Friday, April 04, 2014

Congratulations to Honors Day Recipients!

Thursday, April 1st marked Honors Day, which included the College of Liberal Arts Academic Honors Convocation. Students and faculty from the Department received several awards.

Kirsten Currier and Kelly Fisk won, respectively, the Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Achievement Awards for the Department of History. Ross Compher won the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Alabama History Essay Award for a paper he wrote for Dr. Christine Sears. Kirsten won another award, the Colonel Walter Aston Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century History Award. John O'Brien received the Dr. John Rison Jones Award in Southern History, sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, for his paper "If You Burn It, They Will Come: The Housing Authority and Huntsville, 1941-1960," which was published in the Huntsville Historical Review. Tish Cates received the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists Medal Award.

There were also awards for disciplines related to the Department that history students received. Brad Irwin won the Outstanding Classics Achievement Award, and Kayla Lowery and Kayleigh Last won a joint award, the Kathryn L. Harris Women's Studies Paper Competition Award, Graduate Academic Division for two papers they wrote for Dr. John Kvach on southern women and the "Lost Cause." Both papers were so good, they could not decide between either Kayla's or Kayleigh's.

Speaking of professors, Dr. Kvach was awarded as one of the Outstanding Junior Faculty Members, and Dr. Andrew Dunar was recognized, along with other professors, on their upcoming retirement and service to the university.

We are so grateful and happy for our award winners and for the recognition of the Department of History at Honors Day. Who says a liberal arts degree can't get you anywhere?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jennifer Staton, UAH History Alumna, Headed to University of Leeds

Those UAH history degrees keep sending people places, this time with Jennifer Staton, who graduated in 2009. This fall, she will be on her way to the University of Leeds to study for an MA in Linguistics and English Language Teaching. She had a tough decision to make between Leeds and the University of Arizona, but she thinks she has made the right choice. She currently works as a Communications Coordinator at a contracting company with the Department of Defense. Her duties involve working on marketing projects, as well as aiding with "proposal coordination and research" and serving as an administrator for the company's Internet server. 

Jennifer sees her time at the Department of History at UAH as beneficial to her current job. She writes, "I couldn't have made it this far without the critical thinking skills that I learned from being encouraged by you guys (ack, passive voice!) to dig deeper at whatever I was studying.  Those skills apply even to my current occupation as a Communications Coordinator, and I've been very successful to date specifically because I was surrounded by great professors who helped push me out of my comfort zone."

Being at UAH also helped her decide to study at Leeds: "The reason why I've chosen to go to Leeds for a linguistics degree is because of the time spent at UAH as a Writing Center consultant helping the Intensive English Program students, along with the work I did as a Fulbright ETA in Celle, Germany.  I want to go back into doing that type of work, either as an ESL teacher or as a leader in the education industry."

We hope everything goes well for you in Leeds, Jennifer. All the best!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dr. John Kvach promoted to Associate Professor

It just keeps coming in for the good professor. Last week, the Department's own Dr. John Kvach received tenure and was promoted to the position of Associate Professor. Furthermore, he was named Outstanding Junior Faculty Member for the College of Liberal Arts. As noted on this blog, his book De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South was published last November by The University Press of Kentucky, and he recently won two awards from the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Dr. Kvach's hard work both in and out of the classroom has certainly earned him these designations. This is all wonderful news, and we are happy for our colleague. Cheers, Dr. Kvach!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dr. Frances Roberts in Alabama Women's Hall of Fame

Dr. Frances Roberts was something of an institution at UAH. She was one of the first faculty members of the university, and she played a role in making the Department of History, as well as serving as the Department's first chairperson. Last March, she was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame at Judson College in Marion, Alabama.

Charles Westbrook (BA, Political Science and History, 2010, UAH) and Dr. Johanna Shields, Professor Emerita from the Department of History, were very helpful and persistent in getting Dr. Roberts in the Hall. Westbrook has done extensive research on Dr. Roberts, and Dr. Shields was hired by, and worked with, Dr. Roberts. Both Westbrook's and Dr. Shield's efforts paid off, and to a wonderful success.

More information on Dr. Roberts and the work of Westbrook and Dr. Shields can be found here:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Todd Fulda on his Master's Work at UAH

The Department likes to keep updated on its alumni, and last December Todd Fulda graduated with his Master's in History from UAH. This was a well-earned achievement that required a great deal of work, but Todd doesn't seem to mind. He writes, "I enjoyed every moment I was a grad student in UAH's history department. I went in with high expectations and each professor I had exceeded those expectations. Call me masochistic, but I enjoyed the late nights spent doing research in the library and writing papers on various topics. All together, I feel I grew significantly as a historian while working on my master's and it made moving back to Alabama worth it." It's good to see his time was well-spent (and from the looks of it, filled with caffeine).

For his Master's, Todd wrote a thesis titled The Badgers of Reform. His abstract give a brief glimpse into his work: "This thesis examines the Progressive and Socialist movements both on the national scene and in the state of Wisconsin to discover their similarities and differences. The analysis relies upon extensive primary sources including newspapers and archival documents as well as secondary sources including books and journal articles to answer this question. Ultimately, the information provided by these sources shows that the Progressive and Socialist Movements in Wisconsin both developed their own, distinctive ideologies and methods that were often quite divergent from their parent movements on the national level. The Badgers of Reform argues that these differences were key factors in helping Wisconsin Progressivism and Socialism survive through the 1920s while the national movements died out in the wake of World War I."

We are happy for Todd's achievement and wish him future success. Congratulations Todd!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recent Awards and Book Publication for Dr. John Kvach

It's nice to receive awards. It's also nice to get a book published. Getting both done around the same time is especially nice, and possibly conducive to getting a big head. While he has not gotten the latter, thankfully, the department's own Dr. John Kvach recently accomplished the former two.

Last November, Dr. Kvach's book De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South was published by The University Press of Kentucky. The book, which is based on Dr. Kvach's dissertation, looks at the magazine of J.D.B De Bow, a nineteenth century southerner who was influential in helping form the idea of the "New South" even before the beginning of the Civil War. More information about his book can be found here:

Earlier this month, he was awarded the Historic Preservation Award and the Historic Preservation Medal by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. More information about his thoughts on the awards and his work in earning them can be found here: 

We are very pleased for our colleague's success. Congratulations Dr. Kvach!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jesse Thomas, History Alumnus, studying in Vladivostok, Russia

History degrees can take you places. That is the case with Jesse Thomas. A graduate of UAH with his degree in History, he is currently studying international relations at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Vladivostok, Russia. Congratulations, Jesse!

Since Jesse has been there, he has been pretty busy. He writes, "I recently participated in a United Nations-sponsored round-table discussion about economic development in the Asia-Pacific region that included delegates from the US, Canada, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. As one of 6 graduate students in International Relations, I was invited to participate, as it was organized by one of my professors." He thought it was a wonderful experience. He is also working with the Model United Nations of the Russian Far East (MUNRFE). Concerning this, he writes, "I am one of the six members selected to represent our organization at the Model UN conference in New York at the end of March, and our delegation also has received an invitation to meet with World Bank representatives in Washington D.C. during our trip. I am excited for this opportunity."

Jesse has also spoken to young students, and even undergraduate students at FEFU. To the first group of students, who ranged from 10-12 years old and who are learning English, he explained how Halloween is celebrated in the United States, and also explained some about Alabama. For the college students, which numbered over 100, he lectured on "social and humanitarian problems in Guatemala, and the causes of these problems."

It appears Jesse is having a wonderful time in Vladivostok. We hope you have a great time over there. Be well!

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