The Department of History is proud to announce that history major Matthew Garren won our new prize for the best senior seminar paper, writing “The Other Constitution: In re Gault and the Rehabilitative Ideal” for Dr. Kriste Lindenmeyer’s Fall 2012 class.

From Matt: “In 1967, the Supreme Court heard In re Gault, a case that called for the bestowal of Fourteenth Amendment due process rights to juveniles within the juvenile court system. The Court ruled in favor of domesticating the Fourteenth Amendment within the juvenile justice system, thus committing to a dramatic legal overhaul of the Progressive-era institution. Despite the case’s constitutional question, however, a significant portion of Gault was argued and decided upon not in relation to its constitutionality, but whether or not due process rights could sustain the rehabilitative ideal. This ideal, articulated by the Progressive founders of the juvenile court system, held that children were distinct from adults and should be given the opportunity for reform and rehabilitation as opposed to punishment. The bilateral support for this ideal in Gault thus showed this case to be at once the most substantial alteration of the Progressive-era system in its history while also a significant reaffirmation of Progressive ideals.”

We are also proud of history major Nicholas Prehn, who won the department prize for the best paper in our core course Perspectives on History in Fall 2012. Nick’s “Guatemala, the United States, and Communism” for Dr. Lorrin Thomas “examines the United States’ assessment of the alleged threat of Guatemalan communism around the period of the CIA-orchestrated coup of 1954. Due to such factors as the absence of any ties with the Soviet Communist Party and the largely benign goals of the Arbenz administration, Guatemala did not pose any significant threat to the United States in the 1950s. Key to my argument is the historical context of the nation of Guatemala: Its history of ruthless dictators illustrates why communism was attractive to both government officials and common citizens by the early 20th century. I support all of these ideas with both primary and secondary sources, all of which offer unique perspectives on the Guatemalan government, the CIA, and the United States.”

Chris Maisano, a history alum, is a contributing editor of Jacobin, “a magazine of culture and polemic.” Check it out here: And take a look at The New York Times‘ January 21, 2013 article on Jacobin called “A Young Publisher Takes Marx Into the Mainstream.”

Alumna Rosie Cook featured in New York Times article

Alumna Rosie Cook, who wrote her capstone paper for our graduate program on children’s Chemistry Sets and who is working on a chemistry set exhibit at Philadelphia’s Chemical Heritage Foundation is featured in a Christmas-Day article in the New York Times.

By Phi Alpha Theta member and history major Melissa McHugh from

Rutgers-Camden is more than a collection of buildings and a degree to me. By the time I graduate next spring, I will have traveled to Paris, London, and the south of France; learned to speak French and German, studied with a MacArthur Fellow, and been published in an academic journal.

The Rutgers faculty has always pushed me beyond the limits of what I thought I could achieve in my studies, believing that I was capable of more. At Rutgers-Camden, there is always something new to learn, another wonderful faculty member to meet, but never enough time to do it all. I chose to extend my time here an extra year in order to finish a second bachelor’s degree in French, and it gave me an opportunity to learn even more from the faculty in the foreign language and history departments who have made me a better student as well as an aspiring historian.

I want to graduate as a Rutgers student and I want to be a Rutgers alumni. I want to drive down Cooper Street in five or ten years and see Rutgers’ flags flying high, proudly continuing to serve the students of South Jersey.

By graduate student, Phi Alpha Beta, and Phi Beta Kappa member Brian Haughwout from

I was always a strong student, until health problems in my early twenties forced me to leave college early. When I tried to return in my late twenties, other schools didn’t want to gamble on me, but Rutgers-Camden took the bet.

Although I felt odd as an undergraduate at my age, the history department here embraced me and helped me find my place. With their help, I got back to where I was supposed to be, graduating magna cum laude and starting graduate work before I even completed my bachelor’s degree.

Five years ago, I thought I could never succeed. Now I’m finishing a master’s degree in public history and working toward a doctorate, all while also presenting at history conferences and working at the Battleship New Jersey right here in Camden. None of this would be possible without the guidance of the faculty here at Rutgers-Camden. Five years ago, I thought I had to kiss my dreams goodbye, but instead I’m now rising in my field and making a name for myself.

Along the way, the Rutgers brand gets me an audience while my experiences at Rutgers-Camden help me to share what I’ve learned with others in my field and in my new community.