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News for the History Program

UHD Alumn Payton Bartee Teaches Innovative Project Based Learning

Payton Bartee is an alumnus of UHD’s B.A. History degree program and now teaches Social Studies at the only alternative high school in Katy ISD. The school is the only campus that is oriented for Project-Based Learning (PBL). Payton designs and facilitates comprehensive projects for the district’s at-risk students. With PBL experience in World History, Government, and Economics, Payton will be adding U.S. History to his course teachings in the following year.

Payton describes his teaching experience with PBL learning, “While the scope of my job is challenging, developing truly engaging curriculum for my students to explore Social Studies is very rewarding! High school students of the 21st-century demand more interactive instruction from their teachers; they learn better when they get their hands dirty. Project-Based Learning is not perfect, and while it is sometimes frustratingly different from the traditional classroom model, it offers an effective format for me to build professional relationships with my students and help them achieve greater academic success.”

Phi Alpha Theta's 2014 Induction Ceremony

Dr. Gene Preuss leads Phi Alpha Theta's 2014 induction ceremony on May 8. The UHD's Alpha Nu Upsilon chapter's newest members are C. Dale, A. Fair, D. Flores, R. Krinsky, J. Macias, Z. Marcotte, and J. Workman.

Dr. Preuss at the Alpha Nu Upsilon Induction Ceremony

Dr. Alvarez presents paper on "Mola's Sixth Column- the Army of Africa’s 1936 Pronunciamiento in Spanish Morocco"

Dr. Alvarez presented "Mola's Sixth Column- the Army of Africa’s 1936 Pronunciamiento in Spanish Morocco" at a conference held at Florida State University's Middle East Center on March 21, 2014. The meeting brought together scholars from across the United States and Africa and featured topics dealing with North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Egypt, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Peninsula. The abstract of his paper is as follows:

This paper examines the pivotal role of Spain’s “Army of Africa” in a pronuciamiento that sparked the Spanish Civil War. This attempted coup, the result of victory by the Popular Front government in the elections of February 1936, connected right-wing groups composed of political Conservatives, the Church, and a large segment of Army officers, especially those based in Spanish Morocco. They conspired to undermine and overthrow the newly-elected left-wing government. While the bulk of the planning for the coup was conducted by General Emilio Mola Vidal in Pamplona, he agreed that it would not succeed without the cooperation of the best trained and equipped military troops in the Spanish Army at that time: the battle-tested “Army of Africa.” This paper will detail the major players in the conspiracy, how the conspirators organized and plotted in the major towns of the Moroccan Protectorate, and how they were able to overcome minimal opposition. With the rebels in control of the Protectorate, the invasion of the Peninsula by these elite forces, by air and sea, could proceed in conjunction with successful military uprisings in some of the major cities and regions of Spain.

Dr. Alvarez at conference, with group

2014 Academic Awards

The 2014 student awards were presented on April 29 in the Houston Room. Francisco Delgado is this year’s “Outstanding Underclassman of the Year in History” and senior Randy Krinsky is the “History Student of the Year. Randy will be graduating this spring with highest honors. In the photograph, from left to right, are Dr. Gillette, Dr. Hovesepian, Dr. Ryden, Dr. Alvarez, Francisco Delgado, Randy Krinsky, President Flores, Provost Hugetz, and Dr. Preuss.

Photograph of History faculty, Dr. Florez, Provost Hugetz and student award winner Randy Krinsky

Dr. Gillette Presents Paper at Vatican

Dr. Gillette Present Paper at Vatican

On February 21, 2014, Dr. Aaron Gillette presented his paper, “Agostino Gemelli and the Latin Eugenics Movement,” at a conference at the Vatican in Rome: “The Roman Curia and ‘Race Debate’ in the Interwar Period.” The conference was hosted by the Rome Institute of the Görresgesellschaft. Gillette’s paper showed how thousands of eugenicists in the culturally “Latin” countries of Europe and the Americas promoted a form of eugenics congenial to the Catholic Church. The paper is derived from his forthcoming book (with Marius Turda), Latin Eugenics in Comparative Perspective. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2014.

Dr. José Alvarez Wins Webb Award

The Texas State Historical Association and the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society has awarded the DeBoe Award to one Webb Society Sponsor, each year, since 1999. This award, named after, former Director of Education, David DeBoe, is awarded to one sponsor, for outstanding chapter sponsorship. The 2014 recipient, Dr. Jose Alvarez, brings energy and organization to the Webb chapter at the University of Houston – Downtown. His students look to him for guidance. His wiliness to participate in many different events and activities encourages his students to not just learn history, but to experience it.

