Thursday, April 22, 2010

2010 Liberal Arts Tournament Day

On Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 273 students from Randolph School, Ardmore High School, Johnson High School, Catholic High School, Covenant Christian Academy, Athens High School, Brewer-Falkville High School, and Lee High School competed in four disciplines at the College of Liberal Arts Tournament Day, US History and World History (100), Government (55), and Art (118).

The winner for US History was William Robb from Randolph School, and the winner for World History was Matthew Riggle from Catholic High School. David Mayo won the Government competition, and Becky Robinson and Daniel Guthrie won the Art competitions.

Kudos to Beverly Gentry, senior staff assistant for the history department, pictured here, who put in many hours to help make Tournament Day a success!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Congratulations to New Phi Alpha Theta Initiates

On April 16, 2010, the Tau Omega chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta international history honorary, advised by Dr. Sandra Mendiola, inducted five new members: Britney Fore, Whitney Reid, Jesse Thomas, Anthony Howard, and Mary Fleming.

Britney and Whitney were able to attend the ceremony at Dr. Richard Gerberding's Castle, where we all enjoyed good food, beautiful spring weather, and the chance to celebrate the academic achievements of these students. Thomas Reidy, Phi Alpha Theta inductee from 1981, UAH history MA, and current PhD candidate at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, also gave a brief talk about his work on a PBS documentary about civil rights activists Virginia and Clifford Durr.

Pictured here are 1) Britney and Whitney with their certificates, 2) Britney and Whitney with previously-inducted PAT members Samantha Hillgartner (chapter president) and Sarah Fisher, and 3) a group picture of the PAT students with Thomas Reidy and faculty members Richard Gerberding, Andrew Dunar, Stephen Waring, Molly Johnson, and faculty advisor Sandra Mendiola.

Congratulations to the new inductees!

History Major Sarah Fisher Wins Funding for PhD Studies and for Foreign Language Study in India!

The history department is very proud of Sarah Fisher, who will graduate in May with double majors in history and political science and a minor in philosophy.

Sarah has received a prestigious multiple year fellowship and research assistantship for the fast-track PhD program in International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She will begin her studies in Fall 2010.

Before she moves to Athens, Sarah will spend 10 weeks in Jaipur, India, beginning her studies of the Hindi language, with the support of a Critical Languages Scholarship from the US Department of State.

Sarah describes her history major as a critical foundation for her graduate studies:
"Throughout my undergraduate classes, I have found that having a deep understanding of history serves as the basis any sort of political analysis or social commentary. I also know that the writing and research skills gained as a History major at UAH will prove invaluable in my PhD program."

Sarah added that, "I am forever indebted to the awesome people in the UAH History Department. :)" We, too, are indebted to Sarah for her hard work on behalf of the Peer Assisted Study Session program -- she was one of our first two student mentors, her participation in the Phi Alpha Theta honorary, and her great presence in class these last four years.

We wish Sarah all the best!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Classics Week 2010 / Classical Studies Outstanding Student Award

Kudos to the Society for Ancient Languages at UAH for a successful Classics Week 2010, featuring guest speaker Dr. Bryan Ward-Perkins from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Ward-Perkins gave two lectures on the controversial fall of the Roman Empire on Friday April 9, “The Death and (very slow) Rebirth of Public Statuary, 300-1500AD,” and “A Real Economic Melt-down – The End of Roman Britain."

Society members and friends and Dr. Ward-Perkins also gathered at Dr. Gerberding's Castle on Saturday April 10 for the annual Convivium.

Pictured here see Dr. Ward-Perkins with Society members at the Castle and at the US Space and Rocket Center.

Society President Joseph Baxley was instrumental in making this year's Classics Week a success. As a recognition of his leadership, as well as his superb academic achievement, Joseph was recognized on Honors Day April 6, 2010, with the Outstanding Classical Studies Award. See Joseph here after the Honors convocation with Dr. Gerberding, Society advisor, and Latin student Julia Paul, who read a selection from Cicero, translated by Joseph, to conclude the Honors convocation.

Students Samantha Hillgartner and Sarah Fisher Present Papers at Phi Alpha Theta Conference

Two Phi Alpha Theta members, Samantha Hillgartner and Sarah Fisher, accompanied by faculty advisor Dr. Sandra Mendiola, attended the 2010 regional Phi Alpha Theta conference held at the University of North Alabama on April 10, 2010.

Sarah presented a paper on “Tense Theology in a Holy Hierarchy: Liberation Theology vs. the Vatican” as part of a panel on "Religion," and Samantha presented a paper on "Calvin Coolidge: The Action of Inaction" as part of a panel on "Twentieth-Century America."

