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History Professor Samuel Hyde, right, examines an old map of Louisiana with graduate students Cody Scallions, left, and Owen Hyman in the university’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. The two graduate students have earned recognition for papers they wrote on Gulf South history.
For Southeastern graduate students Owen Hyman of Talisheek and Cody Scallions of Springfield, history comes alive as they dig deeper and deeper into the archives located in the university’s Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies.
For their efforts, both have been recognized for individual accomplishments in historical research. Hyman was awarded the William S. Coker Award for the best graduate paper on Gulf South History, while Scallions has been selected to have his thesis published in the “Florida Historical Quarterly.” Both students work in the Center, which is housed in the Sims Memorial Library.
Cody Scallions, left, and Owen Hyman
“Cody and Owen personify the type of students who work in the Center, creative, hard-working, emerging scholars who are excited about confronting challenges,” said Samuel Hyde, Leon Ford Professor of History and director of the Center. “Their research each tapped into previously little utilized sources in the Center, and their interpretive analysis was superb.”
The Coker Award is presented by the Gulf South Historical Association for the best graduate paper presented at the organization’s annual meeting. It was established in 1996 to honor the contributions of the long time professor of history at the University of West Florida. Hyman received a cash award and a plaque for his accomplishment.
Hyman’s paper, “Company and Community: Crown Zellerbach, Integration, and the Limits of Corporate Responsibility,” examines the federal contract compliance agencies’ failures to enforce the equal employment provisions contained in President Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and President Johnson’s Executive Order 11246.
“Using evidence from Crown Zellerbach’s Bogalusa paper mill and conversion factories,” Hyman said, “the paper demonstrates that contradictions between the government’s voluntary compliance and contract-based enforcement policies allowed companies to shirk civil rights laws for more than a decade even as they retained lucrative federal contracts.”
Scallions is only one of a few graduate students to have their research published in the prestigious “Florida Historical Quarterly.” His thesis, “The Rise and Fall of the Lone Star State: Infant American Imperialism Ascendant in West Florida,” is about the development of the West Florida Republic as an independent nation that was forcibly annexed by the emerging United States in 1810.
“The Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies has been my crutch through the entire research and publication process,” Scallions said. “Their archives were consistently adding new collections or adding to existing collections that I used. Southeastern and its faculty, particularly Sam Hyde and Keith Finley (Center assistant director), gave me the potential and material to reach my goals. Their guidance and knowledge presented me with the opportunity to get published.
“Dr. Hyde and Dr. Finley continuously challenged me to cast this work and the rest of my research in the context of American industry as a whole and thus demonstrate the national significance of local events,” Hyman added.
“Both Cody and Owen are contributing significantly to the study of the South’s most curious region,” Hyde said, “and I am certain these honors are but the start of what is in store for each of these young men.”