Students in Dr. Kinkela's History of New York class tour Buffalo's grain elevators.
There are a wide range of clubs and opportunities available to our History students. Here you can find out more about joining the History Club and Phi Alpha Theta, checking out study abroad options, and participating as a judge in the annual History Day competition. This page also features recent activities and accomplishments of our current undergraduates.
Dr. Straus' HIST 201 students at OSCAR
On Thursday, May 1st, History and SSED majors participated in the 16th Annual Original Student Research and Creativity Exposition (OSCAR) held in the Williams Center. Using poster boards, students from Dr. Emily Straus' honors Doing History (HIST 201) course presented on themes inspired by the landmark Brown vs Board of Education decision; Dr. Nancy Hagedorn's students examined subjects from their Indians and Europeans in Early American History class; and HIST 495 senior capstone students answered questions about their research undertaken in Dr. Eric Meringer's Oral History and Dr. Jennifer Hildebrand's Black Women and Gender classes.
Chris Malone presents his senior capstone research
HIST 201 student Jordan Reed examined how political and social climates affected the shaping and interpretation of affirmative action in the United States. Asked why he chose his topic, he responded “many people seem to focus on the leaders’ views of affirmative action and how that shaped their policies, but I wanted to focus on how the context of the time shaped the issues.” Reed found it a challenge to distill “something as complex as the political culture of a time, with multiple players and events … into a poster that is supposed to be easily read and understood”; however, he walked away from his OSCAR experience with “a better grasp of how to present historical ideas to the public” as well as an introduction to a new medium of presenting research.
ETHN 389 student Sarah Creighton “explored the evolution of Indian-European economic relationships in early America … As a part of (this) topic, I included information on cultural symbolism of trade goods, trade beads, trade silver, the fur trade, and wampum …”. She chose her topic because she has “always been interested in how the Indians placed different values to European trade goods instead of monetary values …” Like Reed, Creighton also found it challenging condensing a lot of information into a presentation that did not overwhelm or confuse the non-specialist. They learned a valuable skill in bridging the gap between academic and mainstream audiences.
Students overall had a positive impression of their OSCAR experience. Creighton “thought OSCAR was a fun way to showcase the talent and experiences of Fredonia students from many different disciplines. Everyone was incredibly friendly and respectful of each other’s accomplishments and projects.” Her classmate, Chad Szymkowiak, noted the exposition was “a nice recognition of hard work, too.” Creighton quipped that the OSCAR acronym could also be interpreted as “Our Students Care About Research.”
Laura Hirst presents her research on the history of the African Union.
Senior students in Professor Fabian's Honors Capstone (HIST 499) course organized a public conference to present their research on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 in the Williams Center. Aside from researching, writing, and practicing their oral presentations, students worked together to organize their own conference program and publicity; have the event catered; invite a guest speaker, local photojournalist Brendan Bannon, to give the opening presentation; and raise the funds to make it all happen. The event was a great success and provided students with the experience of event planning, fundraising, teamwork, and public speaking. It also gave them an intimate experience with the world of the historian and public engagement.
Jeff Schmidt presents his research on Hollywood perceptions of African conflicts.
Students in Prof. Litwicki's 2012 Honors Capstone Seminar: Local History conducted research in local archives and museums. They published their final essays in a book, which reveals aspects of the rich history of Chautauqua County. Topics range from the industries that dominated Dunkirk, to the reformers whose progressive ideas shaped national politics, to the experiences of county residents during three different wars. Copies of the book were donated to local historical institutions.
The published authors from Prof. Litwicki's HIST 499 Honors Capstone.