History Department News Spring 2016

Dr. Campbell-Hale Joins Department

The History Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Leigh Campbell-Halle as Assistant Professor of History and Coordinator of Social Studies Education. Dr. Campbell-Hale earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder, brings over twenty years experience teaching secondary grade public school students, and has worked extensively with National History Day. She will teach Social Studies Methods and American History to 1876 in Fall 2016. 


Dr. Suzanne Farmer recognized with Citizenship Award

The College of Liberal Arts recognized Dr. Suzanne Farmer, Assistant Professor of History, with a Citizenship Award at its April 27 awards luncheon. Dr. Farmer’s nomination recognized her support of the College’s mission and values by furthering immersive, engaged, and interdisciplinary learning. In addition to her classroom teaching, Dr. Farmer serves as faculty sponsor of History Club and co-sponsor of Phi Alpha Theta (the History Honor Society), co-director of the Center for Women's Studies, a leader in the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), which promotes women's education and scholarships, and a member of the Black Heritage Committee.

Richard Zellner recognized as a Top Ten RiverHawk

NSU students have selected Richard Zellner, Adjunct Instructor of History, as one of ten faculty, administrators, and staff to go above and beyond their job description to create a legacy of excellence. Out of 188 nominees, a special student committee recognized Zellner as a Top Ten RiverHawk for his mentoring inside and outside the classroom. Thank you, Professor Zellner! 

Dr. Farina King, Assistant Professor of History

The History Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Farina King as Assistant Professor of History. Dr. King earned a Ph.D. in United States History from Arizona State University and currently holds the Charles Eastman Fellowship at Dartmouth College. A specialist in Native American History, Dr. King will teach History of the American Indian in Fall 2016.

National History Day

National History Day came to NSU on April 5, 2016, when 159 students in 6-12 grade from 6 regional schools participated in the District 8 competition. Students submitted individual research papers and individual and group exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries on the theme “Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange.” History Department Chair Dr. Iain Anderson noted the impact of the students on the broader university community. “We are energized by your enthusiasm for studying the past. We are informed by your research in History. We are inspired by the stories you have constructed. You model the process we aspire to at NSU,” he told a crowded awards ceremony.

Muskogee High School student Kali Adams answers questions about her exhibit on Mohandas Gandhi from judges Jennifer Frazee and Dr. Ben Kracht.

Outstanding Scholar

Congratulations to senior History major Nathan Oglesbee! Nathan was recently selected as the Outstanding Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts for his paper “Bulldog Tenacity: The Life and Times of Leroy Carson Oglesbee.” Nathan received a trophy, cash award, and opportunity to present his research at the NSU Undergraduate Research Day on April 20, 2016. His presentation won the Best Paper Award.

Senior History major Nathan Oglesbee (left) displays his Outstanding Scholar and Best Paper awards. Nathan is pictured with Dr. Christopher Owen, Professor of History, who was recognized for his mentorship in the process.

Distance professional development

Associate Professor of History Denis Vovchenko completed a distance based professional development, Voices of East Asia, through Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute this spring. 

Phi Alpha Theta Welcomes Five New Members

Phi Alpha Theta, the International History Honor Society, welcomed five new members on March 30, 2016 in the University Center Morgan Room as a part of the Northeastern State University Social Sciences Honor Society Induction. Pi Gamma Mu, the International Social Sciences Honor Society, inducted eight new members, including two History majors.

Junior History majors C. Allen Davis and Paige Henninger, senior History major Nathan Oglesbee, and freshmen Social Studies Education majors Zachary Mingus and Dylon Wiedel met the requirements to join Phi Alpha Theta, which include a 3.1 GPA in History courses and an overall 3.0 GPA. Phi Alpha Theta Vice President and senior Social Studies Education major Jon Greene inducted Allen, Nathan, and Zachary with assistance from co-sponsors Dr. Denis Vovchenko and Dr. Suzanne Farmer.

Phi Alpha Theta Vice President and Senior Social Studies Education major Jon Greene inducting (from left) Zachary Mingus, Nathan Oglesbee, and C. Allen Davis into the Honor Society.

George M. Murrell Home visit

A group of students and faculty led by Dr. Suzanne Farmer and Dr. Denis Vovchenko visited the George M. Murrell Home on March 26. NSU History graduate Jennifer Frazee, a full-time employee of the historic plantation site, provided a guided tour and encouraged History majors to volunteer as interns.

Dr. Denis Vovchenko Receives Oklahoma Humanities Council Scholar Research Grant

Flying to Moscow this summer will be a little easier for Associate Professor of History Denis Vovchenko, after receiving an Oklahoma Humanities Council Scholar Research Grant of $500. Together with matching funds from the College of Arts and Sciences, the award will help cover Dr. Vovchenko’s living expenses in the Russian capital while he conducts research for his second book project. Unorthodox Fascism examines the role of race and religion in the rise of extremist political movements in Russia, Greece, and Bulgaria during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Second Annual Women’s History Month Film Festival

The Second Annual Women’s History Month Film Festival attracted students and professors to screenings of Twenty Feet From Stardom, Mona Lisa Smile, and The Kids Are Alright during the month of March. A collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts, The Center for Women’s Studies, and the Department of History, the series spotlights historical and contemporary issues that affect women, such as equal pay, access to education, and parental rights. It also explores women's contributions to American culture.

Dr. Denis Vovchenko at Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Proving that learning never stops, Dr. Denis Vovchenko completed a distance-based professional development in East Asian Societies through Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute this spring. Dr. Vovchenko will teach History of Asia during the Fall 2016 semester.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, a documentary film about the 1955 murder that galvanized a civil rights movement, played to eighty students during a Black History Month Event on February 18. Sponsored by the History Department, the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, and the Black Heritage Committee, it was followed by a discussion about citizenship and civil rights led by Dr. Jocelyn Payne, Executive Director of the Franklin Center.