Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Some Cool Projects by Students

This fall semester, three seniors did cool projects.  Joe Aldridge wrote a senior thesis on the history or propaganda in which he looked at several case studies in the United States of propaganda and misinformation, older versions of "fake news."  Gina Gerard created a web page on Games in Education with resources and plans for educators using games to teach social studies.  Jeremiah Horrigan's thesis on the Compromise of 1850 provided an interesting look at the political conflict that was a stepping stone to the Civil War.

Over in the archives, students working on history internships with Dennis Frank did good work.  Ashlee Gray's work on the NY 154 resulted in, among other things, the map that visualizes casualties mentioned earlier.  Joseph Giglio worked on the John F. Carr collection.  Adam Wojcik did extensive archival work in the Antonucci Collection of World War II materials.  All gained valuable experience working with original documents and preparing them for use that includes digital access.

The Hardtack Regiment Newsletter mentions the good work of our students.  Mark Dunkelman writes,

"Recently I had reason to visit the website of the Dunkelman and Winey Collection of the 154th New York at St. Bonaventure University for the first time in quite a while and was greatly pleased to find much progress has been made in digitizing materials and adding links to them. University Archivist Dennis Frank credits intern Ashlee Gray and work/study student Anna Giglio for their work on the site. Anna has been working on the A-F list of soldiers; Ashlee on the P-Z list. There is still plenty to be done, but these two dedicated women are steadily chipping away at it and I’m very grateful to them for their efforts. Take a look:

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Data Visualization and History Internship

Ashlee Gray, double-major in History and English, is wrapping up her internship in the University Archives with Dennis Frank.  Ashlee, an alumnus of the digital history class that experimented with app making, worked on collecting, analyzing, and displaying data from the New York 154 regiment papers in the University Archives.  She worked in Microsoft Excel and then moved on to visualizing and mapping the data.  Above is a map she produced.  Next semester she plans on continuing the project to produce a more refined final product.  (Hint:  give it a moment to load and it works best if you expand it to full screen.)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Practical Advice on Getting a Public History Job

The American Historical Association has a nice article, Practical Advice on Getting a Public History Job, that is worth a read.  The short version, in addition to studying history get the media, communications and other skills you need to land a job.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Board Games on Friday

It's the last day of classes!  Blow of some steam.  Chill before finals start.  Friday Dec 7 we'll be playing games and eating pizza (as long as it lasts) in the uppers seminar room in the Friedsam Memorial Library.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Summer Study in Japan

Professor Dalton is organizing a summer class that includes a trip to Japan.  You can see the details here.  Information sessions will be

5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26
11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4
Room 203 Swan Business Center

Friday, November 9, 2018

HIS200: Excel and Quantitative History

Last week in HIS200: Historical Methods and Historiography, students presented on their short research projects, which required them to engage with excel and Quantitative History. Our majors did an excellent job identifying possible data to extract for their final research papers and provided detailed analysis in their essays and presentations. Projects ranged from measuring polling data from 1945 to the present on Americans' changing perception of dropping atomic bombs in WWII to using mentions of Joan of Arc from 1700 to the present in Google Books to analyze her popularity at different points in history. 

Bill used Google Books to explore Joan of Arcs mentions from 1700 to the present. He used historical context to explain why her popularity rose and fell during certain decades. 

Noah created a database of battles waged by the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire over a 100-year period to find out when Rome had its most effective fighting force. 

Elizabeth employed an anonymous survey to analyze contemporary views on the impact of music during the Vietnam War.  

Mason gathered polling data from 1945 to the present on how Americans view the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He found that right after the war, Americans highly approved of the action but as the memory of the war faded, approval ratings dropped precipitously. 

Like Bill, Tom used Google Books to track mentions of the famous Japanese samurai, Miyamoto Musashi. He also created a pie chart that looked at the different types of studies that mentioned Musashi (see below).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Archivist and Deep Fakes

A piece from Gizmodo, How Archivists Could Stop Deepfakes from Rewriting History, is something that should interest our students who are taking methods and will take digital history and archival practices.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

History 417: Culture Wars: The Politics of Memory

Dr. Payne, History Department
Spring 2019
MWF 1:30 to 2:20

The culture wars are back (did they ever go away?)

