Associate Dean for Research, Graduate Studies, and Diversity
Professor, Department of History
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech
Wallace 260D, Blacksburg VA 24061, (540) 231-3212 (office), (540) 231-8724 (fax)

University of Michigan               Ph.D. (December 1994)         Modern Russian History
University of Michigan               M.A. (May 1990)                      History
Williams College                         B.A. (June 1987)                     History (Honors, Phi Beta Kappa)

Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech (2011-present)
Professor of History, Virginia Tech (2011-present)
Associate Professor, 2004-11; Assistant Professor, 2000-04; Visiting Assistant Professor, 1998-2000
Affiliate Faculty: Women’s and Gender Studies, School of Education, Faculty of Health Sciences
Assistant Professor of History, DePauw University (1994-1998)

Fields of Research Interests: Information Flow and Knowledge Transmission; Telegraph in Global History; Public Health (Influenza pandemics); History of Education; Gender in Schools.

Awards and Honors:
Excellence in Research Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2011.
Sturm Prize for Research Excellence, Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Virginia Tech, 2011.

Separate Schools: Gender, Policy, and Practice in Postwar Soviet Education. (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010) 300 pp.
The Teachers of Stalinism: Policy, Practice, and Power in Soviet Schools of the 1930s. (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2002) 333 pp.
Editor, Revolution and Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Perspectives on Educational Foundations. (New York:  Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) 229 pp.
Co-editor, with David Hicks, Education and the Great Depression. Lessons from a Global History. (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2006) 324 pp.

Articles and Chapters:

“’Will It Come Here?’ Using Digital Humanities Tools to Explore Medical Understanding during the Russian Flu Epidemic, 1889-90,” Medical History, Vol. 61, No, 3 (July 2017), pp. 474-477.

“’Taking the Path of Least Resistance’:  Expulsions from Soviet Schools in the Stalinist 1930s.” Chapter in Carla Aubrey, Michael Geiss, Veronika Magyar-Haas, and Jurgen Oeklkers, eds., Education and the State. International Perspectives on a Changing Relationship (Routledge: London, 2015), pp. 219-233.

Co-author, with Samah Gad, Waqas Javed, Sohaib Ghani, Niklas Elmqvist, Keith Hampton, and Naren Ramakrishnan.  “ThemeDelta: Dynamic Segmentations over Temporal Topic Models,” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 21, Issue 5, May 2015, pp. 672-685.

Lead author, with Samah Gad, Bernice Hausman, Kathleen Kerr, Bruce Pencek, and Naren Ramakrishnan, “Mining Coverage of the Flu: Big Data’s Insights into an Epidemic.” Perspectives on History, published by the American Historical Association, Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2014.

“’A Most Powerful Instrument for a Despot’: The Telegraph as a Trans-National Instrument of Imperial Control and Political Mobilization in the Middle East.” Chapter in Isabelle Loehr and Roland Wenzlhuemer, eds., The Nation State and Beyond. Governing Globalization Processes in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (Heidelberg: Springer, 2013), pp. 83-100.

Lead author, with Naren Ramakrishnan and Samah Gad, “Gaining Insights into Epidemics by Mining Historical Newspapers.” Computer IEEE Vol. 46, No. 6 (June 2013), pp. 68-73.

“Maternity and Modernity: Soviet Women Teachers and the Contradictions of Stalinism.” Women’s History Review Vol. 19, No. 3 (July 2010), pp. 451-477.

‘“Life is a Succession of Disappointments’: A Soviet Girl Contends with Stalinist Dictatorship.” Chapter in Girlhood: A Global History, edited by Jennifer Hillman Helgren and Colleen A. Vasconcellos (Camden: Rutgers University Press, 2010), pp. 142-161.

“From an Exclusive Privilege to a Right and an Obligation: Modern Russia.” Chapter in Girls’ Secondary Education in the Western World: From the 18th to the 20th century, edited by James C. Albisetti, Joyce Goodman and Rebecca Rogers (London: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 165-179.

