Regional history contest empowers future leaders

Regional history contest empowers future leaders

Posted on Friday, March 03, 2023

National History Day student presentation

Developing critically thinking and engaged citizens is a key goal of National History Day Georgia, a program that teaches integral lessons middle and high school students take with them long after graduation.

“In my career, National History Day gave me the ability to make historical connections in order to explain linguistic differences and similarities between Spanish and English,” said Katarina de Castro ’21, LC alumna and former NHD competitor, who is taking what she learned from the contest and applying it to her job as a Spanish teacher at Troup County High School.

Students from Troup County as well as Muscogee, Carroll, Coweta and Fayette, will compete in the National History Day West Georgia regional competition on Friday, March 10, at LaGrange College. This year’s event will have 220 students from 20 schools in the state.

Since 2014, LC has served as the state co-sponsor of National History Day with Georgia Humanities.

“NHD gives middle and high school students the opportunity to learn a topic in depth,” said LC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brian Peterson, who is a member of the Georgia Humanities Board of Directors. “The experience of presenting their work to others outside their school, in the presence of peers from other schools, while on a college campus, adds multiple layers to what they are doing.

“This event will help them believe that they can do this kind of research and prepare them for what lies ahead in college and beyond.”

This year will be the first regional back in-person since before the COVID pandemic.

“I am thrilled to see all the students,” said History Professor and National History Day Co-Affiliate Coordinator Dr. Kevin Shirley. “Their excitement and energy are contagious.”

Before entering the regional, students go through a selection process at their middle or high school.

“At some schools, a group of teachers will review the work and select entries to advance to regional, while in other schools, a contest is held with community judges,” Dr. Shirley said.

Regional competitors, working either individually or in a group, will present their project through one of five media:  Historical Paper, Exhibit, Performance, Documentary or Website. This year’s theme is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” 

Stan Shively, a teacher at Richards Middle School in Columbus, Georgia, said the competition is beneficial for his students.

“National History Day gives my students confidence in their ability to complete a major project,” he said. “It also encourages them to understand the importance of documented and reliable sources other than what they see on social media. NHD inspires them to continue in their pursuit of history and its significance.”

Judges from each category will advance the top three entries to the state contest on April 22 at LaGrange College.

At past National History Day regional contests, de Castro said she has had the privilege of serving as a judge and mentor.

“I was thankful to have had the experience of competing before judging because it allowed me a much more compassionate viewpoint and allowed me to give reasonable advice to students based on what I knew was possible to improve in a project,” she said. “Mentoring student presenters was equally as rewarding for me after having the perspective of a judge. I was able to reign in projects that had too broad of a topic or offer ways to expand too narrow of a topic.”

In the years since her first competition at NHD, de Castro said her passion for history has only strengthened.

“Currently, I am studying linguistic anthropology because it is fascinating to me,” she said. “National History taught me not only how to research this history but also how to pull meaningful and applicable stories from it. It's one thing to read history texts and report facts, but it's a whole other thing to take these facts of our history and humanize them for the present day.”

Dr. Shirley said he has witnessed the transformative power the program has had on the participants.

“I have watched students’ self-confidence and self-esteem increase exponentially during contest season,” he said. “They learn to believe in their abilities and in themselves.”


Campus Notes

Senior celebrates job accomplishmentStudent rings Chapel Bell
  • Sports Management and Spanish double major Kirsten Boyd ’23 recently rang the Chapel Bell after accepting a social media position at Major League Soccer headquarters in New York.
  • Political Science students Andrew Cunningham ’23, Jaydon Parrish ’23, Jake Thrailkill ’23, Ema Turner ’25, Hannah Godfrey ’23, Cooper Dolhancyk ’24 and Paul Ramsay ’24 gathered research for Dr. John Tures’Students present research project editorial “Evaluating Jimmy Carter’s presidency, with objective evidence.” For a class assignment, the students evaluated Carter’s economic record and evidence of his accomplishments using objective numbers. The article was featured in Penn Live Patriot-News, WorldNews and the LaGrange Daily News.
  • Sports Management Associate Professor Dr. Clay Bolton, freshman Parker Lovett, sophomore Michael Hasse, and sophomore Kendyl Anderson presented at the Applied Sports Management Association Conference in Birmingham last week. The students participated in a Case Study Competition against 10 other colleges and universities by creating a social media campaign surrounding a minor league baseball team. The LC students also gave an oral presentation on the importance of the life of Althea Gibson, legendary African American tennis star.
  • Philanthropy Celebration Week will kick off with a car wash hosted by the Class of 2023 on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Mike Patton Auto, 1406 Lafayette Parkway. All donations will go toward funding student scholarships.
  • The Class of 2023 also is hosting a Spirit Night event at a local restaurant as part of Philanthropy Celebration Week. Stop by The Villa (formerly Pizza Villa), 1603 Vernon Road, Suite 1200, on Thursday, March 16, between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Twenty percent of all sales during those times will go to the Class of 2023 Give Back Campaign.


