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Calling All Student Historians: Enter to Win Competition at War of 1812 Event

OSWEGO – ‘Student Night’ returns to kick off the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium at 6 p.m. on April 1.

Students will present research papers at the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium on April 1. Pictured is last year’s winner, Shannon Cilento of SUNY Oswego, answering questions from the jury panel of historians. Photo by Kelly Jordal, Oswego County Tourism.
Students will present research papers at the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium on April 1. Pictured is last year’s winner, Shannon Cilento of SUNY Oswego, answering questions from the jury panel of historians. Photo by Kelly Jordal, Oswego County Tourism.

The Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego hosts the sixth annual event which features an esteemed panel of multi-national historians through April 3.

Students are invited to begin their own journey through history by participating in the student competition on Friday night.

“We welcome students from the U.S. and Canada to present a paper with a focus on the War of 1812,” said Matthew MacVittie, coordinator of the student competition. “This is a quality, competitive contest in which the winners will be decided as much for the historical content of their paper as for their presentation skills at the podium.”

Students can participate in the competition on their own or as part of their academic curriculum or internship program.

MacVittie added, “The paper submitted may serve double-duty as an assignment or extra credit piece for some students.”

All interested graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to submit a 3- to 4,000-word paper on a topic of their choice about the War of 1812.

The document must adhere to the University of Chicago format and be submitted electronically to MacVittie at [email protected] by March 1.

Papers will be judged on writing quality, scholarly source material and argument.

From these submissions, applicants will be chosen to demonstrate their work with a 15-minute presentation at the symposium.

An international jury of historians will then decide the winning applicant.

Cash prizes, gift bags and certificates will be awarded to the top three student presenters immediately following the contest.

“This contest is a great way for the next generation of historians to get started in this field,” said Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear, chairman of the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium Committee. “It is an opportunity for them to gain experience demonstrating their research and presentation skills. They will also have the chance to network and meet established historians.”

On Saturday and Sunday, nine renowned historians will explore a variety of topics surrounding the War of 1812 and the subsequent development of Oswego County which celebrates its bicentennial this year.

They include author and retired Canadian Army Major Sandy Antal; retired U.S. Army Major Dr. Richard Barbuto, author, professor and deputy director of the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and naval historian and author Dr. Gary M. Gibson.

Author and historian Dianne Graves; military historian and author Donald Graves; Fort Ontario Historic Site Superintendent Lear; historical marine artist Dr. Peter Rindlisbacher; Dr. Richard Weyhing, history professor at the State University of New York at Oswego; and Oswego County Historian Justin White complete the roster.

For more information about the student competition, e-mail MacVittie at [email protected]

To register for the symposium, call 315-343-4711 or go to www.fortontario.com

For visitor information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322 or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com