History Paper Prize Winners

The History Department recognizes the best papers produced by an undergraduate history major during an academic year.  The winning papers demonstrate excellence in research and writing--in other words, the best in undergraduate scholarship.

In 2014-2015, the History Department honored two students' papers with first and second place:

First Place: Amy Walters, for "The Role of the Lower Sort in the American Revoluation."  This paper examines the role that common people played in the American War for Independence.  Amy produced this paper for Dr. Mary Ferrari in HIST 495, Senior Seminar.

Second Place: Andrew Bristol, "Operation Demetrius: The Introduction of Internment and Detention with Trial in Northern Ireland."  This paper examined the policies and practices by which political violence in Northern Ireland was handled by Northern Irish and British officials.

A copy of the first place papers is available on the History Paper Prize page.


Dean's Scholars

Annually, each department in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences picks one student for recognition as a Dean's Scholar.  Honorees are selected based on their scholarly achievements as well as their contributions to the campus and local community.  Because the Department of History administers both the history program and the social science program, it selects two Dean's Scholars.  For the 2014-2015 academic year, the Department of History picked Kaleb (History) and Cory Stidham (Social Science) for this honor.

Dean's Scholars, 2015 Kaleb Newago

Kaleb Eller Newago is the Dean’s Scholar Award winner for History.  Upon hearing the news, he first thought, “Oh what did I do wrong?”  Then he quickly realized he did everything right.  “It’s quite an exciting time. (The award) was a very nice honor to receive.”

Growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, Kaleb attended Bruton High School where he developed his love of history and his future plans.  “Living in Williamsburg, I was surrounded by history and I was always very passionate for (it).  Since high school, I’ve wanted to be a park ranger.  And I never changed my mind.”

Kaleb was also adamant about attending Radford University. “Radford was the only choice I wanted to actually make.  I like the environment around it.  I like that it’s a small school with a good history program. When I came here, I never considered anywhere else.  Everything that I wanted in a school was here at Radford.” He also appreciated that Radford University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in History, as Kaleb wanted to also take anthropology classes.  

Kaleb enjoys learning about all aspects of early American history.  His particular favorite time period is western expansion.  “I grew up watching westerns, so that got me stuck into it.”  The Revolutionary War, however, was the topic of Kaleb’s favorite history class.  His 495 Seminar with Dr. Mary Ferrari made him reevaluate his opinions on the American Revolution.  “I really enjoyed the subject matter.  It was something that you don’t necessarily grow up learning about.  It was the Revolution from the bottom up.”  Kaleb also enjoyed Dr. Straw’s Public History course. “One of our assignments was to go to a museum and report how well they do history.  I went to Petersburg National Park.”

Along with bond he has built with the faculty, Kaleb never wants to forget the friendships that he has made at Radford University.  He also cherishes his on-campus job of working in student activities.  “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  The friends I’ve made.  The places I’ve worked.”  Kaleb is also president of the Student Activities Student Employee Association (SASEA), which acts as a liaison between employees in student activities and the department’s faculty.  From conference events, to clubs, to scholarships, Kaleb has taken every opportunity to succeed throughout his college career.  “If you are looking at going to school in Virginia, Radford is an ideal place.” 

Dean's Scholars, 2015 Cory Stidham

Cory Alexander Stidham is the Social Science Dean's Scholar Award winner.  Originally from Hiltons, Virginia, a town near Bristol, Cory knew at an early age that he wanted to go into education and it soon became clear that Radford University was the place to be.  “It’s the only place I applied.  I’ve always wanted to go into education. It’s always been my main goal.  I’d always heard about Radford and education…Radford and education.  So that was my main drive.  I came here, fell in love with it here, and stuck it out- all four years.” 

Cory double majored in history and social science.  He marveled at how open and accessible the faculty is at RU.  “It’s unbelievable how you can walk into anyone’s office and ask a question.”   Cory credits Donna Dunn, Advising Coordinator in the College of Education and Human Development, with helping him stay focused and on-target for his degree in education.  “Donna Dunn laid out the road map for me and told me what to do.”

For his history major, Cory felt an affinity for his classes and professors right away. “Something just clicked in my history classes. I learned to look at things differently than I did before.  The History Department does an unbelievable job to produce students who can write well, communicate, and analyze pieces of data.  So, in the History Department, they help you develop any skill you need to get a job.”

Cory’s future goal is to teach history.  Within the last week, he received a job offer to teach in the Floyd County public school system.  As soon as he graduates in May, Cory also intends to go to barber school.  He plans on putting his barber tools to use in the winter and summer months when school is not in session.  “I cannot sit around in the summers and winters.  ‘Idol hands are the devil’s workshop,’ that’s what my Grandma said.”

Parker Exhibit

History Major Gives Presentation.

Caitlyn Parker spoke at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum on November 15.  Her talk was on the history of storekeeping in southwestern Virginia during the early 19th century.  Caitlyn was an intern at the museum in Newbern, Virginia, and she based her talk on research of the commercial ledgers housed in the museum archives.  During her time as an intern, Parker also wrote a bi-weekly column for the Pulaski, Virginia, Southwest Times and put together the first-ever Women History Month exhibit at the musuem.



Students Graduate With History Honors.

The following students received Honors in History at graduation in December 2014 and May 2015.  To receive honors in history, a student must maintain a high grade point average in all history courses, must earn at least a grade of "B" in the history methods course, and must earn an "A" in the Senior Seminar, the capstone experience for the history major.  Few students earn this distinction, so these graduates are to be congratulated.

December 2014:

  • Nicoholas Scott Brickey
  • Russell Alexander Korb
  • Amy Walters
May 2015
  • Andrew Bristol
  • Phillip Tyler Hall
  • Kelsey Isaacs
  • Kaleb Newago
  • Caitlyn Parker
  • Kyle Rosner
Taking the Heat

History Alumnus Publishes Book

Richard Sarver, who graduated from Radford with a degree in history, has published a book on his experiences working in the steel industry.  Taking the Heat : A Steel Worker's Story, is based on Sarver's journals about his thirty-two years of work turning scrap metal into a useable product.  The job can be tough but dangerous, and Sarver provides an unvarnished look at his life in this industry.  Sarver's personal story, itself, is a remarkable one.  While working long hours, he labored, with the help of his family to complete degrees in higher education, first at New River Community College and then at Radford University.  At RU, he distinguished himself academically, and was recognized as a Dean's Scholar.



Internship Opportunities.

Many students benefit from the practice experience gained through internships.  Students have worked in area museums, at historical sites, and for the state park service.  If you are interested in pursuing an internship experience, The Department of History, please contact Mr. Greg Ryder (jryder3@radford.edu) at the Radford University Department of History for further information.