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Beyond the Classroom

History Collage

Beyond the Classroom is a compilation of materials and sources gathered by professors and students in the History department. This information is intended to aid the students in finding extracurricular activities, internships, conferences and other department information easily. In this section of the website you will also find personal stories of former and current History students about their participation in numerous activities linked to the department. BTC is intended to complement the excellent classroom experience provided by Augustana's outstanding professors, and hopefully will inspire the student to seek out new adventures in a broader setting. 

Study Abroad    Student Opportunities    What's up with the Professors    F.Y.I.
Alumni Clubs Funds Careers in History

 Study Abroad

Amanda and Penguin at the Magalhaes family farm in Maceio
Amanda and Penguin at the Magalhães family farm in Maceio, Brazil

Amanda Beveroth, Brazil 2012
My study abroad experience in Brazil was extremely rewarding both on an education and personal level. During my time in Brazil, I was able to see and experience first-hand places, attitudes, and historical traditions that I had spent time researching and writing about. Brazil term gave me the opportunity to move beyond the classroom and fully immerse myself in my major. I built relationships with Brazilians, who explained Brazilian history from their own perspective. The close relationship I formed with my host family enabled me to participate in Brazilian traditions from daily activities, such as eating together, to religious traditions, such as the Yemenja festival.

In addition, my time in Brazil enabled me to explore my vocation. From my experience I discovered an interest in law, which I believe will allow me to utilize the tools and interests that I have developed from my history major. My time in Brazil also helped me to develop life skills, such as the ability to adjust and thrive in unfamiliar situations that are outside of my normal routine. I learned to be more accepting of different cultures and attitudes from my experience with my host family, who welcomed me into their home and made me feel like a member of the family. My overall experience taught me that by challenging your personal perceptions about culture you gain greater insight into yourself and become a more understanding and compassionate person in the process.

History Students in Brazil
Front Row: Magaret Lewis, Patrick Howell, Back Row: Amanda Beveroth, Professor Molly Todd, Konnor Pemberton,and Michael Rodgers

Margaret Lewis, Brazil 2012     Brazil provided a variety of opportunities for me as a History major. The first was that I was able to take a history class with an Augustana professor, allowing me to directly apply what I learned in Augustana classes to my daily experiences. I was able to visit a new country and encounter a new culture while getting college credit, without being fluent in the language, which opened up new opportunities to learn. Seeing the sites that applied directly to class was another great opportunity. We visited the Valongo wharf, an archaeological site that was previously a port where African slaves were traded and as a class was able to look at artifacts and find out more about the history behind the slave trade in Brazil. On a daily basis we were able to see the legacy of the slave trade through the prominence of the Afro-Brazilian culture. By knowing Brazil's history we were able to better understand Brazil today. We also visited Palmares, the site created by slaves who ran away and formed their own free community. The site demonstrated the resilience of the Afro-Brazilian people and helped to reiterate their presence within Brazil. Each day as a history major I was able to make connections in the way the past was impacting Brazil today. Living in Brazil and experiencing daily life helped me to ask more questions and make broader connections locally, nationally, and internationally between history, politics, cultures, and economics.

Andrew Shaffer in front of Casa Rosada with friends.

Andrew in front of Casa Rosada (Argentina's "White House") with

 Andrew Shaffer, 2011     Argentina Research Experience
In my second term at Augie I took a history class that exposed me to the modern realities in Latin America for the first time. This class, taught by Dr. Todd, piqued my interest in the region and in Argentina specifically. Through conversations with Dr. Todd and others, I learned that my interest didn't have to end once the class finished, and we set about making a plan to get me to Argentina to do my own research. A few months later, with the help of funds from the Freistat Center for World Peace and an Augie Choice grant, I was on the ground in Argentina, taking Spanish classes and performing my very own research. While I was there I toured some of the most historically important areas of Buenos Aires, participated in a protest for marriage equality, became mostly fluent in Spanish and made the first inroads into research that I am continuing now in my graduate study.

