11:51 AM

History Alumnus Joins Prestigious Duke University Doctoral Program

James Nealy, a 2012 graduate with a bachelor's degree in history, recently accepted an offer from Duke University to earn a doctoral degree in history. He is currently working to complete his master's degree in Russian history at Miami University of Ohio.

The award from Duke comes with numerous benefits, including full tuition remission and a competitive stipend.Nealy will also be able to spend summers in Russia, in either Moscow or St. Petersburg, and looks forward to spending the fourth year of the five-year program abroad.

"Duke University is literally the ideal location for studying the topic that is most interesting for me - that is, notions of illiberalism and how spatial arrangements informed and shaped illiberal consciousness in the Soviet Union during the Late Stalin and early Thaw period(s) (~1947-1957)," he said.

Upon completing the program, Nealy intends to become a professor of Russian history at a Tier 1 research university.

"I do not think any of this would have been possible without UHD. It is my view that if I had studied at another university I would have become little more than a face in a crowd; at UHD, I was able to develop real relationships with professors, resulting in more sophisticated ideas and improved letters of recommendation. I will always be thankful for that," Nealy said.