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March 12, 2021

Four students present research to state history groups

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant


Northwest Missouri State University students presented their research to two state history associations – the Missouri Conference on History and the Conference of the Kansas Association of Historians – this month. 

Madison Barben, a senior history major from Omaha, Nebraska, presented at both history conferences. The Conference of the Kansas Association of Historians was March 6, and the Missouri Conference on History was March 10-12. Both conferences were hosted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In front of the Kansas Association of Historians, Barben presented her research about protestant churches in Germany during the time of the Nazi party and their response to the Holocaust. She chose the topic after reading about anti-Semitism and Christianity because she was curious about the relationship between the protestant church and the Nazi party.

Barben said she is grateful for opportunities at Northwest to gain research experience and present about topics that interest her. In 2019, she accepted an opportunity to spend a week in Germany to learn about archiving history.

“It’s really pushed me to be more interested in research and history and academia,” Barben said. “These are opportunities I don’t think I would have had if I didn’t have connections with faculty at Northwest. I’ve had some other opportunities in the past that I would have not have if I was just looking by myself.”

Madeline Waskowiak, a senior social science education major from Omaha, Nebraska, also presented at the Conference of the Kansas Association of Historians. She discussed the history of Holocaust education in America, specifically from the times of Adolf Eichmann’s trial in 1961 until the release of the 1993 film “Schindler’s List.”

Waskowiak had a previous interest in the Holocaust that grew when she took a senior seminar course discussing the topic.

“It shows the worst of humanity, but it also has these glimpses of when humans are up against all odds, through the absolute worst things that humans can do to each other, and they pull through and do something amazing,” Waskowiak said. “While that’s rare and far between, it’s just far more inspiring. Studying the Holocaust is quite a study of humans and how humans interact under atrocity.”

In addition to her presentation at the Kansas Association of Historians, Barben presented at the Missouri Conference on History with Northwest students Emily Tillman, a senior history major from Independence, Missouri, and Keely Danielsen, a senior political science major from Kansas City, Missouri. The trio discussed Missouri women suffragists and the impact they had on the national women’s suffrage movement.

The students had completed a Women and Gender U.S. History class in 2019 and each were assigned a different suffragette from Missouri history to research. They compiled documents from the 1800s and 1900s and built the stories of suffragettes.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704