Eastern Students Present at CSU Making History Conference

Eastern students and faculty represent Eastern at the CSU Making History Conference, which took place at Southern Connecticut State University this year.

Twelve history students from Eastern Connecticut State University presented at the 2019 Connecticut State University Making History Conference on March 22. The fifth-annual conference was held at Southern Connecticut State University.

Eastern students presented on a range of topics, from Hiram Bingham and Machu Picchu to Japanese samurai culture. Several students also gave presentations on developments in the discipline of history, including discussing tools for digital history dissection and a roundtable discussion on teaching the historical methods course.

“I learned a lot about the value of coming together to discuss new research and ideas,” said Martha Ennis, a history major who gave a presentation titled “Mexican Migration in Connecticut: Braceros and Beyond.” She added, “I also learned about subjects I had never even thought about before.”

Eastern History Professors Joan Meznar and Thomas Balcerski accompanied the students to the conference and helped them prepare for their presentations.

“Students in the history department are conducting impressive original research, and are presenting at local, regional and national conferences, said Meznar. “This year’s conference was another affirmation of Eastern’s role as Connecticut’s Public Liberal Arts University.”

Conferences such as these are vital for student research and thesis development. History student Raven Dillon, who was a part of a presentation called “Re-tooling the Historical Methods Course” said: “This conference really helped me envision my future as an indigenous professor and researcher. I’m already planning my proposal for next year.”

Some students study broad historical eras, while others focus on a specific field of study. Allen Horn, a history major who also presented “Re-tooling the Historical Methods Course,” is focusing his research in the study of Morgan horses in the Civil War. “I want to elevate the field of human interaction with horses to a legitimate field of scholarship,” Horn said. 

“It was a banner day for Eastern’s history department,” Balcerski concluded. “Our history students exhibited high-quality research and effectively presented their findings to a broader audience. They exhibited polish, poise and passion for their subjects.”

Written by Raven Dillon