EIU History Graduate Student Is Awarded Prestigious Mellon Foundation Internship

Graduate student Kimberly Jones has been chosen as a Mellon Scholar at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Kimberly is working on a thesis entitled “Colorism in the Eighteenth Century” under the supervision of Dr. Charles R. Foy. She will take part in a week long internship program this summer that will “include research talks, CV-building, an introduction to the African Americana holdings at the Library Company and at area repositories, training in the creation of competitive fellowship and graduate program applications, and mentoring and networking with African American history scholars.” This program is an important component in the Mellon Foundation and the Library Company’s efforts to increase minority participation in the field of Early American History.

Kimberly Jones

MA student Kimberly Jones

2015 History Careers Day

The History Department held its third annual History Careers HCD 2015Day on Friday, February 20.

Our keynote presenter this year was Angela Scalpello. Angela, who has worked for many years as a senior human resources executive at major firms in New York City and San Francisco, shared with majors and non-majors her considerable interviewing and hiring experience as someone who understands the skills historians bring to the job market.

For our 11am panel, EIU alumni and current students discussed how they are using their history degrees.

During our third panel EIU alumni and faculty shared their experiences teaching in a variety of settings—public school, private school, and community college.

At our final panel of the day, some faculty and current graduate students discussed the joys (and challenges) of MA and PhD programs.

Thank you to all of our panelists who helped us make this year’s History Careers Day such a success!

Graduate Students Attend Gala in Springfield

On Saturday, October 4 Brian Failing, Kimberly Jones, and Andrea Morgan, attended the Springfield Gala sponsored by the Graduate College at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) in Springfield, IL. This event brought together about 50 current graduate students, alumni, and administrators from across the university Mr. Failing, Ms. Morgan, and Ms. Jones attended this event as representatives of their programs. Brian is a student in the Historical Administration Master’s Program and Kimberley and Andrea are students in the traditional MA in History Program. After dinner, the students had the opportunity to tour the exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum.

From Left to Right: Andrea Morgan, Brian Failing, and Kimberly Jones with Abraham Lincoln and his family at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

From Left to Right: Andrea Morgan, Brian Failing, and Kimberly Jones with Abraham Lincoln and his family at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

One purpose of this event was to showcase the importance of graduate assistantships to students. Many students in the HA and History MA programs receive some form of assistantship, fellowship, or award that provides them with a tuition waiver, stipend, and real-world experience. Failing said “my graduate assistantship made my dream of earning my Masters a reality. Through this assistantship I have the ability to continue my education, pursue my research interests, and be an active practitioner in the museum and history fields.”



“Revolutionary Decade: Reflections on the 1960s” at Booth Library

Booth Library’s new exhibit and program series, “Revolutionary Decade: Reflections on the 1960,” will be taking place throughout the Fall semester. Throughout the series, faculty and students will take “a fresh look at the achievements, tragedies, triumphs, extraordinary personalities, and everyday lives of average people during what was arguably one of the most turbulent and eventful decades of the 20th century.”

Booth Fall 14

Many members of the History Department faculty, along with some of our graduate students, will be participating in the “Revolutionary Decade” programming (for the full schedule of events, please visit the exhibit homepage on the Booth Library website):

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m Booth Library West Reading Room
Opening Night/Reception
Dr. Edmund Wehrle, Keynote Address: “No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings: John F. Kennedy and the Spirit of the 1960s”

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
The Other Side of the ’60s: Hidden Dimensions of One of America’s Most Significant Decades
– Dr. Lynne Curry, “Sex, Drugs, and the U.S. Supreme Court”
– Dr. Debra Reid, “Between Cairo and Chicago: Resistance to Rights Expansion During the 1960s”
– Dr. Charles Titus, “Cold War Classrooms: How American Education Served the National Security State”

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
MA History Student Research Panel: Global Diplomacy in the 1960s
– Moderated by Dr. Edmund Wehrle:
Kimberly Jones, “No Place Like Home: Robert F. Williams — World Exile”
Michael Ludwinski, “The Kennedy-MacMillan Affair: The Making of a
Special Relationship”
Adam Mohebbi, “Inaction, Not Indifference: Rhodesia and Postcolonialism in the 1960s”

