- BA, Juniata College, 2007
- MA, Vanderbilt University, 2009
- PhD, Vanderbilt University, 2013
Erica Rhodes Hayden, originally from Pennsylvania, completed her Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University in 2013. Her dissertation, "Plunged into a vortex of iniquity:" Female Criminality and Punishment in Pennsylvania, 1820-1860, examined the experiences of female criminals in their communities, in the state court system, and as inmates in Pennsylvania's county jails and state penitentiaries during the nineteenth century. Areas of interest for research and speaking engagements include the history of crime and punishment in the United States, women's history, and numerous topics on US history during the antebellum and Civil War eras.