Grove City College’s Alpha-Alpha-Lambda Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta recently hosted students from a number of colleges and universities at the national history honorary society’s Western Pennsylvania Regional Conference.
The conference on March 10 on campus featured more than two dozen students presenting their research on myriad historical topics, from the Vietnam War to pre-modern Christianity to the vices of Colonial America. Dr. Elaine Frantz, Kent State University professor and a historian of violence, gender and race in the nineteenth century, delivered a keynote address on the Ku Klux Klan.
Fifteen panels featuring the students’ work were held throughout the day and moderated by faculty from Grove City College, Thiel College, Juniata College, Mansfield University, Slippery Rock University, Mercyhurst University, Washington & Jefferson College, Clarion University and Fairmont State University.
“These regional conferences represent a wonderful opportunity for students to explore the academic life in a way that’s fun and not too intimidating. It provides a forum in which to interact with other history majors and defend their work thoughtfully,” Dr. Gillis Harp, professor and chair of the Department of History.
Twelve Grove City College students presented papers at the conference. They are:
- Bethany C. Funk ’18, “Social Dance as a Source of Novelty and Comfort: A Study in How the Acceptance of the Cuban Mambo in New York City Reflected Social and Political Currents in Post-World War II America.”
- Benjamin V. Allison ’18, “Lyndon Johnson: Patriot or Cynic? The Bombing Halts, Presidential Election, and Chennault Affair of 1968.”
- Megan Crutcher ’19, “What if Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia Had Been Assassinated in 1967?”
- Jessica Klees Oyler ’20, “Monasticism in Ireland: The Inimitable Irish Rose.”
- William M. Cliff ’18, “Standing Trees.”
- Agnes YunFei Tan ’18, “Hearthside Battles.”
- William Foxley Smith ’19, “Mountain Warfare in the Second World War: A Survey and Analysis of Major Conflicts.”
- Elena Peters ’19, “Grove City at a Crossroad: Reflections on the MacKenzie Influence and the College that Might Have Been.”
- Jenna Karina Hershberger ’18, “Excesse in Apparell Unbecoming the Profession if the Gospell: The Attempt of the New England Puritans to Maintain a Unified Community and Stand as a Model to the Rest of the World by Creating Sumptuary Laws between 1634 and 1675.”
- Jonathan Price ’19, “ ‘Lest the Powerful Wrong the Weak’: Mesopotamian Resistance to the Elamite Incursion of 1765 B.C. and the Rise of Hammurabi’s Babylonian Empire.”
- Sam Whiting ’18, “An Assessment of the Decline of the Ottoman Empire.”
- Samuel Archibald ’18, “Grove City’s First Citizen: The Life and Character of Edwin J. Fithian.”
Funk, Allison, Cliff, Smith, Peters, Hershberger, Price and Archibald won awards for their presentations.
“We in the faculty are always encouraged by how well our students perform compared with other schools in our region. Grove City College history majors who have presented at these conferences have often gone on to graduate programs at prestigious institutions such as the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, and the University of Virginia,” Harp said.
The Department of History at Grove City College prepares students for graduate study, employment in a variety of professional fields and thoughtful living by presenting a broad history curriculum with a Western emphasis, drawing upon Christian perspectives and offering unique educational opportunities.