Posts Tagged ‘history’

Our congratulations to Army dependent and ThanksUSA scholar, Christine Nussio, on earning her B.A. History degree from Christendom College! Since beginning her studies in 2008, Christine received $9,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships, a portion of which were sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and ESA Foundation.

Though he is currently serving in Afghanistan, Christine’s father, Colonel Rick Nussio, U.S. Army, wanted Christine to know that he’d always be there for her. He sent her a photo of himself, she says, “In case I needed him.” As her name was announced, Christine proudly walked across the stage, photo in hand.

Christine will be spending the summer with her mother and five sisters anxiously waiting,  “to welcome home our hero from this year-long tour in July.” Next, she will begin preparations for graduate school. Christine will be attending Catholic University of America to earn her Master’s degree in Secondary Education, with a concentration in Social Studies.


She explains, “This is in preparation for a career teaching history at the high school level. Though it took some time to discover, I realized that teaching high school history was the perfect way to combine my love for history and desire to spend my life helping form and educate the youth of tomorrow. My experiences as an apprentice teacher as part of Christendom College’s Teaching Practicum made me more eager than ever to begin this work. Participation in this program was just one of the many gifts I received while at Christendom, and I must extend my heartfelt thanks to ThanksUSA for helping to make this possible.”

She continues, “Without you I could never have accomplished all that I did in college: leadership and volunteer experience, friendships with peers and professors, rewarding studies, a Summa Cum Laude diploma, a semester study abroad, and formative opportunities preparing me for the career path of my choice. Thank you!”

ThanksUSA is honored to have been a part of Christine’s undergraduate experience. We have watched her grow from an eager high school senior to a confident scholar ready to educate and inspire the next generation. Congratulations, again, Christine!

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What a busy time of year for current and prospective students! Many are in the midst of exams, some are prepping for summer jobs or internships, and others are eagerly anticipating graduation day. This week, I’m delighted to introduce Jenna Barker, a history major who will graduate Summa Cum Laude from the College of Charleston in just a few weeks. Including a $3,000 Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year, Jenna has received $6,000 in ThanksUSA scholarships for her undergraduate studies.


Always passionate about learning, Jenna was inspired to pursue her major after taking a Modern African History course. She explains, “I loved learning about an area that is largely neglected in High School History courses and developed a passion for the diverse cultures, languages, and historical experiences of the people of that continent.” Although she hasn’t selected a graduate school yet, Jenna is determined to pursue a Master’s degree in African Studies.

When she first enrolled in college, Jenna faced a dilemma all too common to military dependents…residency. When her father retired from the Air Force, Jenna was unable to be granted in-state tuition.

Residency guidelines differ from state to state and many military dependents have found themselves battling for in-state status. Jenna notes, “Thankfully, legislation is now being passed to keep military and retiree dependents from falling through the cracks.”

Despite the financial worries associated with her education, Jenna embraced college life, excelled academically, and will soon be a college graduate. ThanksUSA is proud to have been a part of Jenna’s educational journey and we encourage all military dependents and spouses to apply for this year’s ThanksUSA Scholarship. Applications are being accepted through May 15, 2012, and complete details and instructions can be found here.

We close this week’s Scholarship News with Jenna’s message of gratitude to the Folds of Honor Foundation and ThanksUSA supporters:

“The ThanksUSA Scholarships have been such an enormous blessing for me! I have so much respect for this program—thank you for everything you do to help military families with this huge expense. This is an excellent and much-needed program and a great way to show military families that they are understood and supported.”

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This is it Phase I Treasure Hunters…the first TH7 deadline is Thursday, February 16th. One school/youth group winner will be randomly selected for each of the first two chapters. How can your classroom or youth group win? Simple…register for TH7 and submit correct answers for chapter 1, Taiwan or Chapter 2, Military Movies.  Let’s take a closer look at one more clue from Chapter 2, Military Movies:

NOT Matthew Broderick




15. Glory, a 1989 film, tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first official African-American units during the United STates Civil War. The story is told from the point of view of its commanding officer, played by Matthew Broderick. What is the name of this real-life officer?



It may seem simple and quick to just look up the answer to this question in a movie database, but I really do hope that you’ll take a little time to learn about the subject matter. Get to know more about the real-life person instead of just the dramatized character of the movie! Just in case you need a little more guidance, here are a few facts about the real-life man who we’re trying to identify:

*  Although he withdrew prior to graduation, he is memorialized in Harvard’s Memorial Hall listed with the class of 1860

* When he learned that his men were to be paid less than white soldiers, he led a boycott until the issue was resolved

* He was buried in a common grave with his soldiers…an act that was meant to be an insult. His family, however, accepted his eternal resting place with pride knowing that he would want to be buried with his brave soldiers

* The memorial of this leader with the 54th Regiment was built in Boston, 1897. A slightly different design of the memorial is displayed at the National Gallery of Art in D.C.

Next week we’ll start tackling clues from the third chapter of TH7, New Zealand. If there is a particular clue that you would like to see addressed here, please leave a comment. In the meantime, I wish everyone the best of luck with the first Phase I drawing…I’ll be speaking with winners this Friday!

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Sun Yat-sen (Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome back Treasure Hunters! The purpose of this blog is to help you complete TH7 so if you’re having difficulty with a specific clue, please let me know so we can address it here. Don’t be afraid to ask for some additional hints…we want everyone to complete the hunt and be eligible for prizes. This week we’ll continue with some helpful hints for completing TH7 Chapter 1, Taiwan

9. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the nationalist party, summarized his political philosophy to make China a prosperous country in the Three Principles of the People. The components of this philosophy are Minzu (nationalism), Minquan (democracy) and Minsheng (socialism). This ideology is said to be heavily influenced by a speech by an American President?


