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News - Department of History, Illinois State University News

History Department alum, Mike Mitchell, named University Runner-up…..

in the Illinois State University James L. Fisher Outstanding Thesis Competition

Mike Mitchell


The James L. Fisher Outstanding Thesis Competition is designed to promote recognition of graduate theses of the highest quality.  The competition was open to students who had earned their master’s degree AND completed their thesis within the calendar year October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.  The student does not have to be on campus to be eligible for the competition.

Mitchell’s thesis, Modernism on Trial: An analysis of Historic Preservation Debates in Chicago, looks at what to do about modernist buildings and urban places from the decades after world War II, as these places become old enough that they are eligible for designation as historic places or districts.  According to his thesis advisor, Dr. Alan Lessoff, “This thesis has generated an unusual amount of interest for an MA thesis and will help to establish Mike as a respected practitioner in these areas.”

Mitchell is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in Architectural History at the University of Virginia.

Congratulations Mike !

Department Alum wins HOI One Class at a Time award

Chad Kuehnl BS ’01 was honored in his classroom and on the evening news as the One Class at a Time recipient from HOI-19 News.



He teaches history at the Bloomington Alternative school and one of his students, Brooklin McDowell nominated him for this award.  She says, “He’s like one of those teachers that doesn’t sit behind the desk, he’s always moving around,” said McDowall.  “He’s always willing to help, you ask him, he’ll give you as much help as you need.  If you don’t understand something he will give it to you in another way.”  According to Dr. Monica Noraian, Director of the History-Social Sciences Education Program, “Chad was a great student in our program, always showing his desire to make a difference for his students and in his profession.  This honor is well-deserved and speaks highly of the relationship he has built with his students and his school community.”

Chad plans to use the $1,000 award for new history materials.  Kuehnl says over the past couple of years lower classmen received new history books and some are on the way for juniors and seniors.  He adds the grant money will also bring more creative resources to his classroom.  HOI 19 Kids Count and CEFCU award $1,000 grants bi-weekly to Heart of Illinois classrooms.  Congratulations Chad!

Dr. Nassar spoke at Milner Library on….

Nassar at Milner

“World War I on the Middle Eastern Front” on October 9.

Although the Great War is often mistakenly viewed as a European conflict, the countries of turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt were a major part of the war.  Dr. Nassar examined this critical region and the ongoing problems in the Middle East that still stem from World War I.

Dr. Issam Nassar is a Professor of History of Illinois State University, specializing in Middle Eastern history and the history of photography of the Middle East.

This talk was one of a series of presentations held in support of “Answering the Call:  ISNU’s Librarian & the ‘Great War’” exhibition.  To learn about upcoming presentations in this series check it out at


Email History

Department of History
Normal, Il 61790-4420
Phone: (309) 438-5641
Fax: (309) 438-5607