The Alma College History Club has been working hard towards making their mark on campus. With the release of new podcast episodes and winning the excellence in inclusion award, 2023 is shaping up to be their year.
“The primary goal behind the history club is simply to have fun researching and discussing history. As I like to say, we’re a place where stories are heard because we focus on whatever members are interested in– especially for the podcast,” said Aubrey North (‘23), president of the History Club at Alma College.
Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in SAC 106. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to stop by.
“We do try to focus more on Alma College’s history and the local history of Gratiot County. With this focus, we provide members full access to the Almanian Archives and try our best to stay in contact with the Gratiot County Historical Museum and Genealogical Library,” said North.
The club was recently awarded the excellence in inclusion award from the Diversity and Inclusion office. This award recognized individuals and groups whose work advanced diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Ultimately, we received the award due to our focus on inclusion in our events and podcast and our ‘genuine interest and dedication to spreading awareness of underrepresented populations and discussing how we can begin to advocate for equality.’ Our events have recognized and discussed the struggles and successes of marginalizedcommunitiesthat the dominant culture has often tried to erase,” said North.
The group has been partnering with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (DI) on events, and the mutual benefit has shown.
“I feel like the office of DI has given us a lot of support over time too, it’s just a really fantastic relationship,” said Professor Benjamin Peterson, Lecturer of History and Political Science and faculty advisor for the History Club at Alma College.
A key focus of the club is producing their podcast, Alma College Histories and Mysteries. Two episodes have been released so far this calendar year.
“Our first episode released on Jan. 19 and shares the oral history of Alice Kramer as she reflects on her time at Alma as a student and [a member of the staff] Our [second] episode [came] out on Feb. 2 and features an interview with retiring professor, Nicholas Dixon as he reflects on his 36 year at the college, retirement and the life of a philosophy professor,” said North.
Podcasts are on the rise and are a great way for the group to relate with others in the Alma community. “It provides a new way for people to connect, not just to history as a whole, but [also] to the history and tradition of Alma College and Alma, Michigan… [It] allows them to reflect on that,” said Peterson.
Additionally, it is a tangible product of the group’s work and will be out in the world forever. “It continues to exist, and people can continue to go back to it. That’s what I think is particularly cool about it as a medium,” said Peterson.
“We release episodes every other Thursday on Anchor, Spotify and Stitcher,” said North.
The podcast is not the only thing the group has to focus on, however, as they are constantly working to grow their presence as a group on campus.
“We try to host one event a month, try to take one field trip a semester and continue to produce content for the podcast. We do our best to hold events related to a specific history or heritage month… This semester we’ll be collaborating with the Alma Connection Project to host an event for National Arab American Heritage Month,” said North.
Students can get involved in the group in many different ways, it really is catered to everyone. “History club came about because the history department wanted one. What history club is is determined by the students in history club,” said Peterson
“If you have anything you’d like us to make a podcast episode on or even want to make a podcast episode yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to [Aubrey North], Dr. Peterson or Madison Hall. Additionally, if you’re a senior and would like to record an interview reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic at Alma College, reach out to the above-mentioned contacts to set up a time and place,” said North.
“On March 11th, we will visit the Michigan History Center in Lansing. We will cover the costs of admission and dinner in the area. Please email [firstname.lastname@example.org] to reserve one of our fifteen spots! More information to come soon,” said North.