Status: PhD Candidate

Adviser: Wayne E. Lee

Graduate Email:


BA, The College of Wooster, 2008

Research Interests

Mary Elizabeth Walters is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her MA in military history from UNC in 2014. She recently returned from a year of research in Albania and Kosovo funded by a National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship in Albania. Her dissertation examines the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis in Albania, specifically looking at why and how NATO took on the tasks of a refugee assistance organization during the crisis, as well as how NATO’s military humanitarianism impacted civilian humanitarian organizations, local Albanian populations, and the Kosovar refugees themselves. Her major field is military history, her three minor fields are modern European history and 19th and 20th century American history, while her teaching field is gender history. Walters’ dissertation research builds from her MA thesis, titled “New Military Humanitarians: Competition and Cooperation between NATO and Humanitarian Agencies in 1999 Kosovar Refugee Assistance in Albania.” Her research places the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis within a broader narrative of changing military roles in the 1990s and the rise of military humanitarianism that continues today. Walters has also received numerous FLAS grants from the Department of Education to study Albanian and Serbo-Croatian, as well as the Allan Millet Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Society for Military History and research funding from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Previously she served as the Graduate Student Representative for the Society for Military History between 2013-2016.