Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News




Department Celebrates History Students’ Academic Achievements at Awards Banquet

May 6, 2010

The history department celebrated the academic achievements of its majors and minors at the department’s annual awards banquet on May 6, 2010. Forty-one people attended the event that featured Professor Chris Nadaskay, professor of art at Union, as the banquet speaker. Professor Nadaskay talked about the importance of art in preserving man’s past. In addition, the department gave out its Second Annual History Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award.

Several students received department awards. Noah Arnold won the Phi Alpha Theta Scholarship Key and its companion Academic Achievement Certificate, while Cameron White was the recipient of the History Major Award. The department gave the History Minor Award to Lauren Bogdan, and Stephen Powell received the History Student Teacher Award. The second and third place winners in the Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Paper Competition also received their awards: Charles Googe won the second place award, while the three third place winners were Kate Cline, Shelby Johnson, and Cameron White. The first place winner in the research paper competition was announced at Union’s Awards Day Convocation.

The department gave its Second Annual Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award to Mrs. Teresa Luna. She had a stellar career in secondary education, where she served first as a teacher in the Crockett County school system, then at Jackson-Central-Merry High School in Jackson, and finally at Madison Academic High School in Jackson. She was a highly successful Academic Decathlon coach for many years: her Jackson-Central-Merry teams won seven state championships in a row, and while at Madison Academic High School, she led her teams to four more state championships and two national championships for small schools. Mrs. Luna received numerous recognitions for her work as a teacher, including that of USA Today First-Team All-American Teacher of the Year in 2002. Even as she continued her successful teaching career, Mrs. Luna attended the Nashville School of Law, where she graduated third in her law class of 133. Since 2007, she has worked as a full-time attorney for the Jackson firm of Spragins, Barnett & Cobb Litigation Group. While a student at Union, Mrs. Luna participated in Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the Rutledge Honorary History Club.

In recognition of Phi Alpha Theta members’ paper presentations at either the Tennessee or Alabama Phi Alpha Theta regional conferences, the department gave each of the five students involved a book and a certificate of commendation. Elizabeth Blevins presented a paper at the Tennessee conference in late March, and Noah Arnold, Kate Cline, Charles Googe, and Shelby Johnson gave papers at the Alabama conference in mid-April.

Finally, the department gave certificates of appreciation to Phi Alpha Theta President Noah Arnold and Rutledge Honorary History Club President Elizabeth Blevins for their outstanding leadership during the 2009-2010 school year.


Art Professor Chris Nadaskay presents his talk on art and history during the history department’s annual awards banquet on May 6.


Dr. Stephen Carls (left) presents Noah Arnold with the Phi Alpha Theta Scholarship Pin and its companion Academic Achievement Certificate at the awards banquet.


Cameron White (right) receives the History Major Award from Dr. Stephen Carls on May 6.


Lauren Bogdan accepts the History Minor Award from Dr. Stephen Carls at the annual awards banquet.


Dr. Judy LeForge presents the History Student Teacher Award to Stephen Powell on May 6.


Mrs. Teresa Luna accepts the history department’s Second Annual Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from Dr. Stephen Carls at the awards banquet on May 6.


Charles Googe (left) is delighted to accept the second place award from Dr. David Thomas in the Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Paper Competition at the history department awards banquet.


Kate Cline accepts congratulations from Dr. David Thomas for winning a third place award in the 2010 Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Paper Competition.


Dr. David Thomas (right) stands with Shelby Johnson who smiles after receiving a third place award in the Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Paper Competition for 2010.


Cameron White (left) poses with Dr. David Thomas after accepting a third place award in the Dr. James Alex Baggett History Research Paper Competition on May 6.


Dr. Keith Bates recognizes Elizabeth Blevins on May 6 for her paper presentation at the Tennessee Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in March.


Noah Arnold (left) receives a book and certificate of commendation from Dr. Keith Bates on May 6 for his participation in the Alabama Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in April.


Kate Cline smiles as she accepts a book and certificate of commendation from Dr. Keith Bates on May 6 for her paper presentation at the Phi Alpha Theta regional conference in Alabama.


Charles Googe (left) shows delight as he accepts his award for participation at the Phi Alpha Theta regional conference from Dr. Keith Bates.


Dr. Keith Bates presents Shelby Johnson with her award on May 6 for presenting a paper at the Alabama Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in April.


Dr. Stephen Carls recognizes Noah Arnold for his outstanding work as president of the Delta-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta during the 2009-2010 school year.


Elizabeth Blevins accepts congratulations from Dr. Terry Lindley for faithfully serving as president of the Rutledge Honorary History Club in 2009-2010.