Peru State College
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News Release

History Conference Winners Announced

The Trial of a Nation: 150 Years Since the Beginning of the Civil War


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College’s (PSC) Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society, recognized nine students for their exemplary presentations at the undergraduate history conference The Trial of a Nation: 150 Years Since the Beginning of the Civil War. The event commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first shots fired at Fort Sumter.


First prize winners in each of four categories, including paper, posters, poetry and Power Point presentations, were awarded $500. Second place winners were awarded $100. Winners are listed below along with their hometowns and the titles of their presentations.


History Conference Winners


1st Place: Caroline Keenan, Omaha, Kate Stone

2nd Place: Janet Vaher, Auburn, J. Sterling Morton



1st Place: Megan Bottcher, Talmage, Examining Civil War Photography

2nd Place: Jessica Manning, Plattsmouth, & Charlotte Wallace, Tecumseh, Recipes of the Civil War



1st Place: Amanda Pearson-VanderBroek, Nebraska City, Spring 1862

2nd Place: Brandi Edmond, Humboldt, Civil War Nursing


Power Point Presentations:

1st Place: D. J. Popham, Falls City, Contrasting Economic Lifestyles  

2nd Place: Katherine Nierman, Sterling, Habeas Corpus


The two-day interdisciplinary conference featured topics like economics, art, music, medical technology, literature, psychology and sociology, and history of the Civil War. It provided social science/history majors and other undergraduate students studying in the region an opportunity to participate in a conference event and gain experience in evaluating abstracts, writing and presenting. It also presented an opportunity for students to develop organizational and leadership skills.


PSC History Professor and Phi Alpha Theta Advisor Dr. Sara Crook said, “This conference was a wonderful opportunity for PSC students to venture into the world of public presentation of their research. It was specifically designed to solicit entries from all aspects of the Civil War, not just the historical perspective. As a result, the Phi Alpha Theta history honorary that sponsored the event was very pleased with the diversity of entries.”