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News for the History Program

Students and Alumni News

History Graduate, Tiffany Devereux, now working at St. Thomas

Photograph of UHD Alumna Tiffany DevereuxMs. Tiffany Devereux (History ’10), is presently the Coordinator for Counseling and Disability Services at Houston’s University of St. Thomas. Upon graduation, she started her career in higher education administration by working in the admissions office at Rice University. Presently, she is responsible for organizing outreach events related to mental health awareness for students. Her broad education at UHD cultivated the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills needed to learn new workplace tasks, including the management of budgets, the coordination of staff and students, and the production of reports.

UHD’s Webb Society to Visit Mount Pleasant

Web Historical Soceity at Mount Pleasant TXThe UHD chapter of the Webb Society joined "Webbers" from other colleges from around East Texas for the annual Fall convention in Mount Pleasant, TX. Accompanied by faculty advisors Drs. Garna Christian, Gene Preuss, and Jose Alvarez, six UHD students made the trip. Our first event on Friday, Oct. 24 was to meet at the antebellum Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Omaha, TX where the students learned about beekeeping and toured the church's historic cemetery. During the evening meal, the participants were serenaded by up and coming country-western singer and Omaha native Taylor Heard. Later that evening, Professor Walter Buenger from Texas A&M University gave us an interesting look at the history of East Texas post-Reconstruction and into the early 20th century. The highlight of the night came when UHD's own Dr. Garna Christian was presented with an award for his nearly 40 years of service to the Webb Society and the Texas State Historical Association.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, the students were invited to tour the Mid-America Flight Museum to get a close up look at vintage "warbirds" and commercial aircraft, all piston-engine. Among the classic planes were a Ford Tri-motor, a WWII vintage C-47 that took part in several historic battles, as well as a B-25 Mitchell, a B-26 Invader, and a T-28 Trojan. From the Flight Museum, the students and advisors drove to nearby Pittsburg, TX to tour the Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum where we were shown the Depot Museum dedicated to the railroad industry and the Farmstead Museum which featured an old antique farmhouse and barn from the early 20th century. The morning's activities ended around noon when all set out for lunch and the 5-hour drive back to Houston.

Former UHD History student, James Nealy, Publishes Coauthored Article

Former UHD history student, James Nealy (BA 2011), published a coauthored article with Dr. Gillette and Mr. Robert Fernholz. “He’ll Know What He is Fighting Against’: An International Student Study of Public Awareness of Eugenics” recently appeared in the New England Journal of History 70 (2014): 45-75. Mr. Nealy is presently in the PhD Russian History program at Duke University, where he focuses his scholarship on post-World War II Soviet history.

History Alumnus Daniel Ronquillo is Working for the National Archive

Daniel Ronquill pictured right, a UHD History degree graduate class of 2013 now works in the National Archive and Records AdministrationDaniel Ronquillo (right), a UHD history graduate (2013) who is now employed by the National Archive and Records Administration, met with Dr. Aaron Gillette (left) who visited Washington DC last summer. Daniel helps historians from around the world gain access to one of the largest collections of historical documents. He thanked Dr. Gillette and the rest of the history faculty for their emphasis on student writing that incorporates primary sources and competing interpretations.


Spring 2014 - History Students Honored

Photograph of History faculty, Dr. Florez, Provost Hugetz and student award winner Randy Krinsky 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.

UHD Alumnus Payton Bartee Teaches Innovative Project Based Learning

History Alumn, Payton BarteePayton 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.”

History alumnus, Cody Robertson, is profiled in the Baytown Sun Newspaper

Photo of Cody Robertson teach at Goose Creek Memorial High School 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."

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


Faculty News

The History Program Welcomes its New Latin America Specialist

Photography of Dr. Parker Dr. Parker received his B.A. at the University of Oregon and M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focuses on the transnational history of race, migration, and sexuality in the Caribbean during the early twentieth century. His current project examines the politics of sex work in Panama through the lens of labor activism, public health policy, and empire-building. Dr. Parker teaches courses on Latin American History, Latin American History Through Film, the History of Race and Sex in Latin America, and U.S. History After 1877. Pending university approval, he will be offering an exciting new course on History in Film, with a Latin American focus.

History Program Welcomes and Congratulates Dr. Jonathan Chism

Photograph of Jonathan ChismThe history program welcomes its visiting lecturer, Dr. Jonathan Chism, who specializes in African American Religious History. His research explores the intersection between religion, race, and politics and seeks to enhance understanding of diverse ways African American religious groups and figures have pursued social justice and transformation in the twentieth century. His dissertation provides a critical history of Church of God in Christ (COGIC) members’ engagements in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee and dispels some scholars’ assumption that black Pentecostals’ religious beliefs prohibited them from being involved in the Movement.
Dr. Chism is presently teaching survey courses on United States History to 1877 and an on-line course entitled, “The History of the New South From 1865.” In addition to the aforementioned courses, he is tentatively expected to teach a course on the History of the Civil Rights Movement during the spring semester of 2015. The history program congratulates Dr. Chism on his participation in the CERCL Writing Collective and his contribution to the recently released Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats (Augsburg Fortress, 2014).

Dr. Gillette's Coauthored Book, Latin Eugenics in Comparative Perspective is Published

Dr. Aaron Gillette’s new coauthored book, Latin Eugenics in Comparative Perspective (Bloomsbury Press) is now in print and available in bookstores. This books “offers a comparative, nuanced approach to eugenics as a scientific program as well as a cultural and political program.”

Dr. David Crist Gives Lecture at UHD

Dr. Crist (left) and Dr. AlvarezOn September 18, 2014 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.


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