Meet Dr. Bill Friedricks: First Iowa History Prize Winner

Photo of Dr. Bill Fredricks

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"The Iowa History Prize is a great way to raise awareness of our history. It will encourage the teaching of Iowa history and promote new and interesting research in Iowa history. Hopefully, and most importantly, it will get Iowans talking about our history." -- Dr. Bill Friedricks

Learn more about the Iowa History Prize

Iowa History Prize in Action with Dr. Bill Friedricks (in his own words)

Iowa History Center Program

2009-10 season

Grant for Field Trips for Elementary School Children

Our grants annually fund Iowa history field trips for local elementary school children to the State Historical Society of Iowa, Fort Des Moines Museum, etc.

Iowa History Center Internships

We have developed unpaid internships for Simpson students in Iowa history at Living History Farms, SHSI, and Terrace Hill.

We successfully collaborated with the Fort Des Moines Museum on a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant designed to develop information on African Americans who served at the fort during World War I. The $15,000 grant provides for four paid internships for Simpson students through 2010. The interns are researching and writing biographies of a number of African American officers who earned their commissions in the first officer candidate school for African Americans in the United States Army, held at Fort Des Moines in 1917. Their research will result in new and expanded information available from the museum’s website, scholarly essays, new programs, and new exhibit panels at the museum.

Award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis in Iowa History

We recognize and encourage young scholars to pursue Iowa history by awarding an annual prize for the best master’s thesis in Iowa history.

The prize was first awarded this past fall, 2009 to Sara Egge from Iowa State University. She is now a doctoral student in the Iowa State’s Rural and Agricultural Studies program.

Book Series

To provide a publishing outlet for scholarship and new works on Iowa and the Midwest, and to make this history widely available to scholars, students, and the general public, we have teamed up with the University of Iowa Press, which has established a book series, Iowa and the Midwest Experience, devoted to publishing books on important issues that have shaped Iowa and the region. William Friedricks is editing the series and has appointed an advisory board consisting of Marvin Bergman of the State Historical Society of Iowa; Rebecca Conard, Middle Tennessee State University; Thomas Morain, Graceland University; Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, Iowa State University; Dorothy Schwieder, Iowa State University; and Timothy Walch, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

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Online Iowa History Course

Few Iowa colleges and universities teach Iowa history, and we are therefore working on the development of an online course that would be widely available to non-Simpson students.

Iowa Oral History Project

To document and preserve the histories of important Iowans, the center plans to train Simpson students in oral history techniques and send them to interview prominent Iowans. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. They will be held in Simpson’s library available for use by the public.

Iowa History Research Grants

We plan to begin giving competitive grants for those pursing research in Iowa history. These grants are intended to defray costs often associated with research including travel copying, and other expenses.

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