“If the Teacher was a Man: Masculinity and Power in Stalinist Schools.” Gender & History Vol. 21, No. 1 (2009) pp. 107-129.

“A Precarious Position of Power: Soviet School Directors in the 1930s.” Journal of Educational Administration and History Vol. 41, No. 3 (2009), pp. 253-266.

“The Repudiation of Single-Sex Schooling: Boys’ Schools in the Soviet Union, 1943-1954.” American Educational Research Journal Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter 2006) pp. 621-650.

“Ethnicity at School: Educating the ‘Non-Russian’ Children of the Soviet Union, 1928-1939.” History of Education (UK) Vol. 35, No. 4-5 (July September 2006) pp. 499-519.

“The ‘Virtues’ of Planning: Depression-Era American Educators Look at Soviet Schools.” Chapter in Ewing and Hicks, eds., Education and the Great Depression, pp. 41-62.

“Shaking the Foundations of Education: An Introduction to Revolution and Pedagogy in Trans­national and Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Revolution and Pedagogy, pp. 1-18.

“Gender Equity as Revolutionary Strategy: Coeducation in Russian and Soviet Schools.” Chapter in Revolution and Pedagogy, pp. 39-60.

“A Stalinist Celebrity Teacher: Gender and Professional Identities in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.” Journal of Women’s History Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter 2004) pp. 92-118.

“Personal Acts with Public Meanings: Suicide by Soviet Women Teachers in the Stalin Era.” Gender & History vol. 14, no. 1 (April 2002) pp. 117-137.

“Restoring Teachers to their Rights: Soviet Education and the 1936 Denunciation of Pedology.” History of Education Quarterly vol. 41, no. 4 (Winter 2001) pp. 471-493.

“Stalinism at Work: Teacher Certification (1936-1939) and Soviet Power.” Russian Review Vol. 57, No. 2 (Spring 1998) pp. 218-235.

“Silences and Strategies: Soviet Women Teachers and Stalinist Culture in the 1930s.” East/West Education Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring 1997) pp. 24-54.


Translated Publications:

Uchitelia epokhi stalinizma: Vlast’, politika i zhizn’ shkoly 1930-kh gg. (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Rosspen, 2011), 359 pp. Russian language translation of Teachers of Stalinism.

Devrim ve Pedagoji. Eğitimde Değişime Disiplinlerarası Yaklaşımlar (Ankara: Dipnot Publisher, 2010), 359 pp. Turkish translation of Revolution and Pedagogy.

Editor, “Russian History in Classrooms and Textbooks: New Perspectives on the National Past.” Russian Studies in History vol. 43, no. 3 (Winter 2004-2005) 94 pp; no. 4 (Spring 2005), 92 pp.

Translator, “Is Pashchitskii Present?” by Iu. Lvova, in Ronald G. Suny, ed., The Structure of Soviet History. Essays and Documents (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003) pp. 244-245. Translated from Iu. L’vova, “Kto zdes’-Pashchitskii?” Narodnoe obrazovanie (1990) p. 138.

Selected Presentations and Papers (since 2009):

“’La Grippe’ is But a Newspaper Term: A Roundtable on the Study of Epidemic Disease through Historical Medical Journals and Newspapers.” Presentation with undergraduate student researchers, hosted by the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine (NIH), July 12, 2017.

“Something in the Air Puzzling Health Officials: Knowledge Production and Health Policy during a Global Influenza Epidemic, 1889-1890.” Presentation at the workshop, Beyond Data, hosted by German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, June 1, 2017

“’All Nonsense and Newspapers’: Reporting the ‘Russian Influenza’ (1889-1890) in European and American Medical Periodicals and Newspapers.” Presentation for the workshop, Observing the Everyday, hosted by the German Historical Institute, Washington DC, March 3, 2017.

