The Historians who Created DIG

Women historians digging up intimate stories of the past to uncover history that matters. Get to know our Producers – historians, social media marketing side hustlers, teachers, writers, Civil War geeks, runners, deadlifters, and all-around weirdos. Questions, comments, ideas for future episodes? You can email us at!

Averill Earls, PhD

Executive Producer

Headshot of historian Averill Earls, PhD. Dark brown haired white woman with brown eyes, wearing a black shirt with a royal blue blazer.

Averill is an historian of modern Ireland and sexuality. She is an Assistant Professor of History at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, holds a PhD in History from the University at Buffalo, and an MA in History and a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont. Her current writing projects examine the policing of men who had sex with men in Dublin’s public bathrooms. Her next project will consider the incarceration of “juvenile adult” boys in the infamous borstal institutions in Clonmel, Ireland and Kakamega, Kenya. When she’s not teaching, podcasting, or moonlighting as a member of the Cabot Creamery Co-operative social media team, she enjoys board games, baking, and hotel beds. Averill tweets from @aearls.


Sarah Handley-Cousins, PhD


Headshot of Sarah Handley-Cousins, dark blonde haired white woman wearing tortise shell glasses, pink lipstick, a skeleton hands necklace, and a purple sleeveless dress.

Sarah is an historian of disability and gender in the American Civil War. She is currently working on her forthcoming book, to be published with the University of Georgia Press, based on her dissertation, which is about disabled Union veterans during and after the Civil War. In addition to a PhD in History from the University at Buffalo, Sarah holds a BA from Wells College and an MSEd from Niagara University, and is an alum of the New York State Council for the Humanities Public Humanities Fellows. She enjoys unresolved romantic tension (in books and movies), visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park, and heated blankets. Sarah tweets from @sarahbelle721.


Marissa C. Rhodes


Headshot of Marissa Rhodes. Dark-haired white woman wearing large black glasses, red lipstick, and a dark blue sleeveless dress.

Marissa is an independent information professional and PhD candidate in History at UB. Her dissertation tells the stories of lactating women for hire in the Atlantic world during the Revolutionary era. In addition to a BA in History from Niagara University, Marissa has an MLS from UB. She is a former fellow at APS, The Library Company/HSP & the Lapidus-Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. But most importantly, she’s super into running, red wine, British television, and murder (as much as someone can be into murder without actually doing them). Marissa tweets from @iLURVhistory.


Elizabeth Garner Masarik


Headshot of Elizabeth Garner Masarik, dark haired white woman with a nose ring, dark brown eyes and full glossy lips, wearing a black shirt.

Elizabeth is an historian of the welfare state and women in Progressive Era America. She is currently completing her PhD in History at the University at Buffalo, working on her dissertation and teaching American History. Elizabeth holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA from UB. She is a 2017-18 Fellow in the University at Buffalo Institute for the Research on Women and Gender. Somehow she also has time to be a savvy blogger, an incredible makeup artist, and a totally badass powerlifter. Elizabeth tweets from @EGMasarik.