Department of History

Varner Hall, Room 416
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-3510
fax: (248) 370-3528

Contact Us:
Elizabeth Shesko
Faculty Adviser
Check out the Oakland University Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta on Facebook and on Twitter, @OaklanduPAT
What recent Phi Alpha Theta alumni did after graduation:

— John Bernia, middle school teacher, administrator, Lake Orion Schools
— Geri Brandimarte, middle school teacher, Cranbrook/Kingswood Schools
— Josh Carroll, history teacher, Plymouth High School
— Karen Cullen, history teacher, International Academy West
— Josh Foeller, Ph.D. program in history, Ohio State University
— Cathy Johnson, M.B.A. program, University of Maryland
— David Johnson, head of academic and career development for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants
— Elizabeth (Garon) LaFray, Ph.D. program in history, Central Michigan University
— Angela LoPiccolo, history teacher, Dakota High School
— Matt MacLeod, history teacher, Lahser High School
— Jason Myers, Ph.D. program in history, Loyola University, Chicago
— Joe Owens, Wayne State University Law School graduate
— Jackie Sills, math teacher, Dakota High School
— Tobi Voigt, Cooperstown graduate program in museum studies, manager of statewide programs & New York State History Day coordinator
— Matt Zalewski, Wayne State University Law School graduate

Phi Alpha Theta

History students run a club for any interested majors, minors, and graduate students. The purpose of the organization is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication, the exchange of ideas, and by bringing students, teachers and writers of history together.

Students more advanced in the major or minor may also apply to officially join the Oakland University chapter of the international honor society in history, Phi Alpha Theta. Students are selected for membership on the basis of academic achievement. To apply to become a member, you must submit a membership application.



  • Must have completed 12 credit hours of history at OU
  • Must have a 3.3 GPA for OU history courses
  • Must have 3.1 overall GPA


  • Must have completed 12 credit hours toward a master’s degree
  • Must have a 3.5 GPA

Founded in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta now has about 740 chapters in all 50 states, more chapters than any other accredited college honor society. Its mission is to promote the study of history through bringing together students, teachers, and writers of history for intellectual and social exchanges. Membership in Phi Alpha Theta should be listed among other academic honors when applying to graduate or professional schools or when applying for employment.

The National Phi Alpha Theta Society sponsors a variety of benefits for its members. There are biennial conventions for undergraduate, graduate and faculty members, and members at all levels are welcome to present papers. Phi Alpha Theta helps to underwrite the cost of transportation to its national conventions for one delegate from each chapter. The honor society also sponsors special programs at the annual conferences of major historical organizations such as the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Phi Alpha Theta publishes The Historian, a distinguished historical quarterly in which all members are invited to publish scholarly work, and the Phi Alpha Theta News Letter.

The national organization also sponsors six annual paper prize awards. The Lynn W. Turner and Founder’s Awards are open to undergraduate members. Various other scholarship awards are available for students entering into or already engaged in graduate study in history. Students interested in either the paper prizes or scholarship awards should contact the national society. The booklet "This is Phi Alpha Theta" details benefits available to members.