Annual National History Day Regional Contest
The Missouri State History Department once again hosted the Region 7, 2008 History Day Contest. Co-chairs for this event were Dr. Holly Baggett
and Dr. Jamaine Abidogun
. History Day is a national contest designed to give students in grades 6 through 12 the opportunity to research, prepare, and present projects in competition with their peers. All entries were required to relate in some way to a central theme, which changes yearly.
Each year roughly 500,000 students from across the United States compete in History Day. Participants are divided into a Junior Division (grades 6-8) and Senior Division (grades 9-12). There are seven categories in each division. Categories are grouped by presentation type. Students may create individual or group (2 to 5 students per group) performances, documentaries, or exhibits, or they may submit an individual historical paper. The top three winners in each category at the regional are invited to enter the state contest, which will be held on the campus of the University of Missouri at Columbia.
The theme for this year's competition was "Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Over 200 performances, video presentations, and poster displays created by area high school and middle school students were judged by the faculty. Winners from each of these categories will compete at the state History Day contest at the University of Missouri-Columbia on April 12, 2008.
Political Science Professor and Pre-Law Advisor Hosts Campus Session of the Missouri Court of Appeals
On March 17, 2008, the Political Science Department hosted a session of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, in the Plaster Student Union Theater. Professor Kevin Pybas (PLS) coordinated the event. The Southern District is one of three districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals and has appellate jurisdiction over roughly the southern third of the state.Although the Southern District has its administrative offices in Springfield, this was the first time it has met at Missouri State University.The idea for meeting on campus came from Dr. Pybas, the university’s pre-law advisor, and Gary Lynch, the Chief Judge of the Southern District.The goal was to expose students and the public to the workings of this important court.Plans are in the works for the Political Science Department to host the Court on an annual basis.
Archaeology Quest 2007-2008
Archaeology Quest is a new academic competition in the field of archaeology for individual students and groups of students in Grades 4-12 in Missouri. Archaeology Quest is not intended to involve students in doing archaeological research but rather in doing research on archaeological topics. This is the first year of the competition.
Each year a broad theme is selected for the Archaeology Quest contest. Students may select any topic that relates to archaeology in Missouri or in a national or world setting. It may involve either prehistoric archaeology or historic archaeology or a combination of the two, within the limitations of that year's theme. Regardless of the topic chosen, each entry should be presented in such a way that the student research and conclusions clearly relate to the annual theme.
After participating in the Archaeology Challenge for several years, the program was recently conceived and developed by Teachers Carl Gatlin (Latham Middle School) and Terre Chambers (High Point Middle School). Dr. William C. Meadows (ANT) serves as the Southwest Regional Coordinator of the Competition.
The competition recently completed its eighth year. This year's theme was "Eureka - Great Archaeological Discoveries." last years Archaeology Challenge had 23 participants. This year 49 entries were submitted from Highpoint, Latham, and Fordland schools in the Southwest Regional Competition of the Missouri Archaeology Quest.
Several of their displays focused on aspects of Egypt, Aztec, the Mediterranean, and American Indian cultures. The state competition is scheduled for April 5, 2008 at the 2008 Missouri Archaeological Society State Meeting in Springfield.
Religious Studies Department Sponsors Important Public Presentation of Recent Research on Biblical Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Religious Studies Department and the College of Humanities and Public Affairs hosted a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on February 4, 2008 in the Plaster Student Union Theater. The lecture, entitled “So What’s Happening with the Dead Sea Scrolls Today?” was presented by Dr. James C. VanderKam, professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame.
“The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important archaeological find in the area of Biblical studies of the Twentieth Century,” said Dr. John Strong, associate professor of religious studies at Missouri State. “While the story of their discovery and publication has all of the thrill and intrigue of a spy-novel, it is what they tell us about the texts of the Bible and Judaism in the 1st Century A.D. that make them of lasting value. To have Dr. VanderKam on campus, who is one of the world’s preeminent scholars of the scrolls, is a great opportunity for us all.”
VanderKam has focused his research on Jewish literature of the second temple period and the Dead Sea Scrolls and served as a member of the team that published the scrolls. Among his books are The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (1994) and The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002, co-authored). In 2005, VanderKam became editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature.
During his two-day visit to the campus, VanderKam also gave a guest-lecture in an upper-level archeology class and met with religious studies department students, staff and faculty.