When approaching this clue, I think it’s important to establish a time reference. Sun Yat-sen was born in 1866 and first presented Three Principles of the People in the early 1900’s. Given this time period, we must be looking for a famous speech given by a U.S. President prior to 1900. Yes, that still leaves 25 possible U.S. Presidents, but not all of them made such memorable speeches! Here are a few hints to help you solve this clue:

** The last line of this speech can most easily be seen as the influence of Three Principles of the People

** The speech was given during the dedication of a cemetery

** The presenter of this speech was assassinated one year before Sun Yat-sen’s birth

** Most American elementary school children can recite at least part of this famous speech

I think this is a great clue for students to research and learn from. Once you’ve answered this question, challenge yourself! Discover the influences to that speech or try to recite as much of it as you can from memory. We know you want to get through TH7, but we want you to take the time to enjoy, and learn from, the clues.

Since the first TH7 deadline for schools and youth groups is approaching, we’ll look at one final (and very fun) clue from Chapter 1, Taiwan:

14.  “Google Doodles” on the Google search engine have shown key developments since 1998; portraying world events, celebrating big birthdays and decorating for holidays. On July 19, 2011 Google published a doodle to honor Xu Beihong’s 116th birthday. Beihong was a famous oil painting or shuimohua artist who combined brush and ink techniques to create his well-known works of art. What was the main focus of his Google Doodle? (Hint: it is one of his most famous pieces of art!)

Although you’re likely to find the answer to this clue on your own, I wanted to share the Google Doodles catalog with you. You can click here or copy this link: http://www.google.com/doodles/finder/2012/All%20doodles to search Google’s entire collection of Doodles. Have fun and Good Hunting!

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We would like to thank all of the schools and youth groups who participated in Phase I of Treasure Hunt Six. Hopefully your school or youth group had a lot of fun while discovering some cool facts about American history. The final three winners have been randomly selected and their entries are being verified now. Remember, even if your school or youth group won a prize during Phase I, students and teachers can register to play as an individual. If you are 14 or younger, you will need permission from your parent/guardian.

I also wish to extend a special welcome to all of our new Treasure Hunt Six registrants. Many of you saw ThanksUSA founders, Rachel and Kelsi Okun, on Thursday’s episode of Today and were inspired enough to visit our website and learn about ThanksUSA – Welcome!

The entry deadline for individual players is August 15, 2011. If you ever get stumped by a clue or need some additional hints or direction, leave a comment on the Treasure Hunt Six blog or send me a direct email at sherrykoch@thanksusa.org. Good luck to all and visit next week to learn about our most recent winners!

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The first Phase I deadline is approaching. All school and youth groups who have registered and successfully complete either of the first two chapters by February 17, 2011, will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate to purchase supplies! If you are having any difficulty with clues from chapter one or chapter two, please leave a comment or send me an email (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org) so I can help you get through these chapters. This week, we’ll take a look at a question from Chapter 2, West Virginia:

19. This railroad is the nation’s oldest line. It is oddly named since more than half of its tracks are within the West Virginia borders, yet the name consists of another state and a city not in West Virginia.

Although I am not a railroad enthusiast, my grandfather worked on the Chessie System when I was young and I was a big fan of the Chessie Cat. Trains are a rich part of U.S. History and there are many resources available to help us with this clue. Your local library is sure to have several books and you may even live close to a railroad museum (www.railmuseums.com). For our purposes, I’ll provide a few additional clues that will help you an internet search:

This was the first common carrier railroad in the United States

This railroad’s slogan was “Linking 13 Great States With The Nation”

Ellicot City Station is the oldest surviving railroad station in America and was the original passenger terminal for this railroad

This is one of the railroad properties on the Monopoly board game

"Blockade of Engines at Martinsburg, WV" -wikipedia

I hope you enjoy exploring railroad history this week. There is still plenty of time to register a new classroom or youth group before our first deadline so please recommend the hunt to your teachers, coaches, and youth leaders. Good Luck!

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Hello Treasure Hunters!  I want to extend a warm welcome to all of the schools, classrooms, and youth groups who have registered for Treasure Hunt Six.  The first TH6 deadline is February 17, 2011.  All school/youth groups who submit correct answers for chapters 1 or 2 will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate to purchase supplies. Past winners have purchased a variety of supplies with their winnings…books for libraries, smartboards and computer equipment, backpacks and homework supplies for students, even meat for a Consumer Sciences class.  Please, encourage teachers and youth leaders to register today.

This week we’ll focus on a bit of West Virginia geography and history with a question from Chapter 2:

22. The capital of West Virginia is Charleston, which played that role from 1870 to 1875 and 1885 to the present.  This other city served as the capital during 1863-1870 and 1875-1885.

The clue has already given us the current capital, so the dates here are very important. If you’re still stumped, here are some additional facts to lead you to the answer:

** This city is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia – just 11 miles from Pennsylvania

** The city was founded by Colonel Ebenezer Zane in 1769

** The National Road reached this town in 1818

Although you can play Treasure Hunt Six in any order, school and youth groups should focus on the first 2 chapters in order to be eligible for our first prize drawing.  If you have difficulty with any of the individual questions, don’t hesitate to send me a direct email for assistance (sherrykoch@thanksusa.org).  Good Luck!

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