By: Allie Lyncha ‘21
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - This February was a special month for the Department of History at the University of Mount Union. Three students, Karaline Conway ‘19, of Louisville, Ohio, Brianna Boehlke ’19, of Uniontown, Ohio, and Diana Kloboves ’19, of Solon, Ohio, as well as alumna Stephanie Macrinos ’18, of Warren, Ohio, were selected to present at the History Across the Humanities (HATH) Conference at Youngstown State University on the 21 and 22.
Working with Dr. Theresa Davis, assistant professor and chair of the Department of History at Mount Union, these students applied to present at the conference with more than 100 other students from peer institutions to have the opportunity to present their work, whether from the class or from prior programs.
Boehlke, a history major with minors in gender studies and adolescent/young adult education was one of the few selected.
“I presented my senior thesis paper, which focused upon hysteria in the United States during the nineteenth century,” said Boehlke. “By looking at the primary sources, I formulated the argument that the hysteria as a medical diagnosis lacked definition and was sometimes utilized as a mechanism of oppression against women in the nineteenth century. In preparing this paper and presentation, I learned a lot about the perspective and treatment of women during the nineteenth century and the history of psychology in the United States and the ways in which medical diagnoses can be manipulated. Prior to this work, I did not know a lot about the history of psychology.”
Mount Union’s liberal arts tradition encourages students to try classes outside of their major, rather than sticking to the same topic with every course. Because of this, students often explore unique opportunities that often develop into undiscovered passions. That is what happened when Kloboves, a management major and psychology minor, took a course outside of her curricular comfort zone.
“I presented this for a humanities class initially, so I had the help of the DWOC to ensure my presentation was delivered confidently and that the research paper I wrote was the best it could be,” said Kloboves. “Plus, without the encouragement from Dr. Davis, I never would’ve known about this conference or thought to present this information elsewhere.”
At the conference, Kloboves won first place in the undergraduate presentations. The award winnings were based on originality, content of research, and quality of research.
Opportunities such as these benefit all of those involved. Not only is it a great networking opportunity, but it teaches students about communication and public speaking, both of which benefits a career after graduation.
“After I graduate, I am going to work for Safeguard Properties in Valley View, Ohio where I will spend a year in Safeguard Properties’ Manager-in-Training program,” said Kloboves. “I will go through a rigorous rotation to learn the function of each department before ultimately getting a management position in the company. I had this job before the school year even started, so having the opportunity to attend HATH and present my research enhanced my public speaking skills for my career, but also gave me the chance to do something really cool in my last semester at Mount Union.”
Macrinos, a 2018 history graduate was offered a job post-graduation and is already seeing the benefit of the conference opportunity.
“I currently work as an administrative assistant at the National Packard Museum in Warren where I help produce educational material and provide visitor services,” Macrinos said. “Presenting at the HATH Conference provided the opportunity to gain more experience in research, project planning, and communication.”
Boehlke, planning on becoming a teacher, won third place in the undergraduate presentations.
“I plan on teaching high school social studies, so this was a perfect opportunity to network with historians, learn from students and experts alike, and practice presenting information to a large crowd of people,” Boehlke said. “Mount Union equipped me with the skills to effectively research and writ on complex subjects. Additionally, Mount Union has aided me in becoming a better speaker. Prior to coming to college, I was terrified of speaking in front of large groups of my peers. The abundance of opportunities that Mount Union has granted me have changed my life for the better.”
To learn more about the history major at Mount Union, visit mountunion.edu/history.