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History Club

The History Club is a student-run social and academic organization known for organizing lectures, peer advisement sessions (for class registration), faculty panel presentations on the graduate school application process, trips and weekly discussion or game night meetings. Club members are also active volunteers at area high schools and at our close neighbor, the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum.

Join our Facebook page for updates and other helpful information such as event dates. We look forward to meeting you!

Non-majors are always welcome.

Honors and Prizes

Paper Prizes

Students self-nominate for these annually awarded prizes. The recipients are determined by the Honors and Awards Committee.

Best First Year Paper Prize. Honors the best paper written for an introductory class by a first-year student.

Val Rabe Prize for Best 400-Level Research Paper. Honors the project of a major piece of research in an upper-level elective class. This award is given in memory of Professor Val Rabe, who was a member of the history department from 1967-1997. 

Bill Derby Award for Best HIST 302 Paper. This award, in honor of former professor Bill Derby, recognizes a major research project undertaken as part of this core course in the Geneseo curriculum. 

Best Analytical Paper. This award is given in honor of the best historiographical paper produced in a HIST 301 seminar.

Jennifer Wachunas Prize for Best Paper in Women’s History. This award, in memory of alum Jennifer Wachunas '96, was established to honor outstanding work in the history of women and gender, a field that Jennifer excelled in during her time at Geneseo.

Derek Kaczorowski Memorial Best Senior Experience Paper Prize. This award recognizes the best of senior capstone work completed by history majors. This award is given in memory of alum Derek Kaczorowski '18.


These endowed awards are administered annually by the Office of Advancement. Faculty nominates students for the awards, the value of which can vary according to the income generated by their endowment. At its discretion, the department can split awards among multiple students.

James K. Somerville Sophomore History Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is supported by Dr. James K. Somerville, Emeritus Professor of History, and recognizes an outstanding sophomore history major. 

Dr. William E. Derby Tribute Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is given to the student who exemplifies the standards of academic achievement and community engagement upheld by the late Dr. William E. Derby, a professor of history at Geneseo from 1957 to 1993.

Dr. Roland R. DeMarco '30 Memorial Annual Scholarship. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates academic excellence in history. The scholarship is supported by the family of the late Dr. DeMarco.

Jeremy Byrnes Memorial Annual Scholarship. This scholarship is given to an outstanding history undergraduate who has demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and character. This scholarship is supported by friends of the late Jeremy Byrnes, a junior history major who died following an accident in 2001.

William H. Cook and Walter Herzman Scholarship. This scholarship is given in alternate years to the departments of English and History and is supported by friends and members of the Cook and Herzman families.

Bonnie C. Henzel Memorial Endowed Scholarship. This need-based scholarship is given in alternate years to the departments of English and History, to a student who has achieved academic honors. Supported by an endowment established in memory of Bonnie C. Henzel '76 by her husband, William J. Henzel.

Departmental Prizes

These are supported by the Department’s Foundation account as one-time awards. These awards are not endowed, so the department may use discretion in issuing an award.

History Department Senior Award for Community Involvement. This prize is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated a commitment to history-related public service that engages communities with a richer understanding of history.

History Department Senior Award for Academic Achievement. This prize is given to a graduating senior who has a consistent record of academic achievement, including excellence in coursework, presentation of conference papers and/or publications, and other academic activities.

Dr. Katherine J. Beck Prize for Outstanding Senior History Majors. This prize is given to a graduating senior with high academic achievement and a significant record of service to the history department, in memory of Dr. Kathryn J. Beck, Emerita Professor of History. It is generously supported by donations from alumni, friends, faculty, and staff of the history department.




Off-Campus Study


Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. We seek to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways.

Visit the official Phi Alpha Theta website.

Research and Creative Work