OC History Students Win National Award For 15th Straight Year

OC’s history honor society was honored as a Best Chapter in the nation among smaller universities for the 15th consecutive year and 16th time overall.

“We continue to be incredibly proud of our students’ outstanding performance in chapter activities,” said John Maple, the group’s sponsor and chair of the department of history and political science. “The students truly earned this excellent achievement.”

OC’s chapter is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors in the United States. The society hosts regional and national conferences in which more than 350,000 students from 860 chapters compete. The OC chapter, known as Tau Sigma, competed against other universities that had won five or more Best Chapter awards, and that have up to 3,000 students. The latter category has more schools competing against each other than any other Phi Alpha Theta division. The chapter engages in a number of activities for which it was recognized as a best chapter.

Five Tau Sigma members presented their scholarship at the Oklahoma Regional Conference and one took third place in the European History—Undergraduate category. Six students read papers at the National Conference in San Diego. According to Maple, president Emily Stites, vice president Kevin Anders, secretary/treasurer Ben Peterson and historians Leah Long and Rachel Helton provided excellent leadership.

Tau Sigma also entered volume 18 of the Oklahoma Christian University Journal of Historical Studies in the Phi Alpha Theta’s Nash History Journal competition. This year’s winners have not been announced, but the chapter placed third just three years ago.

“With Admissions contributing funds to help cover the costs, editor Kevin Anders was able to use student scholarship to produce an excellent journal,” Maple said. “Eight articles and a book review fill up the 141 pages.”

In addition, Tau Sigma also helps host History Day, an annual academic competition for 6th-12th graders on the OC campus.

The Best Chapter honor also comes with a $250 stipend.

“By winning this competition so many times, our history students have earned $4,000 to help fund library purchases here at Oklahoma Christian,” said Maple.