Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


2018-2019 History Department Highlights

2018-2019 History Department Highlights

The 2018-2019 school year has been a busy and exciting year for History Department faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates both inside and outside of the classroom! From researching and publishing to presenting and working in the field, staff and students can take pride in their remarkable range of achievements.

We congratulate all students and faculty for their amazing work this year and extend special felicitations to those graduate students and undergraduate seniors moving on to the next phase in their journey! Additionally, we commend the numerous History Department members who presented at and facilitated sessions for conferences across the country, including the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History, the American Association for State and Local History, and more. Please join us in celebrating the following achievements and awards for History Department undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Undergraduate Student Accomplishments

Bradley MacDonald was awarded this year’s Paul S. Lietz Award. ‌The Paul S. Lietz Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship is the history department's highest honor. Chosen by the history department faculty, the award is given to a graduating senior based on the merit of the student’s scholarly work.

Winners of the 2019 Undergraduate Essay Contest included:

  • First Place: Matthew Walcutt for “The Art of Delusion: The Style and Evolution of Nazi Propaganda throughout World War Two.”
  • Second Place: Norman Frazier for “Common Volk: Centuries-Old Ideals within the Contemporary German Far-Right.”
  • Third Place: Jessica Zi for “Money and Morality during the Viking Age.”

Ailis Yeager won the 2019 Blogging Contest with her “Pirates and Sailors: A Deeper Look into the Unknown.”

Phi Alpha Theta inducted many new members at this spring’s Weekend of Excellence. Outgoing board members Norman Frazier, Matthew Lewis, Amela Kalezic, Meghan Olson, and Victoria Blinn welcome the new officers:

  • Kathleen Koehnke, President
  • Daniel Hauser, Vice-President
  • Annie Alderman, Secretary
  • Shelbi Shultz, Treasurer
  • Morgan Zygmunt, Community Relations Chair

History Major Matthew Pajor of the St. Joseph Seminary was a recipient of this year's Presidential Medallion. Pajor is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History, Philosophy, and Political Science. The Presidential Medallion is awarded by the University's deans to students "who have exemplified a commitment to leadership, scholarship, and service throughout their time at Loyola."

After much planning and organization by students and faculty alike, the History Club became an official Loyola student organization! Much credit goes to Norman Frazier, the club's first President, for his hard work getting this project off the ground. Congratulations are also in order for the club's additional inaugural officers: Matty Lewis (Vice President), Amela Kalezic (Secretary), and Meghan Olson(Treasurer).


Graduate Student Accomplishments

Recent PhD graduate Meagan McChesney won the Council of Graduate School Programs Dissertation of the Year – Humanities Award for “Exhibiting Sovereignty: Tribal Museums in the Great Lakes Region, 1969-2010.”

PhD student Cate LiaBraaten won the Robert W. McCluggage Award for the Outstanding Graduate Research Paper for “Playing Properly: Adult Supervision and Gender in Chicago’s Progressive Era Playgrounds.”

Public History MA/MLIS student Bianca Barcenas was been awarded a Midwest Archives Conference Louisa Bowen Memorial Scholarship for Graduate Students in Archival Administration.

Graduate students Jenny Clay and Nathan Ellstrand worked with the Women and Leadership Archives to create the Voices from Mundelein: Media Portal. Showcasing images alongside more than 30 interviews, the site shares the stories of women religious, students, staff, and faculty from Mundelein College.

PhD student June Coyne was elected as the 2019-2020 Loyola Graduate Student Advisory Council President.

PhD candidate Chelsea Denault was awarded the Spirit of Laudato Si Sustainability In Learning Award during this year's weekend of excellence. The "Sustainability in Learning" recognition rewards students for their efforts incorporating sustainability into their academic experience through research, publication, or coursework advancing sustainability knowledge.

Graduate students Nathan Ellstrand, Emily Davis, Lisa Hartman, and Alexandra Gradwohl worked with the Rogers/Park West Ridge Historical Society on the two day Open Houses of Worship event, highlighting the religious diversity of Chicago's Far North Side.

Graduate students Kristin Jacobsen and Matthew Amyx were inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit national honor society.

PhD candidate Katie Macica received the OAH Graduate Student Travel Award and presented at the Organization for American Historians 2019 conference in Philadelphia.

Masters Student Bryan Morey received the Loyola Research Experience for Master’s Programs Fellowship for work on “Shabbona Woods: Conducting Public History for the Forest Preserves of Cook County.”

PhD candidate Ruby Oram received an Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation Fellowship in Leadership and Service for 2019-2020.

PhD candidate Kelly Schmidt, received the 2019 National Society of the Colonial Dames of America –IL award for graduate study in American history. She received a Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame.

PhD candidate Hope Shannon published an article, "5(+1) Ways Small Cultural Organizations Can Generate Discussions About Voting Rights," in New England Museum Association New England Museums Now.

PhD Candidate Ella Wagner was named as a 2019 Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow. As a fellow, Ella will participate in a summer workshop aimed to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy.


Faculty Accomplishments

Anthony Cardoza published a new book, A History of Modern Italy: Transformation and Continuity, 1796 to the Present.

Dr. Elliott Gorn also published a new book, entitled Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till.

Professor Aidan Forth's "sophisticated and beautifully written" first book, Barbed-Wire Imperialism, was awarded the 2018 Stansky Prize for the best book in British Studies since 1800. Learn more about Dr. Forth's work in this interview.

Professor Timothy Gilfoyle was named Loyola’s 2018 Faculty Member of the Year. He also served as editor in chief for the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Urban History, a two volume, 1712-page scholarly achievement published in 2019.

Completing his five-year term as co-editor of The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Dr. Ben Johnson was awarded the 2019 Roger D. Bridges Distinguished Service Award from the Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

Professor Christopher Manning has been chosen as a member of the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Class of 2019-2020.

Michelle Nickerson was awarded a Fullbright Core Fellowship for Summer 2020 at the Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg. She also contributed to the new Oxford Handbook of American Women's and Gender History.

The Omohundro Institute at the College of William & Mary has awarded Professor Kyle Roberts a Lapidus Initiative Fellowship for Digital Collections. He will be working with his fellow award winner, Benjamin Bankhurst (Shepherd University), on “The Maryland Loyalist Project.”

Professor Emerita Barbara Rosenwein's A Short History of the Middle Ages, Fifth Edition (2018) has been awarded a 2019 Textbook Excellence Award from the Tex​tbook & Academic Authors Association.

Professor Gema Santamaria published her article, "Lynching and the Politics of State Formation in Post-Revolutionary Puebla 1930-50s" in The Journal of Latin American Studies. She also received a 2019-2020 Research Grant from the Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage.

Professor Elizabeth Tandy Shermer will be an Obama Fellow at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the University of Mainz this summer 2019. Professor Shermer has also received a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University for the 2019–20 academic year.

Professor Elena Valussi was promoted to senior lecturer. She also has organized a conference on Spirit-Writing in Chinese History which will take place June 25-26, 2019.

Professor Alice Weinreb's book, Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany, was awarded the inaugural Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize.


Congratulations to all on an exciting and productive academic year!