Department Student Awards Celebration


History Department Student Awards Celebration.

Thursday, May 5, 3:00 – 4:20. Columbine 216.

Come join all the 2015-16 student award winners, conference presenters, and graduating MA students. We will recognize our Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Student Award Winners, the best Senior Theses (one or two for each Sr. Thesis section for this school year), CSURF presenters, students honored to present at conference this academic year, MA graduates, students who have published their work, Wunderli and Murphy scholarship winners, and much, much more! Refreshments provided. 

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You Never Know What Might Happen When Working on your Senior Thesis

The short piece below is from our undergraduate student McKenzie Oliver, who began work this semester on a senior thesis entitled “The Smuggling of Millions: The American Mission Press and a New Type of American Philanthrophy,” under the direction of Carole Woodall. With some travel support from the Dean’s Office and the History Department, and with McKenzie’s hard work in the PResbyterian Historical Society Archives in Philadelphia, this thesis has taken flight! Below, McKenzie reflects on her experiences as a researcher.

You never know what might happen when working on your Senior Thesis…
McKenzie Oliver

  At the beginning of the Spring 2016 semester, I began the Senior Thesis Seminar with absolutely no idea what I wanted to write my paper on, let alone a topic on the Middle East. I had never taken a course on the region until the seminar, and here I was expected to become a knowledgeable expert in sixteen weeks.

After an initial conversation with Dr. Carole Woodall, I decided that I wanted to delve into the topic of humanitarian or relief work during World War One (1914-1918). I started reading Keith Watenpaugh’s From Bread into Stones and other secondary works to familiarize myself with the region and its history. I still needed to hone in on a specific topic. And, I did. After a couple of weeks of reading, I came across scant information on the American Presbyterian Mission Press, referred to as “The Press”. The Press grabbed my attention because it was a major relief effort the United States undertook during WWI. The organization transmitted funds of over $2,000,000 to 30,000 Syrians living in the city of Beirut, Lebanon, and the surrounding areas. As I assessed the secondary literature on The Press, I discovered that very few people had written about it, or for that matter researched it. I contacted Dr. Christine Lindner, who had written a paper on Charles Dana, The Press’s manager at the time. I wrote to her asking if she had any suggestions or advice on how to research The Press’s philanthropic initiatives in Beirut. She confirmed that very few people had looked into this specific topic and suggested that I do my own research out in Philadelphia at the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS). At first I didn’t think this would be possible. However, Dr. Carole Woodall supported and encouraged me to take on such a wonderful opportunity, and helped me to find funds to cover travel expenses. One thing led to another and I found myself on my way to Philadelphia over spring break.

I was really nervous at first because I had never taken on a task this big, or been alone in a big city for a week. Once I got settled at my Airbnb on Society Hill I started to feel a little better about the week ahead of me. My room was right down the street from the Presbyterian Historical Society, and close to cafes and restaurants. On Monday morning, Prof. Lindner, who is currently teaching at the University of Philadelphia, met me at PHS. She helped me get acquainted with PHS’s archives by showing me how to request documents, and how to organize information.  After a couple of hours I got the hang of how everything was done and jumped into four straight days of going through records and folders of materials on the Beirut Mission Press during World War I.

I read dozens of reports and letters from the Mission Press in Beirut to their home base in New York City. These documents detailed the relief activities The Press undertook between 1914 and 1918. Part of the relief work included ledgers of funds being transmitted from New York City to Beirut. Each evening I talked with Dr. Woodall about my research and asked questions about what leads to follow. By the end of Wednesday, I had come across some documents on the Persian Mission in Urmia. It was in operation at the same time as the Beirut Mission, and was doing very similar work when it came to the transmission of funds from the United States. After four days, I had accumulated more than enough to complete the Senior Thesis requirements.

When I started the seminar, I never thought that I would be doing original research and making a contribution to the field. After completing the Senior Thesis, I will continue to work on the project with the intention of submitting an article in 2017. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime and something I will never forget. You never know what might happen when working on your Senior Thesis.

