On March 30, three History Department students, Senior Hillary Jones, Senior Leif Midgorden, and Junior Charlotte Waters, participated in the University of Alabama’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity conference (URCA). The conference is provides an opportunity for undergraduates to present original research or creative activities. The most outstanding undergraduate researchers from all disciplines of the university present their work in both poster sessions and oral presentations. Each oral session offered students an opportunity to make a 20-minute presentation, followed by questions from an audience of professors and students. Panels of judges drawn from University faculty evaluated the presentations and conferred awards.
Charlotte Watters is a rising senior who has served for two years as a Peer Mentor in the department. She is also an Arts and Sciences Ambassador, and the 2017 winner of the University’s prestigious John Fraser Ramsey award. In a session that included presentations on topics from creative writing and photography to political science, Watters presented on a topic she researched extensively in HY 430 under the direction of Dr. James Mixson.
Leif Midgorden, is a graduating senior who has served the department as a Peer Mentor, recently won the Summersell Scholarship, and begin studying at the University of Alabama School of Law next semester. Leif has also worked with Students for Fair Labor on campus, and with Move-to-Amend Tuscaloosa. Leif’s undergraduate research passion has long been the study of the fall of the Roman Empire and the civilizations of early-medieval Western Europe. Under the direction of Dr. Sean Laffery in HY 430, Mr. Midgorden pursued that passion with a project entitled “An Attempt to Identify Identity and Relations Rather Than Obfuscate,” which examines relations between the Ostrogoths and a declining Roman Empire between the third and fifth centuries.
Hilary Jones, a senior, Peer Mentor, and recent winner of the Undergraduate Honors Thesis Award. The project, “Unwelcome in God’s House: White Evangelical Churches and the Limits of Racial Integration in Jackson, MS,” under the direction of Professor John Giggie, is the culmination of a year-long research effort in the Honors Thesis sequence.
Hilary Jones was awarded the first place prize, the Dr. Laura Busenlehner Award, for her oral presentation.
Congratulations to all our participants!