OC Students Receive National History Award
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Posted by: Katy Roybal
Whether the topic is foreign policy during the Reagan administration, or Martin Luther's attitude toward women, history students at Oklahoma Christian University produce some of the best scholarship in the country. In September, OC's history honor society was honored as a Best Chapter in the nation among smaller universities for the 14th consecutive year.
“We take great pride in our students' continued outstanding performance in chapter activities,” said Dr. John Maple, the group's sponsor and chair of the department of history and political science. “The students deserve all the credit for this excellent achievement.”
OC's chapter is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors in the United States. The society hosts regional and national conferences in which more than 350,000 students from 860 chapters compete. The OC chapter, known as Tau Sigma, competed against other universities that had won five or more Best Chapter awards, and that have up to 3,000 students. The latter category has more schools competing against each other than any other Phi Alpha Theta division.
“There are very high expectations for OC students who are members of Tau Sigma,” said chapter President Emily Stites. “We work hard all year and it's exciting to be recognized with this award.”
OC students also took three of the top honors at Phi Alpha Theta's 2009 Oklahoma Regional Conference. Leah Long and Ben Peterson placed first and third in the European History Undergraduate category. Daniel McCormack, who graduated in May and received a full doctoral fellowship from the University of Texas, placed second in the American History Undergraduate category.
Tau Sigma also entered volume 17 of the Oklahoma Christian University Journal of Historical Studies in the Phi Alpha Theta's Nash History Journal competition. This year's winners have not been announced, but the chapter placed third just two years ago. In addition, Tau Sigma also helps host History Day, an annual academic competition for 6th-12th graders on the OC campus.
The Best Chapter honor also comes with a $250 stipend.
“Overall, we have been recognized as a Best Chapter 15 times,” Maple said. “That has resulted in almost $4,000 our students have earned to help fund library purchases here at Oklahoma Christian.”