Current Graduate Students

Alumni Spotlight
James Wils

Name: James “Jimmy” Wils
Program: MA History, Public History Concentration
Graduated: Spring 2012
Current Title: Ph.D. Candidate in Public History at North Carolina State University
Why ECU: James's academic career at ECU was further enhanced by a close-knit history department “family” and the mentorship of several faculty members that have continued to offer advice and serve as an inspiration throughout his doctoral studies.


Jack Adamson

Jack Adamson is originally from Hickman County, Tennessee. Jack pursued his Bachelor’s degree in History from Austin Peay State University. While there, he interned at the Pratt Museum of the 101st Airborne and later spent a summer studying abroad in France, Germany, and Austria focusing of the Holocaust and European studies. Following graduation in 2013, he was employed in the cattle industry and later the construction industry, specifically in special inspections, where he developed numerous technical, managerial, and operation skills. He eventually decided to return to academia to pursue his Master’s Degree and enrolled in ECU’s Maritime Studies program. He has a passion for all facets of military history from ancient to modern but is especially interested in the World Wars. In the future, Jack hopes to become a successful field archaeologist and, in later years, return to academics as a professor.


Corry Atkinson is a first-year Master's in History student at ECU. Corry was born in West Point, NY, but raised in North Carolina. He graduated from ECU in 2017, where he double-majored in Classical Studies and History. Corry is interested in ancient Greek and Roman history, and how war coexisted with, and influenced, Greek and Roman society. After completing graduate school he wants to pursue his PhD and teach ancient history at the university level.

Tyler Ball Updated

Tyler Ball is a 3rd year graduate student in the Maritime Studies Program. He enjoys all aspects of the ocean and exploring new places, Tyler was eager to find a program that blends his love for exploring with his interest in historical archaeology. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from Marshall University with a minor in History. Tyler's interests outside of maritime archaeology include: sketching, playing sports, traveling, and topics focusing on marine environmental science/studies. Tyler's thesis is focused on understanding what cannon arrangement patterns on Caribbean shipwrecks can tell us about the wrecking process itself. Tyler recently completed an internship working with BOEM, NPS, and ACE writing shipwreck nominations for the National Register of Historic Places that were located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Samantha Bernard

Samantha Bernard , currently enrolled in the Maritime Studies program, is originally from Illinois but grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas Pan-American with her BA in Anthropology and her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies. As an undergraduate student, she was first introduced to terrestrial archaeology while working on artifact analysis in Casma, Peru. Later, as a graduate student, she worked in battlefield archaeology, historical public outreach, and eventually was introduced to the world of maritime archaeology. After two summers spent in Bermuda doing fieldwork, her interests in maritime studies were cemented. Current research interests include maritime culture, public outreach, and conservation of material culture.

Katrina Bunyard is a first year graduate student in the Maritime Studies program. She recently graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a B.S. in Anthropology (focus archaeology), and graduate school marks the first time she’s lived outside Arizona. She has aspired to be an archaeologist since the second grade, after several trips to National Parks, watching Indiana Jones for the first time, and a school report on ancient Greece. Somewhere between then and last year, she became extraordinarily interested in maritime archaeology, and she still can’t pinpoint the exact cause of it, but she suspects that visits to the Navy Yard and Mariners’ Museum during college, and believes watching Pirates of the Caribbean as a kid had something to do with it. She tends to spend her free time reading (primarily science fiction and fantasy), browsing bookstores, watching movies, volunteering, and hanging out with family and friends.

Tyler Caldwell

Tyler Caldwell 's interest in history stems from a childhood interest in the Roman/Greek period in history. Seeing trends and patterns throughout history and how the human race has evolved overtime is a fascinating subject. His thesis topic deals with the Crusader Era in the Levant and looking at settlement/ fortification patterns on Cyprus during different times of occupations. In his Undergraduate at MTSU his history classes focused on the Crusader Era which peaked his interest in the Maritime aspects of this transformative period. Outside of history he enjoys biking, swimming, video games, table top games, and triathlons. His long-term goal is to work with research groups in the Mediterranean as an archaeological technician. Tyler is in the Maritime Studies Program.