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Lecturer in Department Wins Lerner-Scott Prize from OAH!

Great news about a prestigious national award won by our Lecturer Susan Brandt, who has been teaching colonial American history for the Department.


BLOOMINGTON, IN—During its annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) presented Susan Hanket Brandt, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with their prestigious 2016 Lerner-Scott Prize, which is given annually for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history.

Lerner-Scott Prize

“Gifted Women and Skilled Practitioners: Gender and Healing Authority in the Delaware Valley, 1740–1830” (Temple University, August 2014; Adviser: Dr. Susan E. Klepp). Substantially revising the standard narrative of women medical practitioners in this period, which often depicts these women as “amateurs” and emphasizes their declining influence, this sophisticated, yet accessible, dissertation argues that women—European, Native American, and African American—actually continued to play a central role in health care well into the nineteenth century. Instead of falling victim to capitalism and professionalization, doctresses, herbalists, apothecaries, and midwives of various classes and ethnicities took advantage of the unregulated medical marketplace and created an arena where women could still act with authority, resisting attempts at marginalization. Incredibly well researched, the dissertation shows that while many female practitioners continued to use traditional remedies, other women were also deeply invested in the latest medical research, reading widely in medical works and attending demonstrations. Indeed, female healers of all sorts contributed to medical knowledge and even received widespread recognition for their competence. Susan Hanket Brandt finds that, though the wealthiest and the poorest women faced pressure to leave non-familial medicine, many other female healers continued to develop expertise and to attend to patients into the 1800s, in spite of obstacles. After a career as a nurse practitioner herself, this new historian and her work embody the true spirit of both Gerda Lerner and Anne Firor Scott.

The award was presented on April 9 by OAH’s 2015–16 President Jon Butler and 2016–17 President Nancy F. Cott.


Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to American history scholarship. With more than 7,500 members from the U.S. and abroad, OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, encouraging wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of history practitioners. It publishes the quarterly Journal of American History, the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history for more than nine decades. It also publishes The American Historian magazine. Formerly known as the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (MVHA), the association became the OAH in 1965 to reflect a broader scope focusing on national studies of American history. The OAH national headquarters are located in the historic Raintree House on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Students — please see info below on a great public history job opportunity at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum!

 Position Opening at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Normal work days will be Tuesday through Friday. Hours worked will not exceed 24 hours per week. Total hours worked will not exceed 1,500 annually.

Museum Technician

The CSPM (Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum), which is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is seeking an experienced museum professional to perform collection management, curatorial research, and exhibit preparation duties. In this position, you will work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment with dedicated staff and volunteers to ensure the public has meaningful access to museum collections through exhibits, programs, and research opportunities.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Assist the Museum Registrar in collections inventory; perform data entry related to artifact accessioning
  • Assist with preservation activities of the CSPM object and outdoor sculpture collection
  • Lead a group of volunteers in the CSPM outdoor sculpture maintenance program biannually
  • Perform cleaning and preventative maintenance duties, monitor environmental conditions of the museum, and implement the pest management policy
  • Assist the Curator of History in research of exhibits, educational programs content, and collection research requests from the public
  • Prepare and move objects for exhibit, prepare and fabricate exhibit space for installation, and assist with installation activities
  • Work with the Exhibits Designer to create mounts and supports for objects 

Examples of Job Competencies

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and procedures of a museum collections program
  • Museum registration practices, including environmental standards, storage methodologies, artifact care and handling techniques, and preventive conservation approaches
  • Basic carpentry, exhibit installation, and mount making
  • Modern office equipment, including computers and supporting software

 Ability to:

  • Use relational databases, especially PastPerfect
  • Support various museum programs and projects
  • Safely use basic carpentry tools
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships

Work is performed primarily in a museum setting with some work outdoors and possible exposure to dust and fumes from cleaning products. This position requires the ability to stand, walk, sit, climb stairs and ladders, and lift up to 50 pounds occasionally.

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in art, history, anthropology, museum studies, or a related field.

Experience working in a museum, archives, library, or an anthropology lab.

Preferred Qualifications
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in history, art history, anthropology, or museum studies.

