Alumni News


Dat Cao, 2007
Degree: B.A. in History and International Relations
Position: M.A. Candidate in Security Studies at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Update: Since graduating from Stanford, I've moved to Washington D.C. where I interned at the American Security Council Foundation. I am now in my 2nd and final year at Georgetown University, pursuing my Master's Degree in Security Studies.
(updated 12/04/08)


Lindsay Coleman, 2005
Degree: History, Literature and the Arts
After graduation, I worked as a paralegal in Palo Alto for a year and then moved to the east coast to do a Master's Degree in European Studies at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. During my two years at Georgetown, I lived in Rome (working for the US Embassy to the Holy See) for a summer and in Paris this past summer (working at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in the Culture Sector). I just started law school at American University in DC and hope to practice art or cultural property law, applying my interest in art and culture that I snuck into my history degree!
(updated 12/04/08)

Peter Jaffe, 2005
Concentration: Modern European Political History
From graduation to autumn 2006, I worked for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, I entered law school at Georgetown University, and will graduate in May 2009. I have accepted employment with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City and will begin working there in autumn 2009.
(revised 12/5/08)

Andrew Marienberg,  2005
Following graduation in 2005, I made my way over the Atlantic to play semi-professional rugby in England. After a year learning the games of rugby and life, I found myself missing the American lifestyle (and weather). Returning to the Bay Area, I decided to put my Computer Science minor to use and worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley for two years. As 2009 begins, I've returned to my native Montana to reassess my future plans and hopefully put my History major to good use.
(updated 12/04/08)


Michael Shaughnessy Alfred, 2003
Since graduating from Stanford in 2003, I have been active in the financial services industry. Last year, I partnered with my father and brother and formed "The Alfred Group". On the side, I have been providing artist management services to up and coming rock bands. In 2006, I received venture funding from a private investor and started Simple Living Records Simple Living will put out its first indie/alternative rock release later this year.

Eva St. Clair, 2003
Eva spent the year 2003-2004 in Kentucky volunteering with the housing department of Christian Appalachian Project. She is currently studying the fifteenth-century manuscript collection amassed by Amplonius Rating de Berkca in Erfurt, Germany, on a Fulbright Student Grant. Her Stanford honors thesis on medieval psychology will be published this year in the spring edition of Traditio. Her work on women at Stanford in the 1890s will be published in a small book and presented to Stanford women's honor society Cap & Gown in March.

Jess Dang, 2003
Jess Dang graduated in 2003 from Stanford University with a degree in History and a minor in Political Science.  Since then, she has worked in a variety of fields.  Jess contributed to research for the Future of Peace Operations project at the Henry L. Stimson Center and provided editorial support for "The Brahimi Report and the Future of UN Peace Operations," published in November of 2003.  In the beginning of 2004, she traveled to Suzhou, China to teach English to first graders and native Chinese teachers.  Upon returning to the States at the end of 2004, Jess joined Strategic Decisions Group (SDG), a boutique consultancy specializing in decision analytics for the pharmaceuticals and oil & gas industries.  At SDG, she had the opportunity to work with several Fortune 500 companies in both Europe and Asia.  She now provides financial strategy support to within the Finance Business Partners for Products group at Visa U.S.A. In her spare time, Jess is pursuing her passion for eating and cooking by hosting a food blog and starting up two food-related businesses.

Kareem Ghanem, 2003
Since graduating from Stanford in 2003, I spent a year working part-time and traveling in Europe and the Middle East. Now I am a first year law student at the University of Chicago Law School.

Anna Sale, 2003, has worked as a staff organizer for the Sierra Club in West Virginia since graduating. After opening the first local Sierra Club office and leading public education campaigns for National Forest protection and alternatives to mountaintop removal coal mining, she is moving on to join the staff of West Virginia Public Broadcasting as a reporter in January.

Rachel Shapiro, 2003
Rachel is living in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, DC, and working as a historical researcher for the Library of Congress on a book about the history of the US House of Representatives. The book tracks the history of the politics and legislation in the House from its creation to present day and is being written by the Andrew Jackson scholar, Robert Remini.


Benjamin Brutlag, 2002
After graduation I moved to France for two years where I studied at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. My studies culminated in a Master's degree, but I was able to work concurrently as a paralegal at the local office of a U.S. law firm, Cleary Gottlieb. I also had a wonderful time helping organize France's only team that participated in the 2004 Model United Nations in New York. I'm now half-way through my first year at the University of Pennsylvania law school and plan to return to the Bay Area in a few years.

