Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News




History Students and Faculty Attend Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Orlando, Florida

Jan 8, 2012

Seven history majors and five faculty members comprised a Union history group that traveled to Orlando, Florida, on January 3, 2012, to attend the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Biennial Convention at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista. The convention, which began with a reception that included a special visit by Mickey Mouse, ended with Phi Alpha Theta’s traditional Presidential Banquet on January 6. More than 450 people from colleges and universities across the country presented scholarly papers or served as panel chairs/commentators. National Executive Director Dr. Graydon Tunstall and his staff coordinated the convention, which was a complete success.

The seven Union students who presented papers at the convention, along with their paper titles, were: Rebekah Anderson, “Rosie the Riveter as a Worker, Wife, and Mother;” David Conway, “Is America Chasing Its Own Ghosts in Afghanistan?”; Savannah German, “Judge M. M. Neil and the History of Tennessee, 1900 to1920;” Elaura Highfield, “A Grave Assessment: The Values of the American North and South as Presented Through Post-Civil War Cemeteries;” Mary Ellen Poe, “The Desegregation of Public Schools in Jackson-Madison County, Tennessee;” Caraline Rickard, “Southern Heart and Dixie Drive: Anne Dallas Dudley, Sue Shelton White, and the Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, 1911-1920;” and Caitlin Roach, “A Voice for the Children: Florence Kelley and American Child Labor.”

The Union-related faculty members served as panel chairs and commentators. Dr. Keith Bates was responsible for two panels on Southern history, while Dr. Judy LeForge handled panels that focused on the American civil rights movement and on race relations. Dr. David Thomas oversaw two panels on religious history, and Dr. Stephen Carls led a panel on modern France and another on the American Revolutionary War and some of its French connections. Dr. Carls also chaired a faculty “How to” panel titled “Fundraising and Chapter Activities.” In addition, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, a professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin who traveled with the Union group, headed three panels that dealt with aspects of European history.

On Saturday, January 7, several group members went to Universal Studios to learn more about the world of Harry Potter, and a couple others visited Disney’s Epcot Theme Park. All twelve Union-travel participants gathered together on Saturday evening for a farewell dinner at the Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney. The group returned to Tennessee on January 8.


Attendees from Union University gather around Mickey Mouse on January 3 at the opening reception of the 2012 Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Biennial Convention in Orlando, Florida. They are: (left to right) Dr. Keith Bates, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls (history professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin), David Conway, Rebekah Anderson, Elaura Highfield, Caitlin Roach, Dr. David Thomas, Mary Ellen Poe, Dr. Stephen Carls, Caraline Rickard, Dr. Judy LeForge (partially obscured), and Savannah German.


Rebekah Anderson (left to right), Mickey Mouse, Mary Ellen Poe, and Caraline Rickard smile together on January 3 at the opening reception of the 2012 Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida.


Elaura Highfield (left to right), Mickey Mouse, Savannah German, and Caitlin Roach are all smiles at the opening reception of the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention on January 3, 2012.


Dr. Stephen Carls joins with Mickey Mouse for a photo at the opening reception of the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention on January 3, 2012, in Orlando, Florida.


Dr. Keith Bates welcomes attendees on January 4, 2012, to the panel session on "Southern History" at the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida.


History major Savannah German presents her paper titled "Judge M. M. Neil and the History of Tennessee from 1900 to 1920" at the Phi Alpha Theta convention on January 4, 2012.


Members of the Union University contingent at the Phi Alpha Theta convention share lunch together on January 4, 2012. They are: (left to right) Dr. Judy LeForge, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Dr. David Thomas, Mary Ellen Poe, Rebekah Anderson, and Caraline Rickard.


Dr. Judy LeForge makes introductory remarks as the chair/commentator for a panel session called "The Civil Rights Movement" on January 4, 2012, at the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida.


Savannah German (left to right), Rebekah Anderson, and Elaura Highfield warm their hands after eating a fish and chips dinner outside on a cold evening in Orlando, Florida, on January 4, 2012.


