students smiling

Scholarly research earns history students top awards at regional competition

Research papers by students from Chapman University’s Department of History have once again swept the top awards at the annual Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Regional Conference.

Research papers by students from Chapman University’s Department of History have once again swept the top awards at the annual Phi Alpha Theta Southern California Regional Conference.

Honorees include Taylor Dipoto ’15 and Kirsten Spicer ’15, who tied in the American history category, Daniel Levy ’15 for European history and Zachary Ghodsi ’15 for world history. The students received their awards at the conference held April 11 at Point Loma University.

Since 2007 Chapman students have won most of the top regional prizes awarded by the Southern California Chapter of the history honors society. This is the second consecutive year they’ve swept the top prizes.

group of people smiling

From left are William L. Cumiford, Ph.D., associate professor; Carolyn Vieira-Martinez, Ph.D, assistant professor, Taylor Dipoto ’15, Daniel Levy ’15, Zack Ghodsi ’15, Kirsten Spicer ’15 and Lee Estes, Ph.D., associate professor.

How do they do it?

Leland Estes, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of History, credits the rigorous and advanced research skills required in several of the department’s Senior Seminar courses.

“While the vast majority of schools in this country continue to teach their students how to regurgitate information that they get in lectures and from their reading, Chapman insists that its majors learn how to do real historical research and have learned to become real historians,” Estes says.

The winning papers include:

    • “’You Folks at Home Can Say War is Hell’: The Great War Experience of A. E. F. Soldier Edward Marcellus,” by Dipoto.
    • “’A Nation of Imbeciles’: The Human Betterment Foundation’s Propaganda for Eugenic Practices in California,” by Spicer.
    • “’For the Encouragement of Learning’: The Invention of Authorial Ownership in English Copyright Law,” by Levy.
    • “Building Imperial Oppression: The Use of First World War British Hospitals to ‘Otherize’ Indian Soldiers,” by Zachary Ghodsi.

The students’ papers are likely candidates for inclusion in the next issue of Voces Novae, the award-winning online history journal published by the student chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, Estes said.

Dawn Bonker

Dawn Bonker

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