The co-director of the “Documentary Film and History” program at Syracuse University just contacted me.  He would love to see some Messiah College history majors apply to this program.  Here is a taste of his e-mail:

Syracuse University offers a unique MA degree for History majors and minors.  Currently in its tenth year, our “Documentary Film and History” program is designed for students interested in making documentary films on historical themes, offering them the opportunity to deepen their understanding of history while they acquire the practical skills of the filmmaker’s craft.

This fifteen-month program is a collaboration between the History Department and the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.  Applicants do not need a media background.  In addition to taking courses on film production, screenwriting, and historical methods, students choose courses that allow them to deepen their knowledge of a specific field within history.  For their M.A. thesis, students make films on topics chosen in conjunction with their advisors.   Recent films have examined topics such as the role of race in college football, the history of the video game, and the idea of the outlaw in country music.   

Our alumni work at the History Channel, Focus Films, National Geographic, as well as for independent film companies such as Sundance.   Some have also used the degree to pursue work in public history, or as a gateway to a Ph.D. program.  

For more information on the program, please visit:  http://newhouse.syr.edu/academics/degrees/masters/documentary-film-and-history.   

For even more information contact:

Norman Kutcher


M.A. in Documentary Film and History

Syracuse University


More Jobs and Internships

Archaeology Intern: North Cascades National Park, Washington

Manager of Digital Collections: Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI

Story Booth Facilitator, StoryCorps, Chicago, IL

Public History Intern, Long Branch Plantation, Boyce, VA

Program Manager, Crossroads of the American Revolution, Trenton, NJ

Collections Manager, Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, Onancock, VA

Historic Interpreter, Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Research Intern, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, New York NY

Museum Educator, Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, New York, NY

Editorial Assistant, Trust Center for Theological Schools, Wilmington, DE

Park Ranger Winter Internship, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO

Oral History Research, The History Makers, Chicago, IL

Director of Education and Programs, New England Historic and Genealogy Society, Boston, MA

Associate Editor of Web Content and Social Media, American Historical Association, Washington D.C.

Museum Administrator, Historical Society of Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove, NJ

Consider stopping by the Career and Graduate School Expo on Monday and chatting with some potential employers and graduate school representatives.  Many of you have been giving serious thought to how your history major might translate in the marketplace.  An event like this give you a wonderful opportunity to chat with potential employers and “sell” your history degree and the transferable skills that come with it.  I strongly encourage you to visit.

Are you thinking about graduate school?  There will be representatives from several graduate schools, even some in history. For example, I just received this e-mail from Crystal Nielson.  She will be at the Career and Graduate School Expo representing the University of Delaware’s Historic Preservation graduate program and is eager to chat with history majors.  I am going to try to stop by and say hello to her and I hope you will too!  Here is the e-mail from Crystal:

I just want to introduce myself briefly since I will be attending the Messiah grad school fair on Monday. I represent the School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) at University of Delaware, and we offer very 6 very well-respected, interdisciplinary graduate programs — I thought that the M.A. in Historic Preservation might be particularly interesting to some of your seniors studying history who might be interested in a career working with historic buildings and properties.

SPPA houses 4 renowned research and public service centers, through which many of our graduate students are offered Research Assistantships (90% tuition scholarship + stipend) and all of our students benefit from opportunities for experiential learning. One of these centers is the Center for Historic Architecture and Design, which employs many of our Historic Preservation students and regularly contributes important research to the field. We also offer many study abroad opportunities for our grad students to get international perspectives on policy and urban issues. 
There are many more details about our programs available on our website, and I would welcome the opportunity to meet you or some of your students at the fair on Monday. Also, SPPA is hosting an informational open house on our campus at UD on November 21, and we would love to host your students at that event (see attached flier). Please pass along this information or my contact details to any of your faculty or advisees as you see fit.

One of the great things about being a student in the Messiah College History Department is all the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.  Over the course of the next few weeks there is a lot going on in the life of the department and we invite you to take it all in.

