Department News

Student Update

Congratulations to the Class of 2014
The rain did not dampen our spirits as over thirty History majors and minors graduated with the record-breaking Class of 2014, the largest ever in Rider’s history. One of the highlights of the ceremony was the student commencement address cleverly written and expertly delivered by Michael Musso, a double major in History and Political Science. Michael used the VCR, a treasured childhood technology and now historical artifact, to offer valuable life lessons. Referencing the buttons he urged grads to make sure to ‘pause’ for appreciation and reflection, to avoid dwelling on the past using ‘rewind’, and not to ‘fast forward’ through life’s challenges.  He concluded with “I commence the next part of my life, one that includes having spoken in front of thousands of people and having graduated from an institution that I can be proud of, among colleagues and professors who have done more for me than I could have ever imagined, and ready to hit ‘play’ on my future.” Michael was not the only Department representative to take part in the ceremony; Dr. Anne Osborne read the names of graduates from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

History Majors Honored at Spring Awards Banquet
Graduates earned recognition for a variety of achievements at the University’s annual event held on May 3. Neil Marcus received a Certificate for Excellence in Social Studies Education. Chris Werner earned a Faculty Citation of Merit from the School of Education. Corey Fratarcangeli was a co-recipient of the Amy Silvers Memorial Award. Michael Musso received the Ralph Materia Memorial Award. 

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honor Society 2014 Inductees
The newest History majors to be inducted into the College’s elite society are Nicole Lipari, Valerie Losa, Michael Musso, and Chelsea Stebbins. Students are selected for their academic achievements and breadth and depth of their intellectual engagement. Acceptance is open to seniors who hold a 3.75 GPA or higher, have completed a second major or minor/s, and have engaged in at least one enriching experience such as Study Abroad, Baccalaureate Honors, or independent research. 

Historians @ ISCAP Day 2014
The History Department made another strong showing at this year’s Independent Scholarship & Creative Activities Presentations with six seniors presenting their capstone research conducted either in HIS-460: Research Seminar or as HIS-490: Independent Study.  The following students delivered 10-minute oral presentations summarizing their work: Erich M. Huhn, “Anglo-Saxon Race Theory: 1850-1915” (Dr. Callahan), Kyle Stenger, “An American Dream Come True: Nostalgia and Futurism in the Culture of Walt Disney” (Dr. Ryan),  John Burdi, “Austria’s Demise and the Origins of the Great War: 1908-1914” (Dr. Frary), Jonathan Murphy, “America’s Armor” (Dr. Gowaskie), and Michael Musso, “Riparian Land Use and Power in World War II-Era New Jersey” (Dr. Hunter). Chelsea Stebbins blazed a new trail for historians by presenting “Paving the Steps to the Celestial Kingdom: The Purposeful Vagueness of the Mormon Prophet on Race” (Dr. Shepardson) in the Poster Session. A record number of History majors and faculty attended the sessions. 

History Majors Shine at Gender and Sexuality Studies Colloquium
Several History majors were selected to participate in the prestigious annual event held on April 3 including Nicole Lipari who presented a paper on “The Prison Lesbian” and Breana Walden who summarized her capstone research on the representation of African-American women in pop culture conducted in Dr. Ryan’s HIS-460:Research Seminar on modern U.S. cultural history. Jaclyn Caffrey discussed her senior project, “The History of Women Having It All,” supervised by Dr. Ryan at the colloquium, but was also one of two Rider students chosen to present her work at the state-wide New Jersey Women's and Gender Studies Consortium 10th annual Undergraduate Student Colloquium held at TCNJ on April 4 . Twenty-eight undergrads from ten consortium member institutions participated in the day-long event. Drs. Ryan and Hunter attended to support Jaclyn. 

Rider Student Wins NJ History Essay Prize
History and Secondary Education major Rebecca Russo became the second Rider student to receive the Paul A. Stellhorn Undergraduate New Jersey History Award for her capstone research project supervised by Dr. Brooke Hunter. Read the News@Rider story. Rebecca delivered a formal presentation at the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance meeting in April 2014.

Two History Majors Named Andrew J. Rider Scholars
Congratulations to Rebecca Russo and Jeana Sabatini named Andrew J. Rider Scholars at Founders Day on November 2, 2013. This is the highest academic achievement award granted by Rider recognizing the top one percent of seniors, juniors, and sophomores, by grade point average, for each of Rider’s six academic colleges and schools. Russo and Sabatini are double majors in History and Secondary Education and were selected for the School of Education. This was Russo’s second year as an Andrew J. Rider Scholar. When asked to identify their most influential college teacher, Russo named Dr. Brooke Hunter and Sabatini recognized Dr. Anne Osborne. 

History Major Receives New Jersey Women's & Gender Consortium Internship Award
Congratulations to Nicole Lipari who received a $1000 grant from the New Jersey Women's and Gender Consortium to support her summer internship at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn. Nicole is a senior History major with a minor in Arts Administration.

 


Faculty Update

Faculty Publications
Dr. Lucien Frary is the co-editor of a volume of collected essays entitled Russian-Ottoman Borderlands: The Eastern Question Reconsidered from the University of Wisconsin Press (August 2014). Early reviews suggest this will be a path-breaking work. Dr. Thomas Callahan’s book, I'm Sending a Shamrock to Remind You of Home: Roscommon Families and the Irish Diaspora 1875-1950, came out last summer.  

