A History of Success

OWU history students excel at competition

Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society

Three OWU students have just returned from the Ohio Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta, a national honorary society for history students, where each took home “Best Paper” honors in a competition that included both undergraduate and graduate students from Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. What is especially notable, says Richard Spall, Ph.D.,

Cornelia Fairbanks Professor of History, is that these students “beat out not only fellow undergraduates but also graduate students from universities in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.” Peer reviewed by professors from other institutions, each paper was its author’s first professional presentation. Winners included:

  • Celia Baker: Best Paper on Cold War History, “Breaking the Ice: Ronald Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War,” under the supervision of Michael Flamm, Ph.D.
  • Nick Oleski: Best Paper on the 1960s, “The Politics of Fear: George Wallace, the New York Times, and the Election of 1968,” under the supervision of Barbara Terzian, Ph.D.
  • Kale Booher: Best Paper on Religious History, “The Power of the Word: The Preeminence of Scripture in the Political Thought of Martin Luther,” under the supervision of Richard Spall, Ph.D.

“This is an extraordinary achievement by an exceptional group of students,” Spall says. “Getting the students prepared for this was also a group effort on the part of the faculty.” Adds President Rock Jones, “This is great news and a tribute to the quality of students and the quality of teaching and mentoring in the Department of History. Congratulations to all!”

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