Joel Cook
Joel Cook graduated from Fayetteville State University with a double major in History and Intelligence Studies. He is conducting research on West African Naval Warfare, but also has a deep interest in the development of the African slave trade and the Middle Passage. Joel is also an active living historian and member of both the Sons and Daughters of Ham and the Hannibal Guards.
Sean Cox

Sean Cox came to the Maritime Studies Program with a background in Classics, which he followed with a career in Turkey conducting economic analysis and investigative due diligence. This circuitous path has led him to layer interests in the ancient Mediterranean and the Early Modern Age of Sail periods, with diagnostic photogrammetry, 3D modeling, and mathematical search and survey methods. Broadly, he is interested in the ways material culture provide evidence for repeated cultural behaviors that can inform the interpretation of maritime heritage on both macro and individual scales. Sean has done work in Albania, Costa Rica, Florida, Menorca, and Tanzania, and was a Crew Chief for the program's 2017 Bermuda field project.

Austin Croom
Austin Croom received his B.A. in History with a minor in Military History from Liberty University in 2017. Austin is currently enrolled in the Master’s in History Program at ECU with a concentration in Atlantic World History. He is from Fort Barnwell, North Carolina, and recently, had the opportunity to do research at George Washington’s Mount Vernon as an undergraduate. Austin’s research has primarily centered around the development of English colonialism at Roanoke Island in the sixteenth century, North Carolina’s struggles in the Proprietary Era, and various topics within World War II.  Austin hopes to pursue a PhD in history after completing his MA and become a college professor.
Emily DiBiase
Emily DiBiase is a first-year student in the Maritime Studies program at ECU. She grew up in York, Pennsylvania and earned a B.A. in Archaeology from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There, Emily trained in terrestrial archaeology. She dug at the site of Idalion in Cyprus for two seasons, one as a supervisor. She has also worked for the York County Heritage Trust cataloging and organizing documents and for the Charlotte Museum of History doing a study of mid-century modern architecture. As far as maritime archaeology goes, she has a broad interest, but Emily is especially fascinated with the ancient Mediterranean.
Anna D'Jernes Maritime Studies

Anna "Slim" D'Jernes is a second-year Master's student in the Maritime Studies program. She is originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and grew up just outside of Raleigh in the heart of state. Anna’s love of colorful leaves and cool weather led her to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. There she earned her Bachelor's degrees in English and Women’s Studies, while hiking, skiing, climbing, canoeing, and exploring as much as possible. Following the completion of her undergraduate degrees at Appalachian State, Anna began her studies at ECU in 2016. Anna plans to combine her interests in maritime history and gender theory to research constructions of gender, identity, and sexuality in seafaring communities and their subsequent imprint on the surviving historical and archaeological record. Her other research interests include cultural resource management, North Carolina's history, material culture, conservation studies, arctic exploration, and confinement archaeology.


Andrianna Dowell is originally from San Diego, California. She graduated cum laude from San Diego State University with her BA in Communication and Marketing. Growing up in a modern maritime society instilled a passion and intrigue for underwater archaeology early on. Her first experience with archaeology, however, would be a terrestrial field school in Guatemala excavating the ancient Maya city of Ucanal, and a field project in San Diego excavating a prehistoric Native American site. Her research interests in maritime archaeology include gender roles and feminist theory in maritime culture, as well as public outreach efforts and coastal cultural resource. Andrianna is in the Maritime Studies Program.


Daniel Early is in the History MA and became interested in History thanks to the Provost of his undergraduate institution, Chowan University. The provost also happened to be the father of his best friend from grade school. The provost earned his Ph.D. in History and encouraged Daniel to pursue a similar path. Outside of school, he enjoys travelling with his fiancé, Courtney, and planning for their wedding. He is also an avid soccer fan and keeps up with about ten different European Leagues. 


