Welebaethan teamCaption: Standing, from left, are Michael M. Matini, Gabriella Longbotham and John Belleci, and sitting from left, are: Wendy Elliott-Scheinberg, Matthew M. Payan and Teri L. Stevens. Photo: Karen Tapia Download Photo

Welebaethan Wins Again

Student History Journal Best in Nation for 25 Consecutive Years

The pressure was on. Would Cal State Fullerton’s Welebaethan be proclaimed the best student history journal in the nation for the 25th year in a row? Absolutely, the journal judges for the National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, decided.

2011 WelebaethanThe journal's writers and editors and their faculty advisers recently received the good news about their 281-page journal published in 2011.

“We’re really excited about this,” said Matthew M. Payan, a history major who served as the journal's co-editor with Terri L. Stevens (B.A. history ’11). “We had some diverse high-quality papers to choose from.”

Welebaethan’s faculty advisers are Wendy Elliott-Scheinberg, lecturer of history; Gordon Morris Bakken, professor of history; and Jochen Burgtorf, chair and professor of history.

More than 80 research papers, submitted by graduate and undergraduate students, were narrowed down to 21 in a triple-blind selection process, Payan said. Because of the journal's prestige as the country's best, highly-motivated students aspire to be published in it, resulting in stiff competition, he said, adding that an advisory board made up of history students, alumni and professors help select the papers.

“It’s a lot of pressure to be No. 1,” Payan said, “but very rewarding and a lot of fun.”

Featured in the latest journal are 21 articles ranging in topics from jazz history and Japanese kimonos to female Nazis, as well as the story of the Titanic and political activism. Nine of the papers received special distinction as Cal State Fullerton History Department award winners. They are:

  • “Religious Images and Popular Iconoclasm: John Calvin's Attitude and Response,” by Peter J. Roberts (M.A. history '10), winner of the Lawrence B. de Graaf Prize for Best Overall Paper.
  • “The Unsinkable Ship: Symbolism of the RMS Titanic in the Transatlantic Steamship Competition,” by Raymond Ortiz (B.A. history '11), winner of the Ric Miller Prize for Best European History.
  • “Jazz Out West: Dance Hallls, Musical Migrations and the Cultural Landscape of Los Angeles,” by history major John Carlos Marquez, winner of the William Langsdorf Prize for Best Western/Local History.
  • “Victorious Heroics: The Unknown Defender of Stamford Bridge, 1066, in Mythopoetic Discourse,” by Charles W. Joseph Eggleston (B.A. history, American studies '11), winner of the Best of New Approaches to History Award.
  • “Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon: Nazi Formation of Female Identity in Propaganda of the Third Reich, 1933-1945,” by Ryan Russell Hunt (B.A. history '07, M.A. history '11), winner of the Women's History Award.
  • “The Washington Conference and Naval Disarmament: A Historiographical Examination,” by history major Michael M. Matini, winner of the Intellectual History Award.
  • “From Kimonos to Ball Gowns: The Transformation of Los Angeles' Japanese-American Community Through Pageantry,” by Christina Barbieri (B.A. communications-public relations '07, M.A. American studies '11), winner of the Asian American History Award.
  • “Remembering and Representing Femicide in the Borderlands of Ciudad Juarez,” by Jessica Ordaz (M.A. American studies '11), winner of the Latin American History Award.
  • “Berkeley in the 1960s,” by history graduate student John Belleci (B.A. history '11), winner of the Oral History Award.

In addition, the university's history honor society, Theta-Pi, has won best chapter honors again. The organization now has been named best chapter by Phi Alpha Theta for 31 years. Many of Theta-Pi’s members work on the Welebaethan. Students now are working on the 2012 issue.

“This is an extremely successful program,” Bakken said. “Being named best in the nation demonstrates again that Cal State Fullerton produces a journal of excellence and an excellent chapter, better than UCLA, UC Berkeley and a whole lot of other institutions of higher learning across the United States.”

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