News, Events, and Awards

Professor Lieser Nominated for 2017 Teacher of the Year!

Dr. Jordan Lieser is finishing his second year with the department of history and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year. Dr. Lieser teaches courses on Public History, Latin American History, the History of Sports, World History, and East Asia history. He is creative, entertaining, and innovative in his approach to teaching history and we are thrilled that his teaching has been recognized. 

More Than Just Sports

chris suen phi alpha theta

Chris Suen(Class of 2017), presented his senior thesis "The 1964 Summer Olympics: More than Just Sports."  Chris attended the Phi Alpha Theta's (National History Honor Society) annual regional conference on April 22, 2017 to present his research at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He joined the local Dominican chapter, Alpha Mu Upsilon, in May 2016.


Summer Internship with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

David Nguyen (Junior, Political Science major) won't be just hanging out at the beach this summer when he returns to his hometown of Honolulu. David accepted a summer internship position in the Honolulu office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represents Hawaii's 2nd district.  He has interned with State Senator Mike McGuire in his San Rafael office for the past year and will be able to continue his interest in public policy and public service with this new opportunity.


Update From Memphis: Students Presented their research at NCUR and Seeing the Sites

History and Political Science Seniors Katie Koyfman, Autymn Garvisch, Chris Suen, Samantha Maciel, and Destiny Reyes presented their senior theses at NCUR's annual conference. They had a fantastic experience and were also able to see some of the sites in Memphis! We are so proud of all of them!

NCUR, Political Science presentation, History presentation, Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TNHistory and Political Science seniors Katie Koyfman, Samantha Maciel, Autymn Garvisch, Chris Suen, and Destiny Reyes pause for a photo op while visiting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.

NCUR, Presentation, Memphis, TN, Political Science, International Studies, HistoryHistory and Political Science seniors Destiny Reyes, Chris Suen, Katie Koyfman and Autymn Garvisch visit Scates Hall while in Memphis, TN to present their senior theses at the 2017 NCUR (National Council on Undergraduate Research) Conference. The Council on Undergraduate Research is strongly committed to the wide expression of all forms and topics of undergraduate research, by all members of the undergraduate research community
































National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta and Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Welcome 2017 Inductees

The National History Society, Phi Alpha Theta, and the National Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, welcomed 2017 Inductees on March 29th. Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society has over 350,000 members, with about 9,500 new members joining each year through 860 local chapters.  

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor society for college and university students of political science in the United States. Its purpose is to recognize and promote high academic achievement in the field of political science. There are over 700 local chapters and more than 13,000 members. A high standard of scholarship is required for admission to these Honor Societies (3.5 GPA in major coursework and 3.0 GPA in all other courses). Congratulations to all!

inductees_2017_history.pol sciProfessor Jordan Leiser, Professor Patricia Dougherty, Autymn Garvish,Samantha Hunt, Cynthia Smith,  Sierra Najolia, Jocelyn Moreno, Erika Rosales-Shelfo, Jennesica Holliday, Professor Cynthia Taylor and Professor Alison Howard).


History Students to Present at NCUR in April

Students from the Department have been invited to present papers at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research's (NCUR) annual conference at the University of Memphis in April. Autymn Garvisch (Class of 2017) will present a paper entitled " Lessons from California: Josiah Dwight Whitney, Legitimacy in Scientific Exploration, and the Failed California Geological Survey, 1860-1874." Chris Suen (Class of 2017) will present a paper entitled "1964 Olympics: More than Just Sports? How Japan Utilized the Olympic Games for Ulterior Motives." And, Destiny Reyes (Class of 2017) will present a paper entitled "Fort Ross State Historic Park: A Case Study on the Successful Implementation of Public History Methods by a Heritage Museum."

Dominican Day at the Marin Headlands

We cordially invite you, your family, your loved ones, your near acquaintances, and your worst enemies to a fun-filled afternoon in the Marin Headlands. The Public History students at Dominican University of California have taken research projects from concept to completion, making extensive use of community contacts, and will be presenting at the Marin Headland's Visitor Center from 2:30 - 4:30 pm on Friday, December 9th. Subjects include: Portuguese Farmers, Coast Miwok Culture, Underwater History, Battery Townsley, 1906 Earthquake, Alcatraz Fights, Biodiversity, Nike Missiles, Point Bonita, Fort Baker, Marincello, and Vaqueros. Come see Dominican Penguins in action, learn about our shared local history, and enjoy all that the Marin Headlands has to offer!

History Major Receives Melba Beals Student Award for Excellence in Diversity

History major, Jennessica Holliday, received the Melba Beals Student Award for Excellence in Diversity.  The award recognizes:

  • Sustained and collaborative efforts to uphold the Dominican University of California Diversity Declaration
  • Outstanding programmatic activities related to diversity and inclusion on campus
  • Extraordinary individual/collective action promoting diversity and inclusion, on and off campus


Alumna Passes on Passion, Support for Teaching Career

As an undergraduate at Dominican, Katie Smith '07 was an Honors student, a double major in History and Political Science who once considered entering law school.However, by the time she returned to the University to earn her Master's degree in Humanities and delivered the Graduate Address at Commencement 2013, Katie had re-committed herself to her passion and the reason she came to Dominican in the first place. She wanted to be a History teacher and faculty supported her goal all the way.

