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Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta

Our chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national History Honor Society, was established in May 2007. Phi Alpha Theta was established in 1921 and is a charter member of the Association of College Honor Societies. It has over 970 active chapters and 400,000 members. Phi Alpha Theta publishes a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, The Historian, and convenes 35 regional meetings each year. 

Students at Pacific may participate through the affiliated History Club.  Those who meet national honor standards--a minimum GPA in history classes of 3.1, an overall GPA above 3.0, and at least three history classes completed--may join the Honor Society. Students can be from any major.

2017-18 Officers
President: Hannah Tyvergyak
Treasurer: James Lyons
Vice President: Ronnie Sanchez
Secretary: Katelyn Getchel
Adviser: Laura Gutierrez  (

Outgoing Officers (2016-17)
President: Tyler Reardon
Treasurer: Alyssa Rodriguez
Vice President: Gissella Maltos
Adviser: Jennifer Helgren (

National Biennial Conference

The 2018 Biennial Convention of Phi Alpha Theta will be held in New Orleans from Jan. 3-6 at the InterContinental Hotel on St. Charles Street.  It is the 300th anniversary of New Orleans.  Students are invited to submit their research for consideration.  See your chapter's Phi Alpha Theta adviser for details. 

Regional Conference

The University of the Pacific regularly participates in the annual Northern California regional conference. In 2017, the University of the Pacific hosted the conference. Students and faculty from 14 different northern California colleges and universities participated. The following Pacific students presented their original research:

  • Collin H. Craig
  • Kathryn Elliott
  • Patric Briggs Iannucci
  • Andrew Ryan Johnson
  • Gissella Maltos
  • Nathaniel Lincoln Pergamit
  • Tyler J. Reardon
  • Alyssa A. Rodriguez
  • Ronnie Sanchez
  • Victoria Lynn Smith
  • Noelle Tutunjian
  • Hannah J. Tvergyak

Students from Professor Greg Rohlf's History of Warfare class presented their research posters in an inaugural Northern California Regional poster session. Rohlf offered the keynote.

The reception featured a Reacting to the Past (RTTP) micro-game where students and faculty role-played a debate about the essential character of slavery in the early 19th century in the United States. 

2017 paper prizes:

Best Undergraduate Research Paper

  1.  Jordan C. Madera, Simpson University, "The War on Trade: The Negative Impact of the Continental System and the Embargo of 1807 upon Britain"
  2. Hector Navarro, Santa Clara University, "Gender and Masculinity: Constructs of Power During Mexico's Porfiriato"
  3. Runner-up: Emma An Chen, Santa Clara University,  "Black Face, Queer Space"    

Best Graduate Research Paper

  1. Katie Lyn Jaycox, California State University, Stanislaus, "The New Eden: The Story of Dr. Isaac Adams"
  2. Rod Thomson, California State University, Chico, "The Murder of Ibn Khabbāb and the Challenges of Early Islamic Sectarian Historiography"

Pacific students have won prizes for outstanding research:

  • Amy Langford won first prize for her essay "World Take a Holiday": Cold War Politics, Race and the Meaning of Jazz in Dave and Iola Brubeck's The Real Ambassadors in 2010.
  • Aman Bhangal won third prize for Best Undergraduate Paper for her essay "Gender as a Topic of the Holocaust" in 2011.
  • John Langdon won first prize for Best Undergraduate Paper for his essay "Iola Brubeck: Social Justice Advocacy Through Jazz and Sacred Choral Music" in 2013.

The 2018 regional conference will be held at Santa Clara University.  More details will be available later. 

Spring Initiation and Graduation Party

Our initiation and graduation party took place at the end of the year History party. Graduating seniors received a crimson Phi Alpha Theta sash to wear over their robes denoting their achievement. Parents and friends were encouraged to attend this event.