Kristina Fricker is a graduate student in the Maritime Studies Program. She graduated from the University of Rochester in May of 2015 where she double majored in History and Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures (ATHS). While attending a terrestrial field school in Bermuda, she snorkeled over a 19th century paddlewheel shipwreck and decided to pursue an interest in underwater archaeology. Her academic interests include ancient navies in the Mediterranean as well as expanding current underwater archaeological methodologies. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, camping, and diving.


Paul Willard Gates is a second-year graduate student in the Maritime Studies Program. Originally, he is from Boise, Idaho. Paul’s thesis work is focused on using Behavioral Archaeology and Site Formation processes to interpret abandoned vessels in the Pine Street Barge Canal Basin along the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. He is involved with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum where he worked as a conservation technician and an archaeological diver for the Marine Research Institute. Later in life, Paul plans to move back to Vermont to assist in managing the Underwater Historic Preserves. He holds a B.A. in History and M.S. in Historic Preservation from The University of Vermont.

Lauren Goffried, History

Lauren Rose Gottfried is a second year graduate student pursuing a M.A. in American History. Lauren received her undergraduate degree in History from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in 2016. For her thesis, she is studying the United States’ foreign relationship with the Middle East during the Carter Administration with a focus on Yemen. She is particularly interested in the history of our relationship with the Middle East because unresolved problems in the region continue to affect the world presently. Lauren lives in coastal Carolina with her husband and two year old rescue Pit Bull, Colt. When Lauren is not busy with school, she loves to read, go to the beach, build DIY furniture, and plan vacations.  Lauren and her husband also spend a lot of time working on their 2005 GTO. They adventured through Spain this past summer and are hoping to see Thailand next.

Kayla Carr

Kayla E. Green is in the History MA program, concentrating in Atlantic World. Her primary area of interest is in the Spanish colonization of Central Mexico, and the correlation between gender, religion, and education. Her thesis research focuses on the role of gender in religious education, focusing on the active recruitment of Spanish women to move to Mexico for the purpose of teaching indigenous girls of noble status in the sixteenth century by the Catholic Church. Kayla graduated previously from ECU with both a BA in History and a BS in Middle Grades Education in May 2015. Following graduation, she taught 7th grade social studies and ELA at Dunn Middle School, where she was awarded the Golden Apple Teacher Award. Kayla's passion for teaching and passion for historical knowledge led her to return to ECU to pursue graduate studies. Outside of academics, she enjoys reading, yoga, kickboxing, and spending time with her husband, Matthew, and their puppy, Jon Snow.

Dillon Shaw Hamill is in the History MA with a concentration in European History (Ancient World). His interest in history began as a consequence of adolescent bookishness and curiosity. However, his interest was ignited, in earnest, following his first semester of history coursework at ECU. Excellent faculty aided to kindle a lifelong passion. A 2014 graduate of ECU with a BA in History & Russian Studies, his thesis research explores the intersection of religion, agriculture, and warfare in Archaic Boeotia. Dr. Frank Romer is his thesis adviser. Interest outside of history: music, culture, sports, and volunteering at his local church.

Ian Harrison is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and is in the Maritime Studies Program. He completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University obtaining a BS in Anthropology and a BA in Geography and GIS. At Michigan State Ian conducted a variety of historic and prehistoric archaeology in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as South Africa and Botswana. Following graduation he worked as a CRM archaeologist on projects throughout the Midwest, before eventually coming to ECU to pursue a career in Maritime Archaeology. With geographic interests in both the Great Lakes and South Africa, Ian is primarily interested in the transition from sail to steam and the advent of iron shipbuilding. Having worked with social media outreach for the Michigan State Campus Archaeology Program, and now on the Stem-to-Stern team here at ECU, Ian hopes to continue his future research with a focus on community engagement and public archaeology.

Brian Henry
Brian Henry, originally from Austin, Texas, received his B.A. in history from ECU in 2003, and is currently enrolled in the M.A. History program with a concentration in Public History. While always fascinated by history of the Americas, years of visiting museums and historical sites and conducting genealogical research widened his interest in German American culture in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. As a graduate student, Brian is focused on how this culture was deeply affected during the Civil War era. He is grateful that graduate studies allow for the pursuit of new skills such as artifact preservation and digital history, a key factor for his return to graduate school.