“How Many Victims of the Russian Flu? An Exercise in Data Interpretation and Historical Analysis.” Presentation with undergraduate students, Virginia Tech History Department, November 30, 2016.

“Microscopic Foes of Mankind: Understanding Tuberculosis in American History.” Presentation with undergraduate students, at the National History Center, sponsored by the American Historical Association, Washington DC, July 13, 2016, repeated at the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda Maryland, July 29, 2016.

“Will It Come Here? Using Digital Humanities Tools to Explore Medical Understanding during the Russian Flu Epidemic, 1889-1890.” Presentation for the American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, May 1, 2016.

“The ‘Prevailing Disorder’: The Impact of the Russian Influenza on the United States, 1889-1890.” Presentation with nine student researchers to the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Blacksburg, October 23, 2015.

“Understanding the Scope and Severity of a Global Epidemic: Research on the Russian Influenza (1889-1890) Using Big Data Methods and Digital Collections.” Presentation to the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine, Yale University, May 2, 2015.

“’It’s in the Air’: Digital Histories of Medicine.” Invited presentation, Department of History, University of Colorado-Boulder, February 12, 2015.

“Understanding the Role of Medical Experts during a Public Health Crisis: Digital Tools and Library Resources for Research on the 1918 Spanish Influenza.” Co-presenter, with Samah Gad, Naren Ramakrishnan, and Jeffrey S. Reznick, Big Humanities Workshop, IEEE Big Data, October 27, 2014.

“’Doctors Decidedly Disagree’: Tracking Expert Medical Opinion about Russian Flu, 1889-1890.” Co-presenter, with Veronica Kimmerly and Sinclair Ewing-Nelson, sponsored by Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, August 14, 2014.

“The Epidemic ‘Reigns and Rages’: Telegraphic Communications and Information Networks during the ‘Russian Flu,’ 1889-1890.” Paper presentation at the International Conference on the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Manchester, UK, July 24, 2013.

“Scourge on Wane; Fatalities Fewer: Interpreting Newspaper Coverage of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic.” Invited lecture for the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, April 30, 2013.

“Infectious Reporting: Network Analysis of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic Using Historical Newspapers,” with Naren Ramakrishnan and Samah Gad, Presentation to the Conference: Shared Horizons: Data, BioMedicine, and the Digital Humanities, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities and the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park, April 11, 2013.

“’Carried Off By Grippe’: Public Health, Information Flow, and National Identity during the ‘Russian Flu’ Epidemic.” Invited presentation, Florida International University, Miami, March 5, 2013.

“Advertising the Flu: Newspapers and the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918.” Bernard Malis Memorial Lecture, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, October 24, 2012.

“Influenza in the News:  Using Newspapers to Understand a Public Health Crisis.” Invited presentation, National Digital Newspaper Project Awards Meeting, organized by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC, September 26, 2012.

‘“American Fleet to Menace Turk’: A 1903 Case Study of American Diplomacy, Communication Technology, and the Ottoman Empire.”  Working Paper, Office of the Historian, US Department of State, April 27, 2011.

‘“Miss Melton has just narrowly escaped death’:  Gender, Power, and Faith in an American Woman’s Mission in the Ottoman Empire.” ASPECT Working Paper/Women’s Month Event, March 22, 2011.

‘“Much Telegraphing was Necessary’: American Missionaries and Communication Networks in the Middle East in the 1890s.” Presentation to the Historical Society at Bilkent University, Ankara, March 3, 2011.

‘“It now appears that your Vice Consul was not assassinated’: Communications Technology and United States-Ottoman Relations circa 1903.” Presentation to the Department of History, Koc University, Istanbul, March 7, 2011.


Grants and Fellowships for Research:

2015-17  National Endowment for the Humanities, Tracking the Russian Flu in U.S. and German Medical and Popular Reports, 1889-1893, in partnership with Hannover University, budget: 127,600 Euros from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and $175,000 from NEH.

