The History Department congratulates Prof. Dale Stahl for winning the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award at the 25th Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium! Prof. Stahl was recognized for his mentorship of three undergraduate students—Raphael Angoulvant (History), Khalid Mhareb (History), and Sukru Karaoglu (INTS)—who each worked as research assistants for Stahl’s project on the 20th-century history of the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin. Such opportunities offer students hands-on experience in a range of skills, from historical analysis to data organization. Stahl further explains “that students are at the beginning of their professional careers, which is a time when they need a mentor: someone who will ask them hard questions about the future, offer advice, and listen to concerns.”
Inspired by his own formative experience as a research assistant, Dr. Stahl offers his research assistants guidance regarding their future goals and opportunities. The impact of this counsel and support cannot be understated, as it has led one student to graduate school in Paris and another student to a study abroad program in Korea. Stahl ensures that his research assistants not only gain a broadened perspective of the research process, but also of their own capabilities and prospects.
When reflecting on his experience working with young researchers, Dr. Stahl expressed both surprise and delight at his assistants’ strong work ethic, willingness to tackle potentially tedious tasks, and dedication to a thorough examination and analysis of the details. “That, I think, is heartening, both for the profession and for a public sphere so rife with conspiracy theories and superficial treatments of complex subjects.” Stahl has learned through these experiences that historical research and analysis greatly benefit from a collaborative process, especially with the increased access to and rapid digitization of historical publications and data. Dr. Stahl thanks Raphael Angoulvant, Khalid Mhareb, and Sukru Karaoglu for their hard work and dedication, acknowledging that their involvement and collaboration has made this endeavor a better project.
By Teddy Scott