James Higgins is currently a MA History graduate student concentrating in Public History with a focus in historic preservation. James has his BS in Interior Design from East Carolina University.  Interests outside of Interior Design and History: home DIY projects, two wonderful Shelties, cooking, antique furniture, and collecting toy trains made before WWII.

Trevor Hough was born in Laguna Beach, CA, but spent his formative years sailing around the world on his family's home-built trimaran, which was the impetus for his interest in maritime archaeology. After getting his B.A. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology from the University of California Santa Barbara, he spent the next five years working in CRM throughout the Western United States. As an individual, he has many varied interests within the field of archaeology centered on Indigenous archaeology such as prehistoric settlement patterns and cultural exchange. He is currently working on his thesis studying the expression of colonization upon the California Chumash through changes in their maritime culture. In his spare time he enjoys reading, flintknapping, woodworking, swimming, diving (both SCUBA and springboard), as well as his old love, sailing. Trevor is in the Maritime Studies Program.

George Huss

George Huss is in the Maritime Studies Program. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology, Minor in History and Marine Option Program Certificate in Maritime Archaeology in December 2014. While at UH, George worked under Dr. Hans Van Tilburg who is the Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries in the Pacific. George participated in UH’s annual Maritime Archaeology Survey Techniques Course where he helped survey a supposed Landing Ship Medium. Following the survey, he coauthored the site report and was able to narrow down the LSM’s identity. After he graduated, he moved to North Carolina where he worked in cultural resource management. His thesis focuses on the dolphin fishery that once operated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In his spare time, George serves in the USCG Reserves as a Marine Science Technician. Outside of the Coast Guard, he enjoys scuba diving, camping and traveling.


Ever since Janie Knutson was young she has been interested in history. By the age of sixteen she determined that she would become an archaeologist. Her passion for maritime archaeology surfaced in her undergraduate career at Eastern Washington University. Her mentor Dr. John Dorwin offered classes in maritime archaeology and she quickly fell in love with the complexity of ships. From there she discovered her passion for U-boat and World War maritime history and archaeology. Outside of maritime archaeology, she is interested in gender and women’s issues, LQBT studies, Russian history and modern German history. In 2015, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, with a minor in History from Eastern Washington University. Janie is in the Maritime Studies Program.

Stephen Lacey is in the Maritime Studies Program. He has his B.Sc. in History and Anthropology from Ball State University. The focus of his research is on the development of the hand grenades, explosive projectiles, and amphibious warfare.


Janet Mosely Latham received her BA in History from Florida State University in 1990 and is currently enrolled in the MA Program at East Carolina in the Atlantic World Concentration with an emphasis in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Angela Thompson is her Advisor. For the past twelve years she has been independently conducting archival research and publishing articles on various topics related to the History of 19th-early 20th Century Plant Exploration as well as the history of Botanical Illustration. Her interests cover a broad range of topics, including the early Modern Spanish Empire, natural history in the Americas, and scientific expeditions during the Imperial Age. She is particularly interested in the life and work of US Botanist, David G. Fairchild and his wife, Marian Bell Fairchild.

Luke Lebras

Luke LeBras received his bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Connecticut and is continuing his education in the Maritime Studies Program.  At the University of Connecticut Luke's undergraduate studies primarily focused on archaeology and history.  He was a part of multiple terrestrial excavations and research projects in New England, including Paleoamerican lithic analyses, colonial battlefield surveys, and cultural resource management surveys of Archaic and Woodland period sites.  In addition to his work on terrestrial projects, Luke was a scientific diver and archaeologist in the 2017 season of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, and in the 2016 season of the Rockley Bay Research Project.


Maggie LeGrand in in the History MA with a concentration in European History. She has been interested in history since she was a little kid. Her favorite subject in school was history and she has loved learning about how historical events impact us today. Her other interests include reading, scrapbooking, and traveling. She completed her undergraduate degree at ECU in May 2015.


