USD History Conference Prizes go to Six Regional College Students

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Six undergraduate history students from the University of South Dakota and other colleges received awards during the 51st annual Student History Conference held recently on the USD campus.

Forty-two graduate and undergraduate students from nine regional colleges and universities presented or commented on papers. The winning authors earned certificates and book awards, courtesy of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history.

The prize-winning students and their papers:

  • Cole Bockelmann, University of South Dakota, “The Red Scare from a Red State: Congressman Karl Mundt’s Role in Shaping Anti-Communist Cold War Policy”;
  • Brittany Cleveland, Augustana University, “The Women We Know Less Well: Mary C.W. Dennett and the American Birth Control Movement 1890-1922”;
  • Margaret Connors, Creighton University, “Hutu Power: Ethnic Nationalism and the Rwandan Genocide”;
  • Simone Hussussain, Creighton University, “The Decline of France: The Nostalgic Nationalism of the Front National”;
  • Sarah Mackeben, University of South Dakota, “The Black Death and Fourteenth-Century Warfare”;
  • Sara Owens, University of South Dakota, “The Great Potato Famine in Ireland: Who Should Hold the Blame?”

Professor Timothy Brennan, Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities, Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature and English at the University of Minnesota, delivered the opening lecture, "Future Interrupted: The Subjunctive Nationalism of M. N. Roy." Professor L Stephanie Cobb, George and Sallie Cutchin Camp Professor of Bible at the University of Richmond, delivered the closing address, "Funny Martyrs: Examining the Function of Humor in Early Christian Martyr Texts.”

The USD history department and local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta sponsored the conference.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News