April 22, 2019  

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National History Day in Mississippi held at Southern Miss

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The University of Southern Mississippi Department of History recently hosted students from across the state at National History Day in Mississippi on its Hattiesburg campus. The annual event is a competition among students in grades 4-12 who qualified to be part of the statewide event at their local schools. Approximately 120 students brought their year-long research projects in the form of exhibitions, papers, documentaries, performances or websites to be observed and judged by panels that included Southern Miss history professors.

Immediately following the competition, an awards ceremony to honor the winners was held in Bennett Auditorium. First and second place winners will go on to represent Mississippi in the nationwide contest of National History Day held in College Park, Md., where scholarships are given to the top winners.

“National History Day is a chance for students to learn about historical events, people, and issues, but also to do the work of real historians, by interpreting primary sources to create historical arguments. The contest also gives students the opportunity to visit the Hattiesburg campus of Southern Miss and get feedback from university historians,” event coordinator Dr. Allison Abra said. “It also enables us to showcase our department, college and university to what we hope is a new generation of Golden Eagles.”

Mississippi students have always done very well at the national competition and have been improving in recent years with the assistance of a mentor who helps expand projects that are competing at the national level.

Prizes are awarded in the junior and senior categories, as well as an overall prize for school excellence. This year, the Outstanding School in the Junior Division was Tupelo Middle School, and the Outstanding School in the Senior Division was Pass Christian High School.

“The Department of History’s annual National History Day celebration and competition is an exciting opportunity for school-age students to pursue their interest in a broad variety of historical topics, and to demonstrate the results of their research in speeches, poster boards, and video presentations,” said Dr. Maureen Ryan, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “This year, I met students who taught me about the Challenger Disaster and Women in the Jazz Age and all manner of intriguing topics. Through National History Day, university faculty-scholars reach out to the community and the next generation of academic historians.”

Winners of the junior division include: Davis Magee, Colmer Middle School, Ellie Forsyth, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Hank Yang, Armstrong Middle School, Jiggs Fulkerson, Colmer Middle School, Abigail Wiest, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Olivia Viguerie, Oak Grove Middle School, Gray Tucker, Tupelo Middle School, Alondra Reyes, Colmer Middle School, Joshua Wainwright, Armstrong Middle School, Arden Hill and Cooper King, Tupelo Middle School, Olivia Dickey, Victoria Van, Evalyn Rairez, Alyssa Brohawn and Elizabeth Fulgham, Tupelo Middle School, Haley Magee and D’Asia Williams, Trent Lott Academy.

Winners of the senior division include: Alijah Farris, Pass Christian High School, Taylor Dedeaux, Pass Christian High School, Alejandra Rodriguez, Pass Christian High School, Alyssa Reid, Pass Christian High School, Alexis Pellegrin, Pass Christian High School, Rachel Bobo, Mississippi School of Math and Science, Jalyn Anderson, Pass Christian High School, Madison Thornton, Forrest County Agricultural High School, Amber Gantt, Pascagoula High School, Jazmine Davis, Pascagoula High School, Gabrielle Humber, Gautier High School, Eimhear Davis, Magnolia State Home School Academy, Alexis Walton, Pascagoula High School, Kenzie Berger, Pass Christian High School, Jessica Salaun, Pass Christian High School. Heather Bouse, Rosa Bercerril, Lam Nguyen, Jasmine Shepard and Chelsa Boone, Cleveland High School, Omega Davis and Janay Rose, Pascagoula High School, Nya Laurie and Grace Gueva, Pass Christian High School, Makenzie Sanabrial and Trevor Perry, Pascagoula High School, Jeanine Robinson and Darea Salters, Pascagoula High School, Luc Jackson and Kelsey Carver, Pass Christian High School, CiCi Zhang and James Travis, Starkville High School, Margot Bullock and Grace Lawing, Pass Christian High School, Han Nguyen and Tristan Tran, Pass Christian High School, Aaliyah Loper and Acacica Golson, Pascagoula High School.

A photo gallery of National History Day at Southern Miss can be found at http://artsandlettersnow.usm.edu/history-day-2016.html.