2015-16  National Endowment for the Humanities, Cooperative Agreement, for workshop, Images and Texts in Medical History, in coordination with History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine and Wellcome Trust (UK), April 2016 (Project Director, $70,000).

2012-14  National Endowment for the Humanities, Digging into Data Challenge, “An Epidemiology of Information: Data Mining the 1918 Influenza Pandemic” (Project Director, $123,778).

2007-10  Spencer Foundation Major Grant for Educational Research, “Gender & Education” ($130,925).

2006-07  National Council for Eurasian and East European Research ($16,300).

1997-98  National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship ($40,000).

1995       International Research and Exchanges Grant for Research in Russia ($2,500).



Areas of Teaching Interests: World, European, Russian, and Middle Eastern History; US Foreign Policy in Global Context; Gender/Women’s History; Digital History; Undergraduate Research Mentoring.

Honors and Awards:

Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2003.

X-Caliber Award for Teaching with Technology, Virginia Tech, 2007.

Undergraduate Courses taught at DePauw University, 1994-1998, and Virginia Tech, 1998-2013:

Modern World (20th century)                    Age of Revolution                               Age of Globalization

Empires in World History                           Epidemics in World History               Russia to Peter the Great

Imperial Russia                                          History of the Middle East                  European Women’s History

Women in Russian History                       Dictatorships in Europe                     Twentieth Century Russia

Russian Revolution                                   Topics: US Policy in Middle East       Topics: US-Iran Relations

Topics: European Women                       Topics: 1918 Influenza Pandemic     Historical Methods

Graduate courses taught at Virginia Tech:

Historical Methods                          Topics in Global History                Contemporary US Foreign Policy

Research Methods                        Gender in US History                  Imperialism

Area Studies Methods                  Modern European Readings  Introduction to Data in Social Context

Publications on Teaching

“Eye Opening and Actually Enjoyable: Using Online Newspapers to Teach Modern Middle Eastern History.” Review of Middle Eastern Studies, published by the Middle East Studies Association, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 155-164.

“Using Digital Resources to Teach about United States Policy in the Middle East.” Perspectives on History (Published by the American Historical Association) Vol. 49, No. 5 (May 2011), pp. 52-54.

“Practicing Digital History at the Intersection of Teaching, Research, and Outreach,” Perspectives on History, Vol. 47, No. 5 (May 2009), pp. 34-35, 64.

Lead author, with Jane Lehr, Robert P. Stephens, David Hicks, Amy Nelson, and Heather Gumbert, “Should Women Vote? Using Cartoons to Teach the Suffrage Campaign in European History.” The Journal of Women’s History Vol. 20, No. 3 (Fall 2008), pp. 144-165.

Lead author, with Robert P. Stephens, “The Digital History Reader: Teaching Resources for United States and European History.” Perspectives Vol. 45, No. 5 (May 2007) pp. 16-19.

Lead author, with David Hicks, “Bringing the World into the Classroom with Online Global Newspapers.” Social Education Vol. 67 (April 2003) pp. 134-139.

“Russian History in Global Perspective.” Newsnet Newsletter of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Vol. 42 (September 2002) pp. 1-4.

Digital History Projects:

Project Director, Digital History Reader,, with 18 modules written by a team of nine Virginia Tech historians and educators, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Author of two modules: “Should Women Vote?  The Politics of Suffrage in European History” and “The End of Optimism?  The Great Depression in Europe.”

“Nationalities in the USSR.” Making the History of 1989. Online: (2009).

“Coping with Dictatorship: Soviet Women in the Stalin Era.”  Women in World History section of World History Matters. Online: (2005).



Spheres of Outreach Interests: Disease and Public Health in History; Collaborations with Public School Teachers in Workshops and Curricular Projects; Race and Education; Public History with students.

Honors and Awards

Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2008.

Excellence in Outreach Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2008.

