Alumni Newsletter

Welcome from the chair

Greetings! We hope these updates are a unique opportunity to strengthen the community and recognize the good work happening in our department. There are certainly so many new and exciting things happening. This newsletter is a way to keep the connection between faculty, students, alumni and the friends of the department. In 2020, we launched a revamped curriculum. In the words of our external reviewer, “this elegantly-designed curriculum provides students with content and experiential learning designed to prepare them for their post-graduate professional lives as well as to enrich their intellectual pursuits and to prepare them for public engagement.” Along with the redesign of our major and master's program, our faculty continue to innovate in the classroom by designing hands-on "history lab" classes, social annotations, and an emphasis on writing skills. We continue to revitalize our offerings with new classes such as African American History: From Slavery to Freedom; North American Indigenous Peoples; The Wars After 9/11; and Women in the Classical World, to mention only a few of the additions to our roster of classes.

Faculty at Fort Meigs 2022 cropped

Faculty and Staff at Fort Meigs Historic Site | Back row, from left: Michael Brooks, Walter Grunden, Kara Barr, Casey Stark, Benjamin Greene, Douglas Forsyth, Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa. Front row, from left: Nicki Reimer, Rebecca Mancuso, Cheryle Dong, Scott Martin, Amílcar Challú, Nicole Jackson, Andrew Schocket

The BGSU history education is paying off in careers. Our alumni are finding rewarding jobs in a range of career options - business, law, government, cultural heritage organizations, and educational institutions. Our graduates are launching productive and fulfilling careers with their history degrees. Part of our success is predicated on building internship and other opportunities in our programs. The support of alums and our partner organizations has been critical in connecting our students to rewarding opportunities. 

Our department contributes to the generation of knowledge in the profession through faculty and student publications and conference participation. But the department has also made the service of the public a cornerstone of its mission. This is reflected in our faculty's engagement in national, regional and local initiatives, as well as in hosting guest lectures (such as the recent Gary Hess Lecture, given by our distinguished alumnus Dr. Bill Allison), and the organization of the regional contest of Ohio and National History Day, an event that brings in hundreds of students to interpret history in different media and formats.

We hope this newsletter succeeds in reinforcing connections. Please do not hesitate to drop a line with your news and ideas.

Dr. Amílcar Challú

Alumni Spotlight: Interpreting Colonial America in Rhode Island

Joshua Dubbert (BA '05, MA '22) shared with us about his new position. He works as the museum assistant and walking tour coordinator at the Rhode Island Historical Society's John Brown House Museum, housed in the first mansion built in Providence, Rhode Island.

My position as museum assistant and walking tour coordinator at the John Brown House Museum allows me to engage with the public, sharing stories related to our collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society and the wonderful historic architecture of Providence, Rhode Island. I love having conversations with visitors about the complexities, challenges, and nuances related to the Colonial Period in America.

Congratulations to Joshua on this new career step!

We would love to hear more from our alumni, so if you have a story to share, email Becky Brown.


Alumni Placement

Graduates of the History Department have recently accepted positions across the nation. Here are some of the professional opportunities our Masters Degree graduates are pursuing.

  • Stephanie Bohnak - Oberlin Heritage Center, Museum Education and Tour Coordinator
  • Anthony Bolton- Andrew Jackson Hermitage, Historic Interpreter
  • John Clement, Oberlin Heritage Center, Special Projects Assistant
  • Olivia Cotterman - C.M. Russel Museum of Art in the American West, Assistant Curator
  • Joshua Dubbert- Rhode Island Historical Society, John Brown House Museum, Museum Assistant
  • Alex Gagyi - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Mission Support, Human Resources Specialist
  • Kevin Hernandez - University of Findlay, Admissions Counselor
  • Jodi Hites - Glass City Academy, Social Studies Teacher
  • Korey Kelly - Tri-Valley High School, Social Studies Teacher
  • Everett King - University of Tennessee, Ph.D. in History Program
  • Keith Lenhart - Spencerville High School, Social Studies Teacher
  • Katie Nowakowski - Fort Meigs Historic Site, Manager of Operations
  • Kyle Rable - Texas Tech University, Ph.D. in History Program
  • Brittany VonKamp, Loyola University, Ph.D. in History Program

