Four History Students Win Undergraduate Research Grants

Nov 25, 2009

Four History majors, working with three different members of the History faculty, have been awarded Undergraduate Research Grants from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of History. Sarah Farha, Marlaina Haberman, Clark Ramser, and Katie Spear will all receive funds to help them complete their research, which will be featured at WIU's Undergraduate Research Day in Spring 2010.

Sarah Farha, a senior History Teacher Certification major from Quincy, is conducting her honors thesis research under the direction of Dr. Jennifer McNabb, Associate Professor of History. Ms. Farha will use her grant to travel to the Newberry Library in Chicago to examine original historical documents concerning England's Reformation of the 1520s, 1530s, and 1540s. The purpose of this portion of her thesis research is to compare the martyrdoms of Anne Askew, a Protestant, and Elizabeth Barton, a Catholic, who were both victims of the Reformation policies of King Henry VIII (1509-1547). Ms. Farha's research explores how women, who were not supposed to speak out, especially against men, challenged gender expectations in early modern England.

Marlaina Haberman, a senior History major from Beardstown, is completing her research under the direction of Dr. Timothy Roberts, Assistant Professor of History. In this independent research project, Ms. Haberman will use her grant to obtain government documents that will shed light on the wartime and postwar experiences of John Haberman, a German immigrant who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Her research will add to existing scholarship on the ways in which Germans "became American" through military service and the contributions they made to their new country through their military service.

Katie Spear, a junior History major from Byron, is also working with Dr. Roberts on her research project, which focuses on the architectural history of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. She will be filming a documentary which will consist of brief histories of each building and monument, including the U.S. Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, Mt. Vernon, and the Library of Congress, among others.

Clark Ramser, a junior History Teacher Certification major from Rock Island, is completing his research under the supervision of Dr. Greg Hall, Associate Professor of History. Mr. Ramser will use his grant to help fund his research on John P. Looney, a Rock Island gangster during the Prohibition era, and Jacob Ramser, who was part of the committee organized to investigate and end Looney's activities. Mr. Ramser's research will enrich our understanding of the Prohibition-era Midwest.

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