students with awards

Each spring, the Department of History holds an induction ceremony for Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society. 

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News and Events


Student News

  • From April 15-19, 2015, two of our Public History graduate students - Carrie Hadley and Lauren Van Zandt - presented their scholarship at the National Council on Public History's 2015 Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.

  • Undergraduate History major Dimitri Wolford has been accepted into the i3 program at the University of Pittsburgh starting this summer. According to the program's website, "The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is an undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students from across the country are selected each year to become i3 Scholars. Those students undertake a yearlong experience that includes two summer institutes hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences and a research project spanning the year. i3 prepares students for the rigors of graduate study and serves as a pipeline for i3 Scholars into internationally recognized information schools-the iSchools. Most importantly, i3 empowers students to create change and make an impact on the people around them." Congratulations, Dimitri!

  • Five students in our Public History graduate program and one alumnus held a very successful exhibit opening and reception on Friday, April 10, 2015, for the Art Beyond Bars project. Dozens of guests attended, including Dr. James Swindal, Dean of McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts and Dr. Timothy Austin, University Provost. Congratulations to students Carrie Hadley, Sarina Johnston, Abigail Kirstein, Carl Lew, Lauren Van Zandt and alumnus Aaron O'Data! 

  • Four of our students received awards at the 7th Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium (URSS), held on April 9, 2015. Senior History major Ian Ferguson received the Center for African Studies Award for Undergraduate Research, as well as the Department of History's First Place Clio Award for Undergraduate Research in History. Junior History major Michael Romero Moore received an Honorable Mention for the Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society. Senior Art History major Stephanie Laux received the Department of History's Second Place Clio Award for Undergraduate Research in History. And sophomore History major Jake Roba received the Department of History's Third Place Clio Award for Undergraduate Research in History.

  • Undergraduate History major Ian Ferguson--who is also a Philosophy minor-- as recently published in Stance, an international undergraduate Philosophy journal. His article, "Nietzsche and the Prince," will be featured in the April 2015 issue soon.

  • Graduate Public History students Sarina Johnston and Carl Lew presented papers at the Milton Plesur Graduate Student Conference at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, on March 7, 2015. Their papers given are titled respectively, "Unstable Spheres: Suffragists and Antis Traverse the Home and Public Arenas in Twentieth Century Pittsburgh," and "The Value of Natural Philosophy in Traditional China."

  • Graduate Public History students Carrie Hadley and Lauren Van Zandt have been accepted to present poster projects at the National Council on Public History's Annual Meeting this coming April 2015 in Nashville, TN.

  • Graduate Public History student Lauren Van Zandt presented her scholarship on "The U.S. Capitol Columbus Doors and the Catechism of Expansionism" at the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) October 8-11, 2014, in Sarasota, Florida. SECAC typically hosts teachers and administrators in universities, colleges, community colleges, professional art schools, and museums, as well as independent artists and scholars. Thus, we are proud of Ms. Van Zandt's unique and remarkable accomplishment of being asked to present her scholarship as a Master's student at this conference. 

  • On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Department of Hitsory had three of its Public History graduate students present their scholarship at the 2014 Graduate Student Research Symposium on Duquesne's campus. Carrie Hadley, Abigail Kirstein, and Lauren Van Zandt participated.

Faculty News

Professor Emeritus Joseph Rishel, along with his wife Helen, recently published A Holy Dwelling Place: the History of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. As stated on the Diocese of Greensburg's website, "[t]he book traces the history of the Catholic community in Greensburg from the late 1700s to the establishment of Most Holy Sacrament Parish in 1847, the construction of the current church building in the 1920s, the renovations following the Second Vatican Council, and the year-long restoration project that started in 2010."

You can learn more about the book, including where and how to order a copy, here.

Faculty Presentations & Publications

Bucciantini, Alima. "National Museums, Changing Nations: The Case of Scotland." 7th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Los Angeles, CA, August 3-8, 2014.  

---. "More Than a Job: Challenges in Develping and Maintaining a Public History Career." 2015 Annual Meeting, National Council on Public History, Nashville, TN, April 15-19, 2015. 

Chapdelaine, Robin. "Are You My Brother?: Exploring the Incorporation of Non-biological into Family Life in Colonial Nigeria," Social Science History Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, November 2-5, 2017.

---. "Humanitarian Efforts in Colonial Southeastern Nigeria: What Was at Stake?" African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November 16-18, 2017

---. "The League of Nations and the Colonial State: A Campaign Against Child Trafficking in Southeastern Nigeria, 1920s-1930s," Teaching International Speaker Series: West African Migration, White Oak, PA, September 20- December 4, 2017

Hyland, Matthew. "Emerald View Park and the Usable Past." 2015 Annual Meeting, National Council on Public History, Nashville, TN, April 15-19, 2015.

