Event Type

AHA Online, Webinar/Virtual Event

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Career Paths, Graduate Education, Professional Life, Teaching & Learning

Event Description

What can we do to support graduate students? From professional development to mental health to community-building, the American Historical Association has found that History Graduate Student Associations are integral points of intervention for student support and success. At our first HGSA Workshop, we invited graduate students to collaborate on and exchange models for HGSAs that serve students’ needs and empower students’ agency.

Our opening session offered a new framework for graduate student associations to ground their work in diversity, equity and inclusion practices. The workshop provided an intellectual space to discuss practical solutions and work through adaptive challenges in graduate education. In the community rooms, we identified current specific challenges, shared successful experiences, and learned about different approaches to developing and implementing an HGSA.

Date and time: April 7, 2022, from 1:30-3:30 pm EDT



Keynote: 1:30-2:15 pm EDT

  • Introduction by Vanessa Madrigal-Lauchland, Career Diversity Fellow, American Historical Association
  • Reginald Ellis (Florida A&M Univ.), “Anti-racism and the HGSA: How diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the heart of student support”

Breakout rooms: 2:15-2:50 pm EDT

  • Institutional Knowledge
  • Professional Development
  • Community-Building

Breakout rooms: 2:50-3:25 pm EDT

  • Governance and Structures
  • Mental Health
  • Open Room

Closing: 3:25-3:30 pm EDT


Featured Speaker

Reginald Ellis is an associate professor of history and the assistant dean in the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Florida A&M University. Dr. Ellis specializes in the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African American leaders during the Jim Crow era. His first manuscript, Between Washington and Du Bois: The Racial Politics of James Edward Shepard, is an analytical biography of James Edward Shepard, the founding president of North Carolina Central University, located in Durham, North Carolina, was published in November 2017 by the University Press of Florida. In 2018 Ellis co-edited the anthology The Seedtime: The Work and The Harvest: New Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle in America with Jeffrey Littlejohn and Peter Levy.

Along with his academic services, Dr. Ellis remains active in the community by participating in a number of capacities. He was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of the Florida Humanities Council and is a member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 31, also served as member of its Board of Governors. He is also a member of Leadership Florida Connect Class IX, a past member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Foundation Tallahassee. Also, Dr. Ellis remains active in a host of professional and academic organization including the Gamma Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a host of historical associations including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the Southern Conference on African and African American Studies. Dr. Ellis is a council member on the AHA’s Professional Division.


Vanessa Madrigal-Lauchland studies Latinx History and is a first-generation scholar from the Central Valley in California. In addition to researching the school-to-prison pipeline in Stockton, she works to innovate new pathways toward equity and achievement—whether in the community or academia. Working to increase student retention and achievement, Vanessa developed the UC Davis History Department’s first graduate student association as a key intervention to departmental programming, community mentorship, resource communication, and as an institutionalized mechanism to advocate for curricular change informed by Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Currently, Vanessa is working with the California History-Social Science Project and California Subject Matter Project to connect K-12 educators and university scholars.