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9 WIU History Students & Alums Present at Phi Alpha Theta Conference; Three Win Awards

Mar 29, 2009

Nine WIU History students and recent alumnae - four undergraduates, three graduate students, and two recent alumnae - presented their research papers at the 2009 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference, sponsored by Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois) in March. Three of them won awards for their papers.

The students, mentored on these particular research projects by five different WIU History faculty members, were accompanied to the conference by two History faculty members, Associate Professor Dr. Lee Brice, Advisor to the Department's Phi Alpha Theta chapter, and Assistant Professor Dr. Ute Chamberlin.

The four undergraduates who made conference presentations were Adam Bednar of LaGrange Park, Amy Kallenbach of Mount Sterling, Abby Lagemann of Pittsfield, and Brandon Scheppers of Mendota. The three graduate students are Robert Deveraux of Macomb, who won First Place in the Graduate Paper Division, David Sprung of La Moille, and Eric Willey of Bardolph, who won Second Place in the Graduate Paper Division. The two alumnae are Ashley Eberle of Spring Grove, who won First Place in the Undergraduate American History Paper Division, and Andrea Van Drew of Carbondale.

Senior Adam Bednar, Co-Editor of Phi Alpha Theta's on-line journal of WIU students' historical scholarship, the Western Illinois Historical Review (WIHR) and winner of the University's 2009 Phi Kappa Phi Senior Research Paper Award (for a paper mentored by Dr. Timothy Roberts), presented "A Lack of Substance: The Federal Government's Response to Nuclear War (1957-1968)," a paper mentored by Dr. Peter Cole, Associate Professor of History. Mr. Bednar's research presentation was supported by a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant and a Department of History Undergraduate Research Award.

Senior Amy Kallenbach, President of WIU's Phi Alpha Theta chapter and a member of the Editorial Board of the WIHR, presented a paper entitled "Western Illinois University: The Challenges of World War II," which was mentored by Dr. Ginny Boynton, Professor of History. Ms. Kallenbach's research presentation was supported by a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant and a Department of History Undergraduate Research Award.

Graduating senior Abby Lagemann, President of WIU's Associated Students of History (ASH), presented her paper, "'To the Annoyance of the Commonwealth': Vagrancy in Early Modern England, 1558-1635," which was mentored by Dr. Jennifer McNabb, Assistant Professor of History. Ms. Lagemann's research presentation is supported by a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant and a Department of History Undergraduate Research Award. The research Ms. Lagemann presented at the conference was originally conducted as part of her undergraduate honors thesis, completed under the supervision of Dr. McNabb, and was funded in part by a research grant from the College of Arts and Sciences Western Summer Creative Activity Institute (Western SCAI) in Summer 2008.

Junior Brandon Scheppers presented a paper on "Indian Fighting and Its Role in Andrew Jackson's and William Henry Harrison's Presidential Election," which was mentored by Dr. Timothy Roberts, Assistant Professor of History. Mr. Scheppers's research presentation was supported by a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Grant and a Department of History Undergraduate Research Award.

Graduate student and First-Place (Graduate Category) Winner Robert Deveraux, a Graduate Assistant in the WIU History Department, presented "Jefferson as an Antinavalist: A Re-evaluation of the Transition of Naval Policy in 1801." He was mentored on this project by Dr. Timothy Roberts and will be incorporating a revised version of this paper into the Master's thesis that he is completing under the direction of WIU Associate Professor of History Dr. Walter Kretchik.

History graduate student David Sprung, who will be a Graduate Assistant in the History Department beginning in Fall 2009, presented "America's Giant: The Historical and Economic Story of the American Bison." He was mentored on this project by WIU Associate Professor of History Dr. Greg Hall. Mr. Sprung's research presentation was supported by a Deparmtent of History Professor Emeritus Fund Award.

Eric Willey, a Graduate Assistant in the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Malpass Library and also an M.A. student in History at WIU, won Second Place in the Graduate Division for his paper, "A Time to Build: An Examination of the Controversy of the Polish Land Claim in Winnebago County, Illinois from 1834-1842." Mr. Willey was mentored on this project by Assistant Professor Dr. Tim Roberts. Mr. Willey's research presentation was supported by a Deparmtent of History Professor Emeritus Fund Award.

Ashley Eberle, a Magna cum Laude 2007 graduate of WIU's History Department, won First Place in the Undergraduate American History Division for her paper, "Breaking with Our Brothers: The Source and Structure of Chicago Women's Liberation in 1960s Activism." The research Ms. Eberle presented at the conference was originally conducted as part of her undergraduate honors thesis, completed under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Boynton, Professor of History.

Andrea Van Drew, a Magna cum Laude 2008 graduate of WIU's History Department, presented her paper on "The Colosseum as an Enduring Icon of Rome: Comparison of the Colosseum and Circus Maximus." Her mentor for this project was Dr. Lee Brice, Associate Professor of History.

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