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News for the History Program

Students and Alumni News

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

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.”


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

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."


Photo of Cody Robertson teach at Goose Creek Memorial High School

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


Faculty News

Dr. Crist (left) and Dr. AlvarezOn September 18, Dr. David Crist, a Senior Pentagon historian, spoke to an audience of over 100 UHD constituents in the Cullen Auditorium. His lecture focused on the contemporary geopolitics of the Middle East. After his talk, Dr. Crist answered a series of questions from students enrolled in Dr. Alvarez’s Middle Eastern History course.


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.


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.

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).

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