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Cheryl X. Dong Joins the Falcon family

"I’m joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Public History at Bowling Green State University. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor of Public History and Coordinator of Public History Programs at the University of Northern Iowa. I specialize in African American history with an emphasis on memory and cultural heritage studies. My work asks questions about how African American history is interpreted to various publics and how museums, historical sites, and other institutions can foster relationships and trust with marginalized communities through the work of Public History. My book manuscript, Why Don't You Die for the People? Memory and Martyrdom in the Black Panther Party, challenges established narratives of violence and the Black Panther Party by showing how the Panthers used confrontations with law enforcement to render visible police brutality and its role in perpetuating racial inequality. At BGSU, I hope to strengthen existing partnerships with public history institutions like Fort Meigs and the Wood County Museum as well as build new ones."

Dr. Bill Allison Presents Annual Gary Hess Lecture

Each year, the Department of History hosts the Gary R. Hess Distinguished Lecture in History. We were delighted to welcome back Dr. Bill Allison (Ph.D. '95), a former student of Dr. Hess and Professor of History at Georgia Southern University.

Students, faculty, alumni, and community members attended Dr. Allison's public lecture, titled "Contested Memories: The Vietnam War 50 Years On." Dr. Allison explored the shifting nature of memory and commemoration of the War and answered numerous questions from an engaged audience.

This annual lecture was established by Dr. Hess’s former students to recognize his forty-five years of dedicated service to the department, BGSU, and the profession.

Gary Hess

Dr. Herndon Joins Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Ruth Wallis Herndon is now Professor Emerita of History at BGSU. She continues to research and write extensively in the fields of Early American History and the History of Children and Poverty. Her recent projects include coediting and contributing to an anthology of essays titled Standard of Living: Essays on Economics, History, and Religion in Honor of John E. Murray. Dr. Herndon's other recent papers include "Children from the Praying Towns: Cultural Casualties of King Philip’s War," along with "Children of Color as Boston Pauper Apprentices before and after the Revolution," and "Orson and Hitty of Westerly, Rhode Island: Rerecognizing Indigenous People in the Archives."

Her forthcoming book will be titled Children of Misfortune: Growing up Poor in Early America.


Student News

BGSU Student wins Prestigious State Scholarship

Kassandra Fager earned her B.A. in History in 2020 from BGSU and is currently in the Department of History graduate program pursuing her M.A. in History and her Public History Certificate. In the spring of 2022, she was awarded the first Ohio Preservation Council scholarship.

This award recognizes a promising future in archival management and affords valuable professional development opportunities to the recipient. Kassandra also received the 2022 Center for Archival Collections Award for Best Local History Paper. Congratulations Kassandra!

Kassandra Fager

2022 Student Scholarship and Award Winners

Each year the Department of History presents several scholarships and awards to support undergraduate and graduate students. Your contributions to named scholarships and the History Department fund make this possible!

Undergraduate Awards and Scholarships

  • Stuart R. and Florence P. Givens Scholarship - Rebecca Malzer & Margaret Schubach
  • Grover and Virginia Platt Memorial Scholarship - Braxton Howard & Milan Urbancic
  • Jo Enger Arthur Scholarship for Study Abroad - Casey Oates
  • Donna M. Neiman Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence in History - Chloe Kozal
  • Outstanding Senior Award - Alannah Graves
  • Mary Ellen Keil Scholarship - Abigail Davis, Alexandra Eckhart, Chloe Kozal, Colleen Smith, Emma Brown, Makayla Hofner, Reagan Good, and Rebecca Malzer

Graduate Awards and Scholarships

  • Lawrence Friedman Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award - Austin Van Nest
  • Outstanding Public History Project - Josh Dubbert
  • Senior Graduate Student Distinguished Research Award - Alexandra Gagyi
  • Junior Graduate Student Distinguished Research Award - Madison Stump-Smith
  • 2nd Place, Charles E. Shanklin Award for Research Excellence; 2nd Place, Shanklin Abstract Competition - Madison Stump-Smith
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award - Alexandra Gagyi
  • Outstanding Departmental Citizen Award - Stephanie Bohnak

History Society Reboots

Student organizations across campus were severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but students are now breathing new life into these groups. Interested undergraduate students at BGSU have recently relaunched the campus history club under the name Falcon History Society.

