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The Team

MITW 2015 Team

William Cowell

Will Cowell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in history. His interest in this project stemmed from previous work on his honors thesis and from a renewed appreciation for the city he has called home for the past four years. His academic focus is primarily historiographical, exploring how individual, often unspectacular actors fit into the larger historical record and how even the smallest voices of the past have influenced global conversations. Please explore Will Cowell's blogs PositionalityFinding What to Look For, and Reframing.


Chiara Kalogjera-Sackellares

Chiara is from Gainesville, Florida. She is majoring in History with a minor in Environment. From Ancient to Medieval to Modern History, Chiara loves to learn about the experiences of everyday people. Reading the letters, diaries, and memoirs of World War I participants and presenting their stories to an audience has been a real rewarding experience for her. She will graduate in May 2016 and plans on pursuing a career in Environmental Law. Please explore Chiara Kalogjera-Sackellares's blogs Diving In: Letter, Diaries, and Memoirs, Engaging with Depths and Differences in Written Reflections,  and Understanding Local Versus Global Perspectives. 


Erin McGlashen

Erin is from Belmont, MA. She first discovered a love of history at the ripe old age of eleven and has not looked back since. She is a new graduate from the history department and has a fascination with American as well as Modern World history. Erin plans to earn her Master's degree in either education or law.  She also believes that the greatest part of studying history is the knowledge that everyone: past, present, and future, those one encounters are human beings.  And while history can glorify individual achievements and aspects of different generations,  on the whole, it is just a record of idiots bumbling around and living the life in their own complicated contexts. As such, Erin has found it a privilege to have been given the opportunity to explore some of the World War I contexts more fully. Please Explore Erin McGlashen's blog Archives, Cursive, and Mental Time Travel.


Helena Ratté

Helena is a third-year History and German double major from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is thrilled to be working as an undergraduate researcher at the Bentley Historical Library as part of this summer’s Michigan In The World initiative, which has given her the exciting opportunity to think about public history in practical terms. As part of the team, she is investigating the fascinating topic of WWI-era pacifist and antiwar activities at the University of Michigan. Consequently,  she was able to indulge a longtime interest in the history of radical political movements and to explore the origins and history of Ann Arbor’s German community (something she knew absolutely nothing about before!). Outside of MITW, Helena’s interests in contemporary European history have been inspired by years spent in Berlin, Germany and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She loves learning languages and traveling to new places. Please explore Helena Ratte's blog Forging relationships with one's subjects.


Christopher White

Chris is from Ann Arbor, MI. He is an undergraduate with a history major and plans to receive his teaching certificate from the School of Education in secondary social studies. Last year, Chris’ work with mid-twentieth century Detroit history was published in the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate History Journal. He enjoys military history and is excited to collaborate with other students to create a local history exhibit. Please explore Christopher White's blog The Making of History.


Melanie S. Tanielian

Melanie S. Tanielian is an assistant professor in the History Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her Ph.D. in Middle East history from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research is focused on civilian experience on the Ottoman homefront in general and Beirut and Mount Lebanon in particular. She has published articles on everyday life on the home front and is currently completing her manuscript The War of Famine: Beirut and Mount Lebanon in the Great War (1914-1918),  which is a socio-economic study of daily life at the Lebanese homefront seen through the lens of famine, family, disease and medicine, as well as local, state, and international humanitarian relief.   Click here for more.


George Njung

George Njung is a Doctoral candidate in History at U of M.  He holds an M.A in History and a Graduate Certificate in African Studies. His dissertation research, "Soldiers of Their Own: Honor, Magic, Strategy, Tactics and Resistance in Cameroon during the First World War," uses a gendered based analysis to elucidate the customs and cultures of warfare in Cameroon, in line with environmental and topographical permutations. Situating the locally conducted Cameroon campaign within the global context of WWI, the dissertation argues for the role of martial honor, in the mobilization and conduct of the campaign. His recent encyclopedic article, "West Africa", in 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel et al, explores the experiences of West African soldiers in the West African campaign of the Great War. His other research bailiwicks include; colonial (gendered) violence in Africa, urbanism in West Africa, local histories of pre-colonial West Africans, historical transformations, to name but these.



Gregory Parker

Gregory is administrator of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies and serves as the web liaison for Michigan in the World.