PhD in History
Claire is a history PhD student at Northeastern University studying cultural history in the Atlantic World, the urban history of the Northeastern United States (particularly in New England), the history of the American education system, and public history methodologies (particularly in museums). After teaching for nearly a decade in Boston schools, she is especially interested in the history of teaching history – the curricula, the textbooks, and the pedagogy. Her goal is to produce public facing work that can inform educators who work both in K-12 systems and in higher ed. institutions. Claire’s experience working in a program for Boston Public School teachers called Thinking Through Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has made her curious about the uses of imagery – from museums, from textbooks, and from digital media collections – in K-12 United States History curricula. Claire earned her BA in Anthropology and European History at a small liberal arts college called Franklin Pierce and graduated from Northeastern with MA degrees in World History and in Teaching before becoming an educator. Through Northeastern’s ‘Experiential PhD’ program, Claire has worked as a Doctoral Fellow in GBH Boston’s history education department (Summer 2020), and as a Doctoral Fellow in the Thinking Through Art program at the Gardner Museum (Fall 2020). She has also worked on the Journal of the Plague Year digital archive writing curriculum (Summer 2020), and recently published a review of “Land and Legacy” for Reviews in Digital Humanities (Vol 2, No. 5, May 2021). She is currently working as a Digital Integration Teaching Initiative Fellow and as a research assistant in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s education department.
Related Schools & Departments
Claire's participation in the public history courses with Professor Marty Blatt, showed her that academic work can be more public facing.
Claire obtained a digital humanities certificate from researching schools that are named after people and why and how that doesn’t connect to Boston public schools.
In the summer of 2020, Claire worked at WGBH Boston. She contributed to a project called PBS Learning Media: Assessing the Present, Envisioning the Future.
During the fall 2020 semester, Claire is working at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as the Thinking Through Art Doctoral Research Fellow in their museums education department.
Claire has taught courses to students, exploring Boston history, public museums, and libraries. She's passionate about getting students to learn about Boston's history.
Claire hopes to have a job in museum education, public history, or cultural resources.
“Northeastern recognizes the value in connecting pragmatic, non-academic experiences with traditional university learning opportunities – not everyone wants to work on projects that have a purely academic audience of experts, and these ‘real world’ experiences allow graduate students to do work that may be more public-facing or wide-reaching.”
More Student Paths
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...
- Casey took “Global Markets and Local Cultures'' with the late Professor Jeffrey Juris. After traveling, she saw how the coursework mirrored reality, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- Casey went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay. She wanted to become fluent in Spanish, and she did become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey did her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a Community Arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for the local communities.
- Casey joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- Casey joined the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that organizes protests urging political action for climate justice issues. With them, she truly felt like a part of the local Boston community.
- Casey worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more. ..
- Northeastern has provided Sunita with interdisciplinary opportunities to utilize her education in the Greater Boston community, on co-op, and abroad.
- Sunita spent Summer 2019 on a Dialogue of Civilizations in Jordan and Egypt. It helped her realize her interest in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Her favorite class, Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- Her first co-op was at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Her second co-op at Enel X provided insight into battery storage, solar and wind farms, demand response, and the economic incentives that drive the energy market.
- In spring 2019, Sunita joined the Student Alliance for Prison Reform as well as Partakers, a partner of the club, where she mentored a prisoner at MCI Concord.
- Sunita is a member of the International Relations Council and has traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...