Angela in Otavalo, Ecuador

Angela Corsa, 2010
     Ecuador Research Experience During my third year at Augustana, I was encouraged to apply to receive funding for my senior research project. Because of the support of professors in the of professors in the Spanish and History departments, I won the Summer Research Grant and returned alone to Otavalo, Ecuador, which I had visited the previous summer during a study abroad program through the Spanish Department. There, besides learning firsthand about my topic, I became more self-reliant and confident in my ability to speak Spanish. I also developed friendships with many of the indigenous people in the area and still maintain contact with them.

As a result of my field research experience and my membership in Phi Alpha Theta on campus, I was also able to participate in both the Phi Alpha Theta conference in San Diego and the North Central Council of Latin Americanists (NCCLA) conference which was held at the Augustana campus. For the San Diego conference, I was also lucky in that the conference was being held near to another conference for the American Historical Association, and I was able to visit that as well. Each of those events allowed me the invaluable opportunity to discuss my ideas with others in the fields of history and Latin American Studies, as well as meet with faculty from across the country.

My time at Augustana College gave me the skills I needed for graduate school as well as the basis for my current research topic. Since graduation, I won another research grant and was able to return to Ecuador for a third time. I am currently working to finish my thesis.

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Student Opportunities

The Professors in your department are constantly receiving new and exciting internship, conference, and job postings related to the History Department.  Check the expiration date and plan ahead!  Also in this section, you will find articles Professors believe contain information pertinent to the History student. To see some of the current opportunities available to students, click here.

Augustana Summer Research Fellowship Grant

Junior, Taylor McGinnis, a Pre-Teaching History major, was awarded a Grant for $3,400 from the Augustana Summer Research Fellowship.  He will spend his Summer in Costa Rica focusing in archival work.  The main focus of his research will be on a man named William Walker and the Filibuster War he executed in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. 

Holden Village Term

Every other year, a group of Augustana students accompanied by Dr. Lendol Calder and other members of the Augustana faculty head to the Holden Village Lutheran retreat near the North Cascades National Park in Washington state. This excursion away from mainstream society has enlightened numerous Augie students. This past winter, Clair Wright was one of those students, and she had this to say about her experience:

Augie Students at Holden
Augie Studens in Holden

The second half of winter term eighteen Augustana students and three professors packed their bags, boarded a train in Chicago and

settled in for a two-day train ride across the country. The final destination: a remote Lutheran retreat center located in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State called Holden Village. I was one of these students and I had very little idea of what to expect upon arrival.

In Holden Village we would have no cell phone service, restricted internet access and limited use of technology. We were to continue taking the three classes we started on campus the first half of winter term: Environmental Ethics, History of Consumerism, and Communications: Time and Technology.

In Holden friendships were formed between people forty years apart in age or between someone with a PhD and a high school dropout - the social boundaries many of us don't realize exist in our world today were torn down and the result was a tight knit community with many unlikely friendships. Everybody had something to teach you, all you had to do was listen.

Suddenly an afternoon hike with a professor or a dance party with the village utilities manager became the norm and any social preconceptions were dissolved.  The experience of living in the Holden community has taught me life lessons that can be related to every aspect of a liberal arts education.


Romancing the Capstone: National Trends, Local Practice, and Student Motivation in the History Curriculum by Jones, Barrow, Stephens, and O'Hara, The Journal of American History, March 2012.

Decline of the West or the Rise of the Rest?  Data from 2010 Shows Rebalancing of Feild Coverage in Departments, by Robert Townsend, Perspectives on History, September 2011, pp. 34-37.

Debt by Degrees, by James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, November 21, 2011.

The Education our Economy Needs, by Norm Augustine, The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2011.

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What's Up With the Professors?

Dr. Cleveland Dr. Calder Dr. Warren Dr. Simonsen Dr. Ellis Dr. Mayer Dr. Todd

04/2014 Dr. Lendol Calder was interviewed by the British educational website Historians on Teaching. This site is devoted to enhancing the practice of teaching history, particularly in Higher Ed.  Check out the videos here.

02/14    Dr. Todd Cleveland rececntly took part in the Class Uncorked lecture series at Cool Beanz Coffeehouse in Rock Island where he discussed the history of diamond mining in Africa and asked the question "Is That Blood on Your Diamond?"