Thursday, Oct. 2, 3:30 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
Fantastic Sitcoms of the 1960s: “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Bewitched”
Dr. Malgorzata J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, “Fantastic Sitcoms of the 1960s: I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 4 p.m., Booth Library Room 4440
Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m., Lone Elm Room, Mattoon Depot

Reflections on Sixties Music
Dr. Newton Key, “Global Influences on the American Pop Charts of the Sixties”



2014 History Awards Banquet

The EIU History Department and the Epsilon Mu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta held its annual awards banquet on May 2, 2014. Please join us in congratulating all of our award recipients!

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Breeahnah Babers, John Bays, Michael Bradley, Rebecca Braundmeier, Brendon Charles, Taylor Coffman, Andrew Daily, Bethany Haywood, Megan Kessler, Kody Kidwell, Jay Ryan Lawler, Jr., Cate LiaBraaten, Emily McInerney, Jacob Meyerhoff, Joseph Mickelson, Ryan Repking, Michael Rosenbaum, Rachael Sapp, Jessica Schluter, Ethan Shimer, Quentin Spannagel, James Willaert


The Errett and Mazie Warner History Award
For an outstanding junior or senior history major
Jennifer Seiler
Michael Bradley
Taylor Yangas

The Rex Syndergaard Scholarship
For an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in teaching
Breeahnah Babers
Jessica Nunez

The Stephen M. Horak Award
For an outstanding senior history major with a concentration in European history and at least one course in Russia or Eastern European history
John Bays

The Robert and Julie Sterling History Education in Social Science Scholarship
For a junior or senior history major with teacher certification
Megan Kessler

The William B. Reid, Jr. History Education Scholarship
For a junior or senior history major with teacher certification
Jessica Schluter

The Wolfgang and Barbara Schlauch European History Scholarship
For an undergraduate or graduate history major with an outstanding academic record and a concentration in modern European history
James Bishop


The Lavern M. Hamand Graduate Writing Award
For the best paper by a graduate student in the Department of History
Aaron Psujek (Fall)
Cate LiaBraaten (Spring)

The Alexander Hamilton Paper Award in American History
For the best undergraduate paper on American history written for a course taught in EIU’s History Department
Michael Bradley

History Faculty Writing Award in World History
For the best paper in world history (excluding Europe and the United States) written by an undergraduate for a course taught by a member of EIU’s History Department
Jennifer Seiler

The Herbert and Jane Lasky Anne Frank Award
For the best undergraduate paper on the Holocaust written for a course taught by EIU History Department faculty
Matthew Cain


The Robert Hennings HA Internship Scholarship
Cate LiaBraaten

The Duane Elbert Internship Scholarship
Caitlin Smith


Livingston C. Lord Scholarship
Jessica Nunez

King-Mertz Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award
Nichole Garbrough

Distinguished Graduate Student Award
History: Aaron Psujek
Historical Administration: Desiree Ramirez

Williams Travel Awards
Aaron Psujek
Danielle DiGiacomo
Logan Bruce

Social Science Writing Awards
Michael Bradley
Michael Olson

Women’s Studies Woman of Artistic Vision Award
Emily Scarbourgh

Women’s Studies Essay Contest, Graduate Category
Emily Scarbrough

Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award, Second Place
Emily Scarbrough

Study Abroad Student of the Year
Mattie Korneta

Distinguished Senior Award, Alumni Services
Zachary Samples

MA History Graduate Students Present Research at Symposium

Two of our MA graduate students, Kara Batts and Aaron Psujek, recently presented papers at the 2014 Graduate Student Symposium held at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN. Kara and Aaron presented alongside graduate history students from Indiana State and the University of Illinois-Springfield. The annual symposium is held on a rotating basis between the campuses of ISU, UI-S, and EIU.

During the first panel session, Kara Batts presented her paper, “90 Days in Quincy: An Illinois Bordertown Faces Civil War, April-July 1861,” which she wrote for the HIS 5390: Civil War seminar under the direction of Professor Mark Hubbard.

