Sunday, October 26, 2008

Congratulations to New Phi Alpha Theta Inductees

On Friday, October 24, UAHuntsville's Tau Omega chapter of the national Phi Alpha Theta history honorary inducted ten new members. Pictured here see Christina Barnett, Ruth Behling, Charity Ethridge, Jamie Farrell, Samatha Hillgartner, Svetlana Jovanov, Jonathon Moore, and Craig Noneman. Robin Flachbart and Lewis Martin were also inducted, but were unable to attend.

Many current PAT members also attended the induction. See here the full group, which includes the new inductees, Faculty Advisor Dr. Molly Johnson, and members Jennifer Staton, Joseph Richardson, Elisabeth Spalding, Charles Westbrook, Sarah Fisher, Dawn Suiter, Jennifer Coe, and Greg Hughes.

Many thanks to UAHuntsville alum, PAT member, and current instructor Barbara Wright for letting us use her home for the ceremony. Thanks also to PAT President Elisabeth Spalding for her help coordinating induction, to Secretary Sarah Fisher, Treasurer Dawn Suiter, and department administrative assistant Bev Gentry for helping set up, and to other PAT members who helped with clean-up.

Congratulations new inductees!

Successful Visit by Oral Historian Charles Morrissey

The History Department was pleased to welcome distinguished oral historian Charles T. Morrissey to UAHuntsville October 19-23, 2008.

Morrissey gave two public lectures, an afternoon lecture on Tuesday to the Honors Forum on "Oral History and the Modern Presidency," and an evening lecture on Wednesday on "Life and Memory in America: Oral History in an Age of Public Amnesia." He also gave guest lectures in two classes and met with members of the History Department to discuss the public history program we are currently developing.

Thanks again to the UAHuntsville Faculty Senate Distinguished Speakers Series, the Honors Program, the Humanities Center, and the Bankhead Foundation for helping the History Department make Morrissey's visit possible!

Pictured here see Morrissey responding to questions from audience at the Wednesday evening talk and students and community members gathered for a post-lecture reception prepared by History Department administrative assistant Bev Gentry.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Retirement Party for Professor Lee Williams

On Friday, October 17, the department celebrated the career of Dr. Lee E. Williams, who retired in June 2008 after 36 years as a historian at UAHuntsville. At a dinner in the Great Hall of Dr. Gerberding’s Castle on the Elk River in Rogersville, 34 colleagues and friends gathered to honor Dr. Williams, who specialized in African-American history, also served as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Dr. Johanna Shields, who herself taught her last class last year, presented a moving tribute to Lee, recalling their years together on the fourth floor of Roberts Hall (then known as the Humanities Building) in the 1970s. Other colleagues in the 1970s, Drs. John White and Philip Boucher, were unable to attend but sent tributes read at the dinner. The department also presented a framed photograph of Roberts Hall, a plaque designed by Dr. Gerberding featuring a white-board marker, and a Western Civ textbook signed by all members of the department.

Once again, best wishes to Lee!

Andy Dunar, Department Chair

Monday, October 20, 2008

Phi Alpha Theta Visit to Maple Hill Cemetery

On Saturday, October 18, 2008, Phi Alpha Theta member and history major Joseph Richardson gave Phi Alpha Theta members a tour of Maple Hill Cemetery in downtown Huntsville; it is Huntsville's oldest and largest cemetery, founded around 1822.

Joseph explained the history of the cemetery to us and then focused our tour on the oldest parts of the cemetery, visiting the graves of several Alabama governors, senators, and other prominent figures in the history of Huntsville. We also paid close attention to the final resting spots of many "ordinary" people, learning what we could about life and death in nineteenth-century Huntsville from their gravestones. At the end of the tour, we visited the special Catholic and Jewish sections of the old cemetery, as well as "Potter's Field," where the indigent were buried.

A highlight of the tour was visiting the gravestone of Dr. Frances C. Roberts, the founder of the UAHuntsville History Department. Roberts Hall, where the history department presently resides, carries her name.

Pictured here see Joseph hard at work giving us a tour, and also German exchange student Simon Rebiger and history majors Charles Westbrook, Elisabeth Spalding, and Joseph Richardson at Dr. Roberts' grave.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Research Experience for Undergraduates, Summer 2009

Calling Undergraduate History Majors!

Are you interested in the opportunity to do independent research under the direction of a history professor during Summer 2009?

In exchange for developing a research plan that would require 32 to 40 hours a week of active research, reading, and writing for 10 to 12 weeks, you could receive a $3000 stipend from the "Research Experience for Undergraduates" program funded by the UAH President’s Office, the Provost’s office, and other sources as they become available. 15-20 proposals will be accepted, pending availability of funds.

If you are interested, please contact a member of the UAH History Department by Monday November 10 to discuss your ideas and to consider possibilities. Prelimininary proposals, prepared by you and a faculty mentor, will be due to the department by November 17. The final deadline for faculty mentors to submit proposals to the Faculty Senate Finance and Resources Committeee is December 1.

We encourage you to consider this exciting opportunity. Be sure to act quickly! You will be competing with students from across the campus and will need time to develop a strong proposal in cooperation with your faculty mentor.

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