Are we destroying history?

As a society, what do we decide to honor?  What do we decide to forget?  Who gets to decide? What is the difference between history and commemoration?

What does it mean to be American? 
Who Decides?

We’ll look at the issues that divide America along the lines of region, race, religion, gender, generations, and others.

We’ll place many of the current culture wars topics in historical context.  How did we react to black athletes protesting in the past?  Previous debates over immigration?

What happens when the nation’s demographics change?  Does technology bring us together or split us apart?

We’ll look at previous culture wars – prohibition, Scopes Monkey Trial – and some ongoing hot topics – immigration, urban/rural split, race relations. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Oct 11 Meet and Greet

The history department is having a little get together for students on Oct 11 at 11:30 in P. 109.  Lots of pizza and cookies available!  Stop by.  You can meet the faculty.  Learn our plans and what classes we'll be offering.  Next semester we're offering two new classes, one on cyberwarfare and another on video gaming and history, plus the return of the class on the culture wars.  Learn about the history club and Phi Alpha Theta.  Make suggestions.  We're looking for ideas.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

History Majors at the Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference

Joe Aldridge and Isaac Ryss presenting at the Bucknell Digital Scholars Conference with Dennis Frank (pictured) and Phillip Payne.

The presentation, "We Built and App:  Exploring New Assignments in a History Class," was about the student, archivist, and faculty perspective in introducing a new assignment building an app to host our digital map of the St. Bonaventure Cemetery.  This is the sort of assignment that brought together the History Department, Friedsam Memorial Library, and the St. Bonaventure Android App Development club.

This being a digital scholarship conference, participants were active on Twitter so here are some Tweets about the presentation.

The conference had a lot of really cool examples of people working across disciplines and unites.  We came back with a lot of ideas for new, fun, assignments. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Spring 2019 Courses

We've just put together the schedule for the Spring 2019 semester.  We've got the usual array of quality surveys in World, European, and United States History.  We're excited that Dr. Henning is offering a course on Cyberwarfare and Dr. Pitt is offering a class on history and video gaming.  Dr. Payne will be offering Culture Wars:  The Politics of Memory.  These courses should give students a variety of ways to explore history. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

History 475 Changing things Up with Diplomacy

As a change of pace, we're playing Diplomacy in History 475:  World War II.  We're using a 1936 variant of the classic game to get at the contingencies that European leaders faced as the continent moved toward war.  When all is said and done, students are going to reflect on how learning the origins of the war through gaming differed from reading about it in Murray and Millet, A War to be Won, and other books.

Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. News ranks St. Bonaventure No. 1 for value in New York, No. 2 in North

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Sept. 10, 2018 — St. Bonaventure University is ranked No. 1 in New York and No. 2 in the North on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of best regional university values.

The U.S. News’ “Great Schools, Great Prices” list of Best Regional Universities in the North includes colleges that offer a full range of master’s degree programs. Last year, St. Bonaventure was ranked No. 2 in New York and No. 5 in the North.

St. Bonaventure also ranked 22nd out of 197 institutions on the magazine’s all-criteria ranking of Best Regional Universities in the North.

“We’ve always done very well on the U.S. News value rankings, but our decision to enhance our academic scholarships last year has taken us to the top,” said Dr. Dennis R. DePerro, now in his second year as university president.

“Welcoming the largest freshman class in a decade this fall affirms to me that people are taking notice that a St. Bonaventure education is a tremendous value, both professionally and personally,” he said.

The magazine determined the value ranking using three figures from 2017-18: ratio of academic quality to price, percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based aid and average discount.

Prospective students can calculate their scholarship eligibility at  

The magazine’s annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges” were released today. Complete rankings of nearly 1,600 schools nationwide are available at

They will also be published in this month’s issue of U.S. News & World Report, on newsstands starting today.  