Ryan Marr received his B.S from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Global Security and Intelligence Studies with a History minor. The most powerful memories from his youth center on trips to various museums and historical sites. Whether visiting nearby Revolutionary War encampments or touring ancient Sufi mosques, he knew that he wanted to play an active role in historical preservation. After he traveled internationally he became aware of the need for maritime cultural conservation efforts worldwide especially within unstable regions and this has proven to be the driving force for his continued studies. The critical role that nautical development has served throughout history in combination with the emphasis on field work drew him to the maritime studies program here at ECU. His interests outside of maritime archaeology include recreational flying, foreign languages, and anything involving the outdoors. Ryan is in the Maritime Studies Program.

connor mcbrian, history

Connor McBrian is in the Maritime Studies Program. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in history, where he focused on studying Chinese Cold War history and Roman maritime history. He discovered maritime archaeology after being introduced to it by his professors and friends and quickly moved to Washington, DC to gain experience in cultural resource management at the federal level. Connor interned for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, studying Civil War wrecks off the coast of the Outer Banks, and the Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, where he conducted archival and historical research on World War II wreck sites. His research interests are focused on industrial maritime history and developments in steam power as well as cultural resource management. Connor enjoys going to hockey games, playing bocce, billiards, kayaking, rock climbing, and scuba diving when he can.

Jay Colin Menees is in the History MA. His thesis is entitled, “Health and Healthcare at Somerset Place, 1839-1863.” Growing up listening to the near homeric narratives of the southern mythos, mixed with histrionics of the bard, piqued his interest in historical discourse. He hopes to unravel the truth from mythology, the real from the unreal, and by doing so add a more representative narrative to the current discourse of southern history. His interests include: chess, disc golf, Total War Rome II, and Dodge Chargers. He studied at the University of South Carolina where received his BA in Classical Studies.


Martha Mihich was first exposed to maritime archaeology while working with Dr. Claire Dappert, an ECU alumni, at the Illinois State Archaeology Survey. She is interested in the labor and social history of the Great Lakes maritime culture. Outside of maritime archaeology, she is interested in food, fashion, and film history, particularly during the 19th century. She completed a bachelor of arts in Anthropology from Indiana University in 2012, and she’s excited to complete her graduate degree at ECU. Martha is in the Maritime Studies Program.

Ryan Miranda

Ryan Miranda is first-year graduate student in the Maritime Studies program. He is originally from Farmington, Connecticut. Ryan received his B.A. in Anthropology from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. His interest in history and archaeology began at a young age with his father’s arms and armor collection and during his undergraduate career continued with multiple field schools. Ryan’s interest shifted to maritime archaeology during a class at WAC. His interests include Naval weaponry and maritime histories of the ancient world, Vikings and the US and Royal navy. Outside of archaeology, Ryan enjoys reading, music, playing sports, and being on the water as a rower and under the water as a diver.


Tyler Nowell is in the MA History program with a concentration is European History. With the majority of his classes being concerned with modern European history - this is his favorite time period. He has always liked history. When he was younger, he liked history because it was not math. Now he appreciates history for the insight it offers him into the reasons for the world being the way that it is. Granted, he still hates math. When he’s not doing research, he’s out and about, being social with friends and or playing music (drum set and guitar). He received a degree in both History, and History Education from ECU.

Kristin O'Lear

Kristin O’Lear is a first-year Master’s in History student pursing a concentration in American History, with a concentration in Public History. Her research interests focus on the socio-political exchange between the United States and Germany between the period of 1848 and 1871, and how the exchange of culture and politics impacted both the American Civil War and Germany’s unification in 1871. Originally from Michigan, Kristin received her B.A. in International Relations and German from Michigan State University in 2011, and spent most of the last six years moving and traveling with her husband, who is an active-duty Marine.  In her free time, she volunteers regularly at Tryon Palace and enjoys reading, running, and seeks any opportunity to travel.

Sara Parkin

Sara M Parkin is a graduate student in the Program of Maritime Studies with interests in public outreach and community engagement. She received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her current research is focused on visual site interpretation for the use of public outreach, exhibition, and education.

