Students can augment their history studies through honors and independent studies. EXCEL Scholars research collaborations with professors, internships, and study abroad. By participating, students create a more favorable collegiate record for prospective employers and graduate schools and build a stronger foundation for life beyond Lafayette.
Honors & Independent Study
Students can explore a topic of interest for a semester as an independent study or distinguish themselves by pursuing honors through completing a yearlong thesis. See the Honors and Individual Study section at the bottom of the Courses webpage for more information.
Common reasons students cite for pursuing honors:
- preparing for graduate school
- honing research skills on a topic of personal interest
- learning techniques valuable for use in future plans
- synthesizing four years of knowledge
- gaining experience apart from coursework
- combining two or more academic interests
- demonstrating advanced aptitude in a topic
- meeting an exciting challenge
Recent honors theses in history include:
- “The Influence of Allied Bombing on German Morale”
- “Relics of a Provincial Past: Masculinity, Rural Culture, and the Emergence of the Gaucho as a National Symbol in Late 19th-Century Argentina”
- “Boom to Bust: The Road to Bethlehem Steel’s Bankruptcy”
- “The Origins of Federal Reclamation: Ideology and Irrigation in the American West”
- “Child Abandonment and Institutionalization in Post-Soviet Russia”
Internships offer real-world career challenges, including working for local historical societies and museums, city and county government offices, charitable organizations, legal offices, and businesses. Students gain experience in such roles as assistant teachers and assistants to principals in local high schools, apprentice reporters at The Express-Times newspaper, and assistants at local TV and radio stations. See the Honors and Individual Study section at the bottom of the Courses webpage for more information.
Lafayette student interns experience life-changing opportunities within the program. One recent internship saw students working with Easton’s Lou Reda Productions on The History Channel’s WWII in HD episode “The Air War.” As a history major, Tyler Bamford ’12 said of his role as a researcher for the show, “This internship has been one of my greatest experiences at Lafayette in terms of hands-on experience working with a topic I might make a career out of one day.” (See “Students Help Lift the History Channel’s ‘The Air War’ off the Ground.”)
EXCEL Scholars Program
Open to sophomore, junior, and senior full-time Lafayette students in all disciplines who maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher, The EXCEL Scholars program gives students nominated by a faculty member an opportunity to pursue research alongside a faculty adviser/researcher. These studies open career doors for students, as the work is fully collaborative and involves cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of knowledge.
Recently, three history major EXCEL Scholars assisted in research for the book Supreme City: New York City 1927, an examination of life in the Big Apple in the heady days before the stock market crash. Author Donald L. Miller, John Henry MacCracken Professor of History, enlisted their aid. Each student had a specific assignment and all were responsible for sending edits on the entire book to Miller for his consideration in the final draft. (See “Three Students Explore New York City’s Rich History for Professor Donald L. Miller’s Latest Book Project.”)
Examples of other EXCEL Scholar studies from history majors:
- “Seven Sisters: One Family’s Journey in the Evolution of the Human Rights Movement” – Julia Welby ’12 and Emily Musil Church, assistant professor of history
- “The Uncertain Future of French Jewry: The Jews of Dijon.” – Melanie Schor ’11 and Robert Weiner, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History
- “Photography, Narrative, and Colonial Rule in Japanese-Governed Taiwan, 1895–1945″ – Emanuel Santa-Donato ’10 and Paul Barclay, associate professor of history
- “Russian Apocalypse: World War I and the Collapse of the Russian Empire” – Hannah Smock ’10 and Joshua Sanborn, professor of history and chair of Russian & East European studies
- “Evita Peron” – Amalia Berardone ’09 and Rebekah Pite, assistant professor of history
The EXCEL Scholars program runs both semesters and during the summer. Students receive hourly wages and are provided housing during the summer session. Further details are available on the EXCEL Scholars webpage.
Encounter history where it happened. History majors enjoy learning about the past in-country through the study abroad program. Paul Barclay, associate professor of history, and Naoko Ikegami of foreign languages and literatures, teach INDS 140: A History of Japanese Culture and Government: 400–1600 AD during the January interim session. In addition, Lafayette teams with other elite colleges and universities to offer summer and semester opportunities for study abroad.
Ramer History House
718 Sullivan Road
Easton, PA 18042-1768
Fax: (610) 330-5176