Collegiate Enrichment Events

Check LC Connect for Virtual CE events and instructions

Sunday, March 5

Service Sunday

1 p.m., LaGrange College

  • The Interfraternity Council invites faculty, staff and students to assist with the cleanup of areas around campus.

Tuesday, March 7

How to be an Exchange Student in Japan

11:15 a.m., Multimedia Classroom, Lewis Library

  • Students can learn about Tokyo’s Aoyama Gakuin University, LC’s new exchange partner. Sara Mitsuyama ’25 and Shuto Yukami ’25, who are students at both institutions, will talk about what it would be like to experience a semester or academic year abroad in Japan. Information will be provided on the application process and cost and there will be time allotted for questions.

Wednesday, March 8

Campus Organizations Fair

11:15 a.m., Caswell Plaza and Pitts Dining Hall

  • Come learn about the various student groups on the Hill.

Thursday, March 9

Surviving the Shift: A Conversation with Dr. William Pickard

11 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room, Turner Hall

  • Corporate executive, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. William Pickard will share key strategies to promote entrepreneurial success.


Video of the Week

3D Journeys presents retired Art professor John Lawrence

John Lawrence served LaGrange College for 50 years, retiring in 2019 as the Callaway Professor of Art and Design and the Director of the Lamar Dodd Art Center. A world traveler, Dr. Lawrence returns to the Callaway Auditorium stage with a 3D Journeys lecture entitled "Tuscany: The Birth of the Italian Renaissance."



Men’s Basketball

Basketball semifinal game

The Panthers post-season ended with an 85-68 loss against Belhaven in the semifinal game of the Collegiate Conference of the South tournament on Friday, Feb. 24. Senior Bershard Edwards led the Panthers with 21 points, followed by junior Cooper Dolhancyk with 10 points.

Senior named to Championship team

Senior Bershard Edwards was recently selected for the conference’s All-Championship team.

Women’s Basketball

Womens semifinal basketball game

LaGrange’s hopes of securing a second post-season victory were dashed after a 75-73 loss against Piedmont in the semifinal game of the Collegiate Conference of the South tournament on Saturday, Feb. 25. Sophomore Zyhia Johnson led the Panthers with 17 points while senior Breonna Glover added 15 points and freshman Laila Battle put up 13 points.

Sophomore named to Championship team

Sophomore Zyhia Johnson was recently selected for the conference’s All-Championship team.

Men’s Lacrosse

Home game against Centenary

Last week’s loss fueled the Panthers to deliver a 30-8 victory over Centenary on Sunday, Feb. 26. With this win, LaGrange set a program record for goals in a game. The 30 goals, the last scored by sophomore Holden Samuels, would best the 29 that the 2022 squad put up on Point (29-5) on March 16.

Students earn conference honors

Sophomore Ryan Comeau and senior Jacob Jeffords were recently named USA South’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. Comeau, a two-time recipient of the award, erupted for the best week of his career as he produced 12 goals and four assists for 16 points over the course of two games. Jeffords delivered an NCAA record-setting performance over his two games this past week as he tallied 37 groundballs while going an incredible 59-of-72 at the center “X”. His defense of the center “X” was a performance that tied Southwestern’s (Texas) Hudson Bearden (4/11/21) and UMass Boston’s Jack Dobszynski (4/22/21) for the most faceoff wins at the level since the NCAA began tracking lacrosse records in 1971.


Home game against Rose Hulman

LaGrange continued its winning streak with a 3-2 and 7-5 doubleheader sweep of Rose-Hulman on Wednesday, March 1. In the first game, the Panthers produced six hits, by six different hitters, a group that would be led by freshman Isabelle Herren with her solo homerun for an RBI and run. Freshmen Abby Hefner and Katelyn Minnihan had the other RBIs with the latter delivering a double. In the second game, junior Marley Smith delivered a double, RBI and run while sophomore Abby Vanhoose added a pair of runs.

