Opportunities and Activities
Students receive summer research stipends and course credit to work directly with faculty on research as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. Since 2015, students in history have worked on several public history exhibits with local historical societies to preserve history in the Wyoming Valley.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)
As part of a special Presidential Initiative--the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships-- students in History and Government have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty on dedicated research projects during the summer term. The benefits of working as a student research fellow are numerous: students gain valuable professional experience working on dedicated projects that often lead to publications and exhibits, and they receive generous financial support for the summer term.
In the summer of 2015 Dr. Black supervised the first student research team to be part of the program in the Department of History and Government. During the ten-week session, Dr. Black's students work intensively with collections from the Greater Pittston Historical Society, providing a much-needed service to the community while learning the practice of Public History and museum work.
Since then, students in the SURF program have continued to build important, collaborative relationships with members of the local and regional community. Their exhibitions have been featured in local and national media, and the program has served as a model for collaborative work at other institutions. An online showcase for this work can be found at MU Local History Projects.
Applications for the SURF program open in the fall. For more information visit the VPAA’s page for the SURF program.
Speakers and Master Classes
Each year, the History and Government Department brings important speakers to campus to enrich the learning experiences of our students. Some of these may be former government officials, some are well-known authors or scholars, others have had extraordinary experiences they share with our students. Generous funding from the Soyka Fund for the Humanities often helps to make these opportunities available for History and Government students.
Past speakers have included Frances Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush (2013), and Tim Jarvis, Environmental Scientist, Author, and Polar Explorer (2015).
In the 2015-2016 academic year, the department will host Deni Bechard, award-winning journalist and author in September 2015; and Dr. Randall Miller in November 2015, who will speak on behalf of the activist group Historians Against Slavery.
Semester in Washington, DC
Students in History and Government have the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington, DC, studying at American University and working at a government or non-profit agency in our nation's capital. The AU program, one of the oldest of its kind in the country, brings students from across the country to DC for semester or summer study each year. Students can choose from a variety of programs to study, including Journalism & New Media; American Politics; Foreign Policy; Religion, Politics, Peace & Security; Justice & Law; International Law & Organizations; and Sustainable Development. While at AU, students participate in a weekly seminar and work as interns in a DC agency. They earn valuable professional experience and course credit to transfer toward their degrees in History. Students interested in the program should talk with their advisor, and visit AU's Semester Away website.
History majors have the unique opportunity to participate in Misericordia’s Study Abroad / Study Away programs. In the past several years, MU developed several new partnerships to enhance the study away choices for our students. Students may choose to study abroad or away for a semester or summer session, and credits earned during the semester / summer away can be applied toward the Misericordia degree. Recent students in the major have traveled to Australia, Ireland, Montreal, and Washington, DC to earn course credit and valuable professional experience. More information about Misericordia’s Study Abroad / Away Programs can be found here
The History Program has been very successful in placing students in internships in the local area. Past history students have worked with the National Park Service at the Steamtown Historic Site, at the Lackawanna Coal Mine, the Anthracite Heritage Museum, Eckley Miner’s Village, Luzerne County Historical Society, the Misericordia Archives, the Greater Pittston Historical Society, the National Federation for the Blind (Baltimore, MD), and the National Archives and Records Administration (Washington, DC). Pre-Law students are required to complete two semesters of internships at a qualified law firm. Students have the opportunity for paid internships on and off-campus. Read more about our students’ internship experiences by visiting the Interns’ Corner blog. For more information on history internships, interested students should contact Dr. Black.
Students in the History Program have a variety of opportunities to work on special projects with faculty, with members of the community, and with other students. Such projects include working on exhibits locally and on campus, volunteering for history-related events, taking oral histories from members of the community, and organizing special events for the community.
Many of our students’ local history projects are featured online at MU Local History Projects.
The History Department offers several service-learning courses that give students the opportunity for experiential learning and participation in service to the larger community. These courses are intended to deepen students' understanding of ideas and themes presented in the classroom and encourage students' development as engaged citizens. Recent service-learning placements have included a range of local organizations, including the Greater Pittston Historical Society, the Scranton Anthracite Heritage Museum, the American Red Cross, the Humane Society of Lackawana County, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Kids Café, and the Peace Center.
The Misericordia University campus is beautiful, and Dallas is a peaceful community conducive to a focus on learning; in addition, the college's proximity to major east coast cities provides great opportunities for cultural enrichment. Students can have memorable experiences that bring courses alive. Trips for academic groups and clubs can make the Misericordia experience that much more special. In the past few years, history faculty and students have traveled to Philadelphia, Seneca Falls, Gettysburg, and New York City. In addition, history faculty have traveled with honors students on trips to Boston and Washington, D.C.
The Department of History and Government sponsors two student clubs: the History Club and the GLNS Club. Each year, these clubs participate in a variety of fund-raising and service projects. Service projects in the past few years have included activities such as collecting oral histories for the Back Mountain Historical Association, participating in Bowl for Kids' Sake, and judging projects at the local History Day competition. In addition to these activities, the club presents a great opportunity to get to know your fellow students, majors and non-majors alike, in an informal and welcoming atmosphere. All students, regardless of major, are invited to join these student clubs. Interested students should contact the department chair for more information.
Phi Alpha Theta
Students who meet the academic requirements will be invited to join Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Undergraduate students must complete at least 12 semester hours in History (4 courses) with a GPA of at least 3.1 in History and have a GPA of 3.4 or better overall.
Membership in the society provides opportunities for students to publish their work in the society's journal, The Historian, and to present at regional and national meetings.
The following list includes links to professional organizations, archival repositories, and other websites of interest to History Majors.
- Quaker Project in the News
- Center for Nursing History at MU
- The American Historical Association
- National Archives and Records Administration
- American Association for State and Local History
- Pennsylvania State History
- Exploring the West: Maps from Columbus to Lewis and Clark
- National Women's History Project
- The Martin Luther King, Jr Directory
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Monarchs of Britain
- Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance Culture
- This Day in History
- Organization of American Historians
- National Council on Public History
- Library of Congress
- Pennsylvania Historical Assoc.