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #2 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

New Semester Under Way

It's hard to imagine, but the semester at St. Bonaventure is already nearing the end of the second week. We're getting settled in and already starting to plan the spring semester.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Reflection on Caroline Frasier at Chautauqua Institution by Theresa Rabbia

Caroline Frasier gave a very in-depth lecture on Laura Engels Wilder, the author of the children series Little House on the Prairie. As I attended this lecture, I learned a ton about these beloved children’s books and how the author and her family lived quite differently than what was written in the books. Frasier shows us that Engels Wilder is a real person with a complicated life that one may not grasp from just reading the books. She lived through extremely hard times such as the Dust Bowl, The Great Depression, and WWI. Yet, her books have a positive and almost happy demeanor to them. By doing this, there is much criticism for her because it gives people the impression that she is denying her own American Identity and our wrongdoings as American people. Every book of hers ends happy, even if it did not pan out that way in her real life. Engels Wilder leaves many crucial points out of her story which almost sanitizes the history. While these are meant for children, it does make sense that she would leave many of the graphic parts out. Caroline Frasier tells us that we need to put these authors into the context of their own eras and lives and question what is and isn’t true; then, we can work on learning about and improving our identity as Americans.

Theresa Rabbia on Dr. Andrew Roth's Talk at Chautauqua Institution

Dr. Andrew Roth, past interim president of St. Bonaventure University, spoke about the shattering of the American story, which is a lecture that resonated with me greatly. Dr. Roth made the bold claim that the year of 1968 foreshadowed everything within the next 50 years up to today with the entire Trump administration. In 1968, there were numerous landmark events that occurred and Dr. Roth went on and listed multiple. These include the Vietnam War, the Space Race, Paris Peace talks, the assassination of MLK, banning of birth control, and the election of Richard Nixon to name only a few. All of the different events that occurred took a toll on the American Identity; people no longer could agree on what exactly defines America. There was a great struggle to define America, which led to the outbreak of culture wars. The pressing issues being fought over are still fought over today: abortion, gun rights, homosexuality, women’s rights, church v. state, etc. 1968 was only the start to these great debates which have escalated all the way to 2018 and will most likely continue into the future. Dr. Roth finished his lecture with a glimpse of optimism saying that we can change the America we see today if we strip it and recall the fundamentals of America. We need to go back into time and recognize what made America so special in the past and incorporate it in today’s society and then we can have a more solid American Identity.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Reflection on Stephen McBride Lecture at Chautauqua Institution by Theresa Rabbia

From the very formation of this nation, religious freedom has been a fundamental aspect of the growth and prosperity of the United States and the people who make it up. All the different denominations and religions as a whole are something that I personally think makes the American Identity so special. Dr. Spencer McBride seemed to share the same sentiments through his most recent lecture at Chautauqua. Dr. McBride brought up Western New York specifically in regard to its vast religious diversity. He traced this back all the way to the 2nd Great Awakening in the 19th century when there was a dramatic migration to Western New York and rates of conversion skyrocketed, this is coined as the “Burned-over district.” As young people began to migrate to Western New York and its surrounding areas their families worried about the possibility of their faith being left behind as well. Thus, many missionaries of all different denominations were sent to this area in order to remind people of their faith. As Dr. McBride covered much more information, this is something that struck me. During my stay at Chautauqua, it has become obvious to me that the people here are very diverse religiously, given all of the different denominational houses throughout the institution. However, I have never once felt unwelcomed here which to me shows that diversity makes a community stronger as well as the American Identity in a much larger picture.

A Reflection on Jalani Cobb’s Master Class at Chautauqua by Dahron Wells

After attending the first lecture Jalani Cobb’s gave at Chautauqua, I knew that I needed more. An amazing opportunity arose as Chautauqua offers what’s called a “Master’s Class” where a group of individuals are lucky enough to have a more intimate discussion with different speakers. Attending Cobb’s Master Class was a must, and I’m very happy with that decision.

In this smaller setting, Cobb turned the floor to a Q&A style discussion, being asked a question that led to a very intriguing response that I’m still thinking about days after. An individual asked Cobb, “What do you think of the fight to remove statues of confederate leaders such as Robert E. Lee?” to which Cobb answered with a story about a time he spent in Russia. You may be confused as to what Russia has to do with what’s going on with the United States of America regarding this topic, but the story that Cobb told was eye opening. Cobb told us about how in a museum in Russia, there were statues, monuments and portraits tossed on their side or purposely destroyed on the floor. Why? It was the purpose of those in charge of said museum to not completely erase the dark moments in their past, but to show that they occurred but were frowned upon by the people and the country. I thought that this response was interesting when bringing it back to Confederate statues that we hear so much about in media today. Why, as Cobb stated in his talk, “sanitize history?” We should acknowledge the mistakes from our past, we should show that we’ve learned from those actions and refuse to ever go down that road again. After this, I say, knock Robert E. Lee’s statue over, destroy it and leave the remains for all to see with a plaque that says something along the lines of “this is who we were, but not who we are nor who we will ever be again.” 

