Previous Postdoctoral Fellows

The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies has been hosting our postdoctoral fellowship program since 2014. Information about the Center’s previous postdocs can be seen below.

2022-23 | Molly Mersmann received her PhD from Purdue University with a dissertation entitled “‘Bricks Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again’: Rebuilding the South in the Wake of the American Civil War, 1861-1875.” During her time at Virginia Tech, Mersmann taught courses on the Civil War and U.S. Women’s History, and delivered lectures to organizations such as the Roanoke Civil War Roundtable and Manassas National Battlefield Park. She is currently an assistant professor of history at Marshall University.

2020-21 | Caroline Newhall received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and specializes in Black Prisoners of War during the Civil War. During her time at the VCCWS, Newhall organized a conference on slavery during the Civil War, co-organized a new online speaker series, and taught several courses on Civil War era history. She is now assistant professor of history at Oberlin College.

2018-2019 | Caitlin Verboon received her PhD from Yale University and specializes in the history of southern cities during the Reconstruction era. During her time at the VCCWS, Verboon organized an academic conference on “Microhistories of the Civil War Era,” taught an undergraduate course on “The Long Reconstruction,” and helped create the museum exhibit “Enacting Freedom: Black Virginians in the Age of Emancipation.” She is now an editor with the Congressional Budget Office.

2016-2017 | Angela Esco Elder earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where her dissertation focused on Confederate widowhood. While at the VCCWS, Elder taught an undergraduate class on the culture of death of the Civil War in which her students created a public exhibition tying together Elder’s class and a local cemetery in Blacksburg. She is now an associate professor of history at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she teaches unique courses such as “Duels, Disease, and Disaster: Death in 19th Century America.”

2014-2015 | Kimberly Kutz Elliott earned her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013, specializing in United States cultural history, visual culture, and religion. While at the VCCWS, Elliot worked with the Center to present a range of public programs marking the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s assassination. She went on to serve as Senior Content Creator in Humanities for Khan Academy, an educational nonprofit website that strives to bring a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. At Khan Academy she writes, films, and edits lessons on US History and US Government and Politics, bringing high-quality articles, videos, and practice exercises to Khan Academy’s audience of 200 million users per year. Her live coaching sessions on US history have drawn more than 75,000 thousand viewers.

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