April 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Undergraduate History Conference Includes Alumni Panel on Careers, April 14-15

The Ohio University History Department hosts its 10th Annual Undergraduate History Conference April 14-15.

The conference opens on Thursday, April 14, at 6 p.m. with a panel discussion by five alumni of the program and of the conference to speak about their post-graduation and career experiences. The panel features Sara Fisher, Cyrus Moore, and Britanny Venturella, who have embarked on careers in public history; Thomas Todd, who works for the National Parks Services; and Christina Matzen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto.

Tenth Annual Undergraduate History Conference logoThree panels of student presentations are scheduled for Friday, April 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Baker Center 235.

The History Department invites all members of the university community to come learn with them and support students in this initial foray into the historian’s profession.

Conference Program

Thursday, April 14

6–7:30 p.m. (Friends of the Library Room, Alden 319)

Alumni Panel: Life after a History Major

  • Sara Fisher, The Lakewood Historical Society
  • Chrissy Matzen, University of Toronto
  • Cyrus Moore, Athens Historical Society
  • Thomas J. Todd, National Park Service
  • Brittany Venturella, Andrew County Museum

Prizes, Awards, Announcements

  • Randolph Stone Historical Writing Contest
  • Department of History Scholarship Awards
  • Phi Alpha Theta Induction


Friday, April 15

9:30 a.m. (Baker Center 235)

Conference Opening: Dr. Michele Clouse, Director of Undergrad Studies

9:45–11:45 a.m. (Baker Center 235)

Panel 1: Stories of Rebellions and Resistance from the Ancient to Contemporary Periods
Chair: Dr. Brian Schoen

  • Steven Taylor, “Wolf by the Ears: The Praetorian Guard”
  • Tanner Ogle, “UT Spargat: the Black Regiment and the Anti-Trinitarian Beginnings of the American Revolution”
  • Josephine Barrett, “The Resistance of Many Different Names: Yugoslavian Resistance against Nazi Occupation in WWII”
  • Katie Conlon, “‘Neither Men nor Completely Women’: the 1980 Armagh Dirty Protest and Republican Resistance in Northern Irish Prisons”

noon–1 p.m. (Bentley Annex 402)

Lunch for Participants

1–2:45 p.m. (Baker Center 235)

Panel 2: Gender, Identity, Politics: Women and the State
Chair: Dr. Joshua Hill

  • Alyssa Green, “Elizabeth I: Lion or Lamb”
  • Grace Konyar, “Gendering War: Female Spies and Espionage Efforts”
  • Harlee Rozell, “Casting the New Woman in the Weimar Republic, 1919-33”

3–4:45 p.m. (Baker Center 235)

Panel 3: Public Opinion, Constructed Minorities, and their Troubling Consequences
Chair: Dr. David Curp

  • Erick Buckenmeyer, “To See as the ‘Tiger-Eyed’: Japanese War Crimes as Explained by the Perpetrators”
  • Charles “Bud” Kuhn, “American Public Opinion and How it Affected the Korean War”
  • Michael Lynch, “Blackness in Hispañola: Then and Now”

History of the Conference

Alumni Fisher, Matzen, Moore, Todd, and Venturella were among the first students to present at the Undergraduate History Conference, after it was inaugurated in the spring of 2007. Since then, the event has been organized and sponsored by the Ohio University History Department every spring quarter and then semester, with an average of 12 student presentations each year from both the Athens and regional campuses.

The conference was first proposed by faculty members who were teaching the History Research and Writing Junior Composition course. The intent was to provide students of that course with a venue to share their work with other students and faculty. Witness to the hard work students put into their projects, associate professors Michele Clouse, Miriam Shadis, and Mariana Dantas led the initiative, encouraged by their desire to provide students with the opportunity to showcase their research and writing talents to an audience beyond that of their classroom.

Over the years the conference has become an important event – sometimes rite of passage – to history majors and minors, as well as other Arts & Sciences students. The conference also marked a key shift in the activities of the department’s undergraduate committee, then led by Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor Kevin Uhalde. It marked the committee’s and the department’s commitment to offer students more professionalizing experiences through events and activities that introduce students to and prepare them for the types of work, public engagement, research and writing future jobs might expect of them. Through the efforts of succeeding directors of undergraduate studies and the Undergraduate Committee, the History Department also boosted its internship program, promoted an annual career advising day, and most recently has started to organize an internship fair. This year the conference once again marks the end of another academic year and celebrates students’ accomplishments, both those who graduated some years ago and those who are graduating in the near future.

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