UHD History Alumnus James Nealy joins Duke University’s PhD Program

James Nealy, who graduated from UHD in 2012 with a BA in history, and is about to complete his Master’s degree in Russian history at Miami University of Ohio, has accepted Duke University’s offer to enroll in its PhD history program. The award comes with numerous benefits. James’ dissertation will likely be on notions of illiberalism and how spatial arrangements informed and shaped illiberal consciousness in the Soviet Union during the Late Stalin and early Thaw period(s) (~1947-1957).

After graduation, James intends to become a professor of Russian history at a Tier 1 research university. James believes that this outstanding achievement “was only possible because of the mentorship of his UHD history professors.”

History alumnus, Cody Robertson, is mentioned in the Baytown Sun newspaper

Photo of Cody Robertson teach at Goose Creek Memorial High School

History alumnus, Cody Robertson, was recently mentioned in an article in the Baytown Sun. Robertson earned a B.A. in History in 2013 and now teaches at the Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown, TX. The Baytown Sun article explains how the Goose Creek ISD mentors their first-year teachers. Robertson tells the Baytown Sun, after graduating from Texas A & M, he decided to pursue a degree in history at UHD. He then entered an alternative certification program to teach. In his two years as a substitute teacher, Robertson relied on support from his mentors and other veteran teachers. Robertson speaks positively of his teaching experience, "They pay me to be here everyday and talk about history. That's kind of a like a dream come true for me".

Berkowitz, D. (2013, December 17). Support system helps keep first-year teachers on track. The Baytown Sun, pp. 10.

Collaboration between Dr. Ahmed Reid (CUNY) & David Ryden (UHD)

UHD’s Professor Ryden teams up with fellow economic historian of the British Empire, Dr. Ahmed Reid (City University of New York), to publish the first-ever application of eighteenth and nineteenth century land market data to the long-standing “Williams Debate.” Based on archival records from the Jamaica Island Record Office, they estimate that there was a decline in the economic performance of the slave economy before abolition of the British slave trade (1807). Using a variety of indicators, their findings stake out the claim that the Jamaican sugar economy reached its peak c. 1800. Their findings were just published in the co-authored article, “Sugar, Land Markets and the Williams Thesis: Evidence from Jamaica’s Property Sales, 1750-1810,” Slavery and Abolition 34:3 (2013): 401-4.

Approval for History Program Concentration

UHD's History Program has received Texas Education Agency approval for History grades 7 - 10 certification.

UHD Webb Society Attends Re-enactment

The Webb Society relived the “Runaway Scrape” at the George Ranch (April 6, 2013).

UHD Webb Society Wins “Chapter of the Year”

UHD’s Webb Society, a Texas history interest club, has won the Chapter of the Year (2012-2013) award. The competition included Webb Societies at universities throughout Texas.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the UHD Webb Society, please contact Drs. Garna Christian, Jose Alvarez, or Gene Preuss (advisors of the UHD Webb Society).

Dr. Preuss Wins Award

Dr. Gene Preuss won the “Educator of the Year” (2012-2013) award by the East Texas Historical Association, “for his fine contributions to his craft, his attention to higher order student learning, and his dedication to educational quality.”

Dr. McCaffrey Publishes Book

This year, Dr. James McCaffrey published his book, Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War against Nazi Germany, with the University of Oklahoma Press.

Dr. Ryden Publishes Articles

In 2013, Dr. David Ryden published his article, "'One of the finest and most fruitful spots in America:' An Analysis of Cotton Monoculture in Late-Eighteenth Century Carriacou," in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 43:4 (2013): 539-570.

Dr. Ryden also contributed the entry “Manumissions,” for the Oxford Bibliographies, (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Dr. Case’s Article Republished

Dr. Theresa Case’s journal article "The Radical Potential of the Knights' Biracialism" has recently been republished in a book collection: Texas Labor History, edited by Bruce Glasrud and James Marnoney (Texas A&M University Press, 2013).

Dr. Garna Christian Wins Award

March 4, 2013 Torch Energy president J P Bryant has awarded to UHD history professor Garna L. Christian the Texas State Historical Association Educator of the Year Award at the Fellows Lunch and Awards ceremony.

Dr. Garna Christian (left) recieves award

Professor Garna Christian, left, stands with Torch Energy President J.P. Bryan, namesake for the Association’s Leadership in Education Award. Photo courtesy of Ben Davis.

Dr. Nancy Lopez Wins Award

On April 30, 2013, the UHD Faculty Awards Committee announced that Dr. Nancy Lopez, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences-History, has won the Outstanding Adjunct Award for academic year 2012-2013. Dr. Lopez's fellow historians warmly congratulate her, and her contribution to the UHD History Program.

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Last updated or reviewed on 6/5/14

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