College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Community Engagement

History as a verb: Community Engagement

Our faculty and students are involved in numerous projects on campus, within Cedar Falls and Waterloo, and as part of state-wide initiatives.

Hosted at UNI

Phi Alpha Theta Lecture Series - free and open to the public, held virtually for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

  • This series begins with the Becker LectureStudent Presenters from the 2020 Donald Shepardson Memorial Student Research Symposium
  • Each month professors deliver a lecture on a different topic within their area of study. 
  • The last lecture of the year is given by an outstanding graduate student over their research.
  • For Spring 2021, this closing lecture will open with a virtual induction ceremony for the new members of Phi Alpha Theta.
  • International Attendance -- utilizing Eventbrite and Zoom we've made our lecture series accessible to colleagues around the world. We've built new connections with fellow scholars, sparking ideas to further explore. 

The Donald Shepardson Memorial Student Research Symposium, annually in Spring  

  • Our History Club and Phi Alpha Theta students sort through student submissions and select presenters for the annual symposium. 
  • Held virtually on March 13th, 2021
  • Recordings of the keynote speech and all four panels will be added soon.

 Public History event -- The Brutish Museums: a Conversation with Dan Hicks

  • Engaging in a vital conversation about the purpose of museums - what they have been, what they can be in the future.

Local Initiatives

​ National History Day, Iowa, Sullivan Brothers District

  • The History Department of UNI hosted National History Day for the Sullivan Brothers District, to be held virtually in Spring 2021.
  • The National History Day program includes a progressive contest cycle open to students in grades 6-12 beginning with the district contests in February/March, state contest in April, and national contest in June.
  • Visit for more information about:


State Wide

Fortepan Iowa Logo

  • FORTEPAN IOWA is a digital archive that features curated photos taken by ordinary Iowans over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The photos represent the personal, whimsical, poetic, significant, and accidentally artistic moments of everyday Iowa life, and tell a rich story of Iowa’s great diversity and complexity.
  • Bettina Fabos (Visual Communication and Interactive Digital Studies), Leisl Carr-Childers (History), Sergey Golitsynskiy (Communication Studies), and Noah Doely (Art), directed the start of FORTEPAN IOWA in 2015. 
  • Fernando Herrera Calderon has continued Dr. Carr-Childers' work with the project and expanded upon it.

Iowa Encyclopedia Project

  • UNI is the home of the digital Iowa Encyclopedia Project.