Five Oklahoma Christian University students were selected to present papers at the nation’s leading student history conference Jan. 6-9. Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors, hosted the convention in San Diego.
“This is the largest group of presenters we have ever had at the national conference,” said John Maple, sponsor of OC’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and chair of the department of history and political science. “We are incredibly proud of each of them.”
The students’ topics ranged from Aristotle, Martin Luther and Winston Churchill to Ancient Rome and Cold War cinema. According to Matt McCook, the students made a strong impression on the panel members.
“After one of the presentations, a panel member commented that the paper was worthy of publication in a professional journal,” said McCook, an associate professor of history who attended the conference with the students. “That is something that’s rarely said about undergraduate research. It really speaks to these students’ abilities and accomplishments.”
Will Coleson, a senior from Oxford, Ala., presented a paper on “Two Challenges to Aristotle in the Late Medieval Era.” Leah Long discussed “Martin Luther and Women,” while Ben Peterson, a junior from Austin, Texas, addressed “Victory at Great Cost: Winston Churchill and the Allied Bombing of Dresden.” Rachel Helton, a junior from Abita Springs, La., presented a paper on “The Importance of Roman Religion in the Augustan Age.” Kevin Anders, a senior from Edmond, discussed “Happily Ever After? or: How Americans Never Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in Cold War Cinema.”
About The Phi Alpha Theta Convention
At its biennial convention, undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to meet distinguished historians and to present their own research papers. Phi Alpha Theta is one of the few honor and professional historical societies that encourages student participation in all its functions. Prominent historians also appear on the program of every biennial convention, allowing members of the Society the opportunity to learn about these historians’ contributions to scholarship. The biennial convention is highlighted by special events and tours of sites of historical interest.