On May 6th 2020, the History Department hosted the annual Department Awards and Phi Alpha Theta Induction ceremony zoom. We were grateful to have over 60 attendees, including many of our department alumni. Christy Fic, class of 2010, delivered the keynote address on her professional career post-Lafayette and her experience designing the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum at Shippensburg Station. Please see below for the list of this year’s prize winners, and new inductees to the Phi Alpha Theta national history honors society.

Phi Alpha Theta Beta Xi Chapter Prize for Best Introductory seminar paper: Katie Frost for her paper, “Suffrage Restrictions in the Jim Crow Era and the Hypocrisy of the North,” for Professor Jeremy Zallen’s history seminar.

 Diane Windham Shaw Prize for Excellence in Historical Methods: This years prize is shared by Katie Gear and Stefano Mancini. Both of these students showed ingenuity, dedication, and distinction in navigating the rapids historiography, theory, method, and practice in this year’s History 206 seminar.

Colonel Wilson B. Powell class of ’32 Award: Rachel Bram, for the best paper written in an advance level history seminar. Rachel’s winning paper was in an depth look at regional responses to the caning of Charles Sumner, based on painstaking research and presented with airtight reasoning. She wrote this paper for Professor Rosen’s seminar.

Best history honors thesis for the academic year 2019-2020:

  • Winners: Gabby Tropp,  “Man, Myth, and Legend El Cid in the Expression of Spanish Nationalism,” and Rachel Bram “Unsanctioned Slave Revolts of the Civil War: How Enslaved People Destroyed Slavery and Emancipated Themselves.”
  • Honorable mentions:Courtney Cohen, Gwen Ellis, Errol Flynn, Mackenzie Lawlor, Robbie Maxwell, Matt Shoenfeld, and Amy Wen. These eight seniors all completed rigorously argued, boldly conceptualized, and deeply researched honors theses that are worthy of our acknowledgment. Their bound theses will serve as models for future students, and reside in the History department student lounge.

Class of 1910 Prize:  Rachel Bram, Gwen Ellis, and Gabby Tropp


Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society Beta Xi Chapter initiates:

  • Julia Beckett, Jules Bernstein, Rachel Bram, Julia Cassidy, Katie Gear, Eric Gourdon, Yuri Guanowsky, Duncan Harding, Julia Hoffman, Tim Hugo, Ren Makino, Stefano Mancini, Alison Maxwell,Robert Maxwell, Molly Morris, Ryan Motto, Anna Nollan, Connor O’Neill, Natasha Otton, Elizabeth Penn, Ilias Pihas, Olivia Sharp, Tristan Smith, Angelique Taveras, Jillian Updegraff, Hannah Winslow