Michigan Students Win Top Honors at National History Day

Posted June 14, 2012

Contact: Emily Asbenson
(517) 324-1828

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Michigan students experienced an incredible week of intense competition at the 2012 National History Day Contest, which took place June 10-14 in College Park, Maryland.                                              

“Both new and experienced participants presented thoughtful explorations of this year’s annual theme, ‘Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History,’” said Emily Asbenson, State Coordinator for Michigan History Day. “We are very proud of the work they’ve done throughout the History Day program.”

Major sponsors of National History Day in Michigan, known statewide as Michigan History Day, are Meijer Inc., the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, and Amway. Michigan History Day is an educational program of the Historical Society of Michigan.

Michigan students competing in the National History Day competition represented several cities, including Ada, Ann Arbor, Bay City, Canton, Comstock Park, Dearborn Heights, Grand Rapids, Hancock, Holland, Kalamazoo, Portage, South Haven, Traverse City, and Whitehall.


Jacob Hurwitz from West Middle School in Portage and Andrew Beck and Eli Cartier from Kazoo School in Kalamazoo won the Lee Allen History of Baseball Award for their junior group website entry, “The Baseball Diamond: The Only Jewel Wrapped in Chains.” Ann Lape sponsored the group. Sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, this award is named in honor of Lee Allen, the historian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum from 1950 to 1969.

Caroline Yapp from Kazoo School in Kalamazoo was selected to represent Michigan at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with her exhibit, “From Divine Right to the ‘Bill of Rights’: Revolution that Transformed the British Monarchy.” Carolyn was sponsored by Anne Lape.

Mackenzie Brandel from Whitehall Middle School placed 13th in the nation and won the Junior Division Outstanding State Entry for her exhibit, “Billie the Riveter: When Duty Called in 40s, Women Served.” (National History Day recognizes one Outstanding State Entry from each state in the junior and senior divisions.) Mackenzie was also selected as the Michigan Recipient of the Salute to Freedom Award, an all-expense-paid weekend in New Orleans to represent Michigan at the grand opening of the National WWII Museum’s U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. Mackenzie was sponsored by Jan Klco and Robb Zoellmer.

Alayna Klco from Whitehall High School won the Senior Division Outstanding State Entry for her performance, “Reacting to Revolutions, Reshaping Realities: Flappers, the Women Who Made America Modern.” Alayna was sponsored by Jan Klco and Robb Zoellmer.


The Patricia Behring Award recognizes two teachers from each state, one at the junior level and one at the senior level. Karen Auwers from Comstock High School received the senior division award, and Mary Beth McMahon from Northern Hills Middle School in Grand Rapids received the junior division award. Each teacher will receive a cash award of $500 in honor of her contributions to history education through the National History Day program.

For more information about Michigan History Day, visit www.hsmichigan.org, or contact the Historical Society of Michigan at (517) 324-1828.


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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