Spring 2015

Welcome Back! 

Welcome to the 2015 Spring Semester at Kean University. The Department of History faculty and staff are excited to see familiar faces and to meet new majors, possible majors, and all of you who enjoy history. We have an exciting lineup of speakers, events and activities planned for the upcoming year and we hope you will join us. 

The Department of History is proud of our reputation, on campus and beyond, as one of the most active and engaged at Kean University. Whether it is showcasing student research at Liberty Hall Museum or the University archives; leading students on tours of historic sites around the region; or working with students individually to help you improve your writing and critical thinking; we are always eager to share our passion for history.

To keep informed of events as well as important information about registration and examples of how history is connected to our larger society, please join our social media networks.

Twitter: @KeanHistory

Facebook: Kean University Department of HistoryDo not forget to check the website (www.kean.edu/~hist) frequently, "like" us on facebook, and follow us on Twitter @KeanHistory!

History Internships

Did you know that you can get course credit for doing an internship at museums and historical societies? Internships offer great professional and historical experience. If you are interested, contact Dr. Nicholson at cnichols@kean.edu.

Read below to see how one of your classmates, Gabriel Kissoon, spent her internship!

My name is Gabriel Kissoon and I am an Honors History major here at Kean University. This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in an internship at The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts located in Madison, NJ. The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts is conveniently stationed in the heart of Madison and resembles the ideal castle of any little girl’s dream. Inside, one would find the historical documentation of trades and skills handed down from the past to our time today.

While interning, I was able to interact with children of all ages and enhance my social, project management, and coordinating skills.Through a series of activations where children were invited to the museum, a certain kind of love filled the halls of the museum, equipped with three floors, where the deeper you go down, the more history is found! 

On one specific occasion, we channeled our inner colonial men, women, and of course children; where we all worked as a team to complete crafts that enhanced and built confidence in the children’s ability to analyze, read, and find solutions to problems through our step-by-step arts-and-crafts activation. Aside from that, I participated in giving daily tours of the museum, as well as participated in outreach programs at various schools where I was in charge of leading discussion and helping children better understand times of the past.

With a staff complete of loving and caring employees, as an intern, I was welcomed and guided all the way until my eventual employment!

Introducing The Kean University Archives And Special Collections Document of the Month!

After several years of cataloging, Kean University is proud to announce the opening of the Kean University Archives and Special Collections, a truly world-class resource for students, faculty, the community, and outside scholars. The collections include the papers of two members of Congress from New Jersey, Florence Dwyer and Robert Winthrop Kean; a collection of historic New Jersey manuscripts; the Nancy Thompson World War II collection; the University Archives; and the New Jersey Rare Book Collection. 

The collections are housed in the Nancy Thompson Library and in the Ice House Archival Facility on Liberty Hall campus. More information about the collections is available at http://archives.kean.edu/ 

To help introduce the collections to the campus community, the Center for History, Politics and Policy will compile a Document of the Month that will be sent at the end of every month to students, faculty, and staff. 

The Document of the Month for January, 2015, commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s appearance at Kean in 1961, during which he spoke passionately about the importance of nonviolence. “The first-class citizen,” he told the Kean audience, “must never resort to second-class methods … We will persuade you with words.” Archivist Erin Alghandoor has created a collage of images documenting Dr. King’s visit, including a guest book he signed.  You will receive a Kean email blast with a link to the Document of the Month.  Watch for it!

Students and faculty interested in making an appointment to view the collections should contact Ms. Alghandoor at elaghan@kean.edu.


YOU:101 Kean University's New Genealogy Club 

Every family has a unique story. Do you know yours? Shows like "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Finding Your Roots" have recently popularized genealogy. This informal seminar can get you started on thinking about your family tree, finding evidence, and making US and World History a bit more personal.

Special Topics in History: You 101 

February 9, 2015 at, 3:15pm in Room L116

For additional information contact Kean University's Archivist, Erin Alghandoor at ealghand@kean.edu

What to do with a degree in history? 

Workshop led by the Center for Career Development

Monday, February 23, 2015 from 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm 

CAS 118 

A degree is history opens a diverse network of opportunities and career choices.  Our workshop this year is intended to help you think creatively about what to do with a history degree, and think practically about how to market the skills you have honed as a history major to potential employers.  All history and history/teacher cert majors should attend.  Alumni welcome, too!  RSVP by clicking here! 

Writing Workshops

The Department of History will continue to offer writing workshops this semester. Scheduled workshops include:

“How to Take an Online Class,” Dr. Mercantini, January 29: 3:15pm, T111

“How to Write a History Paper,” Dr. Mercantini, February 5, 12:30pm, Gateway 416 Kean Ocean

“How to Read Effectively,” Dr. Nicholson, February 10, 3:15pm, T111

"How to Take an Essay Exam," Dr. Mayer, February 12, 3:15PM, T111

In the meantime, note that you can always get help with writing with the resources available on the Department of History website at

Mark your Calendars

January 29: Writing Workshop: “How to Take an Online Class,” Dr. Mercantini, 3:15, T111
February 5: Writing Workshop: “How to Write a History Paper,” Dr. Mercantini, 12:30, Gateway 416 Kean Ocean
February 9:  "You 101" Genealogy Club, Erin Alghandoor, 3:15 PM, L-116  
February 10: Writing Workshop: “How to Read Effectively,” Dr. Nicholson, 3:15, T111 
February 12: Writing Workshop: “How to Take an Essay Exam,” Dr. Mayer, 3:15, T111 
February 20: Praxis II Test-Taking Workshop, 3:30 PM, HH 320 
February 24: “What to do with a degree in history?,” 3:15 PM 
March 7: National History Day 
March 24: Writing Workshop: “How to Write a History Paper,” 3:15, T111
March 26:  Advising/Registration Meeting, 3:15 PM (Location TBA) and 6:30 PM, T111. 
April 7: MAHGS Lecture: Richard Hovannisian on the Armenian Genocide, Kean Hall 127, 7:30 PM 
April 14: MAHGS Lecture: Edwin Ganz on Kristallnacht, Townsend 111, 3:15 PM 
April 28: ORSP Research Days, Faculty
April 29: ORSP Research Days, Students
May 5: Graduating Senior Extravaganza, 3:15 PM, T111