Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News




Delta-Psi Chapter Delegation Attends Phi Alpha Theta Convention in Albuquerque

Jan 5, 2014

Nine people made up Union’s Delta-Psi chapter delegation at the biennial convention of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 2-5, 2014. Led by Dr. Stephen Carls, the local participants included six student paper presenters and three faculty members. All told, some 450 people made presentations at the convention, and attendees came from 135 colleges and universities. Represented schools included Baylor University, Brandeis University, California State University-Fullerton, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, New York University, Pepperdine University, Rhodes College, Siena College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Wake Forest University. Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Graydon Tunstall and his staff coordinated the highly successful event.

The Union students, along with their paper titles, were: Colby Benefield, “The American Civil War in Madison County, Tennessee;” Shelby Pace, “Three Perspectives on the Cuban Missile Crisis;” Charles Snow, “Were All Men Created Equal?: An Examination of Equality in Early America;” Heather Stricklin, “The Crockett Almanacs: Humorous Stories Turned Legendary;” Lowell Van Ness, “Why Tennesseans Fought in the American Civil War;” and Gracie Wise, “Three Visionary Women and the Emergence of Modern Children’s Literature in America.”

Two of the faculty members in the group were Union’s Dr. David Thomas and Carls, who served as panel chairs/commentators. Carls also made a panel presentation. One of Thomas’ panels focused on religious history, while the other dealt with the American Revolution. Carls presided at a panel about the Cold War. As a presenter, he dealt with chapter activities. In addition, Carls attended the society’s national council meeting on January 2 as Phi Alpha Theta vice president, and he represented Union University at the convention’s business meeting on January 4. Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, the Tom Elam Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Martin, was the group’s third faculty member.

At the convention luncheon on January 3, Mr. Carls addressed some 225 people on the subject of “Remembering World War I.” He discussed a century of Great War commemorations and remembrances, focusing on memorials, rituals, cemeteries, television documentaries, and museums. He also underscored the importance of the war’s centenary in 2014.

On January 4, Mrs. Carls and Thomas took Union’s six students to sites away from the resort. Their morning stop was Sandia Peak where most of the group took the world’s second-longest aerial tram (cable car) to the top of the mountain. Several enjoyed a hot chocolate at the High Finance Restaurant once they arrived at the summit. In the afternoon, the group visited the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History and Albuquerque’s Old Town.

The last formal event of the convention was the annual Presidential Banquet on the evening of January 4, where Mr. Carls was installed as Phi Alpha Theta’s national president. The Union group returned to Jackson on January 5.


Members of Union University's delegation sit together for dinner on January 2, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are: (starting on the front left and moving clockwise) Dr. David Thomas, Shelby Pace, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Lowell Van Ness, Charles Snow, Colby Benefield, Heather Stricklin, and Gracie Wise.


Dr. David Thomas comments on student papers during a panel called "American Revolution" on January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Student paper presenter Danielle Eyre of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is on the right.


Members of a panel titled "How to Panel: Fundraising and Chapter Activities" take time for a photo on January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are: (left to right) Dr. Graydon Tunstall (University of South Florida), Dr. Stephenie Carpenter (Murray State University), Dr. Clayton Drees (Virginia Wesleyan College), and Dr. Stephen Carls (Union University).


Attendees at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, enjoy lunch on January 3, 2014.


Phi Alpha Theta President Robert Carriker introduces luncheon speaker Stephen Carls on January 3, 2014, at the society's biennial convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Dr. Stephen Carls presents his luncheon address about "Remembering World War I" on January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Union history major Charles Snow (right) sits with fellow paper presenter Hongjin Du of Rollins College (left) and panel chair/commentator Dr. John Thomas Scott of Mercer University on January 3, 2014, for a panel on early American history at the Phi Alpha Theta convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Union history major Colby Benefield sits with fellow paper presenters Claire Yancey of St. Olaf College (left) and Gabriella Angeloni of George Washington University prior to their session on January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Union University paper presenter Shelby Pace (left) awaits the start of her panel on "Cuban and Mexican History" on January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Other panel members are: (second from left and moving right) paper presenter Emily Anderson of Wake Forest University; paper presenter Brenda Ruiz Valle of California State University-Dominguez Hills; and panel chair/commentator Erika Jackson of Colorado Mesa University.


History major Gracie Wise presents a paper on "Three Visionary Women and the Emergence of Modern Children's Literature in America" as part of a panel on women's history at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention on January 3, 2014.


Faculty and students enjoy conversing with each other as they prepare to play a game of Scrabble on the evening of January 3, 2014, at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are: (starting on the left and going clockwise) Charles Snow, Gracie Wise, Lowell Van Ness, Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, and Heather Stricklin (back to camera).


Geese fly over the Tamaya Resort, site of the Phi Alpha Theta Convention, at dawn on January 4, 2014.


Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Graydon Tunstall presides over the business meeting of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society at the Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 4, 2014.


The grounds of the Tamaya Resort, site of the 2014 Phi Alpha Theta Convention, are a feast for the eyes: they contain points of beauty and and interest everywhere one looks. This photo, taken on January 3, 2014, is illustrative of that fact.


Members of the Union University contingent at the Phi Alpha Theta convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, prepare to eat lunch on January 4, 2014. They are: (left to right) Heather Stricklin, Gracie Wise, and Dr. David Thomas.


More than 250 people attend the Presidential Banquet at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention on January 4, 2014. Most members of the Union University contingent at the convention are sitting along the left wall at the third table from the front of the room, the front being on the far end of the photo.


Members of the Union University group at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, sit together for the Presidential Banquet on January 4, 2014. They are: (starting on the right and going clockwise) Heather Stricklin, Gracie Wise, Dr. David Thomas (back to camera), Colby Benefield, Lowell Van Ness, Charles Snow, and Shelby Pace.


Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Graydon Tunstall presents an award to Dr. Stephen Carls at the Presidential Banquet on January 4, 2014, for his many years of dedicated service to the society.


Dr. Stephen Carls, holding the Phi Alpha Theta presidential spoon of authority, stands with Union students Heather Stricklin (left to right), Gracie Wise, and Shelby Pace following the Presidential Banquet on January 4, 2014 at the Phi Alpha Theta convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The members of the Union University contingent join together for a photo prior to their departure from the Tamaya Resort on the morning of January 5, 2014 to head back to Tennessee. They are: (left to right) Dr. Stephen Carls, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Shelby Pace, Heather Stricklin, Dr. David Thomas, Colby Benefield, Lowell Van Ness, Charles Snow, and Gracie Wise.