Valerie Piro

Graduate Student

Valerie is a second-year Ph.D. student from Brooklyn, New York. She is interested in early medieval social history in Western Europe, specifically with regard to the history of disability and perceptions of disability in biblical commentaries.

As an undergraduate at Harvard, Valerie earned a B.A. in History, with a secondary field in Medieval Studies. Her senior thesis, “Society and Politics in the English Tournament, 11th-13th Century,” won a Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize and The Class of 1955/Robert T. Coolidge Undergraduate Thesis Prize in Medieval Studies. It argued that the tournament was not a stagnant pastime meant for the English elite, but a competition that mirrored medieval England’s changing social and political dynamics under the Angevin kings. Valerie also earned an M.Phil. in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge, where her dissertation examined perceptions of disability in the Carolingian period.

Before starting at Princeton, Valerie completed an Ed.M. degree in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a focus on inclusive education for students with disabilities. She has given talks on how to prepare students with disabilities for the transition from K-12 to higher education, and has written on the subject for Inside Higher Ed. She has also written about disability-related topics for The New York Times and Hyperallergic.

Year of Study
Seventh Year
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