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Alumni Spotlight

  • Russell Wigginton (PhD, '01, History) is the president of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Charles J. Shields (BA, English, '75; MA, History, '79) is the author of 20 nonfiction books for young readers, and biographies of Harper Lee, John Williams, Kurt Vonnegut, and Lorraine Hansberry. He recently retired after a successful 25 year career as a writer where he combined his interest in literature with the research skills he gained as a historian.
  • Tim Johnson (1946-2022) was the U.S. Congressman, Illinois 15th District from 2001 to 2013. 
  • Jim Brennan is an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Scott Rice is the general counsel for the University of Illinois System.
  • Clarence Lang is the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. The below comments were obtained shortly after the completion of his PhD.
  • Lisa Nikodem is the director of organizing at Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action.
  • Megan MacDonald is the Head of Philanthropic Partnerships at Equitech Futures.
  • Matthew Filter is the economic development manager for the Durham County government.
  • Ben Jacobson works at the U.S. Department of Defense.