The Road to Emmaus: A 40 Year Journey
Ashley Davidson, a senior History and Elementary Education major researched and wrote a book, The Road to Emmaus: A 40 Year Journey, about the history of Rider's Catholic Campus Ministry. Ashley worked closely with Reverend Joseph Jakub, Director & Catholic Chaplain, and completed the project as an independent study (HIS 490) with Professor Joe Gowaskie.
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honor Society 2012 Inductees
Congratulations to History majors Jordyn Horning, Anthony Maddaluno, Lauren Runza and Jennifer Sorensen on their induction into the SLAS Honor Society!
History’s BHP Scholars Shine
Several History majors took center stage at the 2012 Baccalaureate Honors Program senior banquet to present their theses including Michelle Meredith (Secondary Education and History), “Eugenics in America”; Lauren Runza (History and Political Science), “The Enemy in the Garden State: The Treatment of Japanese Americans Living in New Jersey during the WWII Era”; and Jennifer Sorensen (History), “Neo-Fascist Extremism in Post-Soviet Russia”. Michelle and Lauren worked with Dr. Tom Callahan, while Dr. Lucien Fracy advised Jennifer’s research project. A significant number of BHP grads over the years have received degrees in History.
ISCAP Day 2012
The History Department made a strong showing at this year’s Independent Scholarship & Creative Activities Presentations. Jennifer Sorensen delivered a superb presentation on “New Currents of Fascism: Neo-Nazism in the Russian Federation” during the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Awards (URSA) session. Jennifer is the second History major to receive this prestigious award. Her work, under the direction of Dr. Lucien Frary, examines neo-Nazism in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Although the subject of neo-fascism is generally ignored by scholars, in Russia the movement has seeped into the political sphere, creating an environment too dangerous to ignore. Claire Beesley and Lauren Runza on the outstanding panel “Perspectives from the Frontline: The Effects of War and Military Life”. Beesley drew from her HIS 460 paper, “POWs’ Oral Histories”, a project inspired by her grandfather’s experience and her work on the Veterans History Project as an intern at the Militia Museum of New Jersey at Sea Girt. She shared a few of her grandfather’s objects with a fascinated audience. Runza spoke about her HIS 460/BHP thesis, “The Enemy in the Garden State: Japanese Americans in New Jersey During World War II”. She focused on the experiences of internees relocated to New Jersey from internment camps and on south Jersey’s Seabrook Farms in particular. Her paper was nominated for the Stellhorn Prize in New Jersey History for its excellence and exploration of a little known subject in state history. Both students completed their research during spring semester under the direction of Dr. Thomas Callahan.
Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference
Two History majors are participating in this year’s conference at Kutztown University on April 21. Mike Dibiasi, a senior History/Secondary Education major, will present a paper based on his HIS-460 research project on the use of American Indian mascots called “No Harm, No Foul.” Erich Huhn, a sophomore History major, will present “Trying Neaira: a Study into the False of American and Athenian Democracy,” a paper based on coursework done in Dr. Frary’s History of Ancient Greece. Huhn received a Liberal Arts & Science Travel Grant to offset expenses. Dr. Anne Osborne is a session chair.
Two History Majors Named Andrew J. Rider Scholars
Congratulations to senior Heather Conway and junior Brittany Gajewski named Andrew J. Rider Scholars at Founders Day on November 5, 2011. 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. Conway and Gajewski are double majors in History and Education and were selected for the School of Education. In addition to their academic excellence, they are both active members of the Rider community. For example, Conway is secretary of the Student Education Association and Gajewski is captain of the Women’s Volleyball team. Each Andrew J. Rider Scholar is asked to identify their most influential college and/or high school teacher; Gajewski selected History professor Brooke Hunter and Tracy Lomax, her Spanish teacher from Hunterdon Central High School. Conway named Education professor Heather Casey.
