The Office of State History hopes to bring the community and network of historians working throughout New York State closer by highlighting the work, research and community outreach efforts of individual historians. This section will change on a rotating basis and should be representative of the entire field, with opportunities to highlight undergraduate and graduate student research as well. To be considered for a future "Meet the Historian", please contact us at  Content should include a photograph, short bio, and a description of any special projects or research highlights.

Monica Mercado is Assistant Professor of History at Colgate University ( , affiliated with the program in Women's Studies and Colgate's new minor in Museum Studies. Born and raised in Albany, NY, she attended Barnard College and later earned a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Chicago. Prior to graduate school, Monica worked for the Museum of the City of New York, where she worked on a number of exhibitions and programs, and contributed to the multi-institution team responsible for collecting efforts in the wake of September 11, 2001.

Monica's research centers on questions of women, girlhood, and religion in late 19th century North America (with a particular focus on American Catholicism), and the role of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies in developing campus histories and public history sites and curricula. Monica is currently at work on her book manuscript, tentatively titled The Young Catholic: Girlhood and the Making of American Catholicism, which focuses on the vast output of a vibrant American Catholic publishing industry, and the young women readers, writers, and educational institutions that grew up around it during the second half of the nineteenth century. She uses books and reading to illustrate the formation of Catholic laywomen’s identities and highlight the role of laywomen and their daughters as makers of culture and status for upwardly mobile, second- and third-generation American Catholics. As part of the dissertation project on which the book project is based, she began research on women and families at the Catholic Summer School of America on Lake Champlain, writing about it for the Religion in American History blog ( in 2013.

At Colgate, Monica is currently responsible for teaching U.S. women's and gender history, the history of sex and sexualities in U.S. history, and a seminar on Upstate History, which focuses on the history of nineteenth-century Central New York. From 2015-2017 Monica served on the Board of the Friends of the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, and she looks forward to future partnerships with local history sites in collaboration with the Upstate Institute ( For more on Monica's research, teaching, and public projects, visit or follow her on Twitter: @monicalmercado.