Ben Coates, 2002, is currently enrolled in the History PhD program at Columbia University, focusing on 20th-century U.S. political history and foreign affairs.

Susan Finlayson, 2002
After graduating from Stanford, I worked in the global ecology lab at Carnegie Institution for about two years, interspersed with long travels. I worked at a conservation center in the Tetons, Wyoming, then went to Patagonia, where I apprenticed on an organic farm and worked on my Spanish for 6 months. I eventually wound up in Southern Brazil attending graduate classes in agro-ecology (in Portuguese, which was fun) and playing capoeira, surfing and studying print-making in my spare time. Since June, 2005, I've been working as a youth teacher and community coordinator for a small non-profit in Salt Lake City that runs an ambitious community gardening program.

Stephen Fried, 2002 (BA History/Drama) is in his third and final year in the MFA directing program at the Yale School of Drama. Once he graduates this May, he plans to pursue directing at theatres across the country, focusing primarily on classical texts. Earlier this year, he combined his interests in theatre and history with his thesis production of Shakespeare's "King John." His interests in all things Russian helped out this summer, when he directed his own adaptation of Gogol's "The Overcoat" at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY.

Austin Lee, 2002
After graduating in 2002 I played one year with the 49ers on their practice squad. Then I moved to Long Beach and completed a Master of Science degree in Education at USC (I know that's not a good thing). I am now an Academic Advisor in the Athletic Department at USC responsible for water polo, swimming, men's tennis and men's volleyball.

Melissa Lambert Milewski, 2002 (formerly Melissa Lambert) received a B. A. in history from Stanford University in 2002 and an M. A. in history from Brigham Young University in 2004. Her master's thesis on a 19th century Utah woman's diaries is currently in the final stages of consideration for publication by Utah State University Press. She is now a doctorate student in history at the University of Washington, where she is focusing on late 19th/early 20th century U.S. history. Melissa and her husband Anthony Milewski live in Seattle, Washington.

Caitrin McKiernan, 2002
I graduated in 2002 with highest honors in History, concentrating on China. Following graduation, I worked as a research assistant at the Martin Luther King Papers Project. And, I spent a year on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Taiwan, where I studied Chinese. I am now on a Fulbright Scholarship to China, where I am recording the oral histories of women and children who were separated in 1949 from their husbands and fathers, who fled to Taiwan with Chiang Kai Shek. Because communication shut off between China and Taiwan, the families did not reunite again until the 1980's, if they did at all. My research takes me all over China---from small villages in rural Fujian province to bustling Shanghai.

Molly Montgomery, 2002 (Political Science/History) -is a political officer in the United States Foreign Service. A Pickering Fellow, she joined the Foreign Service in 2004 after completing a Masters in Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.Her first posting will be at the United States Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina. There, she hopes to continue studying collective memory, a topic that first sparked her interest at Stanford, studying modern European history.

Taryn Wilgus Null, 2002
After graduating, I spent two years working as a paralegal for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC. In 2004, I began law school at the University of Michigan . I have spent my summers working for the ACLU of Michigan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Women's Law Center. I plan to pursue a career as a civil rights litigator.

Lydia Poon, 2002
After graduation, I spent more than a year at the National Archives as part of a team editing the Public Papers of the President, the definitive historical compilation of the president's public speeches, proclamations, and executive orders. For the past few years, I've been working at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank in Washington, DC. I work on outreach and dissemination of our policy work as well as online advocacy strategy . After a year's deferment, I'll start the MBA program at Yale next fall (2007). I'm interested in nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship.

Ari Ratner, 2002
For the last two years, I have been working as a reporter in Los Angeles for the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. Yomiuri is one of Japan's papers of record (comparable to the New York Times or The Washington Post) and has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the world. I cover Western U.S. news for them, mostly politics and legal issues, but also a fair amount of entertainment and feature stories. Landing the job was a lucky break. My background was in European History and I had little experience with Japan, but it has been absolutely wonderful experience. For the future, I considering returning to school to get a PhD in history and am also exploring further options in journalism.

Stephen Smith, 2002 (AB History '02, AB Political Science '02) - served as Research Assistant to Professor Stephen M. Walt, among others, at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2004. Steve worked on projects in the areas of terrorism, civil war, organizational performance and U.S. grand strategy while watching the Red Sox swat their way to victory. He will join the Management Development Program of McMaster-Carr Supply Company in January of 2005.

Jeff Skopek, 2002, left Stanford in 2002, when he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He has stayed on since then as a Gates Scholar pursuing PhD research on the emergence of genetics, focusing on the relationship between the historical, the principles of genetics and the epistemic stance of geneticists. When he finishes this degree he will return to the US to attend law school, with hopes of becoming a professor of law with the ability to pursue philosophical, legal and political work in bioethics, animal rights, and environmental protection.

Catherine Tatiana Dunlop, 2002
After graduating from Stanford in 2002, I took one year off to travel and work. I soon discovered that I missed studying history and found myself in the history sections of bookstores, leafing through new publications. Now I am in my second year as a Modern European History Ph.D. student at Yale, enriching and complicating the history education that I received at Stanford. The graduate student perspective certainly sheds a whole new light on history coursework and the purpose of universities in general. It also affords a wealth of opportunities to travel and conduct long-term research projects.Feel free to contact me if you're thinking of extending your history studies to the graduate level:

Laura Turner, 2002
I currently work as a Writer/Researcher at the Office of History and Preservation, part of the Office of the Clerk at the U.S. House of Representatives. Although my duties often vary, I primarily research, write, and edit for several publications, including the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, the Office of the Clerk's Historical Highlight's website, and several upcoming biographical publications on minorities in Congress. I also answer reference inquiries from Member offices, the press, and public on House history. I formerly worked in the Outreach Division at the Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration. I continue to run the length and breadth of the city and have taken on marathons as my latest challenge.

Russell Valdez, 2002
After completing my studies in medieval history, I moved to London where I worked in marketing at Visa International. With a year in the UK under my belt, I moved to Washington DC to cultivate my interest in international affairs. I worked for Chemonics International, an international development firm that contracts with USAID, for about a year. Currently, I am a first year student at Harvard Law School, where I am focusing on international human rights law and legal theory.


Sara Auld, 2001
After graduating from Stanford in 2001, I took a year for travel and fun and then moved to New York in 2002 to start medical school at Columbia University. I am currently in my third year of medical school and am planning to defer my fourth year to spend next year doing clinical research on HIV/AIDS in Durban, South Africa.

Kat Malone, 2001
I am writing from the "there's plenty of time to be a professional--enjoy your youth and good knees while you can" camp of Stanford grads... After graduating in 2001, I spent a bit of time back at home in New York before embarking on another westward journey to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For 2 years, I felt great about using my History degree in this "last of the Wild West" frontier town as a waitress, tutor, volunteer at a medical clinic, program leader for the US Forest Service and, best of all, ski/outdoor adventure bum. After a 2 month trip to Peru this summer (and a great first-hand history lesson at Machu Picchu), I am now living in Bozeman, Montana, where it will begin classes for a BS in Nutrition this January at Montana State University. To be certain I don't lose the old History student in me, I am currently reading "Galileo's Daughter" which brings back fond memories of Paula Findlen's fabulous class on Renaissance Italy. Cheers to you all in California!

Lauren Thies, 2001, is currently living in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She's employed by Tonkon Torp LLP, a medium-sized corporate law firm, in downtown Portland as a Litigation Paralegal. She enjoys receiving an inside look into the court room and also takes advantage of the free legal advice. In the evenings she coaches Lincoln High School's swim team of forty coed students.It's rewarding reconnecting with her high school and giving back to the sport. In her free time she's training for her first sprint distance triathlon with fellow 2001 classmate Shannon Carney.


Yonatan Eyal, 2000
In June 2005 I am graduating from Harvard with my Ph.D. in history, and am looking for academic teaching positions at universities nationwide. My dissertation examines the Democratic party before the American Civil War, and I remain broadly interested in nineteenth-century American politics and society. While in graduate school I also pursued sub fields in European and American intellectual history and in the ancient Roman empire.

Bryan Keefer, 2000
After a stint in Washington, D.C., I am now living in New York. I am assistant managing editor of, a web site devoted to daily criticism of the media, which is sponsored by the Columbia Journalism Review. I published my first (co-authored) book in 2003 with Simon & Schuster, called All the President�s Spin, which earned me an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Colby McGavin, 2000
After a short stint in investment banking, I moved to Guidant, a medical devices company. I currently hold a clinical sales position, and advise physicians on implantation and follow up of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. I'm also very involved with the board of directors for Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE), where I worked during my undergrad years.

Alex Rosten, 2000
After a valiant attempt at starting and operating a small business in Palo Alto, during the recession, without any business experience, I decided to throw in the towel, or in my case the tea bags, and move back to Los Angeles. In my current capacity as Manager of Pricing and Market Analysis at, I manage used vehicle prices and analyze the automotive market. Hence the title, Manager, Pricing and Market Analysis. I plan to turn my short stint as an entrepreneur into that one unique story that will hopefully get me accepted to a decent Business school.

