“RTF” wins 2012 Best First Book Award from Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honorary founded in 1921, has awarded The Richmond Theater Fire: Early America’s First Great Disaster with their 2012 Best First Book Award.  I am sincerely honored to be this year’s recipient: the Best First Book Award is, as the award letter reminded me, a “prestigious and highly competitive honor.” (Louisiana State University even released a press release about the RTF book receiving this award.)

Phi Alpha Theta will feature the book and award in their upcoming newsletter. I’ll post a link to it then, but meanwhile, here’s a photograph of me back in the day sporting my Phi Alpha Theta honor cords after graduation from Hillsdale College a decade (!?) ago.  I have fond memories of Phi Alpha Theta; many of my friends were also in the honorary and the faculty sponsors hosted great cookouts. I also had the valuable opportunity to awkwardly present my first paper (on medieval universities, if memory serves) at a regional conference they sponsored when I was a senior.

Membership in the Chi Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta wasn’t something I thought carried benefits that would last past my undergrad years, but happily enough, it does. I commend them for their support of graduate students and professional historians through their generous awards, grants, and scholarships. So thanks, Phi Alpha Theta!

Me (on the left) with my sister at graduation sporting our honor cords. (The Phi Alpha Theta society ones were blue.) Looks like we were a couple of overachievers back in the day! And I was blonde, apparently.