Inverted Pyramid

On September 10th, Junior and Senior University of Kansas history students won the national Collegiate History in Action award at the Watkins Museum. The award, which is only given to one college or university a year, was granted at the annual convention of the American History Teachers Association for the work the students did on a project in March and April of 2021. According to the American History Teachers Association Bylaws,

“The annual Collegiate History in Action award honors teachers and students that bring history to life, particularly in telling untold stories or highlighting historical events with new relevance in the present.” The students achieved this by compiling letters and diary entries that were archived at the Watkins Museum in Lawrence to create videos about the 1919 flu pandemic.

“We’re so impressed with how the KU students took archival material and connected it with what’s going on today,” Watkins Museum’s Director of Engagement and Learning, Will Haynes said.

Associate Professor LaDonna Raven takes pride in her students achievements and hard work,

“They went above and beyond during a pandemic to produce a fantastic research project,” Raven said.

Many seem to agree with Raven that the students went above and beyond. President of the American History Teachers Association, Kevin Hernandez had nothing but praise for these students.

“The KU project was stunning. The voices seemed so real and relevant that several of us wept as we watched the videos,” Hernandez said.

The entry titled, “Voices from a Pandemic” is a series of videos based on information found in letters and diaries of Kansas residents. It shows what life was like during the flu pandemic of 1919 through quotes from the letters and diaries read by the students. A piece of work bound to make an impact during the tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic.