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Students are an essential part of the Western History Association. The association makes a point to value the input of students and the WHA conference has always been known as a "friendly" and inclusive platform to present your research. Senior scholars and professionals in the western history field make efforts to connect with students through panels, mentoring, and receptions, and these networks encourage graduate students to make the WHA their "home" as a professional organization. 


The Western History Association is seeking qualified students to serve as members of the Graduate Conference Staff (aka "Grad Staff") for its 62nd Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Graduate Conference Staff is a group of motivated and hard working graduate students who are energized by the study of the North American West and hope to benefit from extra involvement in the WHA's premier annual event.

Grad Staff Benefits

As part of the Grad Staff, you will have the opportunity of networking with many experienced scholars in the field of western history. Through this group of students you will join years of cohorts of Grad Staff "Alumni" who have moved ahead in the profession to earn awards, scholarships, conference program placement, and invaluable knowledge about how the WHA can work best for your interests. As part of the Grad Staff you will form your own generational network of connections with peer graduate student colleagues and gain access to dozens of conference sessions, events, meals, and other ticketed programs. The Grad Staff is a vital part of the conference's functionality and through this experience you will improve on professionalization and leadership skills.

Grad Staff Incentives

4 hours = Free Registration

6 hours = Free Registration and Grad Student Reception

8 hours = Free Registration, Grad Student Reception, Opening Reception

10 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 1 meal

12 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 3 meals

20 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Banquet, Shared Hotel Room

35 hours = Free Registration, Graduate Student Reception, Opening Reception, 5 meals, Awards Banquet, Shared Hotel Room, 1 year student membership. 

Grad Staff Work Requirements

All Graduate Staff Members will use the app "When I Work" to view their schedules and to communicate with the WHA Staff during the conference. The Graduate Staff who meet the work requirements will receive one shared hotel room. The Graduate Staff Member dress code is at a minimum business casual.



Download this announcement and application instructions here: WHA 2022 Graduate Student Research Workshop

Improving the Research Experience: 
A Workshop for Graduate Students in Western American History

Thursday October 13, 2022
1:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Location: Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk (Live Oak)

Sponsored by The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Organized by the Western History Librarian/Archivist/Curator Group

ADMISSION BY ADVANCE APPLICATION ONLY: Application Deadline is September 23!

Graduate Student Participants Receive $250 Honorarium

Peter J. Blodgett
(The Huntington Library)

J. Wendel Cox (Dartmouth College)

Lisa E. Duncan (University of Arizona Special Collections)

Sam Herley (South Dakota Oral History Center)

Tamsen Hert (Independent Scholar)

Ginny Kilander (American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming)

Rob King (Texas Tech University)

Dylan McDonald (New Mexico State University)

Matthew Daniel Mason (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

George Miles (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)

Suzanne Noruschat (University of Southern California Libraries)

Jacquelyn Reese (University of Oklahoma Western History Collections)

Theresa Salazar (Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley)

Laurie Scrivener (University of Oklahoma Scholarly Services and Research Initiatives)

Benjamin Stone (Stanford University Libraries)

Brian Trembath (Western History & Genealogy, Denver Public Library)

Libby Tronnes (Bradley University)

Workshop Details

Today’s graduate students in western history confront an increasing array of unyielding obstacles in launching their careers. Each year, they must scramble to keep up with the accelerating pace of changes in everything from the descriptive tools created by libraries and archives to the proliferation of digital resources generated by cultural institutions. Moreover, given the shrinking pool of dollars for projects in the humanities, graduate students face a steadily more ferocious competition for fellowships, research awards and grants in general.  Believing as we do that the graduate student community represents an essential dimension of western history’s future, we have developed the following workshop in collaboration with the WHA as a means of helping to meet what we see as particularly crucial needs for the next generation of scholars.

Workshop Schedule
This workshop will run from 1:30 PM until 4:00 PM on Thursday, October 13 and will consist of two sessions, preceded by a fifteen-minute introduction and incorporating one 15-minute break. The sessions will address the following topics:

  • Introduction:  overview of workshop goals (15 minutes).
  • Session #1:  Fellowships, research awards and grant seeking in general (30 minutes).
  • 15-minute break
  • Session #2:  Plotting out the research project:  individual/small-group conversations about the dissertations being pursued by the workshop attendees (90 minutes).

Workshop Participation Details:

In order to keep the size manageable for the instructors and to enhance the quality of the experience for the participants, attendance at this inaugural version will be capped at 20 graduate students, selected through advance application; preference will be given to those who are at an earlier point in their pursuit of a Ph.D. so that they will have the maximum opportunity to benefit from what they learn in the workshop. Other graduate students, however, may be admitted on a space-available basis.  In hopes of assisting those who attend the workshop with defraying conference costs, we will be able to provide each graduate student participant with a $250 honorarium thanks to the generous support of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. You will receive this honorarium at the workshop.

Workshop Application Guide:

Graduate students wishing to apply for the workshop should prepare the following in a single pdf document:

1. Cover Sheet:

-Student’s name
-Institutional affiliation
-Contact information (email and surface mail addresses)

2. Description of stage the student has reached in their program
3. Enumerate the student’s research experience to date
4. Provide an overview of the student’s dissertation. (The overview should summarize the topic, including chronological and geographic parameters, collections of original sources already consulted, and all research institutions that the student has visited or will visit while pursuing the dissertation.)

Send the final, compiled pdf document as an attachment email to with “2022 Grad Student Workshop” in the subject line. Include your name, institutional affiliation, and contact information in the email message.

Applications for the workshop are due Friday, September 23, 2022 to

Send all questions about the applications or workshop to Peter J. Blodgett at

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!