Belated Congratulations

To graduating senior Isabelli Rossi, who won a library research award in the Junior/Senior category with her research on “The Elite Opulence of the Guilded Age: Creation of an 1876 Style Evening Gown.”

And congrats as well to Chris Morris, who presented his paper “Got a Donkey in the Crosshairs: The Partisan Anticommunism of Senator Joseph McCarthy” at the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference in late April.

Congratulations and Farewell

To all of our graduating seniors. Fortunately, somebody thought to bring a camera to our annual graduating seniors reception and awards ceremony – we’re working on a better title – so we can all remember the accomplishments of the past four years (hopefully only four years).

And yes, there was cake.

Cake

Cake

Who all was there? Only the best and brightest our department has to offer. Of course all of our graduating seniors are the best and the brightest, but notable mentions go to the following award winners:

Outstanding History Major: Mike Lisitano (with department chair Dr. Kirchmann)

Outstanding History Major: Mike Lisitano (with department chair Dr. Kirchmann)

Two students were awarded the Outstanding History/Social Science award:

Outstanding History/Social Science major Alaina Torromeo

Outstanding History/Social Studies major Kate Butler

Outstanding History/Social Studies major Kate Butler

Next we have our Outstanding History/American Studies major:

Outstanding History/American Studies major

Outstanding History/American Studies major Adrianna Mihalek

Three graduating seniors earned a Service to the Department award for their contributions to the History Club and Team History, the department’s championship pedigreed College Bowl team:

Shawn Batchelder

Shawn Batchelder

Claire Tensa

Claire Tensa

Patrick Thomson

Patrick Thomson

Another student was honored by being selected as Student Marshall:

Gabrielle Archibald

Gabrielle Archibald

Two History majors were also awarded scholarships for their academic achievement:

Taryn McCabe, recipient of the Ann and Kenneth Tucker Scholarship Award

Taryn McCabe, recipient of the Ann and Kenneth Tucker Scholarship Award

Sara Dean, recipient of the first Dr. Thomas Anderson Memorial Prize

Sara Dean, recipient of the first Dr. Thomas Anderson Memorial Prize

And, finally, professors teaching the History capstone seminar are allowed to recognize one student for writing the best seminar paper in their class. For Fall 2016, the best seminar papers were:

  • Michael Lisitano, “The Normans of Southern Italy: Conquests of the Hautville Family”, with Dr. David Frye.
  • Devin Stanley, “‘We had to organize, we had to move, we had to get started’: The Organization of the American Gay Rights Movement”, with Dr. Tom Balcerski.

The winners of the Spring 2017 seminar paper awards will be announced this summer on this blog.

So congratulations to all graduating seniors, and good luck in your future endeavors! Don’t forget to keep in touch.

Oh, wait, before you go… I almost forgot, can we get everyone together for a group photo?

Group photo, with everyone together

Group photo, with everyone together. For that last time.

Local History Lives!

And for proof that History is, in fact, alive, you can see for yourself at the upcoming 325th Multi-Era Muster, celebrating the 325th anniversary of Willimantic’s founding.* The Windham Historical Society and Jillson House Museum are hosting a birthday celebration of local history at Jillson Square on Saturday, May 13th, starting at 10 AM. There will be historical re-enactors and artifacts aplenty, from military musters to traditional artisanal craftspeople to live music.

More details on their Facebook page here.

*Founded in 1692, the same year that the great French military engineer Vauban besieged and captured the Flanders fortress of Namur. Just sayin’.

The Dreaded Question

The question all graduating college students are forced to answer, again and again: “So what are you going to do now?”

Hopefully you’ve been thinking about this question before your last semester in school, but if you need some additional food for thought, there’s a new article on History degrees and careers in the April 2017 issue of American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History magazine (here). Appropriately enough, it takes a historical approach by looking at what careers past History majors have pursued.