Dr. Brooke Hunter receives Podmore/Dwyer Historic Award for Local History
The award was presented at the 14th Annual Lawrence Township Economic Development Awards banquet held on October 10, 2012 at Quakerbridge Mall. The Podmore/Dwyer Historic Award celebrates a business, individual or community organization in Lawrence that promotes historical preservation and/or has provided an effective educational avenue toward advancing knowledge of the Township’s rich history. The Podmore/Dwyer Historic Award was named for township historians Harry J. Podmore and William Dwyer. Mr. Podmore focused his research on the early history of Lawrence Township, while both men wrote columns specializing in local history for the Trenton Times.
Dr. Hunter was recognized for her research on slavery and abolition in Lawrence which she presented at the Lawrence Historical Society’s annual lecture last fall alongside colleague Dr. Roderick McDonald who provided the broader New Jersey historical context. She accepted the award on behalf of the Rider students with whom she explores local history in the classroom and in particular the HIS 360 seminar from Fall 2009 that started the investigation of slavery and abolition in Lawrence. She could not do this work without the cooperation and assistance of the Lawrence Historical Society, especially Laura Nawrocik and Dennis Waters. The Economic Development Committee also deserves praise for including historic preservation/education among the eight awards. The Podmore/Dwyer Award is a testament to the Township’s commitment to preserving and remembering the past. Dr. Hunter is dedicated to reciprocating this commitment on behalf of Rider University by engaging undergrads in the study of Lawrence Township. This semester students in HIS 360 are assisting the Lawrence Historical Society with the construction of the Lawrence Township Historical Development Project, a digital collection of housing development plans from the 20th century. She plans on offering a course on local history which will be mutually beneficial to students and Lawrence. Students will gain valuable research and writing skills, develop an understanding and appreciation for the history of Rider’s surroundings, and forge stronger connections to the larger community. The Township will learn more about its rich history and strengthen its connection to Rider University.
2012 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. Erica Ryan received a Research Fellowship to revise her book manuscript titled Red War on the Family: Sex, Gender and Americanism, 1919-1929 under contract with Temple University Press. This study charts the ascendancy of antiradicalism and conformity in 1920s America in response to communism. She plans to conduct research at archives in Chicago and Seattle.
Dr. Tom Callahan received a Research Fellowship to study the process of reinvention among Irish immigrants to America during the late 19th-century. It stems from a completed manuscript entitled Ireland or America?: A Family’s Choices based on his own family, the McCormacks of Roscommon. His research was sparked by teaching HIS-268: The History of Ireland and has produced a new Special Topics course on Family History to be offered by the Department.
Dr. Anne Osborne received a Developmental Fellowship to create a new course on History and Film. Such courses have become more common in the last generation, along with sections of film reviews in historical journals, and the founding of scholarly journals devoted to film and history. This is as it should be: for most Americans, the movies are the main medium through which they encounter the past. She plans on using the award to develop a better understanding of film as a medium through workshops and classes as well as design a syllabus.
Over half of our students double major in Education and become educators. 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. 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.
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. Chelsea Smith (’11) works at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Greg Ferrara (’11) and Alexandra Longo (’10) are writing their theses to complete the Masters degree program in Museum Professions at Seton Hall. Brennan 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. Charles Evans (‘05) received a Masters degree in Applied History from Shippensburg University.
Grad School in History
Two recent alums are enrolled in Ph.D. programs: Jennifer Sorensen (’12) in European history at George Washington University and Robert Fisher (’10) in U.S. history at the University of Missouri. A number of our recent graduates have received Masters degrees in History including Leah Hepner ('07) from the University of Bristol (UK), Joshua Meredith ('07) from Rutgers-Camden, and Matthew Thornton (‘04) from Rutgers-Newark.
A number of recent grads have entered law school including 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 for Mercer County (NJ) Superior Court. 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 law degree from William and Mary.
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 Masters degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University. Tatsiana Kulakevich (‘08) earned a Masters 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.