Where are They Now

Dr. Hilary Earl (1997)

Holocaust Denkmal, Berlin, Germany

Hilary is currently Associate Professor of European History at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario. She has published a fair amount since coming to Nipissing in 2005.  Her book, The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History, was published in 2009-2010 by Cambridge University Press. It won the 2010 Hans Rosenberg Prize for best book in German History, in the conference group for Central European History at the American Historical Association. It was based on the research she did for her dissertation that the O’Brien Foundation helped to support.

She has also published a number of articles including:

"Good Germans and Bad Nazis: The fate of SS-Einsatzgruppen Commander Martin Sandberger in Postwar Germany" forthcoming in Nazi Self-Help and Recast Identities.

"Prosecuting Genocide before the Genocide Convention: Raphael Lemkin and the Nuremberg Trials, 1945-1949" forthcoming, Journal of Genocide Research.

"Beweise, Zeugen, Narrative: Der Einsatzgrupen Prozess und seine Wirkung auf die historische Forschung zur Genese der Endlosung," in NMT. Die Nurnberger Militartribunale zwischen Geschichte (2013).

“A Judge, a Prosecutor, and a Mass Murderer: Dynamics in the SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial,” in Kim Christian Priemel and Alexa Stiller (eds.), Reassessing the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. Transitional Justice, Trial Narratives, and Historiography (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books and Oxford University Press, 2008): 47-73.

“Biographies of Criminals or Criminal Biographies: Explaining Perpetrators’ ‘Route to Crime’ using War Crimes Trial Documentation,” in Simone Lässig and Volker Berghahn (eds.), Biography between Structure and Agency: Approaches to German History (New York and London: Berghahn Books and Oxford University Press, 2008): 162-181.

“Confessions of Wrong-doing or How to save yourself from the Hangman? An Analysis of British and American Intelligence Reports of the Activities of Otto Ohlendorf, May-December 1945,” in David Bankier (ed.), Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust (New York and Jerusalem: Enigma Books and Yad Vashem, 2006): 301-326.

"Scales of Justice: History, Testimony and the Einsatzgruppen Trial,” in Jeffry Diefendorf, (ed.), Lessons and Legacies VI. New Currents in Holocaust Research (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2004): 325-351.

She has also won a teaching award, been the chief negotiator for the Nippising University Faculty Association, and is on the editorial board of The Historian.  She is an active scholar.

(705) 474-3450 ext. 4476
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Gaston Lacombe (1995)

Gaston Lacombe portrait

Since receiving the highly appreciated and greatly needed support from the O’Brien Foundation in 1995, I haven't been keeping still much. At that time I was a post-graduate student in Eastern European studies. It was right after the fall of the Soviet Union, a very exciting time. During my O'Brien interview, I remember saying something like: "It's not about what my studies can bring to New Brunswick, it's more about what New Brunswick can bring to that region of the world." So, following this line of thinking, I moved to Eastern Europe in 1997, to Latvia, and stayed there until... 2008.

I didn’t complete my PhD from the University of Toronto.  Instead, I plunged fully and deeply into the post-Soviet society of Eastern Europe, and decided to become a participant in the growth and reforms, instead of just an observer. Since at the time everything in that society was extremely fluid, I ended up working many different jobs, often 2 or 3 at once. I was a high-school teacher, of French, English, Geography and History, for 4 years. I was a defense consultant for a while, hired by the Canadian Ministry of Defense to assist Latvia's effort at NATO integration.  I did some radio reporting for Radio Free Europe.  I was hired by the US Embassy in Latvia to run their higher-education programs, the equivalent of a Fulbright Commission, something I did for 8 years. I created and led a foundation, a bit like the O'Brien Foundation, that did fund-raising and provided scholarships to students from Latvia studying abroad.  During that time I was also one of the founders and the first chairman of the first ever Latvian National LGBT Association. Then finally I was hired by the Canadian Embassy to the Baltic States to be the Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Officer for Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. But in 2008, my spouse (who is American) and I, felt the need to return to North America, to return to roots and family. So we moved to Washington DC.

Now back in North America, all of my European experience counted for nothing on the US job market, especially as the economy collapsed, and I was a Canadian without a Green Card. So I returned to university, and got a new degree. This time it was a degree in photography, from Boston University (Washington DC Campus). A whole new, unexpected chapter of my life started.

Dr. Sherry L. Beaumont (1989)

Sherry-Beaumont-2003Dr. Sherry L. Beaumont received funding from the O’Brien Foundation to complete graduate studies at the University of Waterloo, where she was granted a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1993. She is currently a Full Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) where she teaches and conducts research in the areas of positive psychology and lifespan development. She has held research grants, published, and supervised many graduate students in the areas of self-identity and emotional well-being across the lifespan.     Most recently, her research has investigated the role of self-identity for the development of wisdom, spirituality, and life meaning. Her research articles have been published in scholarly journals, such as Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research and the Journal of Adult Development, and have been featured in media sources, such as the University of Chicago’s “Defining Wisdom Research Network.” Most recently, Dr. Beaumont is in the process of developing an intervention for positive identity development during emerging adulthood that focuses on the benefits of self-expression using verbal and visual imagery. This research will incorporate her recent training in art therapy. For more information, see http://web.unbc.ca/~beaumont/.

Dr. Lucy A. Wilson (1985)


Wilson, Lucy Ann, Campbellton, New Brunswick: Doctoral Studies in Archaeology and Geology, University of Paris.

I received my fellowship in 1985. I was then entering the final year of my doctorate at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) in France; I finished there in mid-1986 and came home soon afterwards. Now I am full Professor of Geology, in the Department of Biology at UNBSJ. I am the only geologist on this campus (which is why I’m in the Biology department – have to be ‘housed’ somewhere!), so I am responsible for all geology teaching here. I offer the full first-year course every year, and also like to add on a second course of some sort every winter, to add variety to my life and scope for the interested students to do more geology. Geology majors have to go to Fredericton after first year, however. This year I am teaching “Introduction to Geoarchaeology”, since my research is in fact geoarchaeological. I use geological techniques to answer archaeological questions, in particular concerning the rocks used to make prehistoric stone tools, and still mainly work on French sites.