So read the article and do what History trains you to do: identify its conclusion, assess its supporting evidence, analyze its assumptions and inferences, and contextualize the information within its broader geographical and chronological contexts. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be in better shape to figure out how you can combine your interests, content knowledge, and skills to find a job you’ll like doing. And remember, History faculty are here to help.

And what would a blog post be without an eye-catching graphic?

More undergraduate research

Eastern History majors have multiple venues in which to show off their research chops. Just a few weeks after the CSU Making History conference, more History majors presented their papers and posters at Eastern’s annual CREATE conference.

What Goes Up Must Come Down? Sarah Brihan presents on the artistic undermining of the Berlin Wall

What Goes Up Must Come Down? Sarah Brihan presents on the artistic undermining of the Berlin Wall

Isabella Rossi presents her period dress as part of her paper, “The Elite Opulence of the Gilded Age: Creation of an 1876 Style Evening Gown.”

Isabella Rossi presents her period dress as part of her paper, “The Elite Opulence of the Gilded Age: Creation of an 1876 Style Evening Gown.”

Joseph White presents his paper, “The Foul Blot of Everlasting Shame: Why 18th Century American Patriots Told the Story of Benedict Arnold.”

Joseph White presents his paper, “The Foul Blot of Everlasting Shame: Why 18th Century American Patriots Told the Story of Benedict Arnold.”

Rosie Welles presents her paper, “‘The Mythic Rapist’: Destructive Sexual Dehumanization of Black Men in the New South.”

Rosie Welles presents her paper, “‘The Mythic Rapist’: Destructive Sexual Dehumanization of Black Men in the New South.”

Patrick Thompson explains his poster session, “Love is Love: The Rise and Fall of the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Patrick Thomson explains his poster session, “Love is Love: The Rise and Fall of the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Jaky Ray presents her poster session, “Samson Occom.”

Jaky Ray presents her poster session, “Samson Occom.”

Prof. Thomas Balcerski with student Rosie Wells; Prof. Scott Moore with student Joseph White.

Prof. Thomas Balcerski with student Rosie Wells; Prof. Scott Moore with student Joseph White.

Oh the Places You’ll Go – Middle East edition

On March 10, Dr. Carenen took a group of 15 students on a global studies field course to Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. In Israel, students were able to visit the border between Israel and Lebanon, see the Golan Heights,

Golan Heights

Golan Heights

visit the Sea of Galilee,

Sea of Galilee (pre-swim)

Sea of Galilee

climb to the top of Masada at sunrise, float in the Dead Sea,

Where the floating is easy...

Where the floating is easy…

visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem), meet with Druze in Haifa, and explore the Old City of Jerusalem. In Jordan, students visited the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, explored the capital city of Amman, visited Petra

Rockin' in Petra

Rockin’ in Petra

and spent the night in a Bedouin desert camp.

Jordanian bedouin camp

Jordanian bedouin camp

In the West Bank, students visited a Palestinian refugee camp,

Palestinian refugee camp

Palestinian refugee camp

a private school in Beit Jala, met with members of Combatants for Peace, visited Shephard’s Field and the Church of the Nativity. The course focused on exploring the boundaries of the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict and students were able to visit with people from all sides of the conflict, learn about parts of the modern Middle East, and explore new geography!

Another sad note

The History department just learned that another former History faculty member passed away. Dr. Leon Sarin (online obituary here) taught at many different institutions, and at many levels, throughout his long career. He ended up at Eastern, teaching North American history until his retirement in 1994. He founded the Canadian Studies program here at Eastern, and spent 28 years educating several generations of Eastern students.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Congratulations Victoria Soto Award Winner Elaine Hill

During the PAT award dinner, a separate award was also given in memory of Eastern alumna and PAT member Victoria Soto ’08, an elementary school teacher who lost her life in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, CT. Every year since 2013, the History department presents the award to an outstanding graduating History/History-Social Science/History-American Studies major who is a member of PAT and is planning on pursuing a career in teaching. This year’s award was given to Elaine Hill.

Elaine Hill. 2017 Victoria Soto award winner

Elaine Hill. 2017 Victoria Soto award winner