History majors spend their senior year writing a major paper based on their extensive research in primary sources.
Many history students present their papers at Westminster's Undergraduate Research Fair, and several Westminster have recently given papers at the Utah regional Phi Alpha Theta conference.
- "Environmental Ethics and their Impact on the 1922 Colorado River Compact and the Colorado Storage Project of 1956," Kailey Kornhauser (2015)
- "Afrikanerdom’s Promised Land Colonial Namibia and the Whitening of the South African Frontier, c. 1946-1956," Avenel Rolfsen (2015)
- "Propaganda in the American Revolution," Dani Newton (2015)
- "Austrian Identity and the American Perspective," Vanessa Williamsen (2014)
- "Living Legacies Among Asia's Giants: A Sociohistorical Analysis of the Rise of China and India," Pratik Raghu (2014)
- "Fanning the Flames of the Russian Revolution," Michael Gorman (2014)
Check out this video feature about student Marian Fackrell's award-winning senior thesis: "Loathing, Vanity, Nostalgia, and America's Royal Family: The Public's Love/Hate Relationship with the Kennedys." (2010)
In the summer of 2014, junior Avenel Rolfsen received a competitive research grant for the Westminster Summer Undergraduate Research Experience to work on a research project with Dr. Gary Marquardt. The project evolved into a scholarly article, "Afrikanerdom's Promised Land: Colonial Namibia and the Whitening of the South African Frontier, c. 1946-1956," submitted to a peer-reviewed academic journal for publication consideration.
Senior Kailey Kornhauser conducted independent research in the summer of 2014 under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Nichols. As part of the McNair Scholars Program she received a grant that allowed her to research the 1922 Colorado River Compact and environmental ethics that may have influenced the legislation's creation. The research culminated into a presentation at the Twenty-Second Annual McNair Scholars Symposium at the University of California Berkeley. Kailey is further exploring the intellectual influences on the Colorado River Compact in her senior thesis.
Westminster's history courses prepared me for what I am doing now. As a history major, you develop critical thinking and group work skills. With the small classroom and discussion environment, you can really go on to do anything with Westminster's history degree.
The history program at Westminster prepared me very well for law school. I think my reading and writing achievements as well as my diverse/global perspective I got from Westminster has been invaluable in law school. Many law schools to which I applied outside of Utah told me that they were impressed by Westminster and its students.
The broad perspective and wide-ranging experience I gained from having a variety of classes at Westminster has become fundamental to my further studies, and I view them as great strengths. My professors were always supportive of me tailoring larger essays and projects to my interest in archeology, which encouraged me to be resourceful and persevere with subjects that I found intriguing.
Phi Alpha Theta
The Phi-Eta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, hosts a variety of on-campus events in American and World History. Recent past events included a common read and discussion of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, Dr. Carolyn Ball's address on the history of American Sign Language, and a field trip to the Leonardo Museum. All students are welcome to join the organization and/or activities we sponsor during the academic year. For information on internships, research conferences, and other events, please see our Historiocity page; also make certain to like us on Facebook. For questions about or interest in the Westminster chapter, please contact Dr. Gary Marquardt. Learn more about Phi Alpha Theta.