The multiple times I got to hear Cobb speak were incredible. He is a man of respect of all sides, dignity and character. These traits show through not only in the lectures that he gave, but in his work as well. I thank Dr. Payne, St. Bonaventure University and the Chautauqua Institution for the opportunity to meet and learn from such an amazing person.

A Reflection on Jalani Cobb’s Main Lecture at Chautauqua by Dahron Wells

Jalani Cobb, a Professor at Columbia University and a staff writer at The New Yorker, came to Chautauqua to give one of the most informative and captivating lectures I’ve had the pleasure of attending. Cobb’s lecture focused on the surrounding theme of ‘American Identity’ and what that really means in today’s society.

Opening the lecture with the statement that our identity has leaned towards being about what we are as opposed to who we are, a distinction Cobb’s made well known to those in attendance was crucial in correcting the identity crisis our nation is has been and continues to go through. The individual “who,” according to Cobb’s, is imperative in understanding the larger “we”, referencing the first word of the Constitution.

One of the stories that Cobb’s shared that really resonated with me and I believe connected with the overarching theme of American Identity really well was one about a Muslim man on a plane. This occurrence happened shortly after 9/11 where tensions were at an all-time high regarding the Islamic community. Cobb’s stated that an olive-skinned man wearing cultural garments walked down the aisle of the plane receiving angry looks from those on board. Cobb shared that he also gave the man a few extra looks, but not for the same reasons that you may think. Cobb’s said that he looked at the man time and time again not because he was afraid as a result of the narrative that was being spread through the media, but because he recognized the man as one of the “best break dancers Queens, New York had ever seen” when he was a teenager. Although this statement drew some laughs from the audience, it really made me reflect on the larger picture. We mustn’t assume someone is a certain type of person based on what we hear, whether that be from our families or from society, we must take the time to appreciate each individual especially if they don’t look the same as us because that is what the American Identity, truly is. It is, as Cobb’s stated who we are that matters, not what we are.

Cobb’s overall message in understanding who we are as a means to achieve the end goal of what we are currently and what we are to become as a nation really made a lot of sense when looking at today’s politics. In order to achieve the American identity of not only one specific race, religion, economic class or social class but of a collective unit, we must acknowledge the differences in who we are and how those differences alter what we are to be as one of the greatest nations to ever be. 

Colin Woodard at Chautauqua Institution By: Brionna Howard

On July 3rd in Chautauqua Institution’s Hall of Philosophy, Colin Woodard described several settlement regions in American history, and how those settlement patterns still impact the heartbeat of America today.

Woodard argued that politics can be understood through looking at the historic regions, and that today there are two superpowers that have stood out: Yankeedom and the Deep South. The two struggles with the balance between individual liberty and the common good, and Woodard maintains that straying too far in either direction is a detriment to society. Although, as Woodard says, we are becoming more polarized as a nation due to people moving to live with like-minded people, we can potentially find a middle ground by recognizing that at the base of American politics, what we really want is to let the best idea win, ensure taxpayers are not being cheated, that wealth not be based on birth, but on merit, and that everyone has the chance to achieve their potential. So, then, our American identity can be about our unalienable rights given to us with the very document that declares we are American in the first place. 

