50+ Students From Across Minnesota Receive Top Honors to Compete at National History Day

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 4, 2020
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org or Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

50+ Students From Across Minnesota Receive Top Honors to Compete at National History Day

In the last week, more than 1,000 middle and high school students competed at the 2020 virtual Minnesota State History Day competition. This state competition was the culmination of months of student work around the 2020 History Day theme, “Breaking Barriers in History.” In addition, COVID-19 required History Day students and staff to shift from in-person regional and state competitions to a virtual format starting in mid-March. 

Fifty-nine students received first and second place in their categories and will move on to compete in National History Day’s virtual contest June 14-20.

View full results for each category, including 3rd through 5th place, honorable mentions, topical prizes and teacher awards.

Junior Paper
1st: Karina Hydrie, “Valentina Tereshkova: Breaking the Gender Barrier in Space,” Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet, St. Paul
2nd: Julianna Velgersdyk, “Weeks vs. Southern Bell: Breaking Discriminatory Employment Barriers for Women in the Workforce,” Avail Academy, Edina

Senior Paper
1st: Erin Coleman, “Breaking Barriers in Public Health: John Snow and the 1854 London Cholera Epidemic,” East High School, Duluth
2nd: Natalie Miller, “Too Strong For a Woman: How Bernice Sandler Created Title IX to Break Barriers for Female Faculty in Higher Education,” East High School, Duluth

Junior Individual Performance
1st: Noura Rezk, “Joann Morgan,” Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake
2nd: Anwen Winter, “The Slave Narratives Project: Breaking the Barrier of Silence,” Many Rivers Montessori, Duluth

Junior Group Performance
1st: Daniel Jungwirth & Kumail Akram, “The Xinhai Revolution: Breaking the Barrier of China’s Dynastic Tradition,” Buffalo Community Middle School, Buffalo 
2nd: Amarah McGuire, Daniel Johnston, Kennedi Rohlf, Rylie Butler & Virginia Schutz. “Almost Home: The Deportation, Liberation, and Naturalization of Displaced Jews After WWII,” Christ’s Household of Faith, St. Paul

Senior Individual Performance
1st: Aislinn Johnston, “Night Witches: Female Pilots Gliding Over Military Barriers,” Christ’s Household of Faith, St. Paul
2nd: Ephraim Erjavec, “The Troubling Road to Resolution: The Irish Peace Process,” Avalon School, St. Paul

Senior Group Performance
1st: Helena Squires Mosher, Mae Wrigley & Sam Kellar-Long, “The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Breaking Barriers through Forgiveness,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul
2nd: Blessing Griswold, Judah Griswold & Mercy Griswold, “Breaking Down Barriers: Gillette Specialty Healthcare,” Homeschool-Creekside Christian, Elk River

Junior Individual Documentary
1st: Sasha Allen, “Infant Incubators: The Carnival Sideshow That Saved Lives,” Central Middle School, Eden Prairie
2nd: Zach Bolman, “The PATCO Strike of 198,” Murray Middle School, St. Paul

Junior Group Documentary
1st: Tess Campion & Willa Campion, “Berkeley Strikes Back: The Third World Liberation Front,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul
 2nd: Annika Culver & Greta Seppanen, “ACT UP: The Fight To End AIDS,” Murray Middle School, St. Paul

Senior Individual Documentary
1st: Isabella Graziani, “The Vietnam War As Seen On TV,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul
2nd: Iris Carroll, “Penumbra Theatre: Presenting African American Narratives through Performance,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul

Senior Group Documentary
1st: Elsa Carlson &  Zoe Campion, “‘Unbought and Unbossed’ Shirley Chisholm and the Breaking of Political Barriers,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul
2nd: Audrey Faricy & Sebastian Helgeson, “The Doll Test: Identifying and Breaking Down Barriers To Racial Integration,” Roseville Area High School, Roseville

Junior Individual Website
1st: Emily Strahan, “Give Us Bread But Give Us Roses! The Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912,” Oak Grove Middle School, Bloomington
2nd: Thanhtruc Mai, “Oyama v. California: Confronting Alien Land Laws,” Columbia Academy, Columbia Heights

Junior Group Website
1st: Jack Randolph & Jackson Nguyen, “The Four Pests Campaign: The Consequences of Breaking Ecological Barriers,” Sanford Middle School, Minneapolis 
2nd: Lilly Smith & Sarah Ragoonanan, “The ‘Unbought and Unbossed’ Shirley Chisholm: Breaking Barriers for Minorities and Women,” Folwell Performing Arts Magnet, Minneapolis

Senior Individual Website
1st: Lily Hennessee, “Lewis Hine: Breaking the Barrier Between Reality and Perception of Child Labor,”  Open World Learning Community, St. Paul
2nd: Elena Laskowski, “The Rise of Katharine Graham,” DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis

Senior Group Website
1st: Akshay Nambudiripad, Kalid Ali, Mani Chadaga & Simon Mulrooney, “Horace Mann and the Common School Movement,” Central High School, St. Paul
2nd: Aiko Mattie & Emma McCarthy, “Gloria Richardson: Breaking Racial Barriers in Cambridge, MD,” Open World Learning Community, St. Paul

Junior Individual Exhibit
1st: Annika Hellmark, “C. Walton Lillehei,” Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake
2nd: Ella Stadtherr, “Thalidomide,” Sunrise Park Middle School, White Bear Lake

Junior Group Exhibit
1st: Blaze Geiger & Isaac Sheard, "'Breaking Barriers of Space’: Apollo 11,” Fairmont Junior/Senior High School, Fairmont
2nd: Britney Merchan & Emily Duba, “Loving v. Virginia-Breaking the Marriage Barrier,” Fridley Middle School, Fridley

Senior Individual Exhibit
1st: Isabella Schmitt, “Buck vs. Bell and Eugenics in America,” Highland Park Senior High School, St. Paul
2nd: Bela Santan, “Breaking the Barrier for Women in Clinical Trials,” Roosevelt High School, Minneapolis

Senior Group Exhibit
1st: John Henry Sullivan & Kate Mandler, “Women’s War of 1929: Matriarchy and Colonial Resistance in Nigeria,” DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis
2nd: Audrey Simpson & Evie Kaznessis, “Women in Insane Asylums,” DeLaSalle High School, Minneapolis

About National History Day in Minnesota
National History Day in Minnesota is a co-curricular historical research program that builds college readiness and communication skills for middle and high school students. 27,000 students from over 250 schools participate in Minnesota each year. The program in Minnesota is a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts. 

Program support is also provided by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. For more information, visit education.mnhs.org/historyday.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at mnhs.org.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partner: Explore Minnesota Tourism.