University Relations and Marketing

Contacts:
Dr. Tom Rust, Department of History, 657-2891
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269

April 20, 2011

Young historians shine at National History Day event

More than 160 middle school and high school converge on MSU Billings campus for annual contest

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — High school and middle school from across Montana received honors recently at the Montana Association of Realtors National History Day State Competition held at Montana State University Billings.

Judge and students at National History Day competitionOne hundred and sixty-two from 12 schools and the home school community competed by presenting their own original research to panels of professional historians and educators.  The medalists in each category are eligible to compete in the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day competition in June at the University of Maryland. 

Coordinated by the History Department at MSU Billings for the past three years, National History Day has seen growing interest from schools around Montana. And recently, a study shows that who participate in the program are better students.

An independent study has shown that who participate in the National History Day (NHD) educational program perform better on high-stakes tests, are better writers, more confident and capable researchers, and have a more mature perspective on current events and civic engagement than their peers, according to the first independent national evaluation of the widely used curricular program. Participants also show a greater ability to collaborate with peers, manage their time and persevere – all skills employers say are lacking in today’s workforce.

Dr. Tom Rust, an award-winning history professor at MSU Billings, has coordinated the National History Day program with support from the Montana Association of Realtors and the Montana State Historical Society. Rust puts together the regional and state-level competitions with help of some top-level college and provides support for teachers and throughout the school year.

The results for this year’s event are as follows:

Senior Paper

  • 2nd place: Lucas Ridgeway, “Stalin: A Master of Debate and Diplomacy,” Stanford. Teacher  - Jessica Dawson
  • 1st place: John Lillegard, “Red Cloud: Debate and Diplomacy on the Western Plains,” Stanford. Tacher - Jessica Dawson

Senior Individual Exhibit

  • 3rd place:  William Morgan, “The Nuremberg Trials,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 2nd place: Joseph Warren, “Brown v. Board of Education,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 1st place: Eva Krasowski, “Iran Hostage Crisis,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland

Senior Group Exhibit

  • 3rd place:  Jackson Barthel and Nick Peter, “The Balkans: Hitler’s Biggest Mistake,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 2nd place: Chase Hill, Valerie Johnson, Kaydance Benzig, “Friendship Pin-Pong,” Geyser Public Schools. Teacher - Rick Adsit
  • 1st place: Aileen Denny, Megan Faulkner, “Gandhi's Satayagraha,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland

Senior Individual Documentary

  • 1st place: Tayler Eubank, “Kyoto Protocol,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teacher - Toni Bjelland

Senior Group Documentary

  • 3rd place: Ashley Smith, Sarah Hagan, Kelsey Steffan, Ellen Hyams, “Behind Closed Doors: The Percentage Plan as Part of the Cold War,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 2nd place: Bethany LeBrun, Taylor Steubs, “Prohibition (Coalition and Demolition),” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 1st place: Kaitlyn Hammond, Cody Brown, “Voltaire vs. the Church,” Billings Central Catholic High School.  Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland

Senior Individual Performance

  • 1st place: Matthew Simpson, “The People Behind The Fence,” Lewistown, Rossfork Home School . Teacher - Lauren Simpson

Senior Group Performance

  • 1st place: Hillary Hunt, Molly Brown, Ryan Mack, Margaret Wilmouth, “Diplomacy of Terror: Robespierre's Reign,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland

Senior Individual Website

  • 2nd place: Catherine Cybulski, “The Irish Conflicts,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher - Michael Storer
  • 1st place: Natasha Leligdowicz, “Salem Witch Trials,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher - Michael Storer

Senior Group Website

  • 3rd place: Guinevere Ayers, Kaitlin Laddusaw, Jordan Everett, Megan Murphy, “America & the Holocaust,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland
  • 2nd place: Katelyn McDonald, Jasmine Talbert, Lauren Belluomini, “Successes, Failure and Consequences of Hitler and Stalin,” Geyser Public Schools. Teacher - Rick Adsit
  • 1st place: Joshua Soares, Joseph Barta, Jackie Elliott, Grant Kelly, “The Munich Agreement ,” Billings Central Catholic High School. Teachers -Shane Fairbanks and Toni Bjelland

Junior Paper

  • 3rd place: Mikalyn Strecker, “The Debate on Genetic Engineering,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher - Michael Storer
  • 2nd place: Vito Carmasi, “A Palace Meeting:  The Yalta Conference and Repercussions,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School.  Teacher – Casey Visser
  • 1st place: Derek Allison, “Vietnam,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher – Shanon Hellman

Junior Individual Exhibit

  • 3rd place: Taytum Sprenkle, “Salem Witch Trials,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher – Casey Visser
  • 2nd place: Morgan Wetz, “Music Censorship,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher - Shanon Hellman
  • 1st place: Malia Gesuale, “Hetch Hetchy: Progress vs. Preservation,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Nels Jensen

Junior Group Exhibit

  • 3rd place: Cheyenne Fisher, “Little Rock Nine,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher - Shanon  Hellman
  • 2nd place: Taylor Rittenhouse, Kallie Bradley, “Chinese Boycott in Butte, Montana,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher – Casey Visser
  • 1st place: Hannah Cooley, Lauren Phipps, “Freeman's Standoff,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher - Shanon Hellman

Junior Individual Documentary

  • 2nd place: Jory Doner, “Wanted Dead or Alive: The Debate on Corporal Punishment,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher - Michael Storer
  • 1st place: Jamison Baken, “Tuskegee Airmen,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Nels Jensen

Junior Group Documentary

  • 1st place: Dani Heser, “Montgomery Bus Boycott,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Nels Jensen

Junior Group Performance

  • 3rd place: Zach Pederson, Mathew Cornell, Taylor Haug, “The Sober, The Drunken, and The Peacemaker: Prohibition,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher – Michael Storer
  • 2nd place: Hannah Lose, Isabella Whitworth, “Renegade: A Spy Story,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Casey Visser
  • 1st place: Gretta Herbert, Rebeca Strong, Grace Otto, “The Life and Legacy of Harvey Milk,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher – Casey Visser 

Junior Individual Website

  • 3rd place:  Jamison Ehlers, “The Copper War,” Custer Public Schools. Teacher - Michael Storer
  • 2nd place: Paula-Giovanna D'Anna, “Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Casey Visser
  • 1st place: Bart Vaskey, “ The Beginning of the End: The Anglo-Zulu War and the Consequences on Black South Africans,” Geyser Public Schools. Teacher - Rick Adsit

Junior Group Website

  • 3rd place: Kayla Braden, “Abortion,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher - Shanon Hellman
  • 2nd place: Zach Voigt, Stefan Slehofer, “Vietnam War,” Glendive, Washington Middle School. Teacher - Shanon Hellman
  • 1st place: Taylor Coghlan, Parker Hendrickson, “Cold War Theory,” Billings, Lewis and Clark Middle School. Teacher - Nels Jensen.

To find out more about the program, go to www.nhd.org or http://mtnhd.weebly.com or contact Rust at 657-2891. 

PHOTO ABOVE: A judge provides pointers to Lewis and Clark Middle School students from Billings after a National History Day performance on “The Life and Legacy of Harvey Milk” held recently at MSU Billings. The students are Gretta Herbert, Rebecca Strong and Grace Otto, who won the gold medal in the Junior Group Performance category.  Providing suggestions at left is judge Charles Rust.

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