World Wars Student Research Conference
On December 7, to mark Pear Harbor Day, as well as to mark the hundred years since the First World War, the UHD History Program sponsored a World Wars Student Research Conference. The conference brought together faculty and undergraduate students from UHD, UH, UH-Clear Lake, Rice university, and elsewhere. Twelve students from these universities gave papers, about half of which were by UHD students.
The many UHD History faculty members attending the conference were very proud of how well their students did, both in terms of the sophistication of their papers, and their pose in delivery. UHD's own Sophie Farzam was awarded the prize for best paper. Her research focused on the "feminization" of frontline soldiers in the First World War.
Virtually all of the student presenters expect to attend graduate school, and this conference gave them insight into the expectations and atmosphere of larger historical conferences.
Faculty from the various universities enjoyed getting to know each other better, and eagerly discussed the possibility of jointly hosting a UH system student history research conference next year.
2015 December Graduates
Congratulations to all the December History Graduates and to those students who completed their degrees with distinction! Pictured (left to right) are history honorees Courtney Stevens, Jason Rivas, and Randy Krinsky with Dr. Ryden.
History Major Spotlight on UHD
Francisco Delgado is profiled on the UHD homepage. He was the winner of the Outstanding Underclassman of the Year for History in 2013-14. Read more about his scholarship and
Congratulations to Tiffany Devereaux (class of ’10) Annabella Gutiérrez (class of‘15)! Annabella is presently starting her graduate studies in history at Stephen F. Austin University while Tiffany is starting the Masters in Liberal Arts program at the University of St. Thomas.
History Program Inducts Members into Honor Society
On May 5, seven history majors were inducted into UHD's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta; Dr. Ryden, Associate Dean of CHSS, conducted the initiation, which was followed by a reception. The chapter welcomes students no matter what her/his major, so long as s/he meets the criteria and demonstrate a commitment to history scholarship.
UHD History Students End-of-Semester Tour of the Battleship Texas
UHD history students, accompanied by Drs. Alvarez and Lopez, toured the Battleship Texas on May 2. The students are members of the Walter P. Webb Society and Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society. As part of Phi Alpha Theta's Student Lecture Series, Jason Rivas led the tour of the U.S.S. Texas, the only remaining battleship that served in both World Wars I and II. The students were able to tour all decks and to visit the nearby Battle of San Jacinto monument. Students who join UHD’s chapter of the Walter P. Webb Society and Phi Alpha Theta have an opportunity to travel to state and regional historic sites throughout the year.
UHD History Student Lands Top Magazine Job, Credits UHD Counseling and Mentoring
Randy Krinsky planned on completing a business degree at UHD, but was counseled by UHD Career Development Center to pursue his interest in History. As a self-proclaimed film buff, Krinsky began writing about film in his free time. He has since become a lead writer for a popular entertainment magazine. In this position he reviews both major and independent films. Krinsky graduated in 2014 with a degree in history and was “history student of the year.” Presently, he is completing a second degree at UHD in English with a concentration in Film Studies. His plan is to become directly involved in the production of film, as a screenwriter or script supervisor.
UHD Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society Visits LBJ Library and Museum
History faculty members Dr. Nancy Lopez and Dr. Aaron Gillette accompanied eight history majors on a trip to Austin, where they toured the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Library and Museum and UT-Austin’s phenomenal research library, the Harry Ransom Center. The students are members of the UHD chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.
The group toured the LBJ library and museum. The library's interactive exhibits allow patrons to listen to conversations between President Johnson and various people. At the Harry Ransom Center, students saw rare documents, including William Shakespeare's first folio, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to painter and naturalist Charles Willson Peale, the Gutenberg Bible, and rejection letters for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
The archivists also exhibited to the group some handwritten notes between the news reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as well as some letters related to "Deep Throat” (Mark Felt). Felt, Woodward, and Bernstein were key players in exposing the Watergate scandal. The students may have appreciated the Robert De Niro collection the most. The collection contained scripts with DeNiro’s annotations and movie props from
Cape Fear. The history enthusiasts stopped at the Capitol to take photographs before their return to Houston.
UHD history students tour the “Postcards from the Trenches: Germans and Americans Visualize the Great War” Exhibit
On Saturday, February 21, students from UHD's Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society and the History Honor Society of Phi Alpha Theta toured The Printing Museum in Houston. Accompanied by faculty advisors Drs. José Álvarez an?d Nancy López, the students were treated to a special presentation conducted by co-curator of the exhibition, Dr. Irene Guenther, History professor at UH’s Honors College.
The exhibition commemorates the centennial of the start of World War I through the hand-painted postcards of German soldier Otto Schubert. In dozens of postcards he mailed to his sweetheart back in Dresden, Schubert depicted his personal life and death experiences in the trenches and on the battlefield while serving on the Western Front. His art provided an insight into the personal and humanizing aspects of the Great War. In addition to Schubert’s artwork, Dr. Guenther also guided the students through the propaganda and literature that was produced in the United States once America entered the war in 1917.
UHD Students Hear Congressman John Lewis Speak
On Sunday, February 18, 2015, University of Houston-Downtown students enrolled in the “History of the Civil Rights Movement," a course taught by first-year lecturer Dr. Jonathan Chism, received free tickets (complimentary of the Houston Public Library) to hear Congressman John Lewis speak at the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater. Lewis, a veteran and influential civil rights icon, is the only living civil rights activist who spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 with King and other notable figures. During his presentation, Lewis discussed his new graphic novel, March, which tells and depicts his life story as a civil rights activist. Beyond receiving extra credit for attending the event, students in Dr. Chism’s class were honored to seize the opportunity to hear and to meet Lewis as well as obtain an autographed copy of his novel.