Current Members

Students enrolled in the UCSB History Department’s HIST 196 J* Series are the creative drivers behind the content shared on this site. We think we’re fun.

Chynna Walker | Chynna is a forth-year History major and English minor. As a recent transfer to UCSB, her interests are far and wide, but in specific, she enjoys learning about the exchange of information between Europe and Asia. When not in classes or studying, Chynna works at a ranch in Santa Barbara teaching kids how to ride horses or takes her dog on long walks on the beaches of Isla Vista.

Valerie Holland | Valerie is a fourth-year History major and Feminist Studies minor. Her historical interests center on reexamining and reimagining critical points of early colonial histories through a queer lens so as to give rise to the voices of marginalized peoples that have long been silenced by predominantly Western, patriarchal, heteronormative, and classist power structures. She has plans to apply to law school and contribute to the representation of Latina women in the field (who currently make up less than 6% of all lawyers in the US!) Outside of class, she works at UCSB Arts and Lectures and enjoys reading contemporary romance novels, playing Guitar Hero, and watching the same horror movies over and over.

Anna Friedman | Anna is a fourth-year History major and Religious Studies minor.  This is her first quarter with the journal, and she’s excited to be part of this wonderful team!  Her historical interests are in Russian and Eastern European history, as well as gender studies.  Outside of class, she spends her time working as a peer advisor at the College of L&S, doing research for the English department, trying to complete her newest Goodreads book challenge with her friends, and playing piano.

Cole Grissom | Cole is a fourth-year History major. His historical interests primarily focus on the late Roman Empire and the early medieval period, particularly in how Roman concepts continued into and shaped medieval thought. Outside of class, he enjoys reading, hiking, going to the gym, and trying not to burn down his kitchen cooking.

Danika Kerner | Danika is a second-year Communications and Sociology double major. Her historical interests primarily revolve around the Cold War and its implications throughout Europe, including the rise of the KGB and the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, she is also more recently interested in the history of sexuality and gender in the United States throughout the 19th-21st centuries. Outside of class, she works at the University Center and enjoys hanging out with friends, swimming, and finishing her GoodReads list.

Zoe Benink | Zoe is a fourth-year History of Public Policy and Law major. Her historical focus primarily centers on how modern U.S. public policy has been shaped by issues of racism and inequality, specifically during the mid 20th-century. When she isn’t reading a billion books for her classes, she watches movies, crochets fun sweaters, and occasionally paints.

Atmika Iyer | Atmika is a fourth-year History major at UCSB. Her historical interests include Indian and South Asian history, specifically colonial rule of India and the origins and coexistence of the several languages, ethnicities, and communities in India. Outside of class, she is a passionate student-journalist leading the Daily Nexus as the current editor-in-chief, and freelancing with Santa Barbara newspapers. In her free time, she enjoys obsessing over HBO shows and starting art projects that never get finished.

Gigi Griffin | Gigi is a third-year History of Public Policy and Law major. His historical interests are ever-evolving, but he finds himself particularly interested in American legal history and 20th/21st-century urban American history and how those two have engaged with each other over time. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music, and mindlessly scrolling through TikTok.

Hanna Kawamoto | Hanna is a third-year History major at UCSB. Although their love for history is expansive, their main historical pursuits revolve around the history of sexuality and gender in the United States from the late-18th to the mid-19th centuries. When they have time to spare, they also enjoy drawing, reading, vibing with their pets, and working out with their Triathlon team.

Sophia Yu | Sophia is a second-year History of Public Policy and Law major also pursuing a minor in Asian American studies. Her historical interests involve American history, particularly the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She is passionate about expanding her historical knowledge to better address and understand modern societal issues. Outside of class, she works as a researcher for the UCSB Basic Needs department and enjoys watching sitcoms, spending time with her friends, and painting.

Ela Schulz | Ela is a third-year History and Political Science double major. Her historical interests include political history across the world, specifically the shifts in authority and governance between world powers and their impacts on domestic policy. Outside of class, she spends much of her time debating with the UCSB Model United Nations team and works with her local Community Services District. In her free time, she likes to read, spend time with her friends, and complete puzzles.

Jessica Novoa | Jessica is a third-year History major and Spanish minor. Her historical interests involve U.S. legal history and Pre-colonial Mesoamerican history. She is passionate about the elimination of language barriers for spanish-speaking families in the education system. She is pursuing graduate school to earn an M.A. in History and become a teacher. Outside of class she works at a cafe and enjoys going on hikes, spending time with her friends, and watching movies.

Andreas Brey | Andreas is a fourth-year History major also pursuing the Undergraduate Certificate in Technology Management. He is broadly interested in modern history and anything interdisciplinary. In his free time he likes hanging out with friends, playing sports, and reading.