Prof. Leon Soulé taught in the History Department for many years, starting in the 1960s and retiring in the late eighties. He was known as an outstanding teacher and scholar. Indeed, as a teacher he was inspiring, and a number of his students were motivated by his teaching to get their Ph.D. and become professors themselves. These scholarships commemorate Prof. Soulé and his contributions to the History Department and the profession.
This year’s recipients of the Soule Scholarships are Emily Drotar and Erich Schnack.
Emily Drotar is a senior with a triple major in Black Studies, Women’s Studies, and History. Emily is known among faculty for her deep engagement with material and insightful questions that allow her to delve into the primary and secondary sources of a topic. Dr. Karen Sotiropoulus describes Emily as an “experienced teacher” in her ability to relate complex topics to her classmates during her presentations. Similarly, Dr. Stephanie Hinnershitz had Emily in her U.S. History 1945-1989 class where Emily always contributed to class discussions with analytical questions in a way that inspired other members of the class to think differently about course material. Emily also took it upon herself to do extra research for her own self-guided study of McCarthyism and the Cold War during the 1950s.
With that drive, it is no surprise that Emily will be pursuing an MA in History! Dr. Kelly Wrenhaven describes Emily as an “excellent student” who will be a great asset to the CSU History graduate program. A self-described “history nerd” (aren’t we all, Emily!), she likes to read up on recent trends in historical studies and research topics that interest her!
Erich Schnack is a senior History and Social Studies major who is known widely throughout the history program as a historian who combines his love of the earth and the outdoors with his deep respect for the past. During the summer, Erich was an intern with the National Park Service where he served as a Community Engagement Interpreter. He worked with a team developing an exhibit featuring the history of African Americans in the Cuyahoga Valley. The project grew from a desire to showcase the experiences of marginalized and underrepresented peoples in the NPS. Erich also demonstrated his passion for public history in Dr. Mark Cole’s course where he participated in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s History Unfolded Project (a citizens history project in which researchers comb through local newspapers to better understand what Americans knew–or could know–about the Holocaust) and Dr. Shelley Rose’s geography course.
After graduating, Erich hopes to continue to serve as an ambassador for history and public parks. He plans on pursuing a graduate degree in history and teaching. He is also working on an oral history project of the 1960s counterculture movement.
Congratulations, Emily and Erich!