March 21, 2016 at 10:40 am

History Grad Student Wins Kanter Fellowship & Student Enhancement Award

Ohio University has awarded Mitchell Smith, Ph.D. student in the History Department, two prestigious grants: the Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship and a Student Enhancement Award. Both grants were based on Smith’s dissertation project, titled “The Politics of Assent: Popular Support for America’s Vietnam War, 1965-1973.”

History Ph.D. student Mitchell Smith

History Ph.D. student Mitchell Smith

Smith received $6,000 from the Student Enhancement Awards Program. He plans to make use of the funds during the 2016 summer to conduct archival research at the Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin, TX, the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA, the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Student Enhancement Awards are funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and administered by the Council for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, which is appointed by Faculty Senate. They are granted on a competitive basis.

Smith also received the Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship, which comes with a $15,000 grant (plus a full-tuition scholarship). The grant will enable him to focus on writing his dissertation during the 2016-17 academic year. The Kanter fellowship is awarded by the Ohio University Graduate College on a competitive basis as one of five named fellowships granted to graduate students each year.

Smith’s dissertation examines popular domestic support for the Vietnam War during the Johnson and Nixon presidencies. While scholars have produced significant literature on the anti-war movement, Smith notes that little attention has been paid to those citizens who approved of U.S. action in Vietnam or advocated its expansion. His research spans the length of the war. However, he pays particular attention to popular activities of organizations such as the American Legion, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Young Americans for Freedom, and the National Urban League, from 1965 to 1968, all of which supported the war effort or the U.S. troops who fought in Vietnam. Smith explores both the organizational methods through which these prowar Americans expressed approval of U.S. policies in Vietnam for a variety of reasons, as well as the various and complex reasons they did so. He is researching and writing the dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Chester Pach, Associate Professor of History at Ohio University.

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