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History Student Highlights


History Undergraduate represents the department at the Powell Undergraduate Research Week held from May 11-15, 2015. Undergraduate Research Week showcases and celebrates undergraduate research and creative projects across disciplines. Open to undergraduate students in all majors, the week provides opportunities for students to present their work to the UCLA campus community, alumni, and visitors.

Powell Undergraduate Research Week

Undergraduate History Department researchers have been awarded the following 2015 Library Prizes for Undergraduate Research.

  • Working under the supervision of Prof. Katsuya Hirano, Yiming Ha submitted the winning entry in the 2015 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (Social Sciences) for his project: “A Clash of Perceptions: Deceit in the Ming-Japan Negotiations during the Imjin War.”
  • Lucas Bensley, Magdalyn Schmall, and Neda Hefzi, guided by Prof. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, submitted the winning entry for the 2015 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (Special Collections) for the “Black Prisoners Project.”
  • Michael Stinson, who worked under the supervision of Prof. Carla Pestana. Michael's paper “A Good Death” was selected as a winning entry in the 2015 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library prize).

Nana Osei-Opare won the Charles and Sue Young Graduate Student Award for exemplary achievement

Kathryn Renton won a Mellon International Dissertation Fellowship

Emi Foulk received the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF).

On May 24, 2012 at the UCLA Faculty Center, Vincent Anderson was recognized at the UCLA Rose Gilbert Honors Programs Spring Tea reception for receiving the Andrea Rich Honors Scholarship as well as the Irving and Jean Stone Research Award. The Andrea Rich Scholarship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate History majors enrolled in the College of Letters and Science Honor Program. Irving and Jean Stone Research Award provides funding for students completing a departmental honor thesis or research project.

Vince is a Junior at UCLA, Majoring in History with a Minor in Public Affairs. His Honors Thesis is titled “Firefighters, Insurance Companies, and Underwriters: The Historical Implications of Rating Fire Departments. This project is researching the relationship between the Fire Service and various methodologies used by private industry to evaluate Fire Protection Services. Professor Mary Yeager is mentoring Vince for this research project.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in History next Spring, Vince intends to enroll in the Emergency Management Master’s Program at Long Beach State University. Graduating from Law school is another academic goal. Vocationally, he plans to progress up the ranks of a municipal fire department to the administrative level. For the second half of his career, Vince envisions himself working as counsel within the FEMA Legal Services Division.


Two UCLA History Department Ph.D. graduates have been selected for awards from the American Historical Association to be handed out at the association’s 129th Annual Meeting on January 2, 2015 in New York City. Jacob S. Dorman (2004), an assistant professor in the History and American Studies departments at the University of Kansas, is the winner of the 2014 Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora history for his book, Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions (Oxford University Press, 2013). Ernesto Chavez (1994), an associate professor of history at the University of Texas, El Paso, is honored with the Individual Equity Award, for his work in achieving “excellence in recruiting and retaining underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into the history profession.”

As described on the AHA website, the Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora history is jointly sponsored by the American Historical Association and the Association for the Study of African American Life & History. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding book in African diaspora history. The AHA Committee on Minority Historians established the prize in 1992 in memory of two early pioneers in the field, Charles H. Wesley and Rayford W. Logan. The prize is offered for a book on some aspect of the history of the dispersion, settlement and adjustment, and/or return of peoples originally from Africa. Only books of high scholarly and literary merit will be considered.

The AHA Committee of Minority Historians seeks to bestow the Equity Award upon individuals or institutions who have demonstrated an exceptional record in the recruitment and retention of students and new faculty from racial and ethnic groups under-represented within the historical professions. Deserving nominees will have records that include such achievements as mentoring, program building, fundraising initiatives, pursuing civic engagement, and enhancing department and campus culture to promote a supportive environment.