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Young Harris College Students Present Paper for Graduate Conference at Clemson University

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Four Young Harris College students recently presented at the conference “Aftermath: European Reactions to War, Genocide and Catastrophe in the 20th Century” hosted by the History Graduate Student Association at Clemson University on Feb. 27.

Senior art major Jacob Bennett of Ellijay, Ga., senior English major Georgia Googer of Cumming, Ga., junior history major Jason Edwards of Young Harris, Ga., and business and public policy major Faith Bridges of Carnesville, Ga., each researched and wrote a component of the paper titled “Expression of the Spanish Civil War in Art and Film: ‘Guernica’ and ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.”

“These four YHC students presented one of the finest programs of Clemson’s graduate conference, despite being the only undergraduates whose proposal was accepted,” said Associate Professor of History Thomas Stearns, Ph.D. “With clarity, skill, and polish that far surpassed those of other presenters, they and their project were the hit of the conference! I was so impressed with their hard work, dedication, and professionalism.”  

All four students were in enrolled in Dr. Stearns’ “Filmmakers and World Cinema” course last fall. Each student focused on a different aspect of an encompassing cultural and historical theme.

“I was able to discuss Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ and art in general with a history professor who was in charge of moderating our panel,” said Bennett. “Overall, the experience was insightful and prepared us for presentations in future academic settings.”

Scholars from across disciplines were encouraged to submit proposals that explored the aftermath theme with a particular focus on global reactions to the many conflicts of the 20th and 21st Centuries and how the world responded. For the one-day conference, YHC students joined master’s and Ph.D. candidates from Clemson University, University of North Carolina–Greensboro, Morgan State University, University of Buffalo, University of West Georgia, Yerevan State University and East Tennessee State University.

“It was a wonderful chance to see