Friday Morning Service with Rev. David Gushee By: Brionna Howard

Rev. David Gushee gave his final sermon here at Chautauqua, titled “On Community.” The theme directly tied into other lectures we have heard throughout the week, in which tribalistic conflicts in America were front and center. Gushee reminded those attending of Paul’s letter to the Romans in Romans 14, which culminated in Paul stating that we should not judge others, because judgment can only be passed by God. Gushee commented that “it is our tendency to judge others negatively who see things differently than we do,” and that we should look past this and “pursue what makes for peace.” Reiterating what prior speakers this week have stated and some words of Amy Chua, who immediately followed Gushee’s sermon, America is a place of many cultures, religions, ethnicities and so on, but we should look to create a community of mutual respect despite our differences and remember that America is special because of our national bond in conjunction with our tribal identities. As Chua said, “being an American is not a matter of blood.” 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dr. Taina Caragol's Catalonia to Chautauqua: The National Portrait Gallery as an Inclusive Vessel for National Identity reaction by Theresa Rabbia

The National Portrait Gallery as an Inclusive Vessel for National Identity

The American identity is constantly shifting and being shaped by every experience Americans have encountered from the very formation of this nation.  Speaker, Dr. Taina Caragol had much to share regarding how Latinos and the Latino identity are not only under represented in the National Portrait Gallery, but also in the formation of what we call our American Identity. Dr. Caragol gave a few examples of Latinos throughout American history that are often forgotten about and not given the proper credit that they deserve. These examples include Jose Marti who documented the African diaspora and became a voice for people of color. Also, Dolores Huerta, a prominent figure in the 60s and 70s due to her dedicated activism for civil, human, and labor rights. These two people are only just a few from a vast group of Latinos who helped shape America today and who’s influence still remains strong. After listening to Dr. Caragol, I was able to get a better grasp on the concept of what the term “American Identity” truly means. Our identity as Americans is not complete without crediting people of all different cultures and races who played a large part of the evolution of America. The American Identity is a mix of all different cultures, religions, races, etc. As Tania Caragol said to conclude her lecture, “identity IS, but it also evolves, molded by our everyday.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Robert P. Jones at Chautauqua Institution by Brionna Howard

Gathered in Chautauqua Institution’s Hall of Philosophy, the St. Bonaventure scholars (#chqscholars) had the opportunity to listen to a lecture given by the founding CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, Robert P. Jones, titled “The New Challenge of Pluralism After the End of White Christian America.”

As a white Christian myself, Jones’ final thoughts particularly resonated with me. Despite Chautauqua’s primarily white audience, he stated that white Protestant propriety is an issue and that the commitment to a democratic society should trump those feelings.

Oftentimes it can be easy to not speak up in order to keep the peace, but Jones challenges this notion and says that Americans need to stand up for one another.

In fact, Jones was followed by a Muslim American, who praised America for allowing Muslims to be more complex. That act in and of itself was an example of the type of pluralism Jones stands for, and that we should all strive to achieve. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Fuller Earns CoSIDA Academic All-District Team Honors

Double major Sam Fuller, Biology/History, is also a honors student whose senior project will be very cool (more on that later). Read the full announcement here. From the news release:

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure University junior outfielder Sam Fuller has received recognition for his strong work on and off the field by earning a spot on the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, officials announced Thursday.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fall ’18 freshman class largest at St. Bonaventure in a decade

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., May 7, 2018 — Freshman confirmations are running at a 10-year high at St. Bonaventure University, up 22 percent from fall 2017 and more than 44 percent from fall 2015.

As of 10 a.m. today, 537 freshmen had committed to the university for fall 2018.

Bernie Valento, vice president for Enrollment Management, said the university has seen a dramatic spike in freshman enrollment from Buffalo (up 73 percent from fall 2017) and Rochester (up 28 percent), bolstered by out-of-state students who will make up more than 26 percent of the freshman class.

May 1 is the unofficial College Decision Day, but almost all institutions continue enrolling students through the summer.

In response to the state’s new Excelsior Scholarship, unveiled last summer to provide free SUNY and CUNY tuition to students under certain income thresholds, the university increased scholarship levels by as much as $4,000 for the most academically gifted students.

“Yes, we increased our scholarship packages, but the effort was strategic and financially responsible in response to Excelsior,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, about to complete his first year as university president. “One of the great byproducts of the decision is that the incoming class is one of the most talented academically that we’ve had in some time.”

But more generous aid was only one reason for the significant bump in enrollment, DePerro said.

“This didn’t happen by accident,” said DePerro. “This was a collective and collaborative effort across all divisions of the university, from academics and athletics to enrollment, marketing, ministries and student affairs.”

One of the things that attracted DePerro to seek the presidency was seeing the upward trajectory the university was on thanks to the strategic plan that had just been implemented when he came on board. The plan continues to evolve as demands and needs change, he said.