Mayer, Holly. "The 2nd Canadian's Original Establishment: Precedents and Provisions for an Unusual Continental Army Regiment." Society for Military History Annual Conference, Montgomery, AL, April 9-12, 2015. 

Parsons, Elaine. "How Klan Victims Explained their Attacks." Association for the Study of African American History and Life Conference, Memphis, TN, September 27-28, 2014.

---. "The Novelty of the Reconstruction-Era Ku-Klux," American Studies Association, Los Angeles, CA, November 5-7, 2014.

---. "The Emergence of the Ku-Klux Klan into Mainstream U.S. History Textbook Narrative, 1880-1920." Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 13-15, 2014.

Parsons, Jotham. "Pierre Nicole: Political Economy and Salvation." Western Society for French History, San Antonio, TX, November 13-15, 2014.  

---. "Sully Redivivus? Piketty and the Deep History of French Political Economy." Society for French Historical Studies, Colorado Springs, CO, April 16-19, 2015. 

Sienkewicz, Julia. "Beyond the American School: Placing Art in the 1790s." Society of Early Americanists Conference, London, England, July 15-21, 2014. 

---. "John Flaxman Redux: Copying, Homage, and Illusion in the Sketchbooks of Benjamin Henry Latrobe." Southeast College Art Conference, Sarasota, FL, October 9-12, 2014.

Simpson, Andrew. "Making Money from AIDS? Public-Private Partnerships and the Failure for Non-Profit AIDS Care in Houston, 1985-1987," Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Jackson, MS, March 12-15, 2015.

---. "How Do You Make #theNewPittsburgh?: The Promise and Peril of Biotechnology as Economic Development in the Post-Industrial U.S. City." Midwest Junto for the History of Science, Madison, WI, April 18-19, 2015. 

---. "The Rise of the Medical Monopoly? The Consequences of Three Decades of System Building in American Academic Medicine." Business History Conference, European Business History Association, Miami, FL, June 24-July 3, 2015.

Stelzel, Philipp. "Arguing about World War I: A Transatlantic Story, 1920-1970," German Studies Association Conference, Kansas City, MO, September 18-21, 2014.

Taylor, Jennifer Whitmer (co-author Page Putnam Miller). "Reconstructing Memory: The Attempt to Designate Beaufort, South Carolina the National Park Service's First Reconstruction Unit," Journal of the Civil War Era (Special Issue: Future of Reconstruction Studies), March 2017.

---. "Inclusive Training at Historic Columbia," History @ Work (blog), March 6, 2017,

---. "Postscript to 'Reconstructing Memory,'" The Journal of the Civil War Era (blog), March 7, 2017,

---. "Interpreting Reconstruction: Challenges and Opportunities," The Reconstruction Era: History and Public Memory Symposium, Columbia, SC, April 2016


*On Monday, October 23, 2017, the Department of History held its annual History Forum lecture. Learn about past History Forums here

*On Thursday, September 28th, 2017, the Departments of English, Media, Sociology, and Political Science, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Public History Program hosted a screening of local documentarian Chris Ivey's film "East of Liberty." The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring Chris Ivey, Alethea Sims (Coalition of Organized Residents of East Liberty), Randall Taylor (Penn Plaza Support and Action Coalition), Dr. Pamela E. Walck (Media Department, Duquesne University), and Dr. Andrew Simpson (History Department, Duquesne University).

*From October 12-15, 2015, the Department of History and English held a join Study Abroad Week, complete with info sessions, food tastings, and in-class presentations.

*From April 10-30, 2015, the Public History graduate program hosted the Art Beyond Bars exhibit, which featured artwork from inmates at the State Correctional Institution--Pittsburgh. Learn more.

*On Saturday, April 25, 2015, the Department of History hosted its first Public History Program Social at the Frick Art & Historical Center. More than sixty alumni, current students, incoming students, stakeholders, faculty, and staff enjoyed an evening of networking, reminiscing, music, food, and drink. View photos from the event! 

*On Friday, April 17, 2015, the Department of History held its annual Departmental Award and Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society Induction Ceremony. More than 20 students were inducted into the Epsilon Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, and departmental awards were given to the following students:

The Joseph R. Morice Award for Excellence in History - Nicholas Dorfner
The Jean E. Hunter Award for Excellence in Writing History - Megan Rabenstein
The Erik Gerhard Student Resource Grant - Kevlin Parnell
The Giorgio Vasari Award for Excellence in Art History - Hannah Sanders
The Clio Award for Undergraduate Research - 1st place: Ian Ferguson; 2nd place: Stephanie Laux; 3rd place: Jake Roba

*On Friday, March 13, 2015, Dr. Alima Bucciantini presented "Who Are Our Saints?: Building a National Pantheon in the Modern Museum" for the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at Duquesne University.