Student graduates in History, heals public

HIS/SS MAJOR CHRISTINE GEER GRADUATES WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN PUBLIC HEALTH

When students ask what they can do with a history major, we often tell them: whatever you want, because history is a wonderful springboard for many different professions. Take for example Christine Geer, who graduated from Eastern with the History/Social Science and Education degree, and decided to pursue graduate school in the public health field. For the last two years she studied at the Boston University, and as she reported before, her background in history made her better prepared to both understand social issues and their historical context, and to research and write papers. She even co-authored a research paper, which is going to be published in a scholarly journal!

Now Christine has a Master’s degree in Public Health and has just accepted a position as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital. She will recruit and enroll participants, and will assist in multiple different clinical studies. And that’s how Christine will combine her passion for history, education, and public health with a professional career.

Christine Geer, History B.A., M.P.H.

Christine Geer, History B.A., M.P.H.

Way to go Christine!

Human Rights in Ethiopia

The History Department, Political Science, Philosophy and Geography Department are co-sponsoring a University Hour event on Wednesday, November 16th at 3pm in the Student Theater.  The speaker is Dr. Semahagn Abebe, a scholar in residence at UConn’s Human Rights Institute. Eastern is a member of the Scholars-at-Risk international organization that supports scholars around the world who have been exiled or persecuted by their home governments by providing residential opportunities at various universities and financial support for their residences.

Dr.Abebe will discuss the Ethiopian government’s stifling of freedom of expression and academic freedom in the country. The lecture provides background analysis on the Ethiopian political structure, human rights violations, challenges of academic freedom and the role of the international community to reverse political repression in Ethiopia.

History Major Allison Grant Reflects on her study abroad (and you can too)

I have always had a strong desire to travel. I knew from the moment I started applying to colleges, I would study abroad. Last Spring, I had the opportunity to study abroad. Through a partnership with Central Connecticut State University, I applied to the National University of Ireland-Galway.

Some of the courses I took included: Development of the Medieval Castle in Europe, Theories of Personality, and a Service Learning Literacy Project. Most of the classes fulfilled my Social Science Core.

The classes in Ireland were very different from the classes at Eastern, most of the classes had only two assignments for the whole semester, attendance was not always recorded, and most classes consisted of fifty to seventy students in them. Almost all the students use a laptop during class.

When I left for Ireland, I expected to spend all of my time in Ireland. I did not. I went to Copenhagen (Denmark), London (United Kingdom), Berlin (Germany), Italy (starting from Venice traveled down to Sicily), Athens (Greece), and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). There are so many great memories I have from this trip. I learned so much. Not just from classes but more from meeting people.

There are moments you wish you could take a snapshot of and be able to replay whenever you want. One of those moments for me was sitting in Piazza Michelangelo writing in my journal. Another is watching the Easter celebration unfold in front of the Duomo, in Florence.

In Athens, I was able to volunteer at a refugee camp. The refugees all came from different areas of the Middle East. The refugees were staying on the Port of Pireus. All the families were given a tent; it was humbling to see that everything they owned was in that tent.

Most of the volunteers did not speak Arabic or Farsi. A group of translators, all refugees themselves, helped volunteers communicate with children and adults in the camp. The youngest translator was a boy, about twelve. I was shocked and impressed. I did not believe he was a translator. The boy had every right to be very upset about living in a tent but he decided to be a positive.

The next day, I went back to the camp. A little girl came up to me and gave me her little sister, maybe six months old, and then walked away. I looked around for a parent but did not find one. Once again I was shocked by the situation, the trust that the little girl had in me. Later that day, I was playing with a different young girl, two or three years old, her parents came and took her away. She started crying a little while later and the parents brought her back to me. Being American, I figured that any refugee would not trust me in the camp or around their children. I was surprised when I was accepted by them.

AllisonGrant

Studying abroad was the most life changing and positive experiences of my life. I would go back tomorrow if I could. The culture and different experiences while abroad, have made me a better more conscious citizen. If you have an opportunity to study aboard, even if it might be inconvenient, I strong recommend doing it.

If you too would like to have a life-changing experience, check out the many study abroad opportunities through Eastern.

Speaking of Warrior Welcome…

While the History department appreciates that one of the Warrior Sunday attendees left the department their earbuds, we don’t actually need them. But if you need them back, check with the Department Secretary Brenda Schiavetti (in the main History office).