“Initiatives like new majors in health science and cybersecurity, the School of Health Professions that we’re building, our veterans recruitment program, the addition of men’s lacrosse – all of these things and many more have revitalized our presence in Western New York and the Northeast,” he said.

The university also devoted more resources this year to digital, TV, radio and billboard advertising in Buffalo and Rochester, and reaped the benefits of the best men’s basketball season in 40 years.

“No question, the tremendous exposure we received from the great season the Bonnies had gave us an additional boost,” DePerro said. “But we also had a great season six years ago for both of our basketball teams and we saw no substantial bump in enrollment.

“Exposure like that only helps if students who turn their attention to you during that period of heightened awareness can see that you have exciting programs and offerings that entice them to come here,” he said.

The university has also expanded its online graduate programs in the last three years, attracting students from all over the country.

Between spring 2017 and spring 2018, online graduate enrollment increased 102 percent. New programs added this academic year in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling have added 51 students.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Pirates

This semester, I taught a course on Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1728. Students were assigned the game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag to explore the use and usefulness of video games in the study history. Over the past two weeks, students presented their game play and ideas on the historical accuracy of the game and how to employ it as a teaching tool. Below are some links to videos and pictures of students' work.

Hamaad infiltrates one of Havana's heavily guarded forts:
Joe walks us through the pirate town of Nassau:
Joe explains the historical facts and inaccuracies of seizing a ship in Assassin's Creed: Black Flag:

Hamaad analyzes a picture from Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and what we can learn about pirates from it.

William delves into the geographic significance of places in the game, including slave plantations and port cities like Nassau, Kingston, and Havana. 

Joe educates the class on the history of Nassau and why it was the perfect location for the pirates of the Golden Age. 

Elizabeth applies her training in education to demonstrating the usefulness of Assassin's Creed as an educational tool. Here is a link to her presentation: 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Arts and Sciences Exposition

Students showed off their good work today at the Arts and Sciences Exposition.  There were many cool and impressive projects on display.
 Among the students were these familiar faces from digital history.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Digital History Class Winds Down

We're winding down Digital History and Archival Practices.  We're pulling together our projects for the Arts & Sciences Exposition 2018, where we will display the nearly finished map of the St. Bonaventure Cemetery and unveil the apps and the wiki we have been working on.  We started the semester with no experience in app design and now we have functioning apps.  the apps are in beta, so more work to be done, but we're excited to see what people have to say.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why Double-Majors Might Beat You Out of a Job

This article from Higher Ed Jobs, Why Double-Majors Beat You Out of a Job, has some interesting insights.  It's worth a read.  Students who double major are more innovative, which is something that employers look for.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WNY Cybersecurity Research Center to open April 24 at St. Bonaventure

For Immediate Release:

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., April 13, 2018 — St. Bonaventure University will unveil the Western New York Cybersecurity Research Center on Tuesday, April 24.

More than 150 people, including politicians, business leaders and educators, are expected for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which begins with a program at 9 a.m. and concludes with a networking reception at 11 a.m.

Scientists will gather on campus Monday, April 23, for a workshop to explore research opportunities the center can offer.

The center is located in the former Records and Registrar offices in Doyle Hall.

The WNY Cybersecurity Research Center is a collaboration between St. Bonaventure, National ICT Japan, Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and New Zealand Cybersecurity Center.

The center will engage in cybersecurity research using various state-of-the-art technologies including machine learning, data mining and opinion mining.

The center will do monitoring, alerting and forecasting to help make Western New York safer from cyberattacks, said Dr. Hossein Sarrafzadeh, director of St. Bonaventure’s cybersecurity program.

The university partnered two years ago with Hilbert College to begin offering a Bachelor of Science degree in cybersecurity. Sarrafzadeh was the founder and co-director of New Zealand’s first Cybersecurity Research Center.

Sarrafzadeh joined the university in June 2017 and immediately began envisioning what a research center focused on cybersecurity could mean for St. Bonaventure.

“What Dr. Sarrafzadeh has accomplished in his short time here is truly remarkable,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, president of St. Bonaventure. “His conviction that this center could be a critical step in developing our cybersecurity program has driven this project. This will have a tremendous impact not only on our students, but on businesses and organizations that can benefit from the services the center provides.”

