58 Students Advance; 77 Receive Special Awards

Over 600 talented middle and high students, along with their proud parents and teachers, converged on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Saturday, May 3, 2014 to compete in the Maryland History Day competition. Fifty-eight students, representing 10 counties and Baltimore City, advance to the National History Day Competition. Additionally, seventy-seven students won special awards at the contest.

A program of the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) now in its 14th year, the statewide competition involves nearly 19,000 students at the school level, representing 20 counties and Baltimore City. Students spend months researching topics that address the National History Day theme and participate in school and county competitions to qualify for the state contest. The 2014 theme is “Rights and Responsibilities.”

Winners were chosen at their district level for both individual and group efforts from five different categories—research papers, museum-type exhibits, performances, websites, and multimedia documentaries. First and second place winners will represent Maryland at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest on June 15-19, 2014 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert Cecil, Harford, Howard, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Worcester counties and Baltimore City will compete in nationals.

Repeat Advancers

This will not be the first time competing on the National level for some advancers. Matthew Blum, a Howard High School student, will compete this year in the Senior Individual Documentaries category for his film “The Food and Drug Administration: Balancing Governmental Responsibilities and Citizens’ Rights.” In 2013 his documentary also advanced to Nationals. Calvert County student Will Bury from Huntingtown High School entered an exhibit which advanced to National History Day in 2012. His exhibit this year is entitled “The Ethical Effect: Medical Rights and Responsibilities after the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.” Three Frederick County homeschool students will return to the national competition this year, after having their projects advance in 2013. Maddie Hurwitz’s Senior Paper “The Nuremberg Code: Rights of Human Subjects and Physicians’ Responsibilities” received first place in that category. Students Carrie Pritt and Alayna Stepp will return to College Park with another first-place Senior Group Performance, “Life Behind a Wall” The Denial of Rights in Communist East Germany.” One Montgomery County student, Elsa Sellmeyer, will compete again, this time with her first-place Junior Paper entitled “’Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!’: How Law, Abolitionist Literature, and Personal Responsibility Incited the Civil War and Helped End Slavery in America.” A team of two students from Allegany High School took home the first place award in the Senior Group Documentary category. Demetri Cendo and Ethan Greist also had documentaries which advanced to the National level in 2012 as competitors and this year their film entitled “Nuremberg: The Modern Foundation of Human Rights” will represent Maryland at National History Day.

Special Prizes and Teacher Awards

Twenty-four special prizes, in addition to Teacher awards, were bestowed during the ceremony, sponsored by History Day supporters. The Patricia Behring Middle School Teacher of the Year for Maryland was awarded Leah Renzi of Parkville Middle School in Baltimore County. Mark Howell, a teacher at Westlake High School, received the Patricia Behring High School History Day Teacher of the Year for Maryland. Teachers in 13 counties and Baltimore City also received their district’s teacher award.

A complete list of advancers, special prize winners, and teacher awards is also available at www.mdhc.org. Maryland History Day is made possible with generous support from the Maryland State

Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Columbia Gas of Maryland, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance, and Star-Spangled Banner 200 have sponsored specific award categories.

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information, visit www.mdhc.org. The Maryland Humanities Council is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

Now Marylanders can support MHC by text! Text “Give2MHC”, with your email and phone number to “20222” to donate $10 to the Maryland Humanities Council. Message and Data rates may apply. Visit our website to learn more.