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Westminster College announces National History Day winners

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Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

More than 60 students in grades 6-12 from a variety of public and private schools in Lawrence, Mercer, Butler, Crawford and Erie counties competed in National History Day at Westminster College on Thursday, March 10.  

Students from the following districts and schools participated: General McLane, Grove City, Neshannock Township, North East, Penncrest, Sharpsville and Holy Sepulcher Catholic School in Butler.

Students provided their interpretations of this year’s theme, “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences,” by competing in categories including historical papers, documentaries, exhibits, performances and websites.

This year’s winners are:

Senior Paper
•    First Place: “The Case of Eusebius: The Influence of Eunuchs in Political and Religious Domestic Policy in Early Byzantium” by Sarah Graham of Grove City Senior High School
•    Second Place: “The Fight for Women’s Suffrage: The 19th Amendment” by Chloe Maalouf of Neshannock High School
•    Third Place: “The Consequences of Violence in Diplomacy” by Cory Roch of Sharpsville Area High School

Senior Individual Exhibit
•    First Place: “Imjin War: Turn of the Tides” by Payton Ayers of Cambridge Springs High School

Senior Individual Website
•    Third Place: “Patriots v. Loyalists: Battle for Freedom” by Nicholas Bucci of Neshannock High School

Senior Group Exhibit
•    First Place: “Dark Diplomacy: The U.S. and Japanese Cover-up of the Unit 731” by Ava Greenawalt and Isobel Yasenchack of Cambridge Springs High School
•    Second Place: “First Televised Debates in History” by DJ Meehl and Liam Satterthwaite of North East High School
•    Third Place: “Was the Dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Necessary?” by Kaitlyn Fries, Alexa Marie Ong, Jadyn Porada and Lindsey Urban of Neshannock High School

Senior Group Website
•    First Place: “1987 Montreal Protocol: Negotiating For the Future of Our Planet” by Abigail Greenleaf, Mallory Grucza and Kayleigh Porter of General McLane High School
•    Second Place: “Bill of Rights: The Document That Transformed 13 into 50” by Michael Ponziani and Tommy Rasmussen of Neshannock High School
•    Third Place: “The ‘Steroid Era’ Saved Baseball” by Anthony Bonner, Michael Memo, Jaxon Mozzocio and Maxwell Vitale of Neshannock High School

Junior Individual Performance
•    First Place: “Suffrage Rights For All?: Susan B. Anthony’s Debate With Frederick Douglass” by Katy Hillius of Cambridge Springs Junior High School

Junior Individual Website
•    First Place: “Third Geneva Conventions of 1949” by Martin Stickney of Holy Sepulcher Catholic School

Junior Group Website
•    First Place: “Defense of Marriage: Marriage Equality Act” by Riley Marsico and Emma Stillwagon of Holy Sepulcher Catholic School
•    Second Place: “Cuban Missile Crisis” by Spencer Marsico and AJ Montes of Holy Sepulcher Catholic School.

The top three entries in each category are eligible to compete at the National History Day in Pennsylvania contest on May 7 and 8 at the University of Scranton.

Westminster students, faculty and staff also participated in History Day by served as judges.

Student judges included:
•    Stephen Adametz, a senior English major from Glenshaw, Pa.
•    Chloe Buckley, a senior exchange student from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland
•    Jaclyn Buda, a senior political science major from San Antonio, Texas
•    Iris Davis Hall, a junior public communication and leadership major from Niles, Ohio
•    Victoria Harden, a junior individual interdisciplinary and history double major and member of the Honors Program. Harden is from Greensburg, Pa.
•    Alexis Jones, a senior political science major from Northern Cambria, Pa. Jones competed at the History Day national contest as a high school student.
•    Gabrielle Lucas, a senior political science and history major from Transfer, Pa.
•    Peyton Mackinlay, a senior history and political science major from Rimersburg, Pa.
•    Ellis Moore, a first-year political science major from Millington, Mich.
•    Nicholas Pirollo, a senior history major from Canonsburg, Pa.
•    Bahiyyah Richards, a first-year history major from Philadelphia
•    Nicholas Smith, a sophomore political science major from Harrison City, Pa.
•    Anastasia Woosley, a senior accounting major from Monessen, Pa. Woosley competed at the History Day state contest as a high school student.
•    Harmony Wilson, a first-year biology major from Sharon, Pa.

Faculty and staff judges included:
Stanton Fleming ’95, user services team lead; Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor and director of Westminster’s Outdoor Laboratory; Dr. Angela Lahr, associate professor of history; Bonnie Mars, public safety supervisor; Candace Okello ’11, associate dean of student affairs; Dr. Diana Ortiz, associate professor of biology; Dr. Randy Richardson, visiting associate professor in the School of Communication; Dr. Brittany Rowe-Cernevicius, assistant professor of public relations; Dr. Shannon Smithey, professor of political science; and Gina Vance, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

NHD is a non-profit education organization based in College Park, Md. The largest NHD program is the National History Day Contest that encourages more than half a million students around the world to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice. Students enter these projects at the local and affiliate levels, with top students advancing to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Patricia G. Clark, associate professor of history, at or 724-946-7248.