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Message from the Chair

On Friday, June 10, 2022, History faculty and students as well as their loved ones met in person for the department’s Awards Ceremony and Celebration of the Class of 2022. After not being able to host such an end-of-the-year event for three years, it was truly wonderful to honor our history majors and minors and to be in community with each other. As this newsletter will detail, many of our students won departmental prizes for their excellent papers. At the event, other history student accomplishments were also noted, including but not limited to this year’s group of students graduating with Honors in History and the publication of another fabulous version of Historical Perspectives, the department’s award-winning undergraduate research journal. The awards ceremony and celebration of the senior class was too time-limited to recognize all the other ways that our history students excel and contribute to the world around them – as performers, creative fiction writers, journalists, athletes, artists, compassionate and generous people, and so much more. Although there were no plaques or certificates for the following, all seniors were also recognized for these important prizes:

  1. For Surviving – Covid-19 and all of its variants for the academic year, 2021-2022, and the temporary renewal of online learning in January 2022 and zooming from home;
  2. For Perseverance – that is, for managing the joy as well as the anxiety and stress of returning to campus and handling classroom and social situations after quarantining and being in isolation;
  3. For Strength – in navigating the mental health challenges that they and/or their friends confronted; and
  4. For Becoming Historians – and developing a “historical eye” and the skills of a historian. As I mentioned to the seniors, it was now their job to explain to others that learning about the nuances of human behavior and events in the past – and becoming familiar with other peoples, cultures, economies, institutions, and ideas from different temporal landscapes – can help us to better understand not only the past, but also the present and the possibilities of our future.

A huge congratulations to the class of 2022!

I wish you all the very best,

Amy E. Randall, Professor and Department Chair, History Department, and Associate Director, Center for the Arts and Humanities

Faculty News
Amy Randall (History Department)

Spring 2022 Updates

See what our faculty have been up to. 

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Art Liebscher


Associate Professor, Art Liebscher, S.J., has announced his retirement from the History Department and the President of the University has conferred upon him the prestigious title of Professor Emeritus.

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Tim O'Keefe

In Memorium

We are sad to announce that Professor Emeritus Tim O’Keefe passed away on June 10.

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Student News
History club event with students in seats

History Club

Despite the spring spike in Covid cases, the History Club continued to take advantage of the long awaited return to in-person learning by hosting 5 events that gave students the opportunity to gather outside of class for history-related activities.

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Phi Alpha Theta logo

Phi Alpha Theta

The Lambda Upsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta at Santa Clara University welcomed 11 new members in 2022. We extend a warm welcome and congratulations to: Julia Piderit Kovatch, Allister Lee, William Hall Mockapetris, Gage Christopher Peters, Nicolas Agustin Sanchez, Sophia Kalena Sanico, Derek Schmitz, Taylor Smith, Ariana Noubari Tabrizi, Lucille Rose Wilson, and Katherine Wright.


NEW - Student Summer Research Stipend

The department is pleased to have awarded eight stipends to rising senior history majors and minors to assist them in conducting preliminary research for their senior thesis projects. The stipends can be used to travel to archives and libraries as well as purchase resources and materials pertinent to their research.


NEW - History Department Summer Internship Program

The Department of History is pleased to announce the inaugural History Summer Internship Program. The summer internship program is designed for history majors to gain meaningful experience working with local cultural and historical organizations. Our goal is to expose students to a variety of career paths where their training can be of value. This summer 3 SCU student interns will fill various roles in support of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA). CHSA is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. Interns will be paid for working 25 hours a week for 8 weeks, starting July 5.


Digital Humanities Showcase

The Department of History had three digital history projects included in the Digital Humanities Showcase in May. Featured projects include:

Cold War Project: Nicola Coates, Sean Nguyen, and Andrew Yuan
California History: Derek Schmitz, Jashan Keeley, and Rania Ansari
Mexican Immigration: Daniel Longaker and Harry Culhane


Library Undergraduate Research Award

History majors Sydney Shead and Sophie Wink were co-winners of this prestigious, annual award.

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Honors in History

The faculty of the Department of History recognizes the following students for distinguished academic performance and scholarship, including completing a senior thesis and maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0, thus achieving the distinction of Honors in History upon graduation with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Congratulations to Jack Fry, Natalie Henriquez, Claire Murphy, Sydney Shead, Katrina Snyder, Sophia Stechschulte, Lili Tavlan, and Sophie Wink.


Student Awards

McPhee Prize is an annual award, established in 2007 through the generosity of Lulu and John McPhee, given to a History Major or Minor whose sustained achievement in history includes writing the most outstanding paper in a senior seminar. This year the department awarded two winners:

  Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy for “A Lost Generation of Women: The Female Perpetrators that Propelled the Nazi Regime.”

  Sophia Stechschulte

Sofia Stechschulte for “The Banality of Economic Evil: Gender & Economics in the Rwandan Genocide.”


The Redwood Prize, established in 1908 by the executive committee of The Redwood, is given to the student who writes the best essay on a historical subject. Rob Wohl was named the 2021-2022 winner of the Redwood prize for his essay: “The Greek Caesars: Byzantium and the Roman Tradition.”


The Giacomini Prize is awarded to a history major or minor for the best researched paper based on primary sources. This year’s prize went to Claire Murphy for her paper, “The Race for Acceptance: Female Marathon Runners’ Fight for Global Equality and Inclusion.”


Last, but certainly not least, the Frederick J. Mehl Prize, established in 1993 by the History Department in memory of friend and benefactor Frederick J. Mehl, is given to the senior whose exemplary record in history includes writing the best senior thesis. In 2021-2022, the Mehl Prize went to two students, Sydney Shead for “`Granny’ Midwife to Nurse-Midwife: The Decline of Southern Black Midwifery in the 20th Century,” and Sophie Wink for “Behind the Brick Walls: The Gendered Implications of Eugenic Sterilization in the State of Maine.”

Alumni Corner
Michaela Scanlon

Michaela Scanlon '16

Michaela received her doctorate in occupational therapy.

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College of Arts and Sciences

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