When I started as a freshman at Temple University, I had an interest in history but was planning to earn a degree in biology. I took History of the World Economy Since 1945 with Dr. Arthur Schmidt my first semester, loved the coursework, and decided to pursue history as a career in the year that followed. I consider myself fortunate that I was able to experience so many great history courses and instructors at Temple while earning my degree.
I decided to enter the PhD program at George Washington University after I graduated in 2001, and was amazed at the experiences that are available to history grad students. I interned with the Army Center of Military History during the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, worked at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers document editing project, briefly returned to Philadelphia as a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and got to perform historical research at repositories across the Washington, DC area.
In 2005 I became the history and political science teacher at the U.S. House of Representatives Page Program School on Capitol Hill, and I remained on staff after I earned my Ph.D. in 2008. I enjoyed the sense of mission I felt doing historical work in federal service so, after a career setback when the Page Program ended in 2011, I became a historian at the Department of State. Now I edit historically significant foreign policy documents for the Foreign Relations of the United States series, and I recently published my first book, Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace. I am very grateful that my years as an undergraduate at Temple helped me to decide to build a career in history.