Month: May 2018


Spotlight of the Month

School: Western Oregon University Region: PACURH
Nominee: WOU History Seniors Nominator: Carter Craig

On-Campus Population: 1500 Chapter Size: 20

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

During the month of May, WOU history seniors have been putting the final touches on their senior capstone projects. In addition to significant scholarly work on their own, WOU history seniors presented their work at WOU’s academic excellence showcase, an annual festival which allows students to present their work to an audience. May is the month when these hardworking history students finish the final leg of their scholarly journey. It is a very difficult month for them and they handled it with great aplomb. The senior history majors at WOU deserve the Spotlight of the Month for the month of May.

History majors at WOU are required to complete the HST 499 course at WOU before graduating. This class is centered around a capstone project which takes on of two forms. Some students worked on a long research paper on a topic of their choosing. This paper tends to be between 25- 40 pages in length and requires the history students to do more scholarship than they ever have before. The students working on this track have engaged in a diverse range of subjects including migration from Mitochan to Oregon and the polish Solidarity movement. These students have spent many late nights diving into these topics.

Other history seniors participated in the inaugural practicum program. As a part of this program students did original primary source research from documents kept by the Oregon Historical Society. These students examined casefiles from the Oregon Mental Hospital and coupled their findings with secondary scholarship about mental health care. Their scholarship and work with the Oregon Historical Society has served the public by providing more information about an interesting and important part of Oregon’s history. Their work helps contribute an understanding to the human rights abuses which were present in the mental health system.

The seniors also presented at the Academic Excellence Showcase. Throughout the afternoon, roughly 75 people stopped by to watch a presentation or two. Some of these people were students, ranging from future history seniors to survey level students on the hunt for extra credit and even the occasional non-history students. One such student had this to say about the AES presentation, “I was impressed with the high level of professionalism… I could see you guys [History Seniors] put a lot of work into your research” Other guests were interested faculty from several disciplines and relations of the presenters. Generally, people saw that the history seniors had become experts in their topics. The experienced also benefitted the presenters because it gave them an opportunity to practice their presenting skills. This is something that they will use after college. History students had the special challenge of relating a complex and sometimes esoteric topic to their audience. One history senior, Brandon Meredith, feels that “It was a great experience to be able to share the work I have done over my senior year.” Meredith goes on to say that this experience was fulfilling also because he hopes, “it will inspire future history majors in doing projects of their own.” Over the month of May, WOU history seniors have worked very hard and been rewarded through a lot of valuable experiences. For their contributions to the field of history and the learning of their community, WOU history seniors deserve the spotlight of the month for the month of May.

Word Count: 555

Date of entry into database: 2018-06-06 01:14:37

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