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Union University Dept of History

Department News




Seven Students Present Papers at Phi Alpha Theta Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jan 6, 2008
Seven student members of Union’s Delta-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society presented papers at the national organization’s biennial convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 3-5, 2008. Union professors Dr. Keith Bates and Dr. Stephen Carls, along with Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls of the University of Tennessee at Martin, accompanied the students to the convention.

The Union Phi Alpha Theta paper presenters, along with their paper titles, were: Joshua Abbotoy, “’A Genuine German: Greek King Constantine and His Policy of Strict Neutrality as Portrayed by the American Press, 1915-1917;” Cameron Armstrong, “Prayer, Partnership, and Persecution: Southern Baptist Missions Behind the Iron Curtain, 1950-1960;” John Arnold, “Toward an Ethic of Reconciliation: Post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian Relations;” Abby Carpenter, “Idealism and Realism: Motivations of International Brigade Soldiers in the Spanish Civil War;” Nikki Henry, “How Far Did We Come?: Changes in American Perceptions of the Soviet Union After the Cuban Missile Crisis;” Mary Beth Johnson, “One People Under God: Religion and the Cold War in America During the 1950s;” and, Racheal Pressnell, “The Role of the City of Pristina in the Kosovo-Serbia Conflict.”

The faculty members who traveled with the students were also active at the convention. Dr. Bates served as a moderator/commentator for a panel entitled “Religion in the 20th Century U.S.,” and Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls did the same for a panel called “Israel in the 20th Century.” Dr. Stephen Carls attended national council and business meetings in his capacities as a council member and a chapter delegate, and he moderated and commented at two panel sessions entitled “Post-World War II Europe” and “The United States in World War II.” In addition, he presided over a “How-to Panel” named “Improving Your Chapter.”

Following the convention, faculty and students went to the top of nearby Sandia Peak, getting there by means of an aerial tramway that rises on a 2.7 mile single-span cable – the longest of its kind in the world. At the top of the peak, the group enjoyed snow, temperatures in the low 20s F, breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, and cups of hot chocolate or hot apple cider at the High Finance Restaurant.

From Sandia Peak, the Union group traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they visited museums, historic churches, and other sites. They capped their day’s activities with dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe called Pasqual’s.

The group of ten returned to Jackson from Albuquerque on January 6.


Panel moderator/commentator Dr. John Kyle Day from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and Union University panel paper presenters Cameron Armstrong, Nikki Henry, and Mary Beth Johnson get ready to begin their panel on “The Cold War.”


Members of the Union University contingent at the Phi Alpha Theta convention sit at the table closest to the camera during the Friday (January 4, 2008) luncheon.


Convention participants from Jackson, Tennessee, include (left to right) Dr. Stephen Carls, Nikki Henry, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Racheal Pressnell, Abby Carpenter, John Arnold, Dr. Keith Bates, Mary Beth Johnson, Joshua Abbotoy, and Cameron Armstrong.


John Arnold presents his paper on “Toward an Ethic of Reconciliation: Post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian Relations” for a panel called “Nazism and the Holocaust.”


Abby Carpenter delivers her paper on “Idealism and Realism: Motivations of International Brigade Soldiers in the Spanish Civil War” during a session entitled “Warfare in Modern Europe.”


Phi Alpha Theta Executive Director Dr. Graydon “Jack” Tunstall (left) recognizes Dr. Thomas Alexander for his work as the national president of the society from 2006 to 2008 at the Presidential Banquet on Friday evening, January 4.


Dr. Stephen Carls displays a Delta-Psi Chapter tee shirt during a faculty presentation on “Improving Your Chapter” on Saturday morning, January 5.


Racheal Pressnell answers a question following her paper presentation on “The Role of the City of Pristina in the Kosovo-Serbia Conflict” during a panel called “Eastern Europe in the 20th Century.”


Panel member Joshua Abbotoy, seated behind the table, listens intently to the response of a fellow panel participant during the question time at a session called “Media Responses.” Dr. Michael S. Martin of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who stands behind the podium, served as the panel moderator/commentator.


Union students (left to right) Nikki Henry, Joshua Abbotoy, John Arnold, Cameron Armstrong (standing behind John Arnold), and Mary Beth Johnson enjoy the tramway ride up to the top of Sandia Peak on Saturday afternoon, January 5.


Dr. Keith Bates (left) stands in the snow on Sandia Peak with Union students (left to right) Mary Beth Johnson, John Arnold, Joshua Abbotoy, Abby Carpenter, Racheal Pressnell, Nikki Henry, and Cameron Armstrong.


Drs. Alice-Catherine and Stephen Carls try to stay warm at the top of Sandia Peak.


Abby Carpenter (left to right), Nikki Henry, and Racheal Pressnell highlight a sign that indicates the elevation of Sandia Peak.


As this photo illustrates, people, when on the top of Sandia Peak, can enjoy beautiful views of the countryside around Albuquerque and watch skiers and snowboarders move up and down the mountain.


Nikki Henry (left) and Abby Carpenter relax atop Sandia Peak.


Dr. Keith Bates takes a photo at the main entry to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Saturday, January 5.


Members of the Union University Phi Alpha Theta contingent get ready to order their dinners at Pasqual’s Mexican restaurant in Santa Fe on January 5. They are (left to right) Dr. Stephen Carls, Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, Abby Carpenter, Racheal Pressnell, Nikki Henry, John Arnold, Joshua Abbotoy, Cameron Armstrong, Mary Beth Johnson, and Dr. Keith Bates.