2014 Summer Fellowships
Three members of the History Department won University support for scholarship and course development this summer. This reflects the active research agendas of our faculty and an initiative to keep our curriculum up to date and responsive to student interests. Dr. Lucien Frary received a Research Fellowship to continue his current work, while Dr. Erica Ryan received support to start a new project on the cultural history of fatherhood. Dr. Anne Osborne received a Developmental Fellowship to work on historical role-playing games in the curriculum.

Professor joins Local Historical Society Board
One of the newest members of the Lawrence Historical Society’s Board of Trustees is Dr. Brooke Hunter. Dr. Hunter has been active with the society for several years incorporating place-based learning activities into courses and recruiting student interns for the Lawrence Archives. She received the Podmore/Dwyer Historic Award in 2012 for advancing knowledge of the Township’s rich history through her research on slavery and abolition started with students in HIS-360 back in Fall 2009.

Rider receives Minuteman Award  
The National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey honored Rider and Dr. Joe Gowaskie with the Robert A. Dennin Minuteman Award recognizing our internship program on November 27, 2012. Ten History majors have interned at the Militia Museum since 2007.


Alumni Update

Education
About half of our students double major in Education and become educators.   Marcella Scalise (‘14) is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education at Columbia University, ranked among the top 10 graduate programs in the nation. Keith P. White (‘13) is teaching social studies at Brick High School in Brick Township, NJ.  Drew Laverty (‘13) was hired at Kingswood Regional High School in South Jersey.  Two grads from the class of 2013 were selected to participate in Teach for America: Haley Wilson in Newark, NJ and James Sheridan in Detroit, MI.  Christian Lugo (‘13) accepted a position at Montgomery High School in Skillman, NJ.   Brittany Gajewski (‘13) is enrolled in the MA program in Counseling at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.  Dana Nissen (‘11) teaches 2nd grade in Lawrence Township.  Christie DeCarolis (‘09) teaches high school in Pennsauken, NJ.   Sam Cicero (‘09) recently left his position as an Urban Experiential Education Facilitator at the Princeton-Blairstown Center to join the Peace Corps. He will teach English in Macedonia for two years.  Ian Denzer-Weiler (‘09) teaches at Kittatinny Regional High School in NJ.  Casey McAleer (‘08) received Honorable Mention at the Phillies’ 2012 Teacher Appreciation Night. He teaches high school in Voorhees.  Jackie Becker (‘08) was named Apshawa School's Teacher of the Year in 2012 where she teaches 4th grade. She recently earned an MA in Teaching from Rutgers.  Richard Griffin (‘08) earned his graduate degree in education at Rider and now teaches at Warren Hills Regional Middle School in NJ.  Matt Thornton (‘04) teaches 5th grade in Boston, MA. He previously taught high school in Baltimore and is a Teach for America corps member.

Public History
A growing number of our grads are entering the field of public history which includes a broad range of institutions such as historic sites and museums. Brittany Gajewski (‘13) works part-time at the Liberty Hall Museum with the Education Coordinator.   Greg Ferrara (‘11) and Alexandra Longo (‘10) completed the Master’s degree program in Museum Professions at Seton HallBrennan Phillips (‘10) is an engineer on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. He worked for several years as an educator and crew member aboard the reproduction tall ship Lady Washington at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington.  Jason Sullivan (‘09) parlayed his internship at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey in Lawrenceville into a job at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in NYC. He started as a tour guide before being promoted to his current position as a Concierge Marketing/Sales Representative.  Patricia Delesky (‘08) is the Education Program Coordinator at Pennsbury ManorCharles Evans (‘05) received a Master’s degree in Applied History from Shippensburg University.

Grad School in History
Brooke Erdman (‘14) has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Villanova University where she also earned a graduate assistantship.   Jennifer Sorensen (‘12) is pursuing a Ph.D. in European history at George Washington University.  A number of our recent graduates have received Masters degrees in History including Robert Fisher (‘10) from the University of Missouri, Leah Hepner (‘07) from the University of Bristol (UK), Joshua Meredith (‘07) from Rutgers-Camden, and Matthew Thornton (‘04) from Rutgers-Newark.

Law
A number of recent grads have attended law school including Steve Gorman (‘13) at Penn State, Lauren Runza (‘12) at Drexel University, Jonathan D'Agostino (‘11) at Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina, Chris Kramar (‘11) at the University of Richmond, and Kevin Babeu (‘10) at Penn State.  Brandon Copeland (‘09) graduated from Indiana University's top-ranked Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.  Kim Van Heygen (‘07) received her law degree from the University of New Hampshire and works in Mercer County, NJ.  Rikki Ghadia (‘05) completed a joint-degree in law and business (JD/MBA) at the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business and a MA in International Affairs at George Washington University. He is practicing law in New York.  Tim Kozlowski (‘04) received his J.D. from William and Mary.

Politics/International Relations/Government
The success of recent grads shows that History provides an excellent foundation for the related fields of political science and international relations.  Ben Gibson (‘09) earned a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University.  Tatsiana Kulakevich (‘08) earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from New York University and is working on a Ph.D. in Political Science at Rutgers.  Lukasz Gargas (‘10) and Lada Pastushak (‘07) attended the MA program in Central/Eastern European Studies at La Salle University. Lada is the Director of Administration & Finance for the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council in Washington D.C.