Undergraduate Students at the Institute


Jill Szaroleta

Jill Szaroleta is the Senior Assistant to the Director at the Institute. She graduated from Fleming Island High School in 2014, and is entering her final semester as a history major at FSU. She joined the team at the Institute in the Fall of 2015 through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at FSU, and began a project on a set of letters written by a Union soldier in the American Civil War. The project continued into a Directed Individual Study, and Jill is now in the beginning stages of publishing the letters and memoir. She processes collections and oversees training and day-to-day tasks at the Institute, and plans to pursue a Master's Degree in Library Sciences and a career in archival and museum work. She is particularly interested in American Civil War and Cold War history. 

Christina "Guatemala" Armes

Christina Armes began her academic career at Florida State University at the young age of sixteen years old. With her Associate's degree already under her belt along with her high school diploma, she jumped right into upper division courses for her History and Spanish majors. She joined the team at the World War II Institute as an Undergraduate Assistant over Summer 2016 when she met the Institute Archivist, Mike Kasper. Over the course of her employment, she has processed many notable collections, including the Carl Johnson letters and the Alexander Schmidt collection, as well as published finding aids for collections on the online database. Christina continues to process and digitize incoming collections and will join the Institute team in hosting the Society for Military History Conference in Jacksonville this Spring. Christina currently serves as an Assistant to the Director for Research and Public Relations, and focuses her research on Guatemalan history and the impact of foreign propaganda in Latin America.

Caroline Bowers

Caroline Bowers is a senior at FSU working on a double major in History and General Music, as well as a minor in Museum Studies. Her research interests focus on feminist and Civil Rights music history. She began her work with the Institute through a DIS, during which she processed collections specifically related to military musicians and USO performers. Outside her work at the Institute, she is involved with the Honors program, she plays cello in the University Philharmonic Orchestra, and she is a member of the executive board for the Sigma Alpha Iota professional music fraternity.

Grant Cooper

Grant Cooper is a Senior at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, Florida. He plans to apply to Florida State University, and attend starting in the 2018-2019 year. He works to process collections and create finding aids to better allow scholars across the world to access the Institute’s holdings. His research interests focus on American History, specifically during the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War, and he plans to major in history and minor in criminology.

Connor Doke

Connor Doke is a senior at FSU from Inverness, Florida. He is majoring in History and plans to complete minors in Spanish and Psychology. In the Fall semester of 2014, Connor was introduced to the Institute when he completed a project as a part of Dr. Piehler’s class titled The American GI in War and Peace in World War II. Connor is currently dedicated to building an online timeline on World War II to help develop the online presence of the Institute. The timeline will help students and researchers learn more about the great amount of collections and artifacts that are present at the Institute. 

Destinee Haller

Destinee Haller is a sophomore from Miami, Florida majoring in History and African American Studies. She is currently involved with the Black Female Development Circle and Southern Scholarship Foundation. In the future, she would like to pursue higher education within the realm of history. At the Institute, she is working on entering some of the African American collections into various archival databases and hopes to increase the Institute’s African American collections.

Jeffrey Henley

Jeffrey Scott Henley is a re-admitted student to Florida State University.  He graduated from FSU in 1989 with a BS in Marketing.  After a successful 26 year career in sales and account management including the last 11 years with C.H. Robinson Inc., a Fortune 250 third party logistics provider, he decided to leave his career and return to the academic world to pursue his long time passion of studying history with hopes of a second career passing along this love of history to others.  He is majoring in History with a planned minor in German. His interests in history include Weimar Germany, World War II and the American Civil War.

Brianna McLean

Brianna McLean is a student at Florida State University pursuing a B.A. in History with a minor in French.  She has enjoyed working at the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience since the summer of 2016.  After she graduates in Summer 2018, she plans to pursue a Masters of Library Science in preparation for a career as an archivist, and eventually plans to pursue a PhD in History.  Her interests include World War II, Women's Military History, American Military History, Home Front History, and Military History in general.  During her time at FSU, she has enjoyed membership in the World-Renowned Florida State University Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound Pep Band.