David Conway (front row, left to right). Caitlin Roach, and Elaura Highfield enjoy a walk in Downtown Disney on the evening of January 4, 2012. Behind them are (left to right) Rebekah Anderson, Savannah German, and Dr. Judy LeForge.


Members of the the Union University history group select desserts at Ghirardelli's in Downtown Disney on January 4, 2012. They are: (front group, starting by door, left to right) Mary Ellen Poe, Caraline Rickard, Savannah German (holding menu), Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Rebekah Anderson, and Elaura Highfield (back to camera, wearing houndstooth jacket).


National Phi Alpha Theta President Dr. Sandra Horvath-Peterson speaks during the business meeting of the society on January 5, 2012. Other members of the society's executive board listen to her comments. They are (left to right) Dr. James Ramage, Dr. Robert Carriker, and Dr. Graydon Tunstall.


Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Dr. Graydon Tunstall speaks at the society's business meeting on January 5, 2012.


Union history major David Conway presents a paper on "Is America Chasing Its own Ghosts in Afghanistan?" during a Phi Alpha Theta panel session held on January 5, 2012.


Emalee Krulish of Harding University (center) answers a question asked by Dr. Stephen Carls (left) during their paper session on "The Revolutionary War Era" at the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida, on January 5, 2012. Panel participant Gina Falaschi of Georgetown University is on the right.


Dr. David Thomas listens intently to a student paper presentation at a session called "Desegregation in U.S. Schools" during the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida, on January 6, 2012.


History major Mary Ellen Poe presents a paper on "The Desegregation of Public Schools in Jackson-Madison County, Tennessee" at the Phi Alpha Theta convention on January 6, 2012.


History major Caitlin Roach presents a paper on "A Voice for the Children: Florence Kelley and American Child Labor" during a panel session at the Phi Alpha Theta convention on January 6, 2012. On the left is Union history major and fellow panelist Rebekah Anderson and on the right is Carlye Proescholdt of St. Olaf College.


History major Rebekah Anderson answers a question about her paper on "Rosie the Riveter as a Worker, Wife, and Mother" at a January 6 panel session titled "Women in U.S. History" at the Phi Alpha Theta convention in Orlando, Florida.


History major Elaura Highfield presents a paper titled "A Grave Assessment: The Values of the American North and South as Presented Through Post-Civil War Cemeteries" at a Phi Alpha Theta panel session on January 6, 2012.


History major Caraline Rickard and panel chair Dr. Stephanie Carpenter enjoy a light moment together while Dr. Carpenter comments about Caraline's paper titled "Southern Heart and Dixie Drive: Anne Dallas Dudley, Sue Shelton White and the Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, 1911-1920." Caraline presented her paper on January 6, 2012, as part of a Phi Alpha Theta convention paper session called "Women's Suffrage Movement."


Members of the group from Union University sit together at the Presidential Banquet of the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention in Orlando, Florida, on January 6, 2012. They are: (starting at the center front left and going clockwise) David Conway, Rebekah Anderson, Mary Ellen Poe, Caraline Rickard, Dr. Judy LeForge, Dr. Keith Bates, Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Savannah German, Elaura Highfield, and Caitlin Roach.


Incoming Phi Alpha Theta president Dr. Robert Carriker accepts the Phi Alpha Theta spoon of office, the symbol of the society's presidency, from outgoing president Dr. Sandra Horvath-Peterson at the end of the society's Presidential Banquet on January 6, 2012.


Members of the Union University delegation at the Phi Alpha Theta biennial convention join together for a farewell dinner at the Rainforest Café in Orlando, Florida, on January 7, 2012. The are: (left to right) Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Savannah German, Rebekah Anderson, Elaura Highfield, Mary Ellen Poe, Caraline Rickard, Dr. Keith Bates, Dr. Judy LeForge, Dr. David Thomas, Caitlin Roach, David Conway, and Dr. Stephen Carls.