"Those interactions with faculty over and over again and how they were shaping who I was inspired me," says Katie, who now teaches AP History and is chair of the Social Studies Department at Marin Catholic High School. " wanted to have that same influence with students as a teacher in the classroom."

One of Katie’s early influences at Dominican was Christian Dean, a professor of Political Science and Philosophy and debate team coach in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He appointed her as an intern her sophomore year and she to this day remembers the four keywords to his syllabus: Curiosity, skepticism, rigor and humility. Read more.

Autymn Garvisch and Destiny Reyes to Present Papers at NCUR 2016, Ashville, NC 

The History Department is delighted to report that Autymn Garvisch and Destiny Reyes and will present their papers at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research's 30th Anniversary conference in Ashville, North Carolina. Destiny's paper is entitled  "The Spanish Conquest and the Elimination of Indigenous Women's Rights" and Autymn's paper is entitled "Mexico and Miscegenation: Contrasting Representations of Women in Casta Paintings." Their papers began as part of a class assignment for Dr. Lieser's women in his Latin America course last semester. Working closely with Dr. Lieser throughout the semester both Autymn and Destiny delved deeper into their topics and ended up with impressive, creative, and scholarly papers. Congratulations to all!

Garrett Perdigao, (Class of 2013) Parks and Recreation Coordinator, City of Healdsburg

Garrett Perdigao, ’13 is the Parks and Recreation Coordinator for the City of Healdsburg. He is in charge of running all sports programs, and summer programs for the city, as well as working with all of the users for renting out our parks. Garrett was initially planning on attending Dominican right out of high school, but changed his mind at the last minute. He realized early on in his college career that it was a horrible mistake and transferred to Dominican as a junior in 2011. “I realized Dominican was and would be my home. I had come from a small high school and knew I would flourish with the small class sizes and the amazing relationships you can make with your classmates and professors.” Garrett credits the History program for getting him where he is today.

The History program is designed to offer students both breadth and depth through a combination of classes, research projects, and internships and “I was able to get several internships at Museums, which led me to working with children, which is something I knew I always wanted to do. Those museum internships led me to Parks and Recreation as one of them had a partnership with the local Department. Safe to say all these bricks were laid with the help of the DU History Department.”

The small class size, dedicated faculty, and exposure to a variety of new topics, issues, and experiences made Garrett’s time at Dominican more than simply a college education. Dominican became his home, the faculty became his mentors and later his friends, and has “a feeling of pride that will never go away each time I see my degree hanging on the wall.”

Summer Study in Fanjeaux and Paris, France

Sister Patricia Dougherty is pictured among the students, faculty, and staff from Dominican Universities across the US that are spending two weeks living, studying and exploring the medieval hilltop town of Fanjeaux and Paris, France. Mornings are spent in study and afternoons are dedicated to excursions to historic sites in Southern France. The program concludes with four nights in Paris. Download 2016 Student Brochure.

Fanjeaux Group photo 2015

The Mediterranean: History, Art, Culture and Identitymediterranean poster

Sail aboard the ship Aegean Odyssey for a cruise-based global learning exploration of the history, art and culture of the Mediterranean world. This experiential course begins in Venice and ends in Nice. It is co-taught by four Dominican professors via lectures and guided visits to ports-of-call in Italy, Croatia, Greece and Grance. Courses can be taken to satisfy 6-unit colloquium requirement (CLQ 3600 and CLQ 3601), 3-6 upper division units (HCS 3651 and/or PSY 3600), or 3 graduate humanities units (HUM 5651). For more information please contact: Prof. LeeAnn Bartolini or Dr. Kati Bell.


The Sophomore History major, Alex Pollok Selected to Participate in Inaugural Year of Dominican-St. Catherine's College, Oxford Program

A Marinite, Alex is keen on the history of the Roman Empire and plans to take courses on that era and visit Roman sites in England and on the continent during his academic time at Oxford. Oxford's fall semester (Michaelmas) begins mid-October and lasts until early December. He is looking forward to the challenge of studying at Oxford.

National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta 2015 Inductees

Five students were inducted into the National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta,on April 9th (as pictured): Christopher Suen, Alexander Pollok, Crisha Carlos, Toriana Johnson, and Kayla Rodriguez. Congratulations to all!

Christopher Suen, Alexander Pollok, Crisha Carlos, Toriana Johnson, and Kayla Rodriguez.   

Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society has over 350,000 members, with about 9,500 new members joining each year through 860 local chapters.

A high standard of scholarship is required for admission to the Alpha-Mu-Upsilon chapter (3.5 GPA in history coursework and 3.0 GPA in all other courses). Three of the five students are members of DUOC's athletic teams. The private induction ceremony takes place April 9, 2015. Learn more about Phi Alpha Theta

About the Inductees:

Christopher Suen, sophomore history and political science major.  "I have always had an interest in studying history and strongly believe that by studying our past we are better prepared for the future."

Dominican University of California Men's Cross Country Team. Treasurer of the Penguin Student Athlete Association Committee. A member of the Dominican Campus Ministry Sienna Leadership. Die hard San Francisco Giants and 49ers enthusiastic. College Basketball nut.