About the Department

Faculty Fridays

Get to know our faculty and staff with Faculty Fridays!

"Faculty Fridays" are friendly profiles of History Department faculty and staff which appear on the History Department Facebook page. Posts are informal interviews or writings alluding to people's lighter sides, hobbies and interests, beyond teaching and research.

For questions or comments, or to schedule an interview (if you happen to be one of our elusive faculty members), please contact Prof. Laurie Eisenberg or Jesse Wilson.


March 30, 2017
Interview with Prof. Lauren Herckis
Much of Dr. Lauren Herckis' archaeological work is concentrated in and around the Maya city of Palenque in Mexico, though she is currently residing in Pittsburgh to conduct anthropological research at CMU. Living within close proximity to the Museum of Natural History and Phipps Conservatory is perfect for her and her family. Read more »

February 17, 2017
Interview with Prof. Katherine A. Lynch
Dr. Katherine A. Lynch is a Carnegie Mellon Professor of European history who specializes in population and familial and social institutions in France. Since her first trip to France during college, she has spent much time over the course of the years visiting and working in the country, especially in Paris. Read more »

January 27, 2017
Interview with Prof. Shawn Alfonso Wells
As an anthropologist, Shawn Alfonso-Wells studies people; however, her love for culture, language, and people stretches far beyond the work hours of her Carnegie Mellon classes. In her life outside of class, Professor Shawn Alfonso–Wells spends time with her family, oftentimes still teaching. Since first grade, she has been fascinated by origami and has since passed down her love for the art to her son. Read more »

October 14, 2016
Read about Prof. Nico Slate
Professor Nico Slate has perfected the art of being an amateur. He constantly challenges himself to try new things. Rather than mastering each new craft, he feels there is something rather enjoyable about being slightly bad at something; after all, being bad at something means there is a lot of room for learning. Read more »

March 25, 2016
Interview with Prof. Paul K. Eiss
“I was in Yucatán hard at work in the archives. With just two days left before returning home, I was desperate to get through the documents I was studying: boxes 133A through 138B..." Read more »

February 19, 2016
Interview with Prof. Joel Tarr
"My father had a small inner city hardware store in Jersey City, New Jersey for much of the time I was growing up. During the Second World War, however, before he opened the store, he worked in the federal shipyards in Kearny, New Jersey..." Read more »

August 28, 2015
Interview with Prof. Christopher Phillps
"I think most professors enjoy a sense of humor, and I think that a lot of students think that they have to be really serious on all their assignments. There’s a time and place for being serious but what a lot of students don’t realize is that when you’re reading a bunch of papers or a bunch of exams, funny asides are oftentimes really welcome..." Read more »

July 24, 2015
Interview with Prof. Steven Schlossman
“Adam, my son, got involved in the music business—something to my wife’s and my surprise— around 2010. He had spent a couple years working at the Federal Trade Commission and then was working for a well-known attorney in Washington D.C. and doing work on the SCOTUS blog, which is a really important source of information about the Supreme Court..." Read more »

July 17, 2015
Interview with Prof. John Soluri
“People find bananas such a funny and an odd topic. I was at a wedding recently and a woman showed up with one of those fruit basket hats and it had bananas in it. A friend of mine saw the hat and said, “John, I have to get a picture of you with the woman with the hat so I can send it to my colleagues...” Read more »

April 7, 2015
Interview with Prof. Laurie Eisenberg
"I read The Little Prince for the first time in high school French class and loved its gentle humor and life lessons, and I’ve carried them with me ever since..." Read more »

June 18, 2015
Interview with Prof. Edda L. Fields-Black
“I’ve been changed by finding these unmarked and open graves of my ancestors on the rice plantations and I really wanted to tell a big story. I didn’t want to just write for my colleagues and specialists in my field. I wanted this history to get out of the academy and to really change people..." Read more »