History Alumna Wins Prestigious Newman Civic Fellowship

Congratulations to History graduate Elizabeth Paige (B.A. 2014), a current UB Law student who has just become a Newman Civic Fellow.  Paige was chosen by the Campus Compact organization for her leadership in creating positive change in her campus community.   Read more about the award, the organization, and Paige’s good works here.

One of Paige’s projects, the UB campus food pantry, was inspired by her experience as the first member of her family to attend from college.  The History faculty look forward to seeing what will be next for its talented and community-minded former student!

History Alumna Building Her Career As An Army Journalist

It was great to see our student Audrey McCoy (History ’15) at the retirement party for Professor Carney this month.   Audrey is a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve who now works as a photojournalist for her commanding general.   She co-edits the Army Reserve’s official magazine, Warrior Citizen.

Audrey McCoy celebrating with Professor Yi and Cindy Meyers.   Professor Davis is in the background.

Starting in February, Audrey’s job title will be Communications Instructor for the Department of Defense at Defense Information School in Fort Meade.   She is also working on gathering research for The Army Reserve at a Glance, a book that shows the economic impact that the Army Reserve has on each state in the union.   At a Glance is published by the Library of Congress.

McCoy tells us that one of the most exciting aspects of the research project is that she gets to work with military historians from each of the Reserve’s commands.   Her research will show congress members and other legislators what each command has contributed to the total force within the last decade.   Contributors also share their stories, past and present, for the book.

For McCoy, the pen–and the research skills of the historian–is as mighty as the sword!  She made us promise to keep her apprised of History program news and events.  “Please, please, please,”  she says, “You guys hold a very special place in my heart.”  And you do in ours, Audrey!


Congratulations to recent History graduate Carmine Bennett on being accepted to UB’s master’s program in Legal Studies!

Carmine Bennett graduated with her History B.A. this December.

The Master of Arts in Legal Studies (formerly Legal and Ethical Studies) program provides coursework in law, the legal system, legal research and methods, and the ethical and historical underpinnings of law.  It can be used as a stepping stone to law school or to advance in the many law-related careers that do not require a law degree.

Graduates of the program have found jobs working for the courts (as clerks and commissioners), government contractors (in compliance), law firms (as legal assistants and paralegals), nonprofit organizations (as intake managers and legal coordinators), companies (in risk management and human resources), and in a wide variety of other jobs in government and business.  Graduates also sometimes use the program to improve their preparation and credentials for law school.

The History faculty and the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies is proud of our graduate, and happy to report that she will continue to work part-time as an assistant in the division.

Immigration and the Chinese Exclusion Act in Digital History

This past summer in Digital History class,  students had to map out a historical topic as it appears online.  In the process of analyzing scholarly, amateur, and commercial Web sites, they created a hyperlinked presentation that introduced the audience to primary source repositories, public scholarship, and documentaries.  Topics ranged from Robert Kennedy’s assassination to the history of American immigration law.

History major Bedell Terry did his summer project about the Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers.   Rather than create just one map, Bedell created several maps hyperlinked to documents, to take viewers through the story of Chinese immigration in modern America.  In the first slide, viewers are linked to nineteenth-century laws and attitudes toward the Chinese:

[Click here for Slide with Hyperlinks]

He then traveled with workers to the port of entry for Chinese immigrants, Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay:

[Click for Slide with Hyperlinks]

Next, he found letters, news, and other stories from immigrants’ lives in California:

Slide with Hyperlinks

He included links to the original Act and its Repeal in 1943, and information on other Chinese-American communities:

Slide with Hyperlinks

Slide with Hyperlink

Dr. Hudgins was somewhat surprised to hear from Bedell that he learned more about the topic by researching its digital life than he would have from a traditional textbook.  “I had to go looking for the information,” he said, “which was a lot more active than glancing at a paragraph provided in a book.”  Students learned in the class that, for topics traditionally neglected in large studies, digital sources have been filling a gap for the beginner.   We also observed the passion with which devoted amateurs, descendants, and even collectors have given their knowledge freely to the world.  Digital History will become HIST 250 permanently beginning in fall 2019, fulfilling general education and graduation requirements for undergraduates at UB.