The center will have two functions: as a center for faculty and students to perform research, and as a Security Operations Center (SOC) to provide monitoring services to external clients. The SOC is scheduled to open in the fall.

The SOC will be operated in partnership with Buffalo-based Silo City IT, a managed security service provider and solutions architecture firm specializing in artificial intelligence-based solutions. Jeff Rathmann, SBU Class of 2007, is president and CEO of Silo City.

The SOC will provide 365/24/7 continuous monitoring and defense, email defense, managed endpoint security, managed email defense, threat hunting and intelligence, incident response, managed security automation and customer support.

The SOC will give students the opportunity to gain real-life work experience while they study, Sarrafzadeh said. Students will be screened and trained rigorously before working in the SOC.

“The center will become a Western New York success story in cybersecurity,” Sarrafzadeh said. “The center will help raise the awareness of cybersecurity risks in local communities and businesses.”

Demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, said Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor.

U.S. News & World Report ranked “information security analyst” third among the best technology jobs, eighth among the top 100 professions and 15th among the highest-paying jobs.

“The center will provide advanced and up-to-date training and education for those wanting to pursue a career in cybersecurity or those wishing to retrain and take advantage of the highly paid jobs in this field,” Sarrafzadeh said. “It will also strengthen the university as a leading provider of industry training.”

Students will also have opportunities to travel to Japan, Canada and New Zealand and work on cutting-edge equipment, he said.

The center also plans in the future to offer short courses and seminars for the public to combat cybersecurity risks.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Down the Hall

So... this is opening down the hall from the history offices.  Very cool.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Legacy Assignment: We're almost done with the SBU Cemetery Project

Spring in Western New York has not been kind.  In the digital history and archives class we've been waiting for a break to get to the cemetery.  Starting in 2014, students in each version of the class has contributed to our ongoing project to build a digital map of the cemetery creating a "living obituary" with a digital map.  We're nearing the end of the project. 

 A great deal of the work is done in the computer lab and in the archives, but we do need to spend some time in the field collecting coordinates and pictures.
 It hasn't been a good stretch for walking around the cemetery.  Still, we finally decided to go for it.  It was cold, but not terribly cold, and the rain/wintery mix held off for the hour we were there.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


We took a bit of a break from regularly scheduled programming in History 202 to play Suffragetto, an early 20th-century game pitting suffragettes against police.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Podcast: Presidential Legacies with Dr. Phillip Payne

Turns out that TAP into Greater Olean has a podcast and who doesn't love a good podcast.  Dr. Payne recently appeared on it to discuss Warren G. Harding, presidential politics, legacy, and papers.  Check it out at Podcast: Presidential Legacies with Dr. Phillip Payne

Military Technology: another new course on the fall schedule

The history department has added a course on the history of military technology as a special topics course this upcoming fall.  SBU students, keep an eye out for it.  Details to follow.... 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Digital History and Archival Practices at work

We're exploring apps and mobile technology in History 419:  Digital History and Archival Practices.  Students hard at work building a prototype app.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Humanities Grads and Careers

Inside Higher Ed, in Shocker:  Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy, reports on a new study. 

Although humanities majors are often depicted as being on the fast-track to a career as a barista, according to the story a "a study being released today by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences -- based on data from the U.S. Census and other government sources, plus Gallup polling of workers nationwide -- challenges the myth of the underemployed, unhappy humanities graduate.

The report doesn't contest that those who majored in engineering or natural sciences earn more, on average, than do humanities graduates do. But it shows humanities grads to be gainfully employed and holding positions of authority, and finds that only a slightly smaller share of them than of their better-paid counterparts think they have enough money. When it comes to measures of career satisfaction, humanities grads are as satisfied as those who majored in STEM."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Chautauqua Scholars Program

This prestigious scholarship will be awarded to select students who indicate a rationale for a desired week of study at Chautauqua Institution in the summer of 2018.
St. Bonaventure University and Chautauqua Institution engage in hands-on instruction and civil dialogue that lead toward a deeper understanding of the world around us and the dynamic and complex relationships that cause conflict, but that also lead us forward as a society.  The Chautauqua Scholars program will create an intersection between these institutions, leading to deeper insight to not only understand the civic role we play, but to become leaders and designers, aiming at a better and more inclusive American experience for all.  This program will put students in contact with the nation and the world’s leading experts in their interested fields of study.  By choosing the week to attend, students will immerse themselves in the topic of their choice, thereby playing a role in curating a transformational educational experience.

