Thursday, May 08, 2014

John O'Brien recognized for Study on Divorce in the Antebellum South

So much of the study of history revolves around forming a strong argument, backing it up with evidence, and presenting the information well. John O'Brien, who just graduated with his bachelor's degree, shines at this. He recently wrote an outstanding paper on divorce in antebellum Alabama that provides a new interpretation of the issue. Not only did he win the award for best paper at the Alabama Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference, but also the Dr. John Rison Jones Award in Southern History sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society for his work on this paper. 

More information on John's paper can be found here: UAH history student sheds new light on divorce in antebellum South. As a former colleague of the Department would put it, John's clearly an "old pro" at this paper-writing business. Congratulations John! Here's hoping you get paid to tell people about Alabama.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Alumni Watch: Katie Graham

Dr. Johnson recently got in touch with one of the Department's alumna, Katie Graham, class of 2011. She told her some about her job with the Global Deployment Program Office of the Missile Defense Agency as a Document Specialist, Certified Correspondence Reviewer, and Records Liaison Officer. Among other things, she gets to "develop policies, plans, processes, procedures, and guidance for site activation, system deployment, and logistical and operational practices." She will also get to travel to sites where missiles and radars are set up.

For her time at the Department, Katie has much to say. "My history degree has helped me in numerous ways in my career so far. Writing and researching all of those term papers was excellent practice for my work as a Document Specialist and a Certified Correspondence Reviewer for MDA. In this way, I am able to write and review documents detailing the work of the Global Deployment Program Office. Some of these documents eventually make it all the way up to Congress! My favorite role, though, is as the Records Liaison Officer for my office. Starting in September of last year, I began archiving all of the GDPO's records, and I actually JUST finished this archival process last week......this totals over 7,000 records that I archived for our team. The classes that I took for my history degree helped to prepare me for this type of work, and in this way, I helped secure the history of my office for the Missile Defense Agency."

Great job on your success Katie. We wish you the best.

Congratulations to the Spring 2014 History Graduates!

Yesterday, Sunday, May 4th, the Department said farewell to some of its students as they walked across the stage and graduated from their studies at UAH. Congratulations to everyone!

Undergraduates included Kirsten Currier, Andrew Donovan, Heather Gargis, Seth Kelly, David Kemmerer, John O'Brien, David Smith, and Chase Tate. Graduate students were Elysha Francis, Charity Ethridge, Chris LeQuieu, and Nathan Raby.

We in the Department are very happy for all of your hard work and accomplishments. This was no easy task, yet you all prevailed. Whatever lies ahead, we hope the best for all of you.

Kristen Currier on her way to the ceremony

Nathan Raby with Dr. Stephen Waring

John O'Brien with Dr. Stephen Waring and Dr. Nicole Pacino

Friday, May 02, 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Phi Alpha Theta Inductees!

The Department can be rigorous at times, but the hard work pays off. Not only do our students win awards, they also get into honor societies. On April 12, our annual induction ceremony was held for Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society. The standards are high. Students must have twelve hours of history classes under their belts, with a 3.5 GPA in these courses, and a 3.0 overall.

Dr. John and Ann Kvach hosted the event again at their lovely home, and it was a success. Friends and colleagues gathered to talk, snack, and even climb in trees. Most importantly, we were there to congratulate and recognize our inductees. This year's inductees included Megan Renee Anders, Charlotte Ashley Cain, Ashley L. Coates, Todd Fulda, Cole B. Kelley, Young Nicole Westrope, and Adrienne Woodland.

It was a lovely day, and we were glad to be there. Thanks to the Kvachs, and congratulations to the inductees!  

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!  

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