Published: April 8, 2019

Justin Vaughan in Giza

Justin Vaughan is an MA student studying Middle Eastern History who was recently accepted to the PhD Program at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School for International Studies. He expects to graduate from CU Denver in August of 2019 and proceed directly to the International Studies Program. Vaughan's MA thesis focuses on Syrian nationalism during the French Mandate. Commenting on the program, Vaughan says: "My advisors were absolutely vital to my progress and success. Dr. Stahl is not only extraordinarily knowledgable about Middle Eastern History but has been very astute at identifying deficiencies in my understanding of difficult topics and directing me to the resources best suited to help me progress in those areas. Dr. Crewe understands the graduate school system very well. He has been, and continues to be, invaluable in helping me navigate the program and its requirements. Also, despite not being one of my official advisors, Dr. Finkelstein has been a terrific resource in understanding the university system and academia in general, helping to ensure my success at CU Denver and greatly increasing my chances of submitting a successful application to the PhD program at Josef Korbel." It is clear from Vaughan's description of his time in the program that the guidance of advisors can make all the difference.

Reflecting on the rigor of our courses, Vaughan said he was "absolutely challenged by the program, the material, and most of all, my professors. I truly felt I wasn't being taught what to think but how to think. I learned what I had been doing wrong, how to identify my biases, and how to effectively communicate my ideas as a result." Vaughan summarized his thoughts with an affirmation of his optimism: "I couldn't possibly be more excited about my future academic and professional endeavors, and I couldn't be more grateful to the faculty here at CU Denver for helping me to realize my potential." The History Department congratulates Vaughan for his accomplishments and wishes him well in his next steps.