Graduate Students

Samuel Alonzo Dodge is a PhD Candidate and former Dean’s Fellow at Lehigh University. He received his MA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he received the History Department’s Caldwell Prize, and his BA from Brigham Young University. He has expertise in the fields of American Colonial, Latin America, British Empire, and American Religious history. His current dissertation, “Disturbing the Good Order: The Negotiation of Religious Liberty in the Early American Republic” explores how public political discourse shaped competing notions of religious liberty from the Revolution up through the War of 1812. He has published work in the Journal of Mormon History, Methodist History, and interned for The Joseph Smith Papers. He is the coeditor, with Dr. Steven C. Harper, of the historical anthology Exploring the First Vision. He has developed and taught courses at Salt Lake Community College and the College of Staten Island. Samuel currently lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Cecily, and their children Hyrum and Clara.


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).