Graduate Students

Samuel is a doctoral candidate and former Dean's Fellow in Lehigh’s history program. He earned his master's degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he received the Caldwell Prize and his bachelors degree from Brigham Young University. His main research research focuses on American religious history, specifically the development of religious liberty in the early United States. He is currently working on a dissertation titled “Disturbing the Good Order: The Negotiation of Religious Liberty in the Early American Republic.” In addition, Samuel has developed expertise in the histories of Colonial America, Latin America, and the British Empire. He has also served on the editorial staff for the Journal of Mormon History and interned for The Joseph Smith Papers project. Samuel has published articles in The Journal of Mormon History and Methodists History and he is the co-editor, with Dr. Steven C. Harper, of the historical anthology Exploring the First Vision. He has taught at Salt Lake Community College and worked as a teaching assistant at both UMass and Lehigh.

A PhD candidate since August 2016, Jessie specializes in gender and sexuality in the antebellum United States. Her dissertation, “‘Sweethearts’ and ‘Lovers’: Female Bonds in the Early National and Antebellum United States,” examines the emotional, romantic, and erotic bonds that white, college-educated women formed between 1780 and 1860. Jessie’s project is especially focused on the ways in which female friendships were conduits through which women exercised power and negotiated identities in the early Republic. A piece of Jessie’s early research on women’s colleges, an essay entitled, “‘College Has Been the Means of My Conversion’: The Empowering Role of Evangelicalism at Southern Women’s Colleges, 1800-1865,” was published in Historical Papers: Canadian Society of Church History (2012: 89-102). Jessie is the recipient of a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2012-2016), a Strohl Summer Research Fellowship (2016), and a Doctoral Fellowship and Travel Grant from the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2017).