Congratulations to Barnard awardees Quanece Williams and Sabreena Croteau

Eastern annually awards the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award to two students who excel in both academic achievement and community service. Candidates must have at least a 3.7 GPA and a record of significant community service. The students are nominated by their respective universities and presidents.

This year’s recipients were both double majors in History and Political Science, Sabreena Croteau and Quanece Williams. Congratulations to both!

 

Quanece Williams, Barnard Scholar 2016

Quanece Williams, Barnard Scholar 2016

Sabreena Croteau, Barnard Scholar 2016

Sabreena Croteau, Barnard Scholar 2016

Team History continues its domination

in the 2016 College Bowl competition. They’ve advanced from the first round after dispatching Biochemistry. Come watch them defeat Biology in the second round, Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 5:00 pm in the Student Center Theatre.

Team History members Shawn Batchelder, Matt Putnam, Karolyn Rkarriganjobes, and Patrick Thomson listen intently as ECSU Quiz Bowl moderator and history professor David Frye asks a toss-up question during round 1 of play.

Team History members (L to R) Shawn Batchelder, Matt Putnam, Karolyn Rkarriganjobes, and Patrick Thomson listen intently as ECSU Quiz Bowl moderator and history professor David Frye asks a toss-up question during round 1 of play.

Team History coach professor Thomas Balcerski enjoys a lighthearted moment with Professor Frye and ECSU alumnus and official scorekeeper, ECSU alum and History major Asa O’Brien (2002), before the start of the competition

Team History coach professor Thomas Balcerski (L) enjoys a lighthearted moment with Professor Frye and ECSU alum and official scorekeeper, Asa O’Brien (History, 2002), before the start of the competition.

Eastern Connecticut State University Student Emily Komornik of Shelton Conducts Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research and creative activities at Eastern Connecticut State University provide opportunities for students to work closely with faculty mentors on research or creative work.

Eastern student Emily Komornik ’16 of Shelton has been participating in an undergraduate research project related to her major. Her research during the summer of 2015 included accessing the Jonathan Edwards Collection at Yale University’s Divinity Library. Komornik’s major is History and English.

The foundation of her current research began her sophomore year after taking a historical methods course with History Professor Caitlin Carenen. The final project for the class was a research paper based on a primary source document. Komornik chose to write about Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” due to her interest in religious history — the Great Awakening in particular.

She submitted her original project for consideration for the J. Eugene Smith Library Research Award Scholarship and won. At that point, Professor Carenen and Komornik discussed expanding the research paper into an honors thesis. The proposal and literature review for her thesis was approved in April. Komornik plans to complete her work during the fall 2015 semester.

“My thesis focuses on the rhetoric of two movements, the Great Awakening, a religious movement in colonial New England which lasted from 1737 to 1745, and the American Revolution. I explore how these movements compare in terms of the use of rhetoric, as well as the types of publications utilized as strategies for its use. So far, I have found that the propaganda of the American Revolution, including newspaper articles, speeches, pamphlets, as well as the sermons of the ministers of the Great Awakening, are both deeply rooted in appeals to emotion. Harnessing the power of language and linguistic persuasion has proven to be an important strategy for everything from propaganda to presidential speeches,” said Komornik.

According to Carenen, “Emily is extremely gifted and her project is an exciting and ambitious one. Even though it’s set in the 18th century, the question she is asking — “how does rhetoric inspire rebellion?”–has relevance for us today. As a historian of American religious history, I have helped Emily fine-tune her project and it’s been a pleasure to work with her.”

During the spring 2016 semester, Komornik will be writing a critical research paper as an independent study with English Professor Maureen McDonnell. The focus of the paper is three Shakespearian tragedies – Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear – and the interplay of Catholic ghosts and “pagan” representations throughout.

Komornik plans to present both research papers at Eastern’s undergraduate research and art conference in the spring. She also intends to apply to other research conferences in the spring, including the Council of Public Liberals Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

After graduating in May 2016, Komornik is considering pursuing either a master’s degree or Ph.D. in history, with an interest in publishing and archival work, or a law degree with a focus in employment or appellate law.

“My research has developed into a much more complex research topic than I started with, but if anything, my passion for the subject has grown. I believe I am so interested in the primary documents of the Great Awakening and of the American Revolution because they inspired controversial, extreme rebellions. I am fascinated by the way that words can hold the power to influence people so profoundly,” said Komornik.

-Anne Pappalardo