UCR History Students Share Exciting New Research

This year over twenty History students, supported by twelve History faculty members, presented their research at the 2024 Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Symposium. The symposium provides an opportunity for undergraduate students from all disciplines to share their research and creative activities with the UCR community. Over two hundred undergraduate students presented their emerging and completed scholarship over Zoom, and 184 presented posters on their research. 

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Arian Ahmadi, Bailey Heilman, and Hadrian Rawlings present their posters at the Undergraduate Research Symposium


The History projects at this year’s symposium were as fascinating as they were different. Arian Ahmadi, working with Dr. Benjamin Jody, wrote about his family’s town in Iran during WWI that was invaded by the Russian army; his research involved reading and translating from Farsi as well as transcribing interviews. Daniel Roman, mentored by both Dr. Megan Asaka and Dr. Philipp Lehmann, explored the experience of the 332nd and 477th Tuskegee Fighter Airmen. Both students weaved together personal, familial, and biographical stories to create new and poignant historical narratives.

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From Decolonizing textbooks to Homespun movements, and from the Ideological Legacies of the American Revolution to Runaway Women, Kassandra Gomez, Scarlett Alvarez, Jacob Spencer, and Montserrat Guijarro showcase their fascinating research.


Gender was also another core area of exploration. Scarlett Alvarez, Dallys Cobian, Montserrat Guijarro, Celyne Lara (mentored by Dr. Juliette Levy and Christella Maldonado), and Tempest Won (mentored by Dr. Dana Simmons) offered new and exciting research on women and gender history. Refocusing, gendering, and queering narratives that are often neglected, these students created new and very powerful accounts. There were also exciting projects on Native history. Zachary Hanson and Bailey Heilman produced important new work on Native history, respectively interrogating Cahuilla Bird Songs and Creek tactics during the American Revolution. Ryan Komori, Slater Vis, Jacob Spencer, and Hadrian Rawlings, who all took Dr. Dubcovsky’s History 197: The American Revolution, created fascinating projects that analyzed different aspects of this foundational moment in the nation’s history.

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Ryan Komori, Dally Cobian, and Celyne Lara collected and interrogated fascinating sources to craft new narrative.


History students also shone a light on the history of education, a timely and important topic. Sarah Ochoa, working with Dr. Rebecca Kugel, and Kassandra Gomez, mentored by Dr. Jennifer Hughes, and Amari Navarro, and supported by Dr. Jorge Leal, all explored the evolving and contentious role of education. Paul Aurelius and Destinee Tucker, mentored by Dr. Michele Salzman, took their exploration of ancient conspiracies and changes in marriage laws in the Roman Empire carefully examining centuries-old sources to explain these developments And Nick Lavis, with the support of Dr. Fariba Zarinebaf, completed a project on Dragomans during the Ottoman Empire.

These fascinating and truly diverse projects are a testament to the power and possibilities of historical research. These undergraduate historians collected and interrogated incredibly different primary sources: from interviews to ancient artifacts, from published memories to archival fragments, and from official accounts of war to familial recollections. These sources and research encouraged them to ask new and innovative questions. These students challenged old accounts and created new narratives, showing the promise and potential of historical work.