Current Society President, Graham Burkart, says the club's goal is to "create a space of enjoyment, appreciation, and discussion of all things history, for anyone interested." The club members hope to offer a variety of recreational events for majors and non-majors, including movie nights and field trips.

Corinne Gordon speaks with students at Carter Historic Farm
Corinne Gordon, Historic Farm and History Specialist, speaks with current M.A. students at Carter Historic Farm in Wood County

Connecting Current Students with Alumni

Department of History students secure competitive internships, fellowships, and career-focused positions across the region each year.

Recent graduates of both our B.A. and M.A. programs can benefit in their job search from BGSU's extensive alumni network. If your organization has an internship, job opening, or other opportunity that may be of interest to current students or recent graduates, please contact Dr. Ben Greene.

Student Research

Four Department of History graduate students and alumni were published in the Proceedings of the Ohio Academy of History, a peer reviewed journal featuring edited versions of the year's best conference papers. Congratulations to Stephanie K. Bohnak, Jacob Mach, Jared W. Miller, and Madison Stump-Smith.

Departmental faculty and graduate students look forward to connecting with alumni at the Ohio Academy of History’s 2023 Conference at Ohio Northern University, April 14-15, 2023.

Chase Fleece and Chloe Kozal, history majors, will also be presenting their research in the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, January 6-8, 2023.

Upcoming Events

Looking to connect with other history professionals? Nostalgic to visit Williams Hall? History Department Alumni are invited to these public events and professional development opportunities.

Black History Month

Terrance Wooten 

Join us for a guest lecture on February 9, 2023, presented by Dr. Terrance Wooten of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Women's History Month

Shirley Green

Join us for a guest lecture on March 28, 2023, presented by Dr. Shirley Green. She will be speaking about the history of women in the police force, with a focus on Toledo.

Teachers Workshop

Michelle Clouse

The BGSU Department of History is offering a professional development opportunity for social studies teachers focusing on the history of medicine. A full day of speakers, discussion groups, and resource sessions will feature Dr. Michelle Clouse, a historian of medicine at Ohio University, as well as BGSU faculty.

Register for the teachers workshop.

Ohio History Day

Have a Saturday to spare for aspiring historians? Ohio History Day gives Middle and High School students a chance to research an original project and present their findings. We need volunteer judges for OHD 2023, held at BGSU on March 11, 2023. Lunch provided.

Sign up to be an Ohio History Day judge.

New Courses Offered

We continue to renew our offerings with new classes such as African American History: From Slavery to Freedom, American Memory, North American Indigenous Peoples, The Wars After 9/11, and Women in the Classical World. At the graduate level, we have added courses on World War II and the History of Health and the Environment.

Coming in 2023/24

Along with students in the upcoming History of Astronomy class, Dr. Challú and Dr. Dong will be creating a History of Astronomy podcast. Stay tuned for topics like Magical Thinking, Indigenous Astronomy, and more!

Total Solar Eclipse

Bowling Green, Ohio, will present an ideal viewing spot for a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Keep an eye out for the Department of History collaborating on a slate of events with other departments at BGSU.

Giving to the BGSU Department of History

Generous donations enable the Department of History to support scholarships, research and programming that benefit students and the historical community. If you wish to make a gift, visit and search for the Department of History under "Fund Options." There are also options to donate in memory or in honor of an individual.

If you would like assistance in making your gift or learning more about the various ways to make an impact, please contact Danielle Solis, Senior Director of Development, at 419-372-3878 or

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Updated: 01/17/2023 09:21AM