Undergraduate History Conference
The Undergraduate History Conference was inaugurated in the spring of 2007. Since then, the event has been organized and sponsored by the Ohio University History Department every spring semester, with an average of 12 student presentations each year from both the Athens and regional campuses.
The conference was first proposed by faculty members who were teaching the History Research and Writing Junior Composition course. The intent was to provide students of that course with a venue to share their work with other students and faculty. Witness to the hard work students put into their projects, associate professors Michele Clouse, Miriam Shadis, and Mariana Dantas led the initiative, encouraged by their desire to provide students with the opportunity to showcase their research and writing talents to an audience beyond that of their classroom.
Over the years the conference has become an important event—sometimes rite of passage—to history majors and minors, as well as other Arts & Sciences students. The conference also marked a key shift in the activities of the department's undergraduate committee, then led by Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor Kevin Uhalde. It marked the committee's and the department's commitment to offer students more professionalizing experiences through events and activities that introduce students to and prepare them for the types of work, public engagement, research and writing future jobs might expect of them. Through the efforts of succeeding directors of undergraduate studies and the Undergraduate Committee, the History Department also boosted its internship program, promoted an annual career advising day, and most recently has started to organize an internship fair. This year the conference once again marks the end of another academic year and celebrates students' accomplishments, both those who graduated some years ago and those who are graduating in the near future.