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Heather Salazar

Heather Salazar
Graduate Student
Bentley Annex

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Current Degree Program

  • Ph.D. Program

Concentration Fields

  • U.S. Military History
  • U.S. Political History
  • Modern Latin America

Dissertation Title

"Grenada: From British Colony to American Playground"

Dissertation Abstract

My dissertation places the 1983 United States invasion of Grenada (Operation URGENT FURY) within the global context of the struggle against communism during the Cold War. In 1979, U.S. officials began closely watching the small Caribbean island as a revolution put Maurice Bishop in charge, and subsequently established relations with Cuba. By October 1983, the political climate deteriorated vastly and a military coup assassinated Bishop and several government officials, establishing an even stricter Marxist-Leninist government. U.S. officials believed this new government threatened U.S. security interests, including students living on the island. This dissertation offers a hybrid history that resolves the bifurcation of a singular history of Grenada and one of U.S. foreign policy, strategy, and implications of the invasion. Currently, much of the existing literature focuses on one or the other or the legal arguments for and against intervention, and not a streamlined history of how the politics of Grenada led to direct U.S. military action. Through archival research, I will analyze and provide the American perspective for why President Reagan authorized military action. However, my dissertation is not complete without the international perspective and traveling to Grenada will complete this portion of my dissertation.

Scholarships, Grants and Awards

  • ABC-Clio Research Grant, Society of Military History, 2018
  • Research Grant, U.S. Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 2018
  • Original Work Grant, Graduate Student Senate, Ohio University, 2018
  • Lobdell Research Grant, History Department, Ohio University, 2018
  • Conference Presentation Grant, History Department, Ohio University, 2018–2015
  • Summer Travel Grant, Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University, 2016

Teaching Experience

  • Instructor, HIST 2000: Survey of United States History, 1600-1877
  • Teaching Assistant, HIST 1320: World History before 1750
  • Teaching Assistant, HIST 1330: World History since 1750
  • Grader, HIST 2460: Rise of Modern Asia, 1600-2015
  • Grader, HIST 3201: US Women's History since 1877
  • Grader, HIST 3224: The 1980s in the U.S.: The Age of Reagan and Madonna
  • Grader, HIST 3231: Modern Latin America

Previous Graduate Work

M.A. in Military History, Norwich University

Undergraduate Degree

B.A. in History and B.S. in Secondary Education, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania