21 Campaign, an international organization that works tirelessly to abolish the injustice of modern slavery in the 21st century. Through its four-prong approach, that is partnership, protection, prevention and prosecution, The A21 Campaign offers individuals of all ages, occupations and genders the opportunity to be modern abolitionists, using their unique skills and talents.

Yet, you may ask, what does that have to do with my degree? Everything.  As Confucius (purportedly) once said, "study the past if you would define the future." Through my study of history, I have been able to define a future where all men and women are free. Indeed, learning history at UD has given me a vision to fight for, much like Constantine's legendary Chi-Rho.

Grace Ballor, 2012:

Grace Ballor

I am a historian interested in the international political economy of contemporary Europe, the international influence of economic actors, and the intersections of global capitalism and global governance. I am currently Assistant Professor of International Economic History at Bocconi University. Before moving to Milan, I held research fellowships at Harvard Business School, the European University Institute, and the Graduate Institute Geneva. I earned my PhD at UCLA. 

At Bocconi, I co-direct the research stream on Economic & Monetary Integration at the Bocconi Lab for European Studies, serve as the institutional representative of the CIVICA research project “Europe Revisited,” and am a member of the Dondena Research Centre for Social Dynamics and Public Policy. Elsewhere, I am also Associate Fellow at the Centre for Business, Human Rights, and the Environment at Nova Law School in Lisbon. And in 2023-2024, I am a research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies (KFG) on "Universalism and Particularism" in Contemporary European History at LMU Munich. 

"The University of Dallas History Department, its rigorous curriculum and generous faculty mentors led me from my early academic career as a Classicist through the timeline of Western Civilization to a Politics degree focused on Enlightenment thought and eventually to a History thesis on the E.U.s Common Agricultural Policy and its effect on French wine growers. It was that thesis, advised by UD's Charles Sullivan, which propelled me into doctoral research on the European Union. Such a progressive trajectory actually proves the value of the historical methodology and an education grounded in its attention to primary source documents, respect for contingency, tools of analysis, and critical thinking, an education that readies one for success in any field. "

Jose Healy, 2012:

Jose HealyJose graduated from the University of Dallas in 2012, a few months after writing his history thesis which assessed the impact of the emerging U.S. Federal Reserve System and its policies in the years after the monumental stock market crash of 1929.

The research and writing skills honed through UD's liberal arts education, and the history program specifically, helped him transition to his current position at The Wall Street Journal, where he has helped produce the Latin American online and print editions since September 2012 by translating, adapting and editing articles. Though Livy, Homer and More don't make the headlines every day at the Journal, the intellectual habits formed from studying these authors and many others during his four years at UD continue to inform his daily decisions and actions, both inside and outside the office.

Madeleine McDowell (Klem), 2012:

Madeleine KlemMadeleine McDowell is a historian of the nineteenth century whose research has focused on the religious, cultural, and intellectual history of the English-speaking world. She holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame.  She recently published with Monica Kelm, "Pity For Evil" SUFFRAGE, ABORTION, AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT IN RECONSTRUCTION AMERICA. 

The department, and particularly the experience of writing my senior thesis, provided an excellent introduction to the discipline. My current research developed out of and builds on my senior thesis. But perhaps more importantly, studying history at UD in the context of the Core trained me to assume that there should be conversations across and among disciplines. And that habit, I am convinced, makes for more interesting and compelling historical questions. UD's combination of strong majors, like history, and the Core's breadth and depth is powerful and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Peter Raia, 2012:

Peter RaiaMy senior thesis, titled "The Baconian Legacy in Great Britain: Three Moments in the History of Science and Technology," explored and expounded upon the substantial association between the program of Baconian science and the process of industrialization in Great Britain, which contributed to the significant rise in wealth in the West. Writing this thesis truly was the capstone of my education at UD, as it allowed me to combine the diverse elements of a liberal arts education into a single unified project. 

I learned skills that have been crucial in helping me develop and progress as an individual and as a professional. From Professor Cupp I learned the importance and utility of always having a detailed outline of where I want to go. From Professor Gibson I learned how to make detailed but concise presentations, as well as how to effectively use PowerPoint presentations without boring my students or audience. I am eternally grateful to all of my professors at UD, but especially to Dr. Sullivan, who taught me how vital it is, not only to think critically, but to think creatively. His brilliance and passion for history have been truly inspirational for me.

I am currently both the Social Media Director and the Stage Manager for The All-American Boys Chorus, a world-renowned, non-profit organization of music education and leadership training for boys. My training in the History Department at UD has enabled me to better analyze our situation, and to think creatively on how to improve it.  In addition to working for the AABC, I have also been spending my time since graduation volunteering as an Adult Literacy Tutor at the local library. 

