Two USF students have recently been recognized for the quality and exposition of their history research. Jessi Mays and Sarah Anderson both received the Center for Western Studies Student Award on the research they presented at the 50th Annual Dakota Conference—a conference that looks at issues of current significance to the Northern Plains area through a historical and cultural lens.

“My main goal as an assistant professor in the History department is to train students how to think critically, research effectively and to write beautifully,” says Dr. Stephen Jackson, a mentor to the two young scholars. “Jessi and Sarah received outside recognition that they mastered all three of these attributes, and I am so proud of them both! I hope that their example inspires other students to pursue research opportunities and do what historians do best: Give a voice to the past.”

With a passion to explore her roots, Sarah Anderson focused her research on the first generation of Norwegian immigrant farmers who settled in the Midwest.

“My research topic is very near and dear to my heart,” Anderson explains. “Similar to the tales of local Norwegian immigrant farmers in my selected time frame, my ancestors came to this country with nothing but the bare minimum of necessities and a dream that they could make a better life for the generations to follow.”

Jessi Mays focused her research on an Episcopal bishop named Bishop William Hobart Hare who came to South Dakota in the late 19th century. Intrigued by his ambiguous reputation, Mays studied the impact Hare had on the Native American boarding schools he founded and his attempts to assimilate the tribes in South Dakota.

Both Mays and Anderson’s research will be published in the event’s conference papers.

 

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