Beach Volleyball

Doubleheader game at home

After a week off, LaGrange suffered a pair of 5-0 losses to Huntingdon and Lynchburg on Friday, Feb. 24. Freshmen Morgan Martin and Alexis Childers delivered the most competitive match of the day. Taking on Huntingdon’s Eva Ellenburg and Ariel Helmick, they would just miss taking the first set 21-19 and fall 21-14 in the second. On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Panthers took a 4-1 loss and a 5-0 loss against Lynchburg and Huntingdon. Martin and Childers delivered a 21-18, 21-17 decision over Lynchburg’s Amanda Trapp and Parker Lynch for the Panthers first set victory of the season. 


Doubleheader game against Rose Hulman

LaGrange delivered a 20-3 and 14-2 doubleheader sweep of Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Panthers produced a combined 34 runs and 31 hits. Unfortunately, the team took a 6-3 loss in its third game against Rose-Hulman on Sunday, Feb. 26. The defeat did not stop the Panthers from earning a 12-3 victory against Adrian on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Junior Noah Preuer led the way for the Panthers with two RBIs, two runs and a double.

Players earn baseball conference honors

Senior Joe Ruth, junior Dalton Brooks and freshman Jackson McElvy were recently named the Collegiate Conference of the South’s Player of the Week, Pitcher of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Ruth delivered an epic week over the course of four games. In that time, he hit .476 (10-of-21) with four doubles and two homeruns, 10 RBIs, a pair of walks and 10 runs scored. Brooks put forth a lights out effort in his start in the second game against Rose-Hulman (2/25). In that one, he went six innings and rang up 12 while allowing just one walk, two hits and no earned runs. McElvy (Kennesaw, Ga.) delivered a strong week over the course of three games. In that time, he hit .550 (6-of-11) with a double, two steals, three walks, three RBIs and had five runs scored.

Men’s Tennis

Home match against MUW

The Panthers delivered a 5-0 victory against Mississippi University for Women on Saturday, Feb. 25. LaGrange swept doubles play, with freshmen Peyton Beasley and Kyle Moore earning a hard fought 9-7 decision at No. 3 to close out that portion of the match.

Senior named Player of the Week

Senior Luke Griffin was recently named the Collegiate Conference of the South’s Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. He made the most of his one outing this past week against Mississippi University for Women. In that one, he teamed with Al Robertson at No. 1 doubles and proceeded to down Sam Yarborough and Lucas Suggs by an 8-1 score.


Panther Calendar

(Please note that schedules may change due to circumstances beyond our control. Please check to confirm.)

Friday, March 3 – Beach Volleyball at Nicholls State, 2 p.m., Thibodaux, Louisiana

Friday, March 3 – Beach Volleyball vs. New Orleans, 4 p.m., Thibodaux, Louisiana

Saturday, March 4 – Beach Volleyball vs. Louisiana Monroe, 10 a.m., Thibodaux, Louisiana

Saturday, March 4 – Beach Volleyball vs. Loyola New Orleans, noon, Thibodaux, Louisiana

Saturday, March 4 – Women’s Tennis (Home) vs. Truett McConnell, 1 p.m., Greer Tennis Courts

Saturday, March 4 – Men’s Tennis (Home) vs. Truett McConnell, 1 p.m., Greer Tennis Courts

Saturday, March 4 – Baseball (Home) vs. N.C. Wesleyan, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium

Saturday, March 4 – Softball vs. Mary Baldwin (Triangle Softball Classic), 2 p.m., Raleigh, North Carolina

Saturday, March 4 – Softball vs. Randolph (Triangle Softball Classic), 4 p.m., Raleigh, North Carolina

Sunday, March 5 – Softball vs. Salem (Triangle Softball Classic), 10 a.m., Raleigh, North Carolina

Sunday, March 5 – Baseball (Home) vs. N.C. Wesleyan, noon, Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium

Sunday, March 5 – Softball vs. East Mennonite (Triangle Softball Classic), noon, Raleigh, North Carolina

Monday, March 6 – Golf at Savannah Invitational (Rounds 1 & 2), Savannah, Georgia

Monday, March 6 – Baseball (Home) vs. Wittenberg, 2 p.m., Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium

Tuesday, March 7 – Golf at Savannah Invitational (Final Round), Savannah, Georgia

Wednesday, March 8 – Women’s Beach Volleyball at Huntingdon, 6 p.m., Montgomery, Alabama

Thursday, March 9 – Softball (Home) vs. Wesleyan (Ga.), 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., LC Softball Complex


In the headlines

Category: Service, Academics

Keywords: History, Fundraiser

Press Contact

Lindy Oller

Last updated: 03/03/2023