Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Graduates!



We asked our graduates – Bachelors, Masters, and Minors – to say a few words about their time here at SFState. It is with great joy, and no small amount of pride, that we present the Graduating Class of 2020. We are proud to have been a part of your journey.

History Honorees


Andrew Gabriel Rose

B.A. History, ‘20
Distinguished Undergraduate Honoree

Each year, our department chooses one undergraduate to represent the department at the University Honors Convocation. This year we are honoring Andrew Gabriel Rose.

The excellence of Andrew Rose demonstrates what the CSU system is all about! A community college transfer, Andrew soared above any adversity that came his way to achieve a 3.97 GPA here at SF State. His professors describe him as “original, thoughtful, thorough,” “creative and narrative-challenging,” and as someone whose “focus on ethics pushes a new pathway to thinking about how history is usable and meaningful.”

Andrew is an excellent researcher and writer, who asks important, social relevant questions and combines a curiosity about the world with a sharp, critical perspective. He volunteered at the Sutro Library, digitizing contracts for indentured servants, so that the documents of their lives could be available to the public for research. His honors thesis thinks through how a humanities education can shape our sense of civics and humanity, and asks what responsibilities we owe as historians and history educators to previous generations, while also serving the needs of the present.

Andrew combines scholarly acumen with deep social insight and a caring commitment to his peers, to the community, and to changing how we do history education. We feel lucky to have shared this stage of his journey with him, and look forward to what he will accomplish in the years to come!

Mario X. Burrus

M.A. History, ‘20
Distinguished Graduate Honoree

Each year, our department chooses one graduate student to represent the department at the University Honors Convocation. This year we are honoring Mario X. Burrus.

Mario graduated from the M.A. program in Fall 2019 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. In addition to excelling in all of his coursework, Mario earned distinction on his comprehensive exams. In his coursework, Mario focused on 20th-century U.S. History with an emphasis on race, racism, racial violence, and African-American social and political movements. He produced stellar research papers, including an innovative project on intersections between the Black freedom struggles in the United States and the global process of decolonization during the Cold War period.

Mario earned the admiration of History faculty through his diligent and thoughtful approach to his studies as well as his top-notch performance in his classes. His professors use adjectives such as “original,” “intellectually courageous,” and “self-motivated” to describe Mario. One professor described Mario as an “unusually generous classmate, always conducting himself with respect for others’ perspectives and genuine intellectual curiosity.”

Mario also contributed actively to the department, college, and university. During his time in the History M.A. program, Mario served as a research assistant to Prof. Marc Stein and helped with the annual Constitution Day conference at SFSU. He also worked tirelessly to highlight the importance of an Ethnic Studies/Africana approach within the field of History. He made our department a better place, and we can’t wait to witness all the ways that he will make the world a better place!


History Award Recipients


Lily B. Ponce de Leon Endowed Scholarship in History

Recipient: Yanira Elena Villafan


Kyle Campbell Whitham McLeod Scholarship in Latin American History

Recipient: Diego Romo


Shirley Barnett Memorial Scholarship

Recipient: Amber Naeem


The Joseph R. Mullin Prize in History

Recipients: Julie van den Hout & Andrew Gabriel Rose

M.A. Fellowships


Continuing M.A. Fellowships: Generous endowments and contributions support the education of our promising M.A. students.

These continuing M.A. students have been awarded fellowships for 2020 – 2021.

  • Kathleen Callahan
  • Carlos Tapia
  • Michael Pascoe
  • Alex Robery


These incoming M.A. students have been awarded fellowships for 2020 – 2021.

  • Rebecca Coman
  • Gabe Reyna
  • Aidan Pearson

Ex Post Facto


This year’s Ex Post Facto editors, Allison Berman, Kelsey Sims, and Cole Souder, have continued EPF’s tradition of excellence and produced a compelling, wide-ranging, and balanced volume of student essays. These three graduate students, all of whom leave us this semester as Masters of History, managed every aspect of creating the journal. They put out the call for submissions, managed student editors, selected the essays to be included, copy edited the entire volume, prepared the document for printing, and negotiated with the printer — yes, there will be hard copies available and waiting for you! Allison, Cole and Kelsey did all of that hard work gracefully and well, even after we all had to move off campus and online, and the product of their labor is a testament to their talents and team work.

Two of the many wonderful essays in the twenty-fourth volume of Ex Post Facto won the Joseph Mullins prize for best graduate and best undergraduate essay.

The graduate prize winner was Julie van den Hout’s marvelously sensitive and enlightening piece, “‘The Seas But Join the Nations They Divide’: Connecting Science and Humanity on the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Through Messages in Bottles. ” Julie’s paper is a beautifully written account of a particular nineteenth-century scientific project that used messages in bottles to try to track ocean currents but that also revealed the ways that far-flung individuals connected with one another across vast stretches of sea.

Andrew Gabriel Rose’s insightful essay, “Black Mothers' Pain: Removing the Past from Its Pedestals,” won the undergraduate prize. It works on two levels: examining the medical advances and exploitive, racist methods of gynecologist J. Marion Sims while also making an original contribution to the complex contemporary problem of how to view Sims and his work.

But this year’s prize committee was impressed by all of the entries and invites you to peruse this marvelous volume of Ex Post Facto.

Once more we would like to applaud our Class of 2020. We can't wait to see what you do out there in the world.