It’s time to celebrate the Department of History’s good news!


Welcome our new Director of History and Social Studies Teaching, Dr. Michael Gurlea! He joins Professor Lyndsey Davis in guiding our SOST students from our classrooms into their own. 

Wendy Soltz curated an exhibit which opened at the Spertus in Chicago on Thursday, October 27 2022. Re: Generation, Over 120 years of Chicago’s JUF Federation and its Impact”. The exhibit will remain open until Thursday, November 3, 2023.

In January 2022, Abel Alves’s “The Animal Question: The Anthropocene’s Hidden Foundational Debate” was published in História, Ciências, Saúde—Manguinhos 28: suppl. 1 (December 2021): 123-140.

Richard Aquila has just published Rock and Roll in Kennedy’s America: A Cultural History of the Early 1960s with Johns Hopkins University Press. Dr. Aquila was Professor of History at Ball State University from 1982 to 2004 and more recently Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (2004-2010) and Professor of History and American Studies at Pennsylvania State University, the Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania (2004-2015). From 1998 to 2000, Richard Aquila was producer, writer and host of the weekly NPR series Rock & Roll America, recorded at Ball State’s public radio station.

Jennifer DeSilva published a new book about the sixteenth-century papal Masters of Ceremonies and how they got ahead in work and life, entitled The Office of Ceremonies and Advancement in Curial Rome, 1466-1528 (Brill, 2022).

Carolyn Malone published an article on World War I memorials created by members of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. Carolyn Malone, “Useful and Beautiful: Arts and Crafts’ Memorials of the Great War,” The Journal of William Morris Studies Vol. 24 No. 4 (2022): 31-48. This illustrated article is her first foray into the field of art history.

Jessica Reuther published an article on the history of sexual assault and its prosecution in the colony of Dahomey, modern-day Benin, in the November 2022 issue of The Journal of African History. Jessica Reuther, “Street Hawking or Street Walking in Dahomey?: Debates about Girls’ Sexual Assaults in Colonial Tribunals, 1924-1941,” The Journal of African History, November 1, 2022.

Christopher Valesey just published “Perseverance of the Eagle-Jaguar Military Ethos in Sixteenth-Century New Spain” in The Sixteenth Century Journal 52, no. 4 (Winter 2021): 977-1000. This article explores how Nahuas used eagles and jaguars to craft ideal behavior for warfare, rulership, and more generally respected qualities for public life.

Max Felker-Kantor published an article with Prof. Simon Balto on the history of police and crime in the American city for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. Simon Balto and Max Felker-Kantor, “Police and Crime in the American City, 1800–2020,Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, May 18, 2022.

  • Max Felker-Kantor published an article on the history of policing and criminalization of Latinxs in the United States for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. Max Felker-Kantor, Latinx Criminality,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, June 20, 2022.

Dr. Ronald Morris‘ project, “The Democratization of the Automobile Industry: Construction, Culture, and Presentation,” was one of only ten National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks Projects to be funded. Car culture shapes media and popular culture in America. In this project educators learn how the automobile illustrates social history of the working class, including the Great Migration, and the accompanying shadow of racism. In Summer 2023, Dr. Morris will use this funding to work with 80 K-12 teachers to develop teaching resources around this topic. The workshops also explore industrial preservation and adaptive reused to examine why place matters in our communities and how participants can help their students to look at old structures in any community across America.

Sergei Zhuk co-editored Ukraine’s Outpost: Dnipropetrovsk and the Russian-Ukrainian War, edited by Taras Kuzio, Sergei I. Zhuk, and Paul D’Anieri (Bristol, England: E-International Relations Publishing, 2022), and published a book: KGB Operations against the USA and Canada in Soviet Ukraine, 1953 – 1991 (London and New York: Routledge [Taylor & Francis] Publishing Company, 2022).

He also published three articles:

  • “Reading James Fenimore Cooper in the USSR: The American Western Frontier and Native Americans in Soviet Imagination and Cultural Practices,” in The Western in the Global Literary Imagination, Edited by Christopher Conway, Marek Paryż and David Rio (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2022), 149-163. 
  • “Inconvenient Truths: Peripheral History from the Metropolitan Perspective,” in Ireland and Ukraine: Studies in Comparative Imperial and National History, Edited by Joseph Ruane, Liudmilla Hrynevych, Stephen Velychenko (New York: ibidem Press and Columbia University Press, 2022), 269-287. 
  • “Communist Party Politics, Rockets and Komsomol Business in Soviet Dnipropetrovsk,” in Ukraine’s Outpost: Dnipropetrovsk and the Russian-Ukrainian War, edited by Taras Kuzio, Sergei I. Zhuk, and Paul D’Anieri, (Bristol, England: E-International Relations Publishing, 2022), 10-27.

At the same time, he presented a few papers:

  • “KGB Operations against the Ukrainian Diaspora in “Capitalist” America, 1953-1988” for the international conference Ukraine in North America: Diaspora Activism, Academic Initiatives (November 3-5, 2022, the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York City). 
  • The Soviet Imitators of American Indigenous Culture and the KGB, 1968-1990”/ “From Dreaming to Re-Creating the American Literary West in the USSR: James Fenimore Cooper, Thomas Mayne Reid, and KGB Operations against the Soviet Imitators of American Indigenous Tribal Culture, 1968-1990,” for The V International Conference on the American Literary West: (Un)Charted and Nomadic West(s) (the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, October 3-5, 2022).
  • Soviet Intelligence and KGB Active Measures against Slavic Studies and ‘Sovietology’ in the West, 1955 – 2022”,” for the International Conference of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), (the city of Treviso, Veneto, Italy, June 19-22, 2022).


