Students Present Research at History Honor Society Conference

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On April 30, 2016, four Marist history students joined about two dozen peers from around New York state at the State
University of New York at Plattsburgh for the annual regional meeting of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.
The students delivered the following research presentations, which may be read in full here:

  • "Seen, But Now  Heard: How Increased LGBT Visibility Propelled the Acceptance of Gay Marriage," Abigail Milone '16
  • “Death is the Beginning of Infamy: Robespierre’s Reputation and a Legacy of Misconceptions,” Star Irizarry '16
  • “The Role of Propaganda in Destabilizing the Directory and Securing Napoleon’s Power,” James Lavelle '18
  • “A Strange Liberation: Women and Male Continence in the Oneida Community,” Andrea Monteleone '17

Ms. Monteleone and Ms. Irizarry were honored with Outstanding Paper awards, and all four of the students distinguished
themselves by both the high quality of their research and the professionalism of their presentations, according to Dr. Janine
Peterson, who mentored the students in collaboration with Dr. Kristin Bayer:"Their presentations were well-prepared and poised, displaying the strong papers they had produced, and they all handled questions and answers with aplomb."

historyThe experience provided Ms. Irizarry (pictured above, left) with a valuable introduction to the next stage of her academic work: "I really had no idea what to expect as this was my first academic conference, but it helped give me a better idea of what graduate level conferences will be like!". Ms. Irizarry, who will begin Ph.D. work as a fully funded student at Johns Hopkins University this fall, praised the History Department's "amazing professors" for honing students' research and presentation skills.

For Ms. Milone (at left), who had also recently presented at an interdisciplinary medieval studies conference, the Phi Alpha Theta meeting provided a welcome opportunity to focus on a specific research methodology: "This was also the most history-focused conference I have attended, so it was nice to be able to hear papers presented about a large range of topics that were all approached with a similar mindset."

Mr. Lavelle (below, left) valued the chance "to interact with other undergraduate researchers" and "to hear and learn about many obscure yet fascinating topics" that might be outside the purview of a typical course in the field." All in all, he was energized by the experience: "I came away with a new level of appreciation for original research and a reinvigorated passion and drive to continueto pursue new historical research and projects." Ms. Monteleone (above, right) shared his enthusiasm and contextualized her experiences within a big-picture view of academic research: "We, as the next generation of publishing historians, have wonderful opportunities to meet with each other, share our work, and make lasting connections, and it is important for us to take advantage of these opportunities as often as we can."

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