01/14     Dr. Todd Cleveland recently gave a talk entitled "Divergent Labor Regimes, Similar Outcomes: Staffing Diamond Mines with African Workers in Angola and the Gold Coast during the Interwar Period," at the invitation of Humboldt University (Berlin) at a workshop entitled Pathways into Colonial (and Postcolonial) Coercion, which was held in Accra and Ho, Ghana.  

07/13     Dr. Lendol Calder  recently had an article, "The Stories We Tell," published in The OAH Magazine of History.

03/13     Dr. Steve Warren 
was recently appointed to help with an effort by the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to increase and share knowledge about Midwestern Native American tribes with community college educators.

The project, titled "Native Americans in the Midwest: Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges," is designed to increase the community college participants' knowledge of existing research and scholarship on the history of tribes and their removal; introduce faculty to contemporary Native American cultural experiences; and facilitate a community of learning and research through course development and enhancement. To learn more, follow these links: Bridging Cultures Grant Release                                                             

The Roman Inquisition
Papal Bureaucracy

02/13     Dr. Tom Mayer has two new books out! The first is The Roman Inquisition, A Papal Bureaucracy and Its Laws in the Age of Galileo. It was recently published and is already being talked about in The New Yorker.  Follow this link to read more: 

The second book is The Trial of Galileo, 1612-1633. It provides extensive commentary about the history and issues surrounding Galileo during his battle with the Church. To learn more, follow this link:

01/13     Dr. Lendol Calder spoke at a workshop for the University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center, focusing on their theme, Flipping the Classroom. Dr. Calder's talk, named Have I Flipped?: Teaching Disciplinary Thinking Through Signature Pedagogies, pushed historians and educators towards a different kind of experience in the history classroom, and strived for them to learn how to design effective learning experiences that strays away from the usual textbook and lecture approach to teaching history.  For more information please go to

In 2012...

To see what the History professors were up to in 2012, click here.

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The Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lectureship Program

OAH Distinguished Lecturers speak around the country every year, not only visiting college campuses and addressing undergraduate and graduate student conferences but also leading teacher seminars and engaging general audiences at public events sponsored by historical societies, museums, libraries, and humanities councils.  Follow this link to find lectures happening in your area

Happenings From the Annual History Banquet

On April 16, 2013 the History department gathered for their annual banquet. The banquet was held at classical Wilson Center. Twenty plus students, professors and distinguished alumni gathered to enjoy dinner, an awards presentation, and speeches from the alumni about the course that the History Department has taken over the years. Pictured below are the award winners.

Cletus Mechior Award    O.F. Anders Award Winner    Dr. Ellis with Students    Alex Award
 Cletus Melchior Award winner Alex Mayszak

Daughter of the American Revolution Award winner Gina Balestri
Dr. David Ellis talks to history majors
Alex Vlastnik, the O.F. Ander/Outstanding History Major award winner

History Awards

Each year the professors of the History department gather to choose the individuals who represent the outstanding graduate majoring in history and the outstanding graduating senior who plans to teach history as a K-12 educator.  The two awards are as follows:

O. F. Ander Award

The O.F. Ander Award is named in honor of O. Fritiof Ander, a long-time professor of history at Augustana College. Mr. Ander was a Swedish-American immigrant who graduated from Augustana in 1927, before getting his doctorate at the University of Illinois and then returning to Augustana. He spent his entire career in the History Department, eventually serving as the department chair. In addition, he was a founder of the Augustana Historical Society and the Quad City Council for Social Studies. In 1960, he was a delegate to the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden after having been nominated by the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. For his service to Swedish history, he was made a Knight of the Order of the North Star by the King of Sweden in 1961. Professor Ander was a highly respected and well established historian who helped launch the careers of dozens of Augie grads during his three plus decades of service to the college. The O.F. Ander Award is given annually to an outstanding graduate majoring in history and honors Mr. Ander's long service to Augustana and its history students.  

Cletus Melchior Award

The Cletus Melchior Award is named for the long-time Rock Island School District social studies teacher and adjunct professor at Augustana College. Mr. Melchior taught junior and senior high for 20 years and served as the district's social studies coordinator for eight of those. In addition to that, he taught courses in Augustana's education department on Methods of Teaching Social Studies. Mr. Melchior founded the local chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the national fraternity for educators and later served as its president. Because of his love of social studies and association with Augustana, the Cletus Melchior Award is annually awarded to the outstanding graduating senior who plans to teach history as a K-12 educator.

