Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

HGSA Officers


Hope Shannon is a PhD student in United States and Public History. Her interests include twentieth-century urban history, memory and commemoration, local history, and humanities advocacy. Hope’s research focuses on historical societies founded after World War II, their relationships to urban change, and how they influence civic action and public memory.

Vice President:

Fazila Kabahita is a second year Public History MA student. She focuses on twentieth-century United States history, particularly social movements, urban historic preservation, and women in living history. Additionally, she advocates for more intersectionality inside and outside the public history field.


Kelly Schmidt is in her second year of the joint M.A./Ph.D. program in United States and Public History. Her primary research interests are in issues of race, slavery, and abolition in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the public history sphere, Kelly is interested in museums and historic sites, especially living history museums and museums of memory and conscience.


Maggie McClain is a second year student in the public history Master’s program. Her research interests include transnational history, immigration history, and women’s and gender history. Her background in political science also spurred an interest in the relationship between government, grassroots activism, and societal change. Her public history interests are broad, but her past experiences include visitor services, documentary script writing, and exhibit research and design.

Media Coordinator:

Lauren O’Brien is a second year in the US History M.A. with a minor in Public History. Her research focuses on race and identity. She is particularly interested in the historical representation of multiracial individuals, in the media and visual art culture, that challenge the stigmatization of blackness. As an aspiring educator and advocate for the arts, community, and social justice, Lauren has worked for several Chicago-area institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Loyola University Museum of Art, the Hyde Park/Kenwood Historical Society Oral History Project, and most recently the Jane Addams Hull House Museum.  

Public History Committee Chair:

Ruby Oram is a PhD student in United States and Public History. Her research within twentieth-century American history focuses on women and gender, urban history, and the history of education. She has held public history positions at the Newberry Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

History Students

Photography by Myles Ostrowski © 2015