Monica Abbracciamento, 2011: 

Monica AbbracciamentoMonica graduated from the University of Dallas in May 2011, having combined her history degree with an International Studies concentration.  She wrote her senior thesis "Woodrow Wilson and Mexico: Writing Large in a Small Place," on American involvement in the 1910 Revolution.  She is now an advertising Account Executive. Upon graduation, she spent a year in New York City, working on the American Express brand at Ogilvy and Mather. In the fall of 2012, Monica joined The Richards Group, where she is currently responsible for managing the Wawa brand, overseeing client relationships and all aspects of creative development and execution.

Kaitlyn Willy, 2011:

Kaitlyn WillyWhen asked what was the most fun experience of their college career, most UD students tend to talk about Rome. For Kaitlyn Willy of the class of 2011, the answer was instead writing her History thesis about J.R.R. Tolkien's life as a study in classical pedagogy with Dr. John Sommerfeldt as her advisor.  With a concentration in Ancient Greek and her BA in History, Kaitlyn was well prepared for the Echo Program at the University of Notre Dame, the faith formation and leadership program through which she received her MA . The History program at UD granted Kaitlyn a better understanding of the Church in the history of the world as well as a thorough knowledge of Church History, both of which have been extremely beneficial in her graduate studies and in her job at Butler University as the Director of Catholic Campus Ministry. 

Aaron Linderman, 2006:

lindermanAaron Linderman graduated from UD in 2006 with a History major and concentrations in International Studies and Medieval & Renaissance Studies.  He wrote a thesis on the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the British-American military committee that planned much of World War II.  While at UD he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta and was a recipient of the Fr. Louis J. Leikai award for excellence in history.

Aaron earned an MA in Statecraft & National Security at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC and a PhD in History from Texas A&M.  He conducted research on a Smith Richardson fellowship in the US and Britain, examining Allied support to resistance movements during World War II and how they learned lessons from earlier conflicts.  His dissertation is now available, in revised form, as Rediscovering Irregular Warfare:  Colin Gubbins and the Origins of Britain's Special Operations Executive (Oklahoma, 2016).

Dr. Linderman is also the author of several book reviews, articles, conference papers, and a book chapter on topics involving irregular warfare, terrorism, and espionage.  Along the way he helped to excavate a pre-Columbia pueblo, interned at the Heritage Foundation, and did research for a 1946 homicide cold case.    

 Rachel Vogel, 2006: 

Rachel with KissingerRachel graduated from the University of Dallas in 2006. Her  senior thesis was on Lorenzo de'Medici and his patronage of art and philosophy in Renaissance Florence.   In 2009 Rachel earned her M.A. in International Political Economy at the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies in Brussels, Belgium. In Brussels she interned for Environmental Security International, assisting the CEO with policy meetings about water security for Afghanistan and Pakistan at think tanks, NATO and embassies. She also worked on the German Marshall Fund of the United States' 2009 Brussels Forum.

Returning to the States, Rachel interned for the German Marshall Fund in D.C. and then after moving back to Texas, she began work at the World Affairs Council of Houston. Rachel is now the Director of Programs at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. The Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote international awareness and understand and to enhance the region's global stature. She is a member of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations.  "I believe my History degree from the University of Dallas led me to graduate school, specifically in international affairs. Through studying history at UD I learned about how cultures and nations interacted in the past and I wanted to learn more about how this affects the way countries and states relate to each other now. Both degrees are beneficial to my current position in working with different embassies and foreign policy speakers."

Jerrime Fobbs, 2005: 

Jerrime FobbsFun-loving, professional, and dedicated to education are a few ways Jerrime Fobbs, Advanced English Educational Instructor, would describe himself. Jerrime assumed a teaching position in June, 2011 with Chungdham Institute.  He has used his training as a history major to instill in students the urgency in pursuing 'the truth'.

In 2006, he suffered an extreme medical complication . After a year long bout of medical treatment and rehabilitation, Jerrime attended law school only to discover a passion for teaching. He ended his legal studies and pursued alternative certification to fulfill a desire to share the knowledge that he had discovered at UD. By June 2011, Jerrime realized a dream in teaching, but 7,000 miles away in South Korea.

"Being around young children ages 10-16 has given me a greater perspective on the need for better education, regardless of the subject, for all children. My time under Professor Sullivan taught me not only patience, but a practical method to approaching challenges in a manner that would result in success," Jerrime recently said.  "I am forever grateful for my opportunity to have studied with the History professors and a host of other dedicated professionals at UD.  I feel inexpressibly blessed to have had to chance to live outside of my country and view the world all while teaching."