Congratulations to Daniel Gonzales, BSU SOST Alum and current Director of Exhibitions Curation at the Indiana Historical Society, on the recent publication of Hoosier Latinos: A Century of Struggle, Service, and Success (IHS Press, 2022) with co-author Nicole Martinez-LeGrand!

Ball State’s Social Studies Teaching graduates are in the classroom! Congratulations to:

  • Maddy Hall teaching 5th Grade Social Studies at Kipp Indy Unite Elementary in Indianapolis.
  • Kaitlyn Perry teaching History, Geography and Government at Hamilton Heights High School in Arcadia, IN.
  • Alison Perry teaching 8th Grade US History at Anderson Highland Middle School.
  • Kaylea (Kyle) Domingues teaching 5th Grade Social Studies and Science at Kitley Intermediate School in Indianapolis.
  • Iyla Knapp who works as an Applied Behavior Analysis child therapist in Elkhart, IN
  • Jared Novreske teaching at Columbus North High School.
  • Uriah Howe teaching Social Studies at Northside Middle School in Muncie.
  • Draven Rasler teaching Social Studies at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.
  • Carter Hall teaching History and Government at Shelbyville High School.
  • Gaven Shultz teaching 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies at Woodside Middle School in Ft Wayne.
  • Ben Krider teaching at East Central Middle School in St. Leon, IN.
  • Sara Zimmerman teaching at Newcomb Middle School, NM.
  • Kyle Murdock accepted a position in youth activities at the Muncie YMCA.

In Summer 2022, Public History Alum, Anna Osborne, joined ‘HistoriCorps‘ Lemley Mill and Miner’s Delight Saloon Project in Wyoming’s South Pass Historic Mining Area.

Griffin Green, BSU Public History 2022, has joined the National Civilian Community Corps for 2022-23.

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer H. Tellman, BSU HIST 2012 & MA 2014, who graduated with a PhD from Louisiana State University’s Department of History.

Congratulations to Frank Lacopo, BSU HIST 2016 & MA 2018, and currently a PhD candidate at Pennsylvania State University’s History Department. Frank has won a Fulbright Grant to Italy for research in 2022-23! 

Cady Garcia’s revised HIST 470 paper about the local experience of Morgan’s Raid, has been accepted for publication in the Indiana Historical Society’s magazine, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Cady graduated in May 2022 and entered the MA in Secondary Education Program at Ball State. 

Emma Cieslik, a 2021 Public History alumna, co-wrote an article in Contemporary Jewry, with Dr. Robert Phillips of Anthropology, entitled “You’re My First Jew:’ University Student and Professor Experiences of Judaism in a Small Indiana City.”

Nicholas Miller (M.A. History, 2020) continues to pursue a Ph.D. in Multispecies History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where he is working with Professor Nigel Rothfels, among others. His article “Beasts and Behaviors: Animals in Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fables,” is forthcoming in Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History, vol. 50, no. 1. A book review, “Animal Studies and Exploration History: Amundsen’s Sledge Dogs Who Helped Discover the South Pole,” appeared in Terrae Incognitae: The Journal of the Society for the Histories of Discoveries in March 2022. He has also published “Unexpected Multispecies Entanglements at a Horse Stable” online at Edge Effects (October 6, 2022)—a graduate student digital magazine produced by the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. This last piece is available here and read more about Nicholas Miller here.

Allison Tourville (M.A. History, 2011; B.S. History and Geography, 2007) has been promoted to Director of Digital Media at Vulcan LLC, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen to oversee the Allen family’s business and philanthropic activities.

Current Students

On October 21-22, 2022, Dr. Soltz and five fabulous Public History majors (Kenny Deetz, Kathleen Donoho, Divine Holmes, Austin Kellar, Zoe Olesker) attended the mini-conference hosted by the National Council on Public History and the National Park Service at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL.

In April 2022, Lydia Waters and Jenna Pyle’s work from the Notable Women of Muncie Project on Mrs. Mary Caroline Smith (from HIST 200, Spring 2021) was presented at the Johns Hopkins University’s Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Research Symposium (virtual).

In November 2022, two History projects won prizes in the 2022 Student StoryMaps Contest, which Bracken Library held to celebrate GIS Day (November 16, 2022). Samantha Shepherd’s project from Dr. Soltz’s HIST 240 class (Spring 2022), “Heroes in Life, Honored in Death”: The Revitalization of an African American Veterans’ Cemetery, won the Individual Creator Category prize. Griffin Hamilton and Samantha Kidder’s project, The Narcotics Trade of Muncie, developed with Dr. DeSilva for the Teacher-Scholar Program (Summer 2022) won the Small Group Category prize.

In Summer 2022, Griffin Hamilton and Samantha Kidder worked with Dr. DeSilva and Ball State’s Teacher-Scholar Program to investigate how narcotics’ use and legislation impacted Gilded Age and Progressive Era Muncie. Explore their project and Muncie’s Cocaine Alley.

History majors Haley Armogida and Samantha Kidder’s reflections on historical practice have been published in Teaching History: A Journal of Methods vol. 47, no. 1 (2022). Read their contributions here:

MA students Catherine Kerton-Johnson and Brandon Whitsit had their article “Mala Vicinanza: female household-heads and proximity to sex work in sixteenth-century Florence” accepted for publication in Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme (2022). This work originated in HIST 633. Catherine graduated in Summer 2022 and has just entered the PhD in History Program at Purdue University.


Learn more here about the Good News of the past at Ball State University!