Heather Haley received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History and a Master of Arts degree in History with a concentration in Public History from Texas State University. She has a penchant for conducting oral histories including the initial research, interview process, and concluding transcription so that the inclusion of oral history creates a more thorough and personal documentation of historical events. Under the direction of Dr. Ellen Tillman, Heather’s thesis research and analysis of Agent Orange dispersal in Vietnam and Korea—with recent publication in Sound Historian and Federal History—was well-received, in part, due to the inclusion of such narratives. Her current research centered on the government-sponsored commemorative practices of World War I, “The Poppy Appeal: Allied Commemoration of the Great War,” will be published with the British Journal of Military History in November 2018.
In her transition from Texas to Alabama, Heather sought to shift her focus from the Vietnam War to studies involving the sociological constructs of memory and identity as they informed the identities of U.S. Navy veterans. Her first research paper on the subject confirmed that this was not the path she intends to take for her dissertation. Heavily influenced by courses taken in women’s history and the socio-economic movements of the 20th century, Heather’s dissertation interests now center on an analysis of the U.S. Navy’s institutional response to domestic social movements, specifically relating to racial desegregation, gender integration, and LGBT inclusion.