Photo Of Dr. Kariann YokotaGreetings from the Auraria Campus. It is my great pleasure to write to you today in my capacity as Chair of the History Department. With this newsletter and other new outreach efforts, we hope to keep you updated on the exciting things that have been happening here in the department. One of my main goals is to create a more robust community of History Department faculty, alumni, supporters, and students. We hope you can be a part of this effort.

So far, this year has been filled with a variety of departmental events and milestones for our students and faculty. We have included many of them here in this newsletter. We are extremely fortunate to have many generous donors whose contributions have made it possible for us to support student education and faculty research. Throughout the years, thanks to our donors, many of our students have received awards in recognition of their impressive academic achievements. The Ward Family Prize for outstanding contributions to public history and the Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation Scholarship are among our longstanding annual grants to deserving students. Just this year, we formed a new Scholarship Committee in order to organize and administer a new fellowship founded in memory of the much-loved faculty member Mark Foster. With this prize, we hope to acknowledge both academic achievement and financial need. In the future, we hope to continue to work with you in order to be able to create more fellowships for our History students.

Another important initiative that was adopted this year was the formation of the Department of History's First-Generation Mentor Group. We are so proud of the fact that we have so many students who are the first in their families to pursue a university degree. I am personally committed to celebrating the strengths and addressing the unique needs of these students. As the faculty advisor of this new group, I hope to organize a variety of workshops, discussions, and events aimed at first generation students. I would like to ask all of you for any suggestions you might have for topics that would be of particular interest to the group and welcome you to get involved in mentoring our student members.

I also want to introduce you to another student group we have here on campus. Several years ago, our Department's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society was reinstated as an official campus organization. I have been so impressed by the student leaders who have been active in this group and feel very lucky to be working with them. This semester they sponsored an inspiring event entitled, "What to do with a History Degree?" This gathering featured four outstanding graduates of our program (Jennifer Bryant, Rose Campbell, Chelane Garcia-Herrada, and Erin Wollard). Each of the speakers shared inspiring stories and useful advice about pursuing careers after graduating with a history degree. A video of the event is available via our Facebook page and I would encourage you to take a look at it.

In closing, we hope this newsletter will be the first of many new ways to keep in touch with you. Please consider sharing your professional accomplishments and milestones with us. There are so many ways to stay involved. We hope you will join us in whatever capacity works best. I want to personally invite you to get in touch with us.  If you have news to share please email me at kariann.yokota@ucdenver.edu or our wonderful graduate student assistant, kaylyn.mercuri@ucdenver.edu.

All my best,

Kariann Yokota, Ph.D. 
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of History
University of Colorado Denver