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Philip Deloria will be delivering the American Democracy Lecture, the most important lecture in the life of the department.  Deloria is a professor of history and administrator at the University of Michigan and a scholar of native American history.  His talk “American Indians in the American Cultural Imagination” promises to be an excellent talk. Learn more about it here.  Also check out the Facebook “event” page.

Thursday, October 30, will be our annual “Faith and History” lecture.  This year’s lecturer is Tibebe Eshete, lecturer in African history at Messiah.  In the 1970s Tibebe was a young Ethiopian Marxist who was active in the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie. Here him describe his journey from Marxism to Christian faith and his understanding of the historian’s vocation. Stay tuned for more details.  The lecture will be held in Boyer 335 at 4pm.

Finally, on November 4 the department will sponsor its annual “Career and Graduate School” event.  This year will focus on careers.  Our speakers will be two Messiah College history alums.  Beth Baggett was a Messiah College history major who currently works as an executive in the New York City fashion industry.  Caitlin Babcock, another Messiah history alum, works for a non-profit organization focused on the assimilation of new immigrants.  It should be a great event.  Stay tuned for more information.  If you ever wondered what you can do with a history major you need to be at this event.

I hope you will join us for all of these events.

WagnerSome of you know Kevin Wagner.  He is a graduate of the Messiah College History Department and currently teaches social studies classes in the history department, including HIST 407.  I am pleased to announce that Kevin is the recipient of the prestigious Gilder-Lehrman Institute History Teacher of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania.  He also had a 1 in 50 chance of being the National History Teacher of the Year.  The award will be announced on November 1st.

Yet another reason to study history at Messiah College!

Read more here about Kevin’s amazing accomplishment.

But the Gilder Lehrman teacher of the award is not the only accolade Kevin has received this year.   He is also recipient of the Patricia Behring 2014 Teaching of the Year Award for his role in National History and the Thomas Holtzman Jr. Educational Leadership Award for 2014.

Congratulations, Kevin!

Great stuff going on in the Messiah College History Department these days.

Check out the television coverage of Dr. Pettegrew’s archaeology class digging for an 18th century church building at a Lutheran graveyard in Mechanicsburg.

Follow the link to watch the television spot (having hard time embedding it at the moment–stay tuned.)


A group of Messiah College historians traveled to Malibu, California this weekend to participate in the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH).  This year’s host was beautiful Pepperdine University, a Christian college located on the Pacific Ocean.  Yes, we historians have it rough.


The Messiah College History Department crew at the CFH

May 2014 Messiah College History graduate Brooke Strayer presented a paper at the CFH Undergraduate Conference entitled “Tracing the Trajectory of the Brethren in Christ Peace Position in the United States.”  It was based on her Messiah College senior honors thesis.  Brooke’s paper, as you will see in the photo below, was presented in the Pepperdine University Surfboard Museum.  She did a great job and represented Messiah’s history department very well.


Brooke Strayer “waxes” eloquent in the Surfboard Museum

Another Messiah College history alum, Amanda Mylin (’12), presented a paper at the main CFH conference entitled “Luxury, Vice, and Virtue: The Intersection of Women, Consumerism, and Religion, 1750-1783.”  Amanda is finishing her master’s degree in history at Baylor University.

Devin Manzullo-Thomas, an adjunct instructor in the Messiah College history department and the Director of Messiah’s Sider Institute, participated on a roundtable discussion entitled “The Role of Historians in Managing Institutional Change.”

Dr. Jim LaGrand chaired and commented on a session entitled “Dear Colleagues: What Christian Public Historians Want You to Know About Our Field, Our Audiences, and What We Need from You.”

Finally, Dr. John Fea participated on a panel at the Undergraduate Conference entitled “Why I Hate (or Love) the History Channel.”  At the main conference he joined roundtables devoted to social media and book publishing.

In 2016 the CFH will be meeting in Virginia Beach.  Another undergraduate conference is expected and we hope that many of our students will be interested in attending.  Stay tuned to History on the Bridge for more information.  The deadline for proposals will probably be sometime in April or May of 2016.


The view from the Conference


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