The program scholarships will include:
Cost of week-long programming at Chautauqua (gate pass)
Housing for the week
Master classes and programming with keynote speakers

Application Procedure:
Student must provide: academic standing, and a letter of nomination from a faculty member who will serve as an off-site mentor during their study at CI (stipend provided).  A two-page summary of the student’s interest in the topic and content will also be considered.

The student will receive one credit of internship or independent study.  Depending on the week chosen and work agreed upon, it may be possible to complete the “W” or “D” designations for their General Education requirements.  Students and faculty mentors will be responsible for satisfying designation requirements for the week at Chautauqua if proposed.  Honors students, with the support of their Honors advisor and the Honors Program director, may utilize the week at CI to complete their required “Honors Experience” or could use the time to develop their Honors project necessary for their Honors degree.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Native American History Course Fall 2018

On a frigid day in December of 1890, Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux chief and warrior, was murdered outside his home on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota during a failed attempt to arrest him. The culprits, Sioux policemen employed by U.S. Indian Bureau agents, then mutilated his body and executed his fourteen-year-old son in cold blood. The order to arrest Sitting Bull came from an Indian Bureau agent named James McLaughlin. McLaughlin falsely believed the Sioux chief instigated and led a nonviolent but anti-white movement called the Ghost Dance but others within the bureau ridiculed McLaughlin's paranoia. Distrust and fear created the conditions for Sitting Bull’s murder – fear of the culturally mysterious Ghost Dance and distrust of Sitting Bull, the man who helped defeat General George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876 and evaded capture by the U.S. Calvary for five years after. This same distrust and fear led to the massacre of roughly 146 Lakota Sioux, mostly unarmed men, women, and children, at Wounded Knee two weeks after Sitting Bull’s murder. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the end of the Indian Wars, the culmination of almost three hundred years of conflict on the North American continent. Why? Why did Sitting Bull and many of his people at Wounded Knee meet such a horrible end in 1890? How did the relationship between Europeans/Americans and various Native American tribes deteriorate over time and result in violence? Could other paths have been taken?

These are some questions we will seek to answer when I teach Native American History this Fall 2018 semester. We will explore why interactions between Europeans/Americans and Native Americans often ended in violence, even though people on both sides often tried to navigate a middle ground. The course will begin with an examination of pre-contact Native American societies in North America and conclude with an analysis of present-day issues facing Native American tribes in the United States. We will cover topics ranging from cultural exchange, nonviolent interactions, and trade to disease, warfare, atrocities, and environmental degradation. The course will pay particular attention to the history of the Iroquois Nation and the Seneca Tribe to take full advantage of local resources like the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca. In the process, we will also analyze the historical relationship between the Seneca Tribe and St. Bonaventure University.    

Bibliography and Some other Incredible (not too academic) Books on Native American History:

Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (New York: Henry Hold and Co., 1970)
Cozzens, Peter, The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016)
Lipman, Andrew, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015)
Merrell, James H., Into the American Woods:  Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (New York, 1999)
Richter, Daniel K., Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (Chapel Hill: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press, 1992)
Richter, Daniel K., Facing East from Indian Country:  A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, Mass., 2001)
Usner, Daniel H. Jr., Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy:  The Lower Mississippi Valley Before 1783 (Chapel Hill, 1992)
White, Richard, The Middle Ground:  Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (New York, 1991)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pirates and Samari

We've got a couple of ongoing and new initiatives in the department.  This spring Chris Dalton is teaching Way of the Warrior that explores the place of warriors in China and Japan.  Steve Pitt exploring piracy in a special topics course.  Over in the Digital History course, students are looking at how mobile technology and apps are changing the practice of history. 

We're planning the fall schedule.  Among other courses, we will be offering courses on World War II, Native American history, and Sports in American Society.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Carter Bunce's Project on Prohibition

Carter Bunce made a fine web page about Prohibition for History 407:  Twentieth Century United States History.  Check it out.