Dr. Monaghan's dissertation examines the worker villages at the Alabama Power Company dam construction sites on the Coosa River and the Gorgas Steam Plant on the Black Warrior River, all built during the 1910 - 1920s in the roughest, most remote locations imaginable. The Alabama sites compare with the Tennessee Valley Authority's worker village at Norris, Tennessee, and the worker village in Boulder City, Nevada, built for the construction of the Hoover Dam, a federal project.

Dr. Monaghan continues to pursue projects with an interest in worker housing and ephemeral construction techniques.

Dr. Monaghan collaborated with the faculty at Marietta High School on the Haiti Container Project.  This is a student-led project which created real-world, hands-on components to benefit the people of rural Haiti in the Plain de L'Arbre district. The prototype entered completion phase in summer 2019,  the construction of which took place on the Marietta High School grounds beginning in 2017. Dr. Monaghan acted as the architecture instructor, ensuring that students keep an eye on the big picture while researching and making improvements to their initial designs.  Each student has a part of the project for which they are the designer, and all must work together as in an architecture, engineering, or construction firm.  Further, each student paired up with a professional in the field so that they each have a personal mentor to help with research and realization of their design.  Dr. Monaghan works with other professionals and professors from KSU and other universities all over the country, alongside Mr. Leon Grant, the engineer and high school teacher who initiated and led this award-winning project.