Pictured here see Samantha presenting her paper at the podium and Sarah, second from left, seated with her fellow panelists during her presentation.

Kudos to Samantha and Sarah for presenting their work!

History Alum Joseph Richardson Receives Assistantship to Pursue Graduate Studies at Ole Miss

Congratulations are in order for Joseph Richardson, BA 2009, who has just accepted a full graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Mississippi. Although a man of many intellectual talents -- he was also very active in the Society for Ancient Languages and won the Outstanding Classical Studies Student Award while at UAH -- Joseph has chosen to focus his studies on Southern History. He begins in Fall 2010.

Pictured here is Joseph with Dr. John Kvach at Honors Day 2009, where Joseph received the first ever "Dr. John Rison Jones Award in Southern History sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society."

Hurray for Joseph! We encourage all of you blog followers here in Huntsville to try to get Joseph to give you one of his hallmark tours of Maple Hill Cemetery before he leaves town!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Congratulations to Honors Day Student Award Winners

On April 6, 2010, UAHuntsville and the College of Liberal Arts honored our outstanding students. Five history students received honors: Charity D. Ethridge won the Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement Award; Thomas E. Bockhorn won the Outstanding Graduate Achievement Award; Matthew Menarchek won the "National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Alabama History Essay Award"; Samantha Hillgartner won the "Colonel Walter Aston Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century History Award"; and Whitney Reid won the "Dr. John Rison Jones Award in Southern History sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society. Pictured here are Samantha, Whitney, Charity, Thomas, and Matthew.

Two other history majors also won awards, sociology double major Veronica Ferreira the Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement Award in Sociology and political science double major Sarah Fisher the "College of Liberal Arts Highest Academic Achievement Award" as the best student in the College. Pictured here are Sarah and Veronica.

We are very proud of all of our students!

MA Student Thomas Bockhorn Successfully Defends MA Thesis and Wins Department's Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The history department is proud to congratulate MA student Thomas Bockhorn, who will graduate in MA, for defending his thesis, "To Save Alabama’s Children: Power, Politics, and Child Labor, 1880 - 1908," and then winning the award for Outstanding Graduate Student in History at the April 6, 2010 Honors Day at UAHuntsville.

Pictured are a photograph of Thomas with his thesis advisor Dr. Stephen Waring after the Honors convocation and a historical photograph of Merrimack Mill employees, including many children.

Here is Thomas's thesis abstract:

Alabama became a political battleground during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Anti child labor reformers held rallies and created literature to aid in their cause. While southern anti-child labor reformers campaigned for the same cause, the question of whether states or the federal government should intervene became a heated controversy for southern progressives. Two major camps emerged by the early twentieth century: state reformers and southern nationalists. State reformers brandished their hope that the best advocates and defenders of children were the particular states where they resided. Southern nationalists, on the other hand, believed that the child labor problem was so vast that only a federal solution would stop the labor practice. The public split among southern Progressives, coupled with the 1907 Beveridge bill, allowed business interests to change the debate from saving children to decrying federal interference. These competing interests effectively stalled the movement.

History Major Veronica Ferreira Receives Assistantship for PhD Program at University of Iowa

The history department celebrates the good news of our major Veronica Ferreira, who has received a teaching assistantship for the PhD program in sociology at the Univeristy of Iowa. Her areas of focus will be gender, family and inequality. She will begin her studies in Fall 2010.

Although Veronica will pursue graduate studies in her double major of sociology and not in history, she credits her history coursework with providing an invaluable foundation for her graduate plans, particularly by teaching her how to do research and by showing her how current social phenomena are always shaped by historical context.

To the amusement of many of her history professors, Veronica also claims that "as a sociologist, I will always miss Chicago style. It makes checking sources so much easier, and it looks so much nicer on the page."

We wish Veronica much luck in her graduate studies! We also thank her for all her contributions to the history department, particularly her involvement with History Club and Phi Alpha Theta and her work as one of the first two student mentors through the Peer Assisted Study Session program. We know Veronica will be a very good teaching assistant and teacher.

Pictured here is Veronica on Honors Day with her husband Brian and children Timothy, Cecilia, and Lillian.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Congratulations to Dr. Sam Thomas for Research Fellowships

Sam Thomas has received two generous research grants to support his current research project, "Midwives and Society in Early Modern England." The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, and a joint grant from the Newberry Library and the British Academy, will allow him to conduct research in three archives in Yorkshire, England. Pictured here is an old map of Yorkshire.

Sam's goals for this trip are to find evidence on previously anonymous midwives, and gain a better understanding of early modern social history, including the experience of childbirth and the role midwives played in supporting the patriarchal system.

Congratulations, Sam!

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