Jacob Parks is in the MA History and a Graduate Assistant for Preservation & Conservation as well as in the North Carolina Collection and is a teacher of 6th grade Latin at Greenville Montessori School. He has volunteered with the Department of Anthropology and  interned at the Greenville Museum of Art. Jacob is an avid member of ECU's Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and he presented at University of Tennessee on his research "Augustus and the Army: Success, Failure, and Reform." Jacob has always enjoyed museum atmospheres, and this is part of the reason why he decided to major in Public History. He credits his current acumen to his position working with Preservation and Conservation of Manuscript documents. That position was the catalyst that shifted his focus away from the ancient world to studying early American history. Jacob has traveled to various countries: Italy, Spain, Hungary, Romania, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico. His current research interests are the economic repercussions of slavery in North Carolina, the history of the Albemarle region of North Carolina, while public history (in particular, museum studies and archival management) still forms as a significant part of what Jacob intends to do with my education.

Andres Rengifo is in the History MA. He received his BA in History from ECU and his thesis adviser is Dr. Angela Thompson.

Parker Roberson is in the History MA. He received his BA in History from Liberty University.


Sam Rogers, LTC, USA Retired is in the History MA. He has a BA in History and a BA in Geography from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, an MA in Military Studies-Land Warfare from American Military University. His research areas of interest include Intellectual History, Political/Military Thought and Theory, Policy, Strategy, and Operational Art, European Military History. The study of history underpinned his entire career in the United States Army. History, through both extensive informal self-education and serious academic pursuits over the last 30 years, has provided a rich context for developing critical thinking, informed his judgment and intuition, as well as developed hi communications skills. In his final assignment before retiring from the military he was privileged to serve on the faculty at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, starting his transition to history education. Interests outside of history: coaching and supporting youth sports (basketball/baseball/football), Tennessee football and Carolina basketball, wargaming/simulation, and preserving Civil War battlefields.


Maddie Roth is in the Maritime Studies Program and is originally from Vermont. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland where she was able to cultivate an interest in colonial archaeology. After graduating, she spent some time pursuing a variety of interests before moving to South Florida to further explore cultural resource management. An internship with the National Park Service led her to ECU where she hopes to continue researching South Florida maritime heritage and public outreach. Her other research interests include Dutch colonization, Atlantic frontiers, and identity construction. In her free time, Maddie enjoys cooking, diving, hiking, and skiing.

Tim Smith is in the Maritime Studies Program and received his BA in Archeology and Art History from the University of Evansville.

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is a first-year student in the Maritime Studies Program. Patrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, but has lived in Cameron, NC for many years. He graduated cum laude from Liberty University with a BS in Criminal Justice: Criminal Psychology Cognate, with a minor in Strategic Intelligence. He became interested in maritime archaeology at a young age when the first children’s books on the discovery of the Titanic were published. Patrick became encouraged to apply for East Carolina University’s Maritime Studies Program after being reintroduced to scuba diving through Task Force Dagger, a nonprofit organization that supports wounded, ill or injured military special operations members and their families. His primary interests are the WWI, WWII eras and the Age of Sail.


Steph Soder is currently enrolled in the Maritime Studies Graduate Program. After completing an underwater research expedition in Cambodia and bioarchaeology digs in Ireland and Belize, she decided to focus on maritime archaeology. Her research plans include warfare in the Pacific during the 20th century, while also studying osteology further. In her spare time she likes to go camping, hiking, and (of course) diving. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentrated minor in Anthropology from York College of Pennsylvania.

Dorothy Sprague graduated from Goizueta Business School at Emory University with a B.B.A. in 2013. After graduation, Dorothy went to Namibia where she spent three months with the Ju/‘hoan San working on the Ju/‘hoan Transcription Project with the Kalahari Peoples Fund. Upon her return to the United States, Dorothy began to pursue her interest in SCUBA Diving, working on a marine conservation project in Andavadoaka, Madagascar before completing a Divemaster Internship and working in a dive shop in the Seychelles. During her internship in the Seychelles, Dorothy applied to graduate school for Underwater Archaeology. After six months in the Seychelles, Dorothy returned to Namibia where she spent an additional three months with the Ju/‘hoansi traveling with a translator and recording folk tales for the Transcription Project. When she returned from Namibia, Dorothy matriculated at East Carolina University to pursue a masters degree.

