Young Historians Conference

YHC Winners

The Challenge Program wishes to thank all students who submitted papers. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Professor Jennifer Kerns and the five PSU History graduate students; Alexandra Ibarra, Neil Lee, James Masnov, Johanna Murphy and Liza Schade for all their work reading and assessing the submitted papers.

First Place

Abigail Schipper  - St Mary's Academy
Religious Motivations Can Only Get You So Far: The Impacts and Limitations of Lutheran Educational Reforms

Second Place

Maggie Stanton - St Mary's Academy
Paradoxical Feminism: Attempts at Gender Equality in the French Revolution

Third Place

Jason Grossman-Ferris - Grant High School
The Power of a Prince: Machiavelli, Devotion, and the Secularization of Western Politics

To read Young Historians’ contributions from this and previous years, visit the PDXScholar website at:

The Young Historians Conference brings together PSU’s History Department and area high schools that participate in PSU’s concurrent enrollment history classes, including courses in American History, Western Civilization, and World History.  Every year, a major assignment in these classes is a history research paper. Concurrent enrollment instructors select the best of these for the student authors to submit to the History Department for presentation consideration. A lead faculty member in the Department works with a Jury of History graduate students to assess the submissions and choose up to 30 papers for presentation.

The conference is organized into concurrent sessions of an hour and 15 minutes each, by themes determined by the Jury and lead faculty member. Each session has at least three presenters who have approximately 10 minutes to present their paper. The audience is made up of their classmates and a faculty member from the History Department moderates. At the end of the presentations, the Faculty Moderator leads a discussion.

The lunch program includes a short talk by an Historian, as well as awards given for the best paper and an honorary mention. Students are encouraged to submit their work to PDXScholar, PSU’s online repository of scholarly works. To view information about PDXScholar's Challenge readership information and number of downloads, click here.

This program has far reaching benefits:

It involves the majority of the History Department in the concurrent enrollment program, helping build the collegial partnership among instructors and faculty.

It promotes class visits to campus to learn about library resources and then apply those to research.

It provides our Challenge Program students with an authentic college experience, culturally and academically and builds their identity as a PSU student. 

It promotes awareness of Challenge Program in the community as well as inside PSU