Land-Grant Scholars Award, co-winner, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, 2011.

Publications and Postings Related to Outreach:

“Displaying Content and Making Connections: Engaging Public Audiences through a Poster Exhibit on the History of Tuberculosis in Virginia,” Watermark. Newsletter of the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences Vol. 38 (Summer 2015), pp. 9-12.

“Influenza Precautions, Then and Now,” Circulating Now, U.S. National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, posted January 15, 2015.

“Exploring Chicago’s Spanish Flu of 1918,” Circulating Now, U.S. National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, posted November 5, 2013.

“Better than a Cure for Influenza,” Roanoke Times, December 1, 2013.

Lead author, with Katharine A. Goins, Mallary J. Orrison, and Erin M. Lord, “Researching and Writing a Historical Biography for the Elementary Classroom,” Perspectives on History Vol. 50, No. 8 (November 2012), pp. 32-33.

Co-author, with Erin M. Lord, Mallary J. Orrison, Katharine A. Goins, Edgar A. Long, Principal of Christiansburg Institute. A Life Devoted to Education (Blacksburg: Virginia Tech Department of History, 2011) 40 pages, 30 illustrations, glossary.

Lead author, with Laura West, “Approaching Booker T. Washington as Public History.” Public History News Vol. 32, No. 2 (March 2012), p. 12.

Lead author, with David Hicks, “Revisiting Roosevelt’s Blunder,” Roanoke Times, October 16, 2011.

Lead author, with Joseph Forte, “100 years later, visit still resonates. On June 24, 1909, Booker T. Washington spoke at Christiansburg Institute,” Roanoke Times October 14, 2009.

Outreach Activities:

“Science and Spirits during the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic.” Presentation for STEM Tavern, hosted by the Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, July 8, 2015.

“’That Dread Disease’: A History of Tuberculosis in Virginia, 1870s-1910s.” Poster exhibit by undergraduate student researchers on display at the Science Museum of Western Virginia (Roanoke), Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville), Newman Library at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), and Staunton Public Library, April-June 2015.

“The Impact of the Spanish Flu on Military Operations in World War One.” Presentation to a workshop for social studies teachers in Montgomery County, November 5, 2014.

“Protect Yourself Against Influenza: Newspapers Advertising During the 1918 Epidemic.” Poster exhibition at the Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, November 2013-January 2014.

Project Director, “Engaging Middle School Learners with the History of the Christiansburg Institute.” A partnership involving six teachers in grades 6-8, Virginia Tech, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Christiansburg Institute, 2010.

Chair, Organizing Committee, Race and Education in Southwest Virginia Workshop, April 2009.

Co-chair, Organizing Committee, US Department of Education Teaching American History grant project, Montgomery County Public Schools, $491,411 for 2007-2010.

Member, Executive Committee, US Department of Education Teaching American History grant project, Roanoke Region Public Schools, $996,000 for 2006-2009.

Co-chair, Organizing Committee, US Department of Education Teaching American History grant project, Montgomery County Public Schools, $585,000 for 2003-2007.

Co-chair, Organizing Committee, “Teaching and Learning about Global Diversity: A Symposium for History and Social Science Teachers,” Virginia Tech, November 6, 2001.

Grants related to Teaching and Public History:

2015    National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar for Schoolteachers on the Spanish Influenza of 1918, as project director ($101,000).

2010    Library of Congress, Teaching with Primary Sources, for project: “The Dining of Washington,” co-principal investigator, with David Hicks ($20,000).

2010    Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, for the project, “Engaging Middle School Learners in the History of the Christiansburg Institute,” project director ($4,000).

2007    Virginia Foundation for the Humanities African American Heritage Grant, for the project: “African American Schools during the Great Depression,” project director ($3,000).

2003     National Endowment for the Humanities Exemplary Education Grant for the “Digital History Reader: Teaching Resources for U.S. and European History,” project director ($185,000).