History Department Extends Scope of Stasneck History Awards
December 8, 2015
by Riya Kumar
The Stasneck History Awards were introduced in 2007 to allocate funds to students interested in focusing on oral history with their senior thesis. However, over the last year, CMC's History Department, in conjunction with the Stasneck Family, has extended the scope of the award to include archival research in addition to oral history. In 2014, six grants were awarded to CMC students. The first award is allocated solely for the study of oral history, which can be conducted as a part of a student’s senior thesis or a an independent student-led project. The grant can range from $1,000 to $2,000 based on the proposal and the student’s needs, but the amount is flexible. Past projects have been undertaken in a variety of countries; for example, a student flew to China in 2013 to investigate the local industries and their impacts.
In 2014, the History Department increased the number of grants, creating the second award focused on archival research. The award gives students the opportunity to examine a topic of interest on a deeper level with exposure to primary sources. Students engage with resources such as government documents, interviews, diaries, or speeches to enhance the depth of their research and widen their perspective on a given topic. In the past, for example, students have traveled to Africa to investigate the relationship between gems and imperialism in the continent.
Applications are open to all CMC students with an interest in further examining a topic of historical significance, though priority is given to those students who are pursuing a senior thesis in History. Research can be conducted during the summer, winter, and spring breaks depending upon the scope of the project. Applications for planned research during the summer of 2016 are due in March, and for spring 2016, in February, though the deadlines are flexible depending on the project.
Professor Arthur Rosenbaum states that the introduction of the second award is extremely beneficial because it allows students to “go beyond secondary resources and engage with issues on a deeper and exciting level.” He stresses that funds are available and that individuals who are intrigued about a certain issue in history should definitely consider applying. Such projects also provide valuable insight and experience for those interested in pursuing careers in historical research.
Special thanks to Professor Rosenbaum for providing information regarding the awards.