Graduate Students

Corinne Bermon, a graduate student in¬†Archives, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2009 and 2015, respectively. Her fascination with Progressive Era women’s social activism led to her thesis exploring Rose Standish Nichols’ work in Boston and transnationally for the women’s peace movement of the early 20th century. Bermon’s extensive research led to her being awarded the 2015 American Studies Book Prize. She is currently completing her graduate work in the History Archives track program with her final project featuring the lives and work of the Everetts, a middle class family in the South End in the 1850s. Through a set of letters from parents living in the South End to their son living and working in Calcutta, India, this project will reveal the social lives of the family and the development of the South End.

Katie Burke, a graduate student in Public History, earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and studio Art from Earlham College in Indiana (2007). An interest in African and African American History led her to spend a semester in Tanzania and Kenya, and live with local families while she studied. That immersion experience coupled with her work as an Americorp case manager for homeless youth and a brief stint as a journalism intern in Sri Lanka, prompted her to explore a graduate degree in public history. She hopes to incorporate the unique individual voices and perspectives she encountered in Africa and Sri Lanka into the traditional historical narrative from which they are often underrepresented.


Claudia Heske earned her doctorate degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 while working full time as a program manager of a research training program in the biomedical sciences at UMass Boston. Her own research focuses on late nineteenth and early twentieth century media, especially around issues of representation of the First World War. She plans to receive her Certificate in Archives from UMass Boston by 2016 and further pursue historical research and entrance into the archival field.

Moriah Illsley, a graduate student in Public History, earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 2014. Moriah recently became interested, in part due to this class, in 20th Century history after spending much of her academic career studying the 18th and 19th Century. Moriah currently works at Lowell National Historical Park and hopes to have a career in the National Park Service.


Vini Maranan, a graduate student in History, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. Vini specializes in 20th century American history. He will be working his Master’s thesis on the U.S.’ role during Philippine Presisdent Ferdinand Marcos’ implementation of martial law.