History Class Hosts Sixth Annual “Knowledge At Work” Alumni Event

Sergeant Marcus Jackson (History ’10), Sherketta Carter (History ’11 and LEST ’14), Marshall Odell (History ’15) and Kaya Abukasis (History ’18) were welcomed back to UB by students, faculty, and Dean Spencer on Wednesday to talk about their professional paths following graduation.  Students in Dr. Nix’s “Historian’s Toolkit” (HIST 295) class enjoyed getting to know these terrific alumni over pizza, and asking lots of their own questions.

Sherketta, Marcus, and Marshall shared work and school stories over pizza with HIST 295 students. Alumni in the Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies division return to UB every year for the Knowledge At Work program.

Jackson developed his career with the Army National Guard after graduation, and he told students that the reading, writing, and research skills he acquired in the history program applied directly to his work as a human resources manager in the Maryland Guard.  Reading critically, he said, and learning lessons from leaders in the past, helps him develop his own leadership skills.  Since graduating from UB, Jackson has also gotten married and now has two adorable daughters.

Carter graduated from two UB programs, History (B.A.) and Legal and Ethical Studies (M.A.).  She parleyed her legal history knowledge and networking skills into a satisfying career as a legal assistant.  For her, internships helped her make the transition from a student to legal professional.  She works for the City of Baltimore Law Department – and no law school degree was required!

Odell came to the UB History program after an early career in banking and finance.  After graduating in 2015 with experience working at our Langsdale Library, he got a job as a librarian at the U.S. Naval Academy Library in Annapolis.   Odell works with artifacts of military history in the library, as well as budget issues.

The panel was also joined by Kaya Abukasis, who began UB Law School directly after her graduation in the History program this year.  She is still acclimating to the massive reading demands in 1-L, but assured students that the source analysis and writing assignments she completed in the History program prepared her well for the LSAT and the workload in law school.  In her copious spare time, she is also working on her mother’s Congressional election campaign in Pennsylvania.

A history degree opens up all sorts of careers to college graduates.  Aside from our guests today, UB students will remember that our university president and college dean were both history majors in college.

The Vikings Have Come and Conquered D.C.!

Last Monday night Professor Hudgins made her way to the Wharf in D.C. for a deck tour of the Draken Harald Hårfagre, a hand-crafted Viking ship whose 34-person crew voyaged from Norway to America this summer.

Drawing of the 35-meter long Great Ship on the project’s Web site, www.drakenhh.com.

Usually, replicas of Viking ships are based on interpretations of archaeological material. But the creator of the project said, “We went the opposite way. We were based in a living Norwegian boat building tradition that has existed since the Viking Age. From there we worked backwards in time to recreate an ocean going Viking ship by using all available sources.”  Sources include:

  • Archaeological material
  • The Saga literature and other sources from the Old Norse literature.
  • Foreign contemporary sources from the Viking Age
  • Visual representations of Viking ships
  • Old sailing records, purchasing lists, reports, and more.
Visitors were transported back in time as the sun set on the Viking ship.  Author’s photograph.

Dr. Hudgins was pleased to see a large contingent of female crew who helped sail the vessel across the Atlantic this summer.  Young girls on the tour, in turn, saw what a resourceful, ocean-going sailor looked like.

Crew members of the Viking ship were international – including Swedish, American, and British sailors.  Author’s photograph.

Throughout the ship visitors could see the hand-carved ornamentation, including functioning symbols (marking measurements), a beautiful steering oar, and the god Odin’s two on-board ravens, Hugin and Munin.  Dr. Hudgins also noticed all the ropes coated with tar, the beautiful dragon figurehead, and the 24-meter-high mast.  Earlier this summer, the boat also stopped at Baltimore, Annapolis, and Ocean City.  Its next stop will be New York.

Manly men doing manly things! in the photo exhibit accompanying the tour on the District Wharf.




Rita Davenport, a UB history major who completes the program this semester, is finishing on a high note with an internship at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Her main project at the BMI is documenting a backlog of historical objects.  Recently, she has been using a database called Past Perfect to catalog products from Domino Sugar.  As we all know, Domino Sugar has played a huge role in Baltimore’s industry.

