BW history fraternity hosts regional historians conference

Aspiring historians filled the CIG on March 16 and 17 as Baldwin Wallace hosted its first Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference.

Kyriakos Nalmpantis, assistant professor of European and Latin American history and Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor, said he usually looks for conferences that his students can participate in or any journals in which students can be published. After reaching out to the national headquarters, Nalmpantis said he was advised to host a regional conference at BW.

“Phi Alpha Theta tries to promote the study of history through conferences,” said Nalmpantis. “Before you publish, you go to an academic conference populated by your peers where they get to critique your work and evaluate it.”

Conferences give students the experience of interacting with professionals where they evaluate your works, he said.

“It offers undergraduate students this ability to engage with professional historians on a level playing field,” said Nalmpantis. “They get to experience a taste of what the profession is like and that’s what this society offers them.”

Also, BW students were not the only ones invited to attend. According to Nalmpantis, invitations were sent to other schools as well, with attendees from Walsh University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Otterbein and Kent State. Additionally, the head of graduate studies from Western Michigan came recruiting students to the graduate school in Western Michigan.

Senior President of Phi Alpha Theta Delta Upsilon chapter, Sam Forrey, said that conferences give aspiring historians preparation for what they will face in their careers.

“Conferences are really important if you’re going to consider history professionally,” said Forrey. “You’ll experience it throughout your professional history career. It’s a way for us to present our research, be proud of our research, and get feedback from people within our fields and outside of our specific areas of study.”

Nalmpantis said the event was organized by several faculty and staff that came together to contribute to the event’s success.

“We are lucky to have great support from the school of humanities,” he said. “Our IT people and our administration did an outstanding effort. They created a very professional website. They’ve done a great job.”