Out of all our Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts (SSHA) students here at UC Merced, only 3% are history majors. Yet, despite the major’s relatively small student population, Historical Society is blossoming as one of the leading campus clubs. Supported by professors Ruth Mostern and Dr. Nathan Perry, their Undergraduate Historical Journal has become one of the few reputable historical undergraduate journals in the UC system.
Historical Society President, Ramon Barragan, describes the club as the “crossroads between a social and academic club.” While members do work on honing their skills academically, the club is also a place to bond with fellow history majors and history enthusiasts. “Our school has a clear flavor of being a bio, computer engineering, science school so it’s nice to be able to build that sense of community.”
The Historical Society isn’t just about building community on-campus though. They also have close connections to Merced’s Historical Society as well as Merced’s County Courthouse Museum where they recently put together a UC Merced 10th Anniversary exhibit. “Part of going to college is participating in the community you’re in,” says Barragan.
Even the journal, though it is mostly managed by the Historical Society, employs editors who aren’t members of the Society. To maintain integrity, undergraduates are required to have their work approved by their professor before submission to the journal. This guarantees historical accuracy and allows editors to work alongside authors to improve their writing, rather than just checking facts. This encourages students to work alongside and develop relationships with their professors. Brenda Zetina, Historical Society Financial Officer and Journal Editor, says, “It’s great having those professors that really care.”
The Undergraduate Historical Journal is published once each semester. The submission deadline for Fall 2015 is September 24. Once published the journal is available through e-scholarship (https://escholarship.org/uc/ssha_uhj).
The Historical Society hopes to create an even bigger presence for themselves on campus with their upcoming “History Horror” event in October which will go over the historical significance of popular Halloween myths and lore.
The Historical Society meets every Thursday between 6pm and 7pm in COB 272.
Photo Credit: UCM Historical Society