History at Aquinas College

Alumni Profiles

Recent Alumni Profiles

Jeff Luehm '06
Before college, Jeff Luehm was drawn to history, social movements, and literature. At Aquinas, he appropriately found himself studying education with a major in history and a minor in language arts.

“Aquinas really helped me explore those topics more and gave me a cross-disciplinary perspective of global issues,” said Jeff. After graduating in 2006, he held on to the Dominican pillar of service and joined the Peace Corps in El Salvador for two years. Upon his return, he continued his journey of service by spending the next eight years back in the U.S. as a houseparent at a residential school in Pennsylvania. >Read More

Matthew Ellis '15
After becoming a history major, Matthew was introduced to public history through a course taught by Aquinas College Archivist, Jennifer Morrison.  As part of the class, Matt learned about archival science and how to write finding aids that conformed to professional archival standards.  Near the time Matt graduated, he interviewed for a position with the Grand Rapids City Archives.  He got the position and began his on-the-job training with the archivist in charge of all official Grand Rapids city records.  Within months, Matt was hired as the fulltime assistant to the city archivist.  He has already worked with city assessor’s cards, Gerald Ford letters, and 1920s era felony record books.  Recently he was given authority over a collection of early school records.  Matt intends to continue his education with a Master’s degree in information science or political science.  >Read More

Brandon A. Sexton '09
After graduation in 2009, Brandon earned an M.S. in Industrial Archaeology, Michigan Tech. He then began work as a Museum Specialist with the Boston National Historical Park and the Boston African American National Historic Site. His job entailed being the the museum collections manager for both sites, plus all their disparate holdings at numerous locations around the city. Brandon now works as a Museum Specialist with Yellowstone National Park.

Jenny Caylen (Coulon) '07
Jennifer (Coulon) Caylen received a distinguished fellowship to study history at Columbia University in New York City her senior year at AQ and is the only Aquinas student to receive this fellowship. After graduating in 2007 she has taught at three different schools in Michigan and attributes Aquinas to her success as a teacher. Caylen recently received a position at a prestigious Detroit school, Detroit Country Day Middle School, where she will teach sixth grade social studies.

Jacob Baum '05
Jake graduated from AQ in 2005. Jake received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2013. He writes that his research specializes "in late medieval and early modern German history.  My dissertation focuses on the relationships between peoples' understandings of the senses and religious rituals in traditional Christian (Catholic) and early Protestant (Lutheran) communities. In October 2009, I presented a brief sample of my work, entitled "Incense and Idolatry: The Reformation of Olfaction in Late Medieval German Christian Ritual," at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. I was honored to receive the Carl S. Meyer Prize for this paper, which is given for the best paper presented by a graduate student." Jake's article “From Incense to Idolatry: The Reformation of Olfaction in Late Medieval German Ritual" was published in Sixteenth Century Journal 44, no. 2 (Summer, 2013), 323-344. He is currently a tenure-track assistant professor at Texas Tech University and is preparing his book manuscript entitled Reformation of the Senses: A Historical Phenomenology of Religion in Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Germany for publication. Check out Jake's faculty page here

Andrew Demschuk '02
Andrew graduated from AQ in 2002 and continued his education at Marquette University and the University of Illinois. Andrews tells us that "Since 2011 I have held the tenure-track post of assistant professor of German history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). UAB is an exciting research institution, where I continue to pursue scholarship on post-1945 ethnic cleansing, memory, and reconstruction in Central and East-Central Europe. I also lead introductory, intermediate, and master's-level history courses. My thanks to the Aquinas history department for all of your support, both during my undergraduate studies, as well as when I came to teach German history at Aquinas in fall 2008." 

Further Reading