Recently, the museum received a donation of four larges boxes full of Domino Sugar products such as boxes, coffee creamer, cinnamon shakers, coffee mugs, plush animals, sugar cubes, water bottles, and hats.  Rita gave each of these objects a number, then labeled them with the number somewhere on the bottom(so it doesn’t show on display).  She used a special archival pen.  Rita says, “I photograph all angles of each object.  I then catalog each object with their number into our database… I upload a photo for each object and describe the object itself and its condition.”  In that way, the material history of Domino Sugar can be preserved for future scholars.

Rita finished the four boxes on Wednesday, February 7.  This was her first completed task as an intern and she says she is “thrilled to finally be working in the field.”  In the fall, Rita heads to a graduate program in public history.

4th Annual “Knowledge At Work” Event Brings LEHS Alumni to Campus

The annual LEHS “Knowledge At Work” alumni event took place on October 23, 2017 in Dr. Nix’s HIST 295 evening class.  This year, we had three alumni from the division come back to UB to talk to history program majors about their work experiences since graduation.

Mr. Michael Bealefeld (History ’13) talked about his master’s program experience at UMBC, which was funded by a Madison Foundation Fellowship that he won as a UB student.  Since finishing the UMBC program, he became a history teacher at the Cambridge School in Baltimore County.

Ms. Lyndsay Bates was our representative from the Legal and Ethical Studies master’s program here in the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies (LEST ’13).  She is currently earning her doctorate in Public Administration at UB, and she has already presented her research on structural inequality in Baltimore to a professional audience of scholars.

Our third panelist was Sgt. Audrey McCoy, who graduated from the UB History program as Audrey Hayes in 2015.  A recipient of the Keith L. Ware Military Print Journalist of the Year Award (2017), Audrey works as a photojournalist for the United States Army Reserve.  Her article, “Remembering Rosie,” based in part on her History program research, was featured on the U.S. Army Web site homepage.  Read her article here.

All three of our panelists talked about how their LEHS degree prepared them for their next steps, and how the research, writing, and communication skills they developed here gave them a competitive advantage.  The history majors in the audience had the opportunity to ask Mike, Lyndsay, and Audrey their own questions about parleying their degrees into a variety of careers.

Special thanks to Dean Spencer, the History program faculty, and Cindy Meyers for helping make the event a fun night of useful insights and lots of laughs.

UB Public History Student Ashley Tippie Curates New Exhibit at Mt. Clare

Ashley Tippie introduces visitors to Mt. Clare’s parlor where portraits are draped for the mourning period.

University of Baltimore history major Ashley Tippie has created a new exhibit at Mt. Clare Museum House  in Southwest Baltimore City. “Mt. Clare in Mourning” explores the ways that English colonists and enslaved African Americans marked the deaths of their loved ones in the 18th century. In the course of her research, Ashley and museum director Rose Gallenberger found  a mourning ring that had been hidden in a ring box for generations.

In preparing the house-wide exhibit, Ashley researched the mourning jewelry in Mt. Clare’s collection.

On October 7 Ashley led a tour she had developed  that focussed on the material culture of death and dying in the colonial period. The exhibit runs from October 9 to October 29.

Ashley is pursuing an undergraduate history degree with a specialization in public history. She is currently enrolled in Professor Josh Davis’ course, Introduction to Public History. The Baltimore area provides many opportunities for internships at museums, historic houses, and archives.

Professor Elizabeth Nix went on Ashley’s specialized tour on Saturday, October 7. Museum director Rose Gallenberger added to the interpretation.

History Grad Hired by the United States Naval Academy Library

Mr. Marshall Odell (History ’15) has used his UB undergraduate degree, plus experience working at Langsdale Library, to get hired at the storied Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.  No graduate degree required!


Archival photo from the USNA Web site: https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/ve-archives/academics.php

Odell says the combination of his history major and his work experience was “what really made the difference” in his application for the Library Technician position.   Making more than he did in his previous career in banking, Odell now can immerse himself in American military history, saying, “there is a treasure trove” of history at the library that could keep him busy exploring the collections for decades.

Marshall’s UB history professors, Langsdale Library colleagues, and friends wish him the best of luck with his new full-time job with the Navy!