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CHAIR - Brianna Tafolla Riviere

My name is Brianna and I am running for your GSC chair! If you have been to the WHA before you have probably seen me behind the registration desk as I have volunteered as staff for the last five years. In those five years the WHA has become my academic home and I am dedicated to making it a more welcoming and transparent place for my fellow graduate students. I have also served as the WHA GSC outreach coordinator for the last two years. 

A little more about me. I am a Chicana, first generation grad student, and PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. My dissertation is on the Red Power movement and its connections to Hollywood in the 1960s and 1970s. While I am a temporary Californian, I am originally from Ponca, Pawnee, and Omaha lands known currently as Omaha, Nebraska. I got  my B.A. and M.A. at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, where I originally found my love for American West History. 

As your GSC chair, I want to see you all grow as scholars and professionals. My main priority will be to make the WHA a place that is welcoming and productive for graduate students regardless of their academic or career goals. I am looking to create more learning opportunities outside of the conference like online workshops and panels on exams, dissertation writing, career diversity etc. I look forward to serving you all and making the WHA an even better space for us all. 


  • The Chair is the voting member and primary contact for the WHA Council. The Chair is expected to attend the WHA Fall and Spring Council Meetings, and report on behalf of the WHAGSC.
  • Within the WHAGSC, the Chair organizes and prepares the agenda for WHAGSC meetings, facilitated through an appropriate teleconference platform or a similar medium.
  • The Chair is expected to attend the WHA Annual Conference, direct the WHAGSC Council Meeting, and offer opening remarks at the WHA Graduate Student Reception.
  • The Chair must have previously served on the WHAGSC Executive Board in an official capacity.

VICE CHAIR - Forthcoming, 2023 Election

    Forthcoming: 2023 Election


  • The Vice Chair coordinates work across each Executive Board role and maintains a record of WHAGSC meetings and activity.
  • The Vice Chair works in concert with the Chair to prepare meeting agendas and is responsible for coordinating, scheduling, and reminding Executive Board members for meetings.
  • The Vice Chair also records the minutes of each meeting and works with the Chair to disseminate this information.


I am originally from San Diego, California. I received my BA in History from the University of California, Merced and then proceeded to receive my MA in History at California State University, Stanislaus. Currently, I am a third year PhD student in the Borderlands History Departments at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Here, I study 19th century Chicanas and Mexicanas and their influence on the US-Mexico borderlands. This past year I was the Communications Officer for the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) Representative and Communications Officer. As a Representative, I was the liaison between the GSA and the History Department ensuring the department was informed of Graduate School opportunities while the GSA was aware of department concerns. Meanwhile, I held the Communications position where I created meeting flyers and posted them on social media. For these reasons, I would like to nominate myself as Membership and Outreach Coordinator.


  • The Membership Coordinator will reach out to the members of the caucus with upcoming events and maintain a roster of student members of the WHAGSC.
  • The Membership Coordinator will serve as a direct liaison between the Executive Council and the membership to share events and news relevant to WHA Graduate Students.


Taylor Bailey

Taylor Bailey is a doctoral candidate in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying environmental history, the history of science, and the history of the United States. His research centers on the relationship between conservation, sport hunting, and the science and practice of wildlife management in the twentieth-century. His dissertation project examines the history of efforts by federal and state managers to actively restore—rather than simply “protect”—populations of native game animals from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. Prior to attending MIT, Taylor received his M.A. in History from Portland State University, where he also served as the Caroline P. Stoel Editorial Fellow for the Pacific Historical Review.


  • The Fundraising Coordinator will raise funds for the WHAGSC, to be used for the WHAGSC sponsored workshops at the annual conference, the WHA Graduate Student Reception, and other events or opportunities.
  • The FC is in charge of generating a list of possible donors and contacting them throughout the year.

DEI COORDINATOR - Forthcoming, 2023 Election

Forthcoming: 2023 Election


  • The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator facilitates efforts to identify and improve conditions within the graduate student membership and WHA broadly to promote a more inclusive community of scholars.
  • The Coordinator will work closely with the Membership Coordinator and SMC to increasing membership, opportunities, and events that extend to all WHAGSC members across identities, communities, and abilities, while also acknowledging and challenging conditions of bias, harassment, and discrimination through equitable initiatives and outreach.


Leah Cargin is a PhD candidate at the University of Oklahoma and managing editor of the Journal of Women’s History. In 2017 Leah earned an M.S. in History with a graduate minor in Non-Profit Management from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her current project examines women’s health and urban development in the peripheral barrios of Mexico City.


Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!