Zachary Stevens is in the History MA. He received a BA in Philosophy with a Minor in History from East Carolina University.

Sophie Stuart

Sophie Stuart is a graduate student in the Maritime Studies Program. Before coming to Greenville, she graduated Suma Cum Laude from Portland State University with a BS in History as well as a minor in Spanish. She had always wanted to find a way to combine her love for sports and the water with her love of history for a career, so when she found out there was a program where she could do both of those things, she picked up and moved to North Carolina to pursue that dream. When she’s not studying, diving, or doing other water sports, she enjoys hiking, doing puzzles, and spending time with family, friends and her two dogs.

Aleck Tan

Aleck Tan is a graduate student in the Maritime Studies program. Originally from the Philippines, she has moved around the US since she was young, but feels at home anytime she is in the water. Aleck received her B.A. in Anthropology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, where she fell in love with archaeology, mapping, and SCUBA diving. Her background includes conducting remote sensing and GIS research projects, conducting fieldwork in Belize, and working in CRM in northern California. Aleck is interested in mapping techniques and the management of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia. In her spare time, Aleck enjoys swimming, being outdoors, baking, traveling and spending time with her dog, Cookie.

thomas, olivia, history

Olivia Thomas has a BA in Anthropology, Classical Art & Archaeology, and Underwater Archeology from Indiana University. She is interested in history and maritime archaeology due to extensive reading, study of other cultures, travelling and SCUBA diving. Her outside interests include yoga, cooking, reading, gardening, SCUBA diving, and travelling. Olivia is in the Maritime Studies Program.


Molly Trivelpiece is a first year Maritime Studies student from Virginia and received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Longwood University. For the past few years Molly has participated in and supervised an underwater archaeology field school in Florida and has worked on-site in North Carolina as well. After dabbling in terrestrial cultural resource management work, she decided to continue with her love of maritime-themed projects and further her education at ECU. 


Elise Twohy is in the Maritime Studies Program. She became interested in history and maritime archaeology at a very young age when she stumbled upon a book about the Titanic in her school library.  From that moment on, she absolutely devoured any and all material pertaining to ships and shipwrecks that she could get her hands on, and this was done in a relatively short amount of time as South Dakota does not have an overabundance of maritime-related literature. Her fascination with maritime archaeology culminated in a visit to the Denver Museum of Natural History where an exhibition on the Whydah cemented her future career plans. She received her bachelor degree at South Dakota State University in history and political science.


Alexis Velarde is in the History MA. He received his BA in History from East Carolina University


Annie Wright is a Master’s student in the Maritime Studies program. Her thesis research focuses on underwater 3D imaging systems and their use in cultural heritage tourism. Annie attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where she graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She grew up spending summers on the coast with her family, but reaffirmed her desire to pursue a career in maritime and underwater archaeology by working on several underwater archaeology projects as an undergrad, and participating in a semester-long coastal resource management program in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Since beginning at ECU, Annie has participated in numerous field projects, from Biscayne National Park to Italy. Outside of school, Annie enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing, and spending time with her dog, Cayo, a rescue from the Turks and Caicos.

Eric Walls

Eric Walls obtained his B.A. in History and a B.S. in History Education from ECU in the Spring of 2017. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s in History Program at ECU with a concentration in the Atlantic World. His interests include North Carolina history as well as Cuban history, stemming from a Study Abroad trip to Havana he took part in while a student at Pitt Community College. As an undergraduate, he was the first student at ECU to receive the Hugh T. Lefler Award from the North Carolina Historical Association for the Best Undergraduate Paper on North Carolina History for his work “Fractured Legacy: The Clash of Race, Politics, and Education in North Carolina from Reconstruction Through the Progressive Era.” Eric also received the West Memorial Fund Access Scholars Scholarship, the Miriam Perry Saunders Education Scholarship, and the Charles Saunders History Scholars Scholarship as an undergraduate and the Grad Scholars Award as a graduate student.