Brendan Stuhan, 2000
After graduating from Stanford in 2000, I went to the University of Virginia School of Law, graduating in 2003. I am currently working as an attorney in the commercial litigation group at Buchanan Ingersoll in Pittsburgh, PA. I am also serving on the board of a local non-profit corporation, Birthright of Pittsburgh.

Megan Tompkins, 2000
After graduating from Stanford in 2000, I worked for four years in higher education administration at Stanford and got a master's degree from Harvard in higher education policy. As of June 2006, I'm finishing up my first year of a Ph.D. in Education Policy at Stanford, focusing on social change and and philanthropy.


Gretchen Agee, 1999
I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in May and am currently clerking for the Honorable James B. Loken, Chief Judge of the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Prior to attending law school, I spent one year studying in Grenoble, France and one year as a research assistant in the Foreign Policy group at the Brooking's Institution in Washington, D.C.

Mike Buckley, 1999
Since graduating in 1999, I've earned masters degrees in biological sciences and in history at Stanford and at Cal, respectively. I'm currently pursuing my doctorate in modern British history at Cal. I also teach part-time at Stuart Hall High School, a Catholic high school for boys in San Francisco. Teaching is a fantastic career, especially in history!

Justin Ewers, 1999, is a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report, covering higher education and history for the magazine. Before coming to U.S. News, where he has worked for three years, Justin spent a year writing travel stories for Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park, California. He graduated from Stanford University in 1999 with a B. A. and, a year later, an M. A. in history.

Bob Gates, 1999, is putting his Asian history concentration to good use and is now well into his fifth year in China. After four-plus years living and working in Beijing, most of that time with the US-China Business Council, Bob moved to Shanghai in the fall of 2004 to open the Asia office for Gerson Lehrman Group, an independent financial research firm out of New York.

Elise Lipkowitz, 1999 (BA '99, MA '00) - is pursuing a doctorate in history at Northwestern University where she is specializing in the history of science and medicine in the 18thC Atlantic World. Her research interests include the relationship between science and politics, the role of institutions, individuals and media in the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge, as well as techniques of persuasion in the history of science and medicine. Prior to returning to graduate school she was the research manager at Eastwick Communications, a Silicon Valley public relations firm.

George W. McCullock, 1999
I graduated with a BA in history in 1999. I am currently a Vice President in the New York office of Insight Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in growth-stage software and Internet companies. Prior to joining Insight, I worked as an Associate with Summit Partners in Palo Alto, a technology venture capital firm.

James A. McKinnell, 1999, now Dr. James A. McKinnell. I am currently working as a resident physician in Los Angeles. I am training for a career in academic medicine, specifically Infectious Diseases. I hope to spend most of my time treating and researching HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. I studied African Colonial History, primarily with Prof. Richard Roberts, and the experience has been invaluable to me. Surprisingly, the skills I learned from history research translate well into medical research. Further, having learned African history gives me some insight that my peers don't share. This smoothed my transition from a US based medical system to an African one. I count my URO sponsored thesis on sleeping sickness in Uganda as the single most important project to propel my career in medicine; it helped me to get into medical school, gave me the experience I needed to thrive in both Mali and Ugandan hospital, and attracted the attention of the residency selection committee at my current hospital.

Atiba Pertilla, 1999
I've spent the past five years living in Washington and working at the Project for Excellence in Journalism (, an organization devoted to improving the standards of the news media. I do research and write reports on all aspects of TV news-- from what goes on behind the scenes to what kinds of stories get on the air. It's been a great experience, but I've realized that I'm a historian at heart and I'm now applying to Ph.D. programs, with plans to focus on 19th-century American history and the history of philanthropy.

Julie Ann Perschbacher, 1999
I graduated from Stanford in 1999 with a double major in History (emphasis in Eastern Europe) and Classics. Following graduation I worked as a paralegal in Washington, D.C. for two years before attending law school at the University of Virginia School of Law. I graduated from law school last May and I am currently working as a judicial clerk for a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond). When my clerkship is over this fall I will be heading back to Washington, DC to work as an attorney at Hogan & Hartson.

Steve Yoda, 1999 (BA '99; MA "00)
I married my wife, Kristine, in January 2004; graduated from University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law in May 2004; and passed the July 2004 California Bar Exam. Presently, I am working as a law clerk to a Federal District Court Judge in San Jose. My clerkship began in August 2004 and will end in August 2005. My wife and I are currently living in Los Altos Hills.