News and Events

Are you a former or current Winthrop University History student with news that you would like to share? If so, please send your information to the History Department's administrative assistant, Ms. Katie Hartnett.



We are now seeking applications for several History Scholarships and Awards! To apply, fill out an application (pdf - 87 KB) and e-mail to History Department Chair, Dr. Don Rakestraw and Ms. Katie Hartnett.


Upcoming Events:

Catawba Women Event


Alumni and Student News:

- Alum Perry Sutton is running for Rock Hill City Council

- Alum Kenya Lane is African American History Program Interpreter at Historic Brattonsville

- Student Michaela Bessinger is interning for Project 2020

- Student Zach Saddow is interning for Historic Rock Hill

- Student Nicole Holbert is interning for the Peace History Society Newsletter


Department News:

The first mistake


 Dr. Edward Lee, Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies, has a new book titled, "The First Mistake: America in Vietname, 1945-1954", now available here!

"When writing about the Vietnam War, most scholars focus on the 1960s. But in this hard-hitting analysis, eminent historian Dr. J. Edward Lee focuses instead on the key period of 1945 to 1954, the first decade of America's Vietnam War experience. He suggests that as the Cold War commenced in 1945, America failed to remember our nation's own revolutionary experience and the importance of independence and self-determination, missing an opportunity to build a positive relationship with Ho Chi Minh when we aided the return of French colonialism instead of working with him to achieve his country's independence from imperialist France. A must-read for university classes studying the 20th century, veterans groups, and anyone interested in the gritty history of the Vietnam War.

Past Events

  • The Alpha Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta visited the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in early March. Members toured the Research Room, the stacks, and the current exhibit on display, the J. Verne Smith Gallery.  Steve Tuttle, Director of Archives & Records Management, showed students important documents in South Carolina history and fielded questions about careers in records management.

                       PAT Visit



 From Slavery to Freedom  Songs of Slavery


  •  History Graduate students recently went to the Southern Historical Association's Annual Conference. Here is what Kenya Lane, graduate student, had to say about the experience... "Going to the Southern Historical Association's annual conference was truly a rewarding experience. The historical richness of the state of Kentucky paired with the historical richness of the hotel the conference was held in, set the tone and the atmosphere. Having the opportunity to listen to and converse with a wide range of history scholars, exploring an almost endless display of books and manuscripts written by some of the same panelist that presented, and the benefit of getting to know two wonderful professors on a deeper level, made for a magnificent experience. For a history grad student, going to this event was both insightful and informative and gave me an even greater love for history!” 

                    Kentucky Trip


  • Winthrop University hosted the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference: April 12-13, 2019

    The Department of History and the Alpha Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta were proud to host the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Carolinas Regional Conference. Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students, professors of history, and all history friends who have taken many history courses and achieved success. Winthrop University's Alpha Tau chapter is the earliest chapter established in the Carolinas, back in 1947. For decades, the Alpha Tau Chapter at Winthrop has organized many cultural events and field trips to promote history and to build connections between Winthrop University and many Carolinian communities. With the sponsorship of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, and Ms. Maggie Elrod (an alumna of Winthrop's Department of History and Phi Alpha Theta member), the conference was held April 12-13 of 2019.

                         PAT Conference



  • The Education Department at Levine Museum of the New South is looking for volunteers to serve as docents, tour guides, and program assistant to helps with tours for school groups and local organizations. This would be a fantastic experience for all history students, especially those who are interested in learning more about Public History, please contact Kamille Bostick for more information. 
  • The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, offers an internship program that, "is an opportunity for area college students to gain valuable career insight into the workings of a museum." Please visit The Mint Museum's website for more information.
  • The York County Culture and Heritage Museums offer a diverse array of internships and volunteer opportunities that would be perfect for Winthrop History students. Please visit their webpage for more information.


Current Student News

The History Department was proud to honor the following students for their superb academic achievements at our annual Department Award Ceremony:

  • Evan Michael Schultheis, recipient of the Ross Webb Award
  • Cheyenne Altman, recipient of the Bert Viault Award
  • Jordon Buschman, recipient of the Glen Broach Award
  • Irene Natsis, recipient of the Fred Hembree History Scholarship
  • Vladimir Markarov, recipient of the Fred Hembree History Scholarship
  • Kelly Bunts, recipient of the Maggie Elrod Scholarship