Our Students

Learn more about some of the students in our community, what drew them to Global Medieval Studies, and their recommendations for professors and classes within the program!

Katie Hawkinson

Katie is a junior pursuing the Global Medieval Studies minor, and is originally from Spokane, WA. Her interest in Medieval Studies began in Prof. Emily Francomano and Prof. Jonathan Ray’s first-year liberal arts seminar. Katie loved the focus on discussion, analyzing primary sources from the medieval Mediterranean, and seeing medieval artifacts at Georgetown’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections at Lauinger Library. She highly recommends History of China I and II taught by Prof. Spendelow, whom Katie notes is incredibly knowledgeable on Asian history, a compelling lecturer, and adaptable in a virtual environment. In addition, Katie recommends Prof. Moran Cruz’s Sex and Power in Europe (800-1600) course, and especially enjoys the course’s discussions about women’s roles during the medieval period. In her free time, Katie is an executive editor for the Hoya, and loves to read, embroider, and chat with friends. 

Madalyn Shaw

Madalyn is from Fredericksburg, VA, and is a senior in the College majoring in Art History and double minoring in Global Medieval Studies and Studio Art. She was drawn to MVST because of its global reach, which has helped her broaden her horizons and investigate other disciplines. She loves the encompassing feeling of of exploring different areas of the world and different fields of study. Madalyn highly recommends Buddhist Art, taught by Prof. Michelle C. Wang, Prof. Morici’s Icons and Idols course, which also convinced her to become an art history major, and Witches with Prof. Weigert, which combines pop culture, history, theater, and film. In her free time, Madalyn loves antiquing, reading, painting, and going out to cafes. She’s also involved with the only filmmaking club on campus, GUTV! 

Brett Guessford

One of our minors in Global Medieval Studies, Brett is a junior from Hagerstown, MD. Brett has always been interested in history, archaeology, and sociology, but his interest in the medieval period blossomed while taking Dr. McNamer’s Ignatius Seminar on literature and artifacts from the premodern world, which included museum trips around DC. After taking a class on the Holy Roman Empire with Dr. Amy Leonard, he decided to minor in Global Medieval Studies. He also enjoyed Dr. Sayilgan’s Introduction to Islam course, which covers the Islamic Golden Age and the origin of Islam. Outside of class, Brett is involved with the Georgetown Progressive Alliance, and last year he managed a successful city council campaign in his hometown. In his free time, Brett enjoys creating visual and digital art, collecting coins, and playing guitar. 

Melanie Smith

As one of our Global Medieval Studies majors, Melanie is looking forward to taking a variety of classes throughout her course of study. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is what initially drew her to MVST––Melanie says she’s always had trouble trying to decide between history, anthropology, english/literature, art history, linguistics, and theology, but now she doesn’t have to choose. Through all these fields, Melanie enjoys studying historiography and the migration of peoples throughout time. Melanie recommends taking any course with Professor Tim Newfield, who inspired her to continue studying MVST after her first class in the program. Outside of school, Melanie likes to travel, read, cook/bake, visit museums, and bird watch, and is also a section editor at Ultraque Unum.

Thomas Ronan

Though he was born in Berkely, CA, Thomas has lived around the world and calls Bergamo, Italy home. Thomas is a junior in the College double majoring in Italian and Global Medieval Studies, and is looking forward to taking courses on medieval Italy, England, and Japan. He highly recommends every MVST professor he’s taken so far, especially Prof. Moran Cruz’s “History and Legend in Medieval Britain”, Prof. Hirsh’s “Chaucer and the 14th Century”, Prof. Cicali’s “Dante”, and Prof. Toom’s course on Augustine’s Confessions. When he’s not learning about world history, Thomas loves to draw and listen to music. 

Bella McGlone

Bella is a junior from Mt. Airy, MD, majoring in History and double minoring in Government and Global Medieval Studies. She’s excited to study the patterns of religion and literature throughout the medieval period and how they’re still relevant today. Though she likes to learn about a range of historical periods, she decided to minor in MVST so that she can focus on the medieval era. Bella highly recommends the Liberal Arts Seminar taught by Profs. Francomano and Ray, who gave different perspectives on a large swath of medieval mediterranean history. In her free time, Bella plays clarinet in the Pep Band, writes for the Georgetown Voice, and volunteers at the Humane Rescue Alliance. 

Bryna Cameron-Steinke

Bryna is a fourth-year PhD candidate at Georgetown’s History Department studying early medieval environmental history. Her dissertation research examines land use and land transformation in northwestern France, focusing on coastal Brittany and Normandy, between 300-1000 AD. Bryna is from Toronto, Canada, and before coming to Georgetown, she completed a BA&Sc at McGill University, where she studied Biology and History, and an MA from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies. In undergrad, she was interested in the intersection between biology and history, which eventually led her to environmental history. Bryna’s research is profoundly interdisciplinary, using evidence from archaeology and palynology, the study of plant pollen and spores, in addition to traditional written sources. Though her background is in history, she’s sought out training in these other fields. For archaeology, for instance, she’s studied archaeological theory and participated in the excavation of an early medieval infant cemetery, thought to be the result of a malaria epidemic, in Lugnano in Teverina, Italy, in 2019. She’s also planning to train in palynology. Since there are relatively few surviving written sources from the early Middle Ages, Bryna thinks an interdisciplinary approach is particularly valuable for this period. She hopes that her research will help show the potential of interdisciplinary research for medieval history. Otherwise, when she’s not reading pollen diagrams and Latin charters, Bryna loves getting outside and going on hikes, runs, and bike rides around DC.

Bryna (left, with pickaxe) on an archaeological dig.