McDaniel senior History student wins regional honor

 12 0320 fry
March 19, 2012

Senior Jessica Fry of St. Marys, Ga., was awarded the top prize at this year’s Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Fry was one of 11 McDaniel seniors who delayed their spring break to attend the conference held at Towson University.

Fry’s paper “The Isthmus of Corinth and the Abortive Projects for Digging a Canal: Displays and Perceptions of Power” was derived from research she conducted last semester for the History Colloquium. A Classical Studies major, Fry worked primarily with Donna Evergates, professor of History, who also attended the conference held by Phi Alpha Theta, the national honors society for historians.

Her classmates at the conference praised Fry’s work. “I had a feeling she could win,” said Linsey Turkett of Riva, Md. “When she read her paper I was blown away.” Nathan Wuertenberg of Big Cove Tannery, Pa., added, “Jessica deserved to win, her paper was excellent.”

Bryn Upton, associate professor of History and advisor to Phi Alpha Theta, served as respondent for one of the conference panels titled “American Visions and Reality,” and also had a good feeling at awards time.

“I thought there was a good chance one of our students could bring home a prize,” he said. “Our students really represented themselves, the History department, and McDaniel College very well at this conference. All day, people from other institutions have been telling me how impressed they are with the papers our students have been presenting.”

Megan McCole, a History major from Hanover, Pa., was inspired by the diaries of Dorothy Elderdice housed in the McDaniel archives. Her paper “Dorothy Elderdice: Patriotic Example of the National Bicentennial” was well received.

“After my session the professor who was commenting on our papers told me she fell in love with Dorothy Elderdice and wanted to know more about her because of my paper,” said McCole, beaming. “That just made my day.”

Accompanying the students were Evergates, Upton, visiting senior lecturer Jakub Zejmis, who served as respondent for the panel “State Power and Nationalism.” Other seniors at the conference and their papers included:

  • Missy Black of Atglen, Pa., “Change in the Kitchen: Altered Culinary Styles and the Evolving American Lifestyle”
  • Anna Cueto of Hagerstown, Md., “And then my needles seem to fly’: World War I and the Journey of Knitting from Necessity to Hand-Craft”
  • Daisy Kron of Upperco, Md., “The Southern Mistress and Female Slave Relationship”
  • Scott Oliver of Millville, N.J., “The Evolution of Jamestown: An Institutional History of the Virginia Company’s Failed Goals”
  • Shelby Parenteau of Denton, Md., “A Lesson in the Importance of Genocide Education”
  • Michael Pugliese of Macungie, Pa., “The Rural Free Delivery: Process, Importance, and Influence”
  • Linsey Turkett, “Calling All Artists: The Social Legacy of the Federal Art Project, 1935-1943”
  • Steven Wheeler of Hanover, Pa., “Morality and the Characterization of Cicero in Sallut’s  Bellum Calitinae”
  • Nathan Wuertenberg, “I sometimes think thee does not bare the sepperration as well as I’: Quakers, the American Revolution and the Birth of Reform.”

In addition to McDaniel, this year student papers came from Bowie State University, Catholic University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Frostburg State University, Howard University, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Shepard College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Towson University, University of Baltimore, and Washington College.

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