In the words of Mr. Richard Dulaney, who knew him personally: "Cletus Melchior was my Government teacher and American History teacher at Rock Island High School in 1958-1960. He was also my Political Science teacher at Black Hawk College...later was a Political Science professor at Augustana College in Rock Island. He was the teacher who gave me the inspriation to become a teacher of Social Studies...Mr. Melchior had...'an iron fist in a velvet glove,' suggesting that he was tolerant and firm in controlling student behavior...the legacy he left was one of dedication and excellence in a profession that he loved. I am glad to know that there is a Cletus Melchior Award that is given annually to outstanding students at Augustana College".

2012 Freistat Grant Award Winners Announced

3/15/12, the 2012 Freistat Grant Awards were announced.  Two of our history professors, Dr. Cleveland and Dr. Ellis, join Drs. Tom Mayer, Molly Todd, and Steve Warren who have previously received research grants from the Center, to continue research in their area of interest. Click here to see the full grant awards listing and read Dr. Symons final letter as the William F. Freistat Professor of Studies in World Peace.

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Andrew Shaffer
Andrew Shaffer at Feria De Mataderos

Andrew Shaffer, Class of 2011 
The research that I did in Argentina in summer 2010 put me in contact with one of the professors from the University of San Francisco, an Argentine herself and a specialist in human rights and post-war memory issues. I am now at USF pursuing a master's degree in International Studies. Not only am I studying with her, I am also working as her research assistant, a coveted position that I am able to use to help my own research efforts as well. My classes have intense discussions that regularly last beyond the allotted time and continue as my fellow students and I go out for an after-class coffee or meet up later for an after-homework drink. Already I am able to see how well my professors at Augustana prepared me for grad school, by always challenging my assumptions, by encouraging lively debates in class, and by treating me more as a fellow scholar than a chore to be dealt with. Grad school is hard - it's really hard - but it would be much, much harder without the background I had at Augustana.

Caroline Sallee & Dr. Lendol Calder
Caroline Sallee &
Dr. Calder

Caroline Sallee (nee Skaggs, Augustana '02 )
Caroline is the Director of Public Policy and Economic Analysis for the Anderson Economic Group, a research and consulting firm that specializes in economics, public policy, market and industry research, and financial valuation. Her office is in downtown Chicago and she's been with the Anderson Group for 6.5 years. Before that, she was enrolled in the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, receiving a Master of Public Policy degree in 2005.

"My education at Augustana prepared me for my future career in two important ways. First, the courses I took for my history and economics majors gave me a set of concrete skills, which include critical thinking, economic reasoning, and written communication. Second, the process of aquiring these skills through the liberal arts model forced me to think about my place in society and what I wanted to do with my life both professionally and personally."

Todd Dresser
Todd Dresser

Todd Dresser (Augustana '99)

Todd is a graduate student in history at the University of Wisconsin. After earning an M.A. from the University of Chicago, Todd went to Madison to study environmental history with renowned historian William Cronon. Todd's interests focus on the environmental history of American agriculture and rural development and the historical intersections between religion and the environment. Now that he has completed his dissertation ("Nightmares of Rural America: Fearing the Future in the Transition from Country Life to the Family Farm, 1890-1960"), Todd is preparing to go on the job market. Todd is currently an adjunct instructor in American history at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

My first course at Augustana was a history class by another name, Introduction to Biblical Thought. There, Professor Haack showed us students that history is the art of story telling and he convinced me that story telling is among the most important things that people do. After that first term, I quickly changed my major from Economics to History and found professors who gave me the tools to craft historical narratives. Professor Mayer instilled in me the wonders of primary sources. Professor Symons helped me see that good history makes the past seem strange and familiar at the same time. Professor Calder impressed on me the importance - and the fun - of approaching the world with historical questions in mind: why is this the way it is; has it always been this way; why did it change? Moreover, his class in Western History opened my eyes to Environmental History, now my primary field of inquiry. The lessons I learned at Augustana prepared me well for graduate school and I try to pass them on to my students.

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Phi Alpha Theta recognizes excellence in the study of history. The Alpha Pi chapter of the society was founded at Augustana in 1946 and is among the older chapters of the national honor society which was established in 1921. To find out more about the requirements of this group, click here.

