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History Major Honored for "Best Paper" at Regional Conference

Monday, March 19, 2012

Westminster College senior history major Luke Franchuk was honored for the best paper presented on his panel at the Western Pennsylvania Regional Phi Alpha Theta (national history honor society) conference March 17 at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

Franchuk's paper, "Thank Allah for Oil: Saudi Arabia, Royal Succession, and Religious Tradition," was written for a course on monarchs and dynasties taught by Dr. Russell Martin, Westminster professor of history.

The paper analyzed the Saudi Basic Law of Government of 1992 and found that, while this law states that Islam is an essential component to Saudi royal succession, secularism is equally, if not more, important to the establishment and continuation of the Arabian monarchy.

Franchuk is a son of Gary and Patrice Franchuk of Butler and a graduate of Shady Side Academy.

Also attending the conference was Dr. Patricia Clark, Westminster associate professor of history and Phi Alpha Theta national representative.  She shared news from the national office with conference participants and served as a resource for new advisers.

Clark, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2004, earned an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and master's degrees and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Contact Clark at (724) 946-7248 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


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Luke Franchuk