Students Present Research On Historical Events


Kenya Zarate

Troy Nessner, a senior history major, discusses his research with history professor Dr. Moore.

On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, the Department of History held a Public History Pop-Up for the university from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the downstairs foyer of the Faculty Center. Professors of the History Department, Dr. Ortega, Dr. Brown, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. Donaldson thought it would be a great project to host and teach their students a variety of ways that history can be researched and presented, as well as showing students that “history is more than just writing a traditional research paper”.

The TAMU-CC History Department’s Public History Pop-Up showcases student’s spring semester projects including oral history reports, digital archives, and artwork. (Kenya Zarate)

     There were a variety of projects dealing with different historical events. Many students did research on Mexican immigrants moving their way into America and the prices they had to pay for it. Others did their projects ranging from the history of Mexican-American Fables and Myths to the History of Environmental justice.

     Ashtyn Broom, a junior history major, created a project called A Female Dominated Home, where most of her research was done through an interview with her grandmother and the stories behind many of the successful women in her family who are of Mexican- American heritage. Broom explained “My aunt actually raised my two cousins right here, Alyson and Byron, by herself, so she’s a female dominated home. My grandmother raised her children by herself, that’s a female dominated home. My great-grandmother had a husband, but she was actually the female who dominated that home. She was the head of the household. And then my Aunt Martha never had children, but she was the head of household.”. Broom goes on to talk about how many of the women in her family showed strength and perseverance throughout generations, whether it was being a mother or going out and pursuing an education.

     Ava Constant, a junior history major, did her project on the history of Environmental Justice in 1971 in the format of a well-researched article. Constant says “The year and the topic were assigned, because part of the course with Public History is public history with environmental aspects.”. As Constant goes on to introduce others to her project, she goes on to give a brief explanation about what her project is by stating “We had to compile an archive of sources regarding environmental justice.” 

Jennifer Mahan, history major, presents her research to Lori Atkins, director of Special Collections & Archives at TAMU-CC. (Kenya Zarate)

     As students continued to give their presentations, professors from campus also took an interest in what these young researchers had discovered. Many professors from the history department also made an appearance to support those who presented.”You can do a lot of different things with the stuff you learn.” said Dr. Ortega. Professors and students learned that there are a variety of ways you can put together research to make it fun and engaging. 

While working on presenting a project in the midst of studying for finals, some students enjoyed the flexibility and amount of time they were given to put their presentations together. Dr. Ortega said “I like to give my students the option of writing a traditional research paper or doing something more creative, like creating a website or podcast.”

     The Department of History hopes that they can continue to host more events like these, and continue to watch students and faculty learn more about the variety of ways history can be researched and perceived. According to Dr. Ortega, “this is something we hope to continue doing every semester or once a year.”