Tusculum University holds competition for area students that focuses on frontiers in history

GREENEVILLE – East Tennessee students were recently honored during a ceremony at Tusculum University for a cross-section of projects that touched on frontiers in history.

Medal awardees pose after the ceremony.

The event was part of Tennessee History Day, a yearlong program for students in grades 6-12 that engages educators and students to improve the teaching and learning of history in public, private and home schools. Tusculum hosted a district competition in five categories — performance, exhibit, website, documentary and paper. The university awarded medals to winning students whose work was judged by Tusculum faculty, staff and alumni as well as community members from a variety of disciplines throughout the region.

“Tusculum’s mission highlights the value of an active and experiential education, and Tennessee History Day is a perfect example of that principle in action for these students,” said Dr. Peter Noll, professor of public history and museum studies, who organized the event. “Our mission also emphasizes the importance of the Tusculum family being civically engaged, and we were delighted to connect with these students and their schools and support learning more about history.”

Students submitted their projects online for judges to review. During the Friday, Nov. 18, event at Tusculum, the judges had the opportunity to interview the students about the research and process of their projects and provide feedback. Students needed to submit a project that aligned with the theme “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.”

The district competition featured students from Cocke, Greene and Sullivan counties. The categories, results and names of the students, their school and their project are:

This is one of the exhibits in the competition.

Dr. Peter Noll, left, presents a medal to one of the participants.

Junior Division

Individual documentary

  • First place: Cayton Griffin, Cosby Elementary; “William Cocke: Frontier Statesman”

Senior Division

Individual documentary

  • First place: Brycen Baxter, Cosby High School; “Walt Disney: Reinventing Entertainment”

Group documentary

  • First place: Cyler Davis and Kort Wilson, Cosby High School; “Lewis and Clark: A Trek into the Unknown”

Individual paper

  • First place: Jasmine Peralta, Cosby High School; “The Father of Modern Sci-Fi: How Jules Verne Pioneered the Concept of Plausible Science Fiction”
  • Second place: Balagopalan Pushkas, Dobyns-Bennett High School; “Effects of the Spanish Exploration and Conquest on the Development of the Americas”
  • Third place: Jada Nelson, Cocke County High School; “The First Woman on Wall Street”

Individual exhibit

  • First place: Destiny O’Dell, Cosby High School; “Crushing the Summitt”
  • Second place: Mikayla Lane, Cosby High School; “The Indian Removal Act”

Group exhibit

  • First place: Sara Guzman and Shyla Hall, Cosby High School; “The 19th Amendment: A Frontier for Suffrage”
  • Second place: Brooke Freeman and Alexis McCarter, Cosby High School; “The Walker Sisters: Way of Life in Appalachia”

    Left to right, Theresa Hammons, Chelsea White and Joe Nowotarski were three of the judges in the competition.

    Dr. Peter Noll greets the participants.

Individual website

  • First place: Reese Ottinger, South Greene High School; “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: The Geographical Frontier of Everest”

Group website

  • First place: Annaleece McNabb and Shelby Wallen, Cosby High School; “Women’s Fight to Space: Sally Ride and the Women’s Space Frontier”
  • Second place: Ava Krawczyk and Kaymen Moss, Cosby High School; “Bacon’s Rebellion: The Dawn of America’s Defiance”
  • Third place: Evie Bryant and Teedra Clevenger, Cosby High School; “Kitty Wells: Frontier for Females in Country Music”

Students who earned a gold or silver medal in the district competition are eligible to participate in the regional competition, which will be held in February in Knoxville. Those who finish first or second there will then head to the state competition with a chance to then participate in the national competition in Washington.

More information about Tennessee History Day is available at https://tennesseehistory.org/tennessee-history-day/. To learn more about the university, please visit www.tusculum.edu.