History students represent OC at national conference

Five students from OC’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter recently presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention this month. The convention took place Jan. 3-6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The convention is comprised of a series of historical research paper presentations made by students. OC students Justin McLeckie, Cody Milner, Turner Smith, Brandon Kiefer and Laine Weatherford presented their papers at the convention.

Phi Alpha Theta is an academic honor society includes more than 500,000 members from almost 1,000 chapters nationwide. The society’s mission is to encourage the study of history in both students and professors. PAT pushes for historical research and the exchange of ideas between fellow historians.

The national convention was an opportunity for students to listen to historians from all over the nation. Students submitted their papers in November. The papers were then approved and submitted by the faculty advisor of the chapters.

OC sophomore and honor society member Justin McLeckie reflected on his experience.

“It was fun to experience the history of New Orleans,” McLeckie said. “I enjoy being in Phi Alpha Theta because it gives me the opportunity to do history-related activities with people of common interest.”

OC’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter is known nationwide for their community involvement. The students are involved in various history-related activities in the metro area including hosting the district’s History Day and OC’s “History Speaks” events. Students also tutor and host test reviews on campus for general education history classes. OC’s chapter has won the “Best Chapter Award” in their division for 22 consecutive years. This is credited to the conventions they attend, history-related work they do in the community and their award-winning Journal of Historical Studies.

OC’s Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor of 35 years, John Maple, is proud of the students’ presentations and gave the students full credit for the continued success of the chapter.

“The society gives students a way to broaden their education and experiences in a way they can’t by sitting in a classroom,” said Maple.

A group of seven students from Oklahoma Christian will present research papers in March at the Oklahoma regional meeting hosted by UCO.

The students who presented in January had a wide variety of topics. Brandon Kiefer's paper was on “Southern Sympathies: The Motivation for British Mediation in the American Civil War,” while Justin McLeckie presented on “The Thorny Rose and the Shrub.” Laine Weatherford presented on “Women’s War Front: Rhetorical Structures in Britain’s Grassroots Propaganda Movement,” while Turner Smith addressed “Life, Liberty, and Slavery: How John Locke Enabled the Slave-Trade in Colonial Carolina.” Cody Milner's paper was on “The Great Divorce? David Lloyd George’s Interbellum Ideological Shift from Champion of Liberalism to Supporter of Fascism.” His paper was accepted for publication in the National Alethia Honors Journal.