John is a doctoral candidate in Medieval History focusing on the Crusades and the connections between East and West in the medieval world. He works primarily on the Latin Empire of Constantinople. His dissertation is entitled "The Imagined Empire of Baldwin II". It focuses on the career of the last Latin Emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II. Specifically, it explores how Baldwin tried to market himself and his empire as a crusading destination. John's other research interests include medieval political and crusading history more broadly, the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, pilgrimage and relics, medieval European contacts with the Mongols and China, the Old French Crusade Cycle, and Byzantine history. He has presented more than half a dozen conference papers since beginning his PhD. His publications include two articles "The Mongol Invasions and the Aegean World (1241-1261)", published in The Mediterranean Historical Review in December 2013 and "The Crusader Rebranding of Jerusalem's Temple Mount" published in Comitatus in Autumn 2013, and a book review of Crusades and Christendom, published in Crit-Com, the Journal of the Council of European Studies, in 2014.
Before coming to Saint Louis University, John studied extensively outside the United States. John graduated with a B.A. in History with a Subsidiary in Political Science from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, in 2008. He received an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto in 2009. Next, he travelled across the Atlantic and completed an M.A. in Crusader Studies at Royal Holloway and Queen Mary Colleges, University of London in 2010.
Since arriving at St Louis University, John has worked as a graduate assistant to the rare books inventory project at Pius XII Memorial Library and currently works as an adjunct professor of history at Saint Louis University. After one year as the history department's representative in the university's Graduate Student Association, John was elected as president of that institution in 2012. He is now in his second term as President of the Graduate Student Association, which supports and represents the interests of the more than 2,500 graduate students at SLU across all disciplines. John is also an avid fan of competitive debate. He was a two-time state champion policy debater in high school. He has competed at national championship tournaments four times, twice in high school in the US and twice at the Canadian national university debate championships. In 2014, in honor of Black History Month, he represented Saint Louis University in a live-streamed public debate with students from universities across Afghanistan on the topic of gender and affirmative action and he has helped to found S.A.I.D., the SLU Association for International Debate.