Month: April 2020

UConn Today Highlights Caesar Valentín ’20 (CLAS)

Caesar Valentin UConn TodayOur Department is pleased to see Caesar Valentín featured in a recent article of UConn Today. Caesar has been a wonderful addition to the Wood Hall family – serving as an impressive undergraduate student worker and graphic designer. Caesar will be graduating UConn with two majors in political science and philosophy, as well as a minor in human rights. We are happy to learn that Caesar intends to return to UConn by pursuing a joint Master’s degree in Latino Studies and Public Administration.

To read the UConn Today spotlight, please click here.

Christopher Choi ’20 Receives NSF-GRFP

The Department is pleased to share that history major, Christopher Choi ’20, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF-GRFP). Choi will be graduating this spring with dual bachelor’s degrees in history, and materials science and engineering. After UConn, he will be headed to sunny California to begin his doctoral studies in biomaterials research at Stanford. Congratulations on these outstanding academic accomplishments, Christopher!


UConn Today’s feature on Christopher is listed below. For the full article, click here.

Christopher Choi ’20 (ENG), of Storrs, is graduating with dual bachelor’s degrees in history and materials science and engineering. He has been involved in a range of research activities and labs at UConn, focusing on topics from thermoelectrics to archaeological materials. In addition to receiving the NSF-GRFP, Choi is a member of the honors program, a recipient of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund award, and was one of the student speakers at the 2018 School of Engineering Scholarship Award Ceremony. Choi has been a member of UConn Model UN for four years, serving as a committee director from fall 2017 to fall 2019, and was involved in the Engineering Ambassadors for four years, serving as the group’s president from spring 2018 to spring 2019. In the fall of 2020, he will begin his doctoral studies at Stanford, where he hopes to contribute to biomaterials research.

UConn Receives NEH Grant for Digital Public History Minor

The Department is thrilled to announce that our grant application to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a new joint undergraduate minor with Digital Media & Design in Digital Public History has been funded.  This is a planning grant for $35,000, with the aim of applying for a larger implementation grant down the road. For NEH’s announcement, please click here.

Congratulations to co-Pis Fiona Vernal and Tom Scheinfeldt for all their hard work in bringing this together.  Alongside the DMD Department Head Heather Elliot-Famularo, our Department is looking forward to the wonderful courses and undergraduate projects we can build together!

History Department UCHI 2020-21 Fellows

The History Department is proud to announce that five members of Wood Hall will take part in the UConn Humanities Institute‘s (UCHI) 2020-21 cohort of fellows. Professors Melanie Newport, Helen Rozwadowski, and Sara Silverstein will serve as UCHI Faculty Fellows. Doctoral students Nicole Breault and Shaine Scarminach will join the cohort of UCHI Graduate Dissertation Fellows. Congratulations to you all!

Melanie Newport, Assistant Professor of History, University of ConnecticutMelanie Newport

Department of History

Project Title: This is My Jail:  Reform and Mass Incarceration in Chicago and Cook County

Helen Rozwadowski, associate professor of history, UConn

Helen Rozwadowski

Department of History – Avery Point

Project Title: Science as Frontier: History Hidden in Plain Sight

Sara SilversteinSara Silverstein

Department of History & Human Rights Institute

Project Title: Toward Global Health: A History of International Collaboration


Nicole Breault, doctoral student, History Department, UConnNicole Breault

History Department – Draper Dissertation Fellow

Project Title: The Night Watch of Boston: Law and Governance in Eighteenth-Century British America

Shaine Scarminach, doctoral student, History Department, UConnShaine Scarminach

History Department

Project Title: Lost at Sea: The United States and the Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans

Matthew Guariglia Ph.D. ’19 Receives IEHS Dissertation Award

Matt Guariglia, doctoral student, History Dept, University of CTThe Department would like to congratulate Matt Guariglia for receiving the 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS)! A well-deserved honor for his excellent dissertation, titled “The American Problem: Race, Empire, and Policing in New York City, 1840-1930.” An additional congratulations to his dissertation chair, Micki McElya, and committee members Peter Baldwin and Jelani Cobb.


IEHS announcement:

This year’s IEHS Outstanding Dissertation Award goes to Matthew Guariglia, whose excellent dissertation makes visible the deep connections between the development of policing, immigration, race, and American empire. Well-researched and methodologically expansive (connecting multiple fields and disciplines), Guariglia shows how the early militarization of New York’s police force was shaped by U.S. colonial experiences in the Philippines and Cuba, and how NY officials translated imperial practices abroad into the domestic policing of immigrants and black Americans. Representing some of the exciting new directions for the study of immigration and ethnic history, Guariglia’s dissertation speaks in powerful ways to current debates about the carceral state, surveillance, and the policing of racialized communities in the United States today.

Committee: Julian Lim (Chair), Aldo Lauria, Laura Madokoro

Aimee Loiselle Ph.D. ’19 Receives OAH Lerner-Scott Prize

Aimee Loiselle, Doctoral Student, History Department, University of ConnecticutA huge congratulations to Aimee Loiselle, who just won the Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. Women’s History from the Organization of American Historians!

The OAH announcement follows below:

Aimee Loiselle, Smith College (dissertation completed at the University of Connecticut, under the direction of Micki McElya with Christopher Clark and Peter Baldwin). “Creating Norma Rae: The Erasure of Puerto Rican Needleworkers and Southern Labor Activists in a Neoliberal Icon” is a stunningly successful combination of original scholarship, compelling prose, and sophisticated argumentation. The iconic 1979 film Norma Rae, starring Sally Field as union organizer Crystal Lee Sutton, is Loiselle’s point of departure. The movie depicts Sutton, a white woman, as a courageous underdog who spearheads the unionization of southern textile workers. Analyzing the gendered, racialized, and colonial narratives embedded in the film, Loiselle shows that American popular culture defines “the working class” as white and prefers mythic tales about heroic individuals to true stories about multiracial collective action. She then highlights the work and activism of Puerto Rican needleworkers in the Northeast; these women unionized and battled to stay afloat economically during the 1970s and 1980s, as industries increasingly sought cheaper labor wherever available to compete in the global marketplace. By employing a transnational framework and a cross-disciplinary lens, Loiselle challenges the centrality of white southern mill workers in our histories and interrogates how culture shapes neoliberal political economy. Her dissertation’s contributions to the fields of labor, gender, and cultural studies make it a fitting recipient of the Lerner-Scott prize.