The History Club, a student-led organization, promotes the discussion of historical topics outside the classroom. Typical activities include critical movie screenings, lectures, and public debates.

If you are interested in either of these two clubs, please contact Dr. Steve Warren at ext. 7467.

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Augustana has many funding opportunities available to help finance special projects throughout a
student's college career. The items listed below are only a starting point in finding ways to fund
internships, research projects, and conference attendance.

Augie Choice

Augie Choice guarantees students the opportunity for the kinds of learning that will make them stand out when they start careers or go on to graduate school. All students receive $2,000 to support a qualifying hands-on learning experience of their choice, such as international study, a service-learning project, research or an internship. For more information please go to:

William F. Freistat Center Grant

Established in 1992, The Freistat Chair for Studies in World Peace was established by William F. Freistat,
of Piedmont, Calif., Augustana alumnus and retired Kaiser Industries executive. The Freistat Chair
supports multi-disciplinary involvement in peace studies and furthers the development of the Peace
Studies program at Augustana through research, seminars, lectures and forums. For more information please go to:

Hasselmo Prize for Academic Pursuit

Established by Dr. Nils Hasselmo, Class of 1957, in recognition of the ways in which his Augustana education both informed and transformed his life and vocational calling. Hasselmo funds are to be used to fund a yearly prize to enrich the experience of a student who has demonstrated academic excellence and who expresses intent to pursue higher education teaching and/or research as a vocation. This is not an endowed fund but the prize offers $5,000 to each recipient, which could help fund a student's research/conference travel needs. This new award has one winner per year. Students are nominated by department chairpersons for this award. For more information please go to:

Evelyn E. Nicholson Academic Venture Fund

Established by Evelyn E. Nicholson, Class of 1950, in recognition of the importance of student and faculty
research, and the College's creative, innovative and dedicated faculty. The purpose of this fund is to provide support for and encourage faculty and student research, and innovative program development that further distinguish Augustana's academic program and standing. For more information please go to:

Augustana Student Research Committee

The Augustana Student Research/Inquiry Committee has established a program to encourage and underwrite the participation of students in professional conferences. A requirement for applying for funding is that the student be a formal presenter (for example a paper, report or poster) based on a research project conducted by the student under the supervision of an Augustana faculty member.

Monies granted to a student through this program may be used for conference registration, travel and housing at the conference. Reimbursements for food and incidental expenses are not included. It is expected that this request is made for funds needed in addition to any that are available through your department. For more information please click here.

Alumni Departmental Assistantship Award 

Annually provides funding for an outstanding student to work closely on a research project with a member of the
Augustana College faculty.  Click here for more information.

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Careers in History

Why History Makes You Employable
The following articles can be helpful for picking out words and phrases describing what you learned as a history major that makes you valuable to employers. But don't just take a bullet list to interviews. Use your list of employable skills to craft a story about what you know, what you can do, and what you value.    

Rachel Maddow urges students to master the art of argument
"I look for people who have done mathematics. Philosophy. Languages. "And really," she concluded, "History is kind of the king."  

The Education Our Economy Needs; We lag in science, but students' historical illiteracy hurts our politics and our businesses.
Norm Augustine. Wall Street Journal (Online). New York, N.Y.: Sep 21, 2011. "It's not primarily the memorized facts that have current and former CEOs like me concerned. It's the other things that subjects like history impart: critical thinking, research skills, and the ability to communicate clearly and cogently."     

What do employers really want from college grads?
Boyes sounds like a lot of the employers who responded to our survey. More than half of them said they have trouble finding qualified people for job openings. They said recent grads too often don't know how to communicate effectively. And they have trouble adapting, problem solving and making decisions - things employers say they should have learned in college.    

Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major
Melissa Korn. Wall Street Journal. April 5, 2012. The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don't develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.      


Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities
Tony Golsby-Smith. Harvard Business Review. March 31, 2011. "The main thing a student needs to be taught is how to study and analyze things (including) history and philosophy."      


Transferable skills from the history major
Image of slide from a resume presentation given by the Career Center at Marshall University, derived from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) reports.    

Transferable Skills

Possible Jobs for History Majors



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