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During the afternoon panel session, Aaron Psujek presented a paper, “Anglo-American Relations in the Middle East from the Iranian Coup to the Suez Crisis,” based on his forthcoming MA thesis which he is completing under the direction of Professor Brian Mann.

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History Graduate Student Wins 2014 King-Mertz Award

Nichole Garbrough (MA 2014) was recently selected by the EIU Graduate School to receive the prestigious King-Mertz Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award for her Independent Study project “Delaware Valley Allegiances and Identity in the Eighteenth Century” done under the supervision of Dr. Charles Foy.  This paper addressed the question of how and when residents of British North American changed their identities from being British to being American. Through a careful and detailed analysis of identity Nichole demonstrated Delaware’s unique history among the thirteen colonies and at the same time confirmed that its diversity and lacking a monolithic religious community or mono-crop economy were more typical of colonial America than Massachusetts or Virginia, colonies which most historians have focused their attention.

Nichole’s research for this project was done while taking Dr. Newton Key’s Early Modern England and Dr. Foy’s Early America seminars.

History MA Alum Wins State Teaching Award

Villa Grove social studies teacher and EIU MA History alum Kyle Osborne has been recognized as this year’s Smart/Maher VFW Citizenship Education Teacher Award winner for the state of Illinois at the high school level. Each year the Veterans of Foreign Wars bestow these awards upon the nation’s top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who promote civic responsibility and help students develop a better understanding of democratic values and beliefs.

Graduate Student to Present at the 2014 Missouri Conference on History

The 2014 Missouri Conference on History Program Committee has selected MA graduate student Emily Scarbrough’s paper for inclusion in a panel entitled “The Search for Social and Political Equality between the Sexes” at this year’s Missouri Conference on History. Emily will be presenting her paper “Mobilizing the Ballot Battle: Women’s Suffrage and Antisuffrage Movements in Illinois” at the conference this March in Jefferson City, MO.


History Careers Day Schedule & Registration

The History Department at Eastern Illinois University invites all interested students to their first History Careers Day to be held on 22 February 2013 from 10—3 in Room 4440 of Booth Library. Each session will begin with a fast round of brief presentations (5-6 minutes each) and then open it up to questions about innovations in history research, opportunities for grants, awards, and future study, etc. The morning sessions feature current graduate and undergraduate students and a few of the department faculty. The afternoon sessions are devoted to reports from the front from alumni employed in a variety of fields. (Organizers; Sace Elder, Newton Key, Brian Mann, Nora Small )

Register today! (All sessions and the lunch are free; but space/food is limited. So click here to register now – it takes seconds.)

  • 10:00-10:50 Student session
  1. Emily Scarbrough, “Suffrage and Antisuffrage in Illinois”
  2. Clare Smith, “Stuart Images of Henry VIII”
  3. Pat Vonesh, “Transcultural Identities Among Blacks and Whites in Britain, 1950-1980”
  4. Philip Mohr, “Housing E.I.U.’s G.I.s and Married Students”
  • 11:00-11:50: Faculty session (Professors of History at EIU)
  1. Newton Key, “News Networks in the 17th and 21st Centuries”
  2. Brian Mann, “Researching Modern Iranian History”  
  3. Ed Wehrle, “The View from Camp David”
  4. Anita Shelton, “Translating History” 
  • 12:00-12:50: Lunch (provided)
  1. Study Abroad
  • 1:00-1:50 and 2:00-2:50: Alumni session (2x)
  1. Ryan Blankenship, Managing Director, Mathematics and Statistics, McGraw-Hill Higher Education 
  2. Marc Anderson, Product Manager, Congressional and Historical Collections, ProQuest
  3. Amanda Bryden, State Sites Collection Manager, Indiana State Museum and State Historic Sites, New Harmony State Historic Site 
  4. Bobbi Kingery, Career Counselor, College of Arts & Humanities
  5. Amanda Standerfer, Adult Division Head Librarian, Decatur Public Library
  • 3:00 Career Day Ends.  Note: all participants are invited the keynote talk by Dr. Christopher Olsen, 7 pm in Doudna Lecture Hall.