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Student Research Opportunities

Research Papers

Most of our 300-level courses require students to engage in writing a research paper.  Students have the opportunity to select their own topics related to the course, discover relevant primary and secondary sources and create their own thesis-driven paper.  

In HIST 369 - Historical Game Design students have the opportunity to work together to create and research a Reacting to the Past game, which they will then playtest in the course with their peers and other faculty.

Independent Original Research Projects

Students have the oportunity to complete an original, primary source-based research project by signing up for a one or two semester Independent Study course under the direction of a faculty member.  

Recent Projects:

Annie Olson, '14 - The Exodus of African-Americans from Indianola: A Study of the Reliability of Memory-Based History

Krystal Dagget, '15 - "English Civil War: Participation in Government"

Ashley Mayrose, '15  - Indian views on the abolition of sati (widow burning) in nineteenth century

Ethan Fredrick

“My junior year I took the Game Design course in which I joined a team of students who created and tested a game about the second Spanish Republic. We were able to choose a topic that interested us most, and we could develop the game in whatever way we saw fit. After a semester of researching, I had many unanswered questions about this area Spanish history. My adviser encouraged me to undertake an independent research project to answer these questions in an academic paper. By the end of my senior year, I had written a 40 page paper and been a part of creating a game that is currently being used in another college’s classroom."
~Ethan Fredrick '16

Research Symposium 

Many of our students decide to present their work to the Simpson Community at the annual Research Symposium.  Here students have the opportunity to share their findings with other students and faculty through panel presentations with a Q & A session or by participating in round table discussions.  


Jordan Beem, "A Shift in the Verdicts of Infanticide in the Late Eighteenth Century" 

Ethan Fredrick, "Masculinity and Political Violence in Pre-Civil War Spain" 

Sara Miller, "Catholic Priests and Plots to Kill the King" 

Gillian Randall, "Wicked Wives: The Perception of Petty Treason and Women in Early Modern England"


Krystal Daggett, “The English Civil War: A Matter of Authority”

Jordan Rude, Brandon Herring, Ian Hunt, Alison Graves, Evan Kimberlin, Kyle Loy, and Emily Richardson, “The Myth of Magna Carta: Sovereignty and Authority in the Medieval England”


Estefanía Anaya, "The Witch-Hunts of Early Modern Europe: Were They Misogynistic?" 

Krystal Daggett, "Elizabeth I: The Fluidity of Gender" 

Kristina Kelehan, "Sex, Crime and Changing Morals: Sodomy in Nineteenth Century England" 

Annie Olson, The Exodus of African-Americans from Indianola: A Study of the Reliability of Memory-Based History 

Andrew Zepeda, "The Shimabara Rebellion"


Joshua Zieman, "The Battle of Gallipoli and ANZAC Day"

Interactive Panel Discussion: "Changing Places? Women and Gender in the Great War" - Judy Walden, Nicole Gearhart, Chrissy Meggers, Sarina Rhinehart, and Sam Schroeder


Erin Broich, "The “Bloody” Tyrant and the “Virgin Queen”: Mary and Elizabeth Tudor and the Struggle for the Hearts and Souls of England"

Allie Walker, "Holstein and the 1980s Farm Crisis"

Interactive Panel Discussion: "Reacting to the Past: Chicago 1968" - Nicolas Proctor, Bobby Dennis, JoAnna Freeland, Dustin McNulty, Emily Stover, Ryan Stumbo, Cody Zaring, Josh Zieman


Christina Weaklend, "Coining in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries"

Interactive Panel Discussion: "Document Based Questions from the Colonial and Revolutionary History" - Nicolas Proctor and The Students of HIST 359