Two years of experience working in museums, archives, libraries, or anthropology labs, including exhibit installation, registration, and collections management.

Additional Information
This job announcement is not intended to include a complete listing of all responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with the position.

Please visit and click on ‘Apply for a City Career’ > ‘City Career Postings – Apply Now’ button to complete an online application. All job applicants will need to create a new login and online application (unless you already have a NEOGOV/ user ID and password).

Completing your application in full, including the entire work experience section, will assist Human Resources (HR) in the applicant screening process. Your application may not be considered if all of the information requested for each employer you list is not provided.

Our NEOGOV application system does not allow you to edit your application after it has been submitted for a position. If you want to make changes, you may submit another application prior to the position’s closing date and time listed in the job posting. HR will review the last application you submit for a position.

To view the status of your application, go to

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Pettit Lecture at Colorado College, April 6, 7:00 p.m.

Colorado College Event ImageThe Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
 Paul Harvey, Professor of History and Presidential Teaching Scholar at UCCS, will deliver the Pettit Lecture at Colorado College on Wednesday, April 6th, 7:00. The subject will be from his work The Color of Christ. The lecture will discuss ideas about the look, body, and “race” of Jesus in American history, how Jesus became a white man in the 19th century, and the ways Jesus’s whiteness (and reactions against it) shaped American religious and cultural history. The book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America will be available for purchase.
Free and open to the public
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Guest Lecture by Xiaojian Zhao, Thursday, March 17th, 9:30 a.m., UC 122

Zhao (2)

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Graduate Student Highlight

The UCCS Graduate Office is featuring a series of graduate student highlights from various departments. Here is ours: a feature about Jami Wilson, a 1st-year grad. student who is working in Chinese History with Professor Yang Wei, and will be presenting her work very shortly at the Harvard East Asia History Conference at Harvard University. Congratulations to Jami! (Not noted in the official bio below — Jami’s self-identification as a “Metalhead”).

Jami Wilson JamiWilson

College of Letters, Arts & Sciences

History MA

My name is Jami Wilson and I am a first year Graduate student in the History MA program at UCCS with a special interest in Chinese History and Gender Studies. I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2014, double majoring in Chinese Studies and Nonfiction Writing, with a GPA of 3.8. After receiving my MA, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Asian History or East Asian Studies with a focus on China. During my History MA program, I will be pursuing a theme of gender studies through three different sequences of readings and research courses. Gender roles, most specifically the implications of women as mothers across different societies, will tie together my studies in different fields of history. Alongside my courses, I have also been volunteering at the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Archives since September, processing all of the East Asian documents from the manuscript collection into Past Perfect Museum Software with folder-level descriptions for the purpose of creating a clear finding tool and digitally preserving historical documents.

In fall 2015, Professor Yang Wei tutored me in an Independent Study Chinese History course and also in an Independent Study Chinese Historical Translation. In the Chinese History course I studied China from its earliest known Dynasty to the 21st Century in order to get a general overview of China’s fluidity in time as a political and cultural entity. While translating various documents from Chinese to English I developed an interest in the introduction of eugenics into China, this had, had strong ties to societal gender roles. This interest developed into my paper entitled “Eugenics, Nationalism, and Elitism in the Gender Roles of Republican China: Pan Guangdan’s “Teaching Women to Nurture their Children.” This study explores Pan Guangdan (1898–1967), the Chinese sociologist who is credited with the introduction of eugenics to China, and his writings on gender roles, education reform, and new motherhood in relation to eugenics. Pan sought to apply eugenics to promoting motherhood based on his conviction that the production of wealth and culture was the duty of men and human reproduction was the duty of women. I will be presenting this paper at Harvard’s East Asia Society Conference 2016: Reimagining Asia February 20-21 with support from a UCCS History Graduate Student Travel Grant to attend this Conference. My paper was also accepted to the Columbia University Graduate Conference on East Asia February 26-27, but I will be unable to attend and present at this conference. I have also applied to present this paper as a poster at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious professional historical organization, in January 2017.

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