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Phi Alpha Theta Makes History at National Convention

by Montclarion News

From left to right: Christopher Sudol (chapter president), Collin Mastria (secretary), Matthew Zuccaro (treasurer)
Photo Credit: Christopher SudolAlp

For the first time, the Montclair State chapter of Phi Alpha Theta’s History Honor Society was chosen to participate in the 2016 Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention.

Three Montclair State students, along with 77 other Phi Alpha Theta members from across the country, presented their historical research from Jan. 6 to Jan. 10 in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World resort.

Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society lies under the Upsilon-Sigma chapter, which was established on Dec. 5, 1973. The society consists of both history and non-history majors with a 3.0 overall grade point average.

“It’s a professional society that connects faculty to students to create a professional network and to encourage research,” said Christopher Sudol, president of Phi Alpha Theta and a senior at Montclair State.

Sudol was one of the three Montclair State students chosen to present at the convention. “[The convention] was something that normal undergraduates wouldn’t experience— being able to build professional networks and share what we had to offer with the historical community.”

The other two Montclair State participants, Matthew Zuccaro and Collin Mastrian, are also graduating seniors.

Zuccaro, who presented his research on Jan. 8, expressed his thoughts on the 2016 PAT Biennial Convention by deeming it a wonderful experience. “As a graduating senior, the conference was an excellent capstone to four years of studying history,” Zuccaro said. “The opportunity to meet fellow students who shared similar research interests as well as receiving feedback from experts in the field was an exceptional experience.”

On Jan 9., Mastrian presented his research. When asked about the event, he said, “The culture which surrounded the conference was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the trip. Being involved in historical discourse with my peers on a variety of subjects was enjoyable, educational and, at times, a very challenging endeavor.”

The participants also declared that their participation in the National Convention wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the Montclair State History Department and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “They really encouraged us to push for this and it’s nice to have the support of your professors and administrators,” said Sudol.

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