Gillian Morton

Gillian Morton is a sophomore at Florida State University double majoring in History and International Affairs. Her interest in history comes from her father, who received his PhD in military history from FSU and is an active duty Colonel in the United States Army. Having grown up an Army Brat, Gillian has no hometown, but has lived in six US states (LA, FL, NY, VA, PA, SC) and two German cities. Gillian is particularly interested in World War II history, having visited many important European battlefields and landmarks. She enjoys focusing on the role of women in the military during WWII because of the inspiration of her own mother, who was an Army helicopter pilot.

Alberto Peréz-Rueda

Born in Venezuela, Alberto moved with his family to Republic of Panama in 2007. He would later begin his undergraduate studies in the FSU Republic of Panama campus in 2013, transferring to Tallahassee two years later. He began volunteering at the Institute after graduating with a degree in History and Media/Communications Studies. His main focus at the Institute has been surrounding Latin America during the World War II period, compelling information about the use of Brazilian air and sea-ports by American Forces and life in Cuba before and during the war. His main interests in History cover Latin America and the Mediterranean, focusing specially on historical fighting styles and weapons from the Renaissance and the 19th century. 

Megan Quinn

Megan is a junior at FSU double majoring in History and Editing, Writing, and Media. She has taken many classes pertaining to World War II and is currently in her second semester as an editorial assistant at the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience. She is interested in writing and wants to work in publishing as an editor once she graduates. Last summer, Megan spent two months in Ghana volunteering in a rural village as a teacher's aide. This coming summer she will be going to Peru to work at a wildlife rescue center.

Hannah Shapiro

Hannah Shapiro is an Editing, Writing, and Media Major at Florida State University. Though she graduated from Satellite High School in 2015, she is in the midst of her junior year and plans to graduate next summer. In addition to her rigorous course work, Hannah is an active member of the Florida State Honors Program. She is currently a Colloquium Leader for the Honor’s Freshman Class and will be teaching her first classes this semester. Hannah is an executive member of her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi and the President of one of the five Florida State University A Cappella groups, Coda A Cappella. Last semester, Hannah completed a Directed Individual Study at the Institute on World War II studying the impact the Merchant Marines had on the war effort. This semester, now as an employee, Hannah will continue her work on the Merchant Marines, as well as other sanctions of the military and their affects on World War II.

Michela Sieman

Michela is a second year History major. She is very excited to be getting involved with her major early on, as a volunteer at the Institute and as a researcher under Dr. Stoltzfus in the History Department. She plans to concentrate in European History and hopes to one day have a career in which she can travel the world. She is also involved in Phocus Photography, Best Buddies and Technoles.

Patricia Singletary

Patricia is a Senior at Florida State University double majoring in History and Women’s Studies. She began working at the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience as a member of the Undergraduate Advisory Board in Fall 2016. Patricia increased her involvement during Summer 2017 by starting an internship under Dr. Piehler and began processing the Charlotte Mansfield collection, which she continues to focus on. A Tallahassee native, Patricia’s interests include local history as well as women’s history in general, and her lifelong ambition is to be a Feminist Historian. She also serves as President of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at FSU.

Jared Smith

Jared is a junior at Florida State from Jupiter, FL. He is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and International Affairs, with a focus in History and a minor in Spanish. Jared joined the Institute as an intern for the 2017 Fall semester following enrollment in Institute Director Dr. Piehler’s course on the Second World War in the Fall of 2016. Jared aspires to work in the federal government while using his knowledge of history and international relations to further those goals. Outside of the Institute Jared is an avid scuba diver currently working on his instructor certification. He also enjoys the war genre of cinema and is a Philadelphia sports fanatic.

Julianna Witt

Julianna Witt is a Junior at Florida State University majoring in History, with a minor in Museum Studies. She has been an intern with the Institute since Spring 2017, and is focusing on Holocaust studies. She hopes to work with Holocaust related objects and/or archives at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. or the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

Emily Woessner

Emily Woessner is a senior at Florida State University. She graduated from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida in the spring of 2013 and then enrolled at Florida State University in the fall as an international affairs major. She studied abroad in Berlin, Germany at the Free University Berlin. On her return to the United States that summer, she moved to Queenstown, New Zealand where she spent the next year living and working. She then re-enrolled at Florida State University in the fall of 2016 and continues her international affairs major with a focus in history, as well as minors in German, museum studies, and art history. She has worked at the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience since the fall of 2016 and intends to continue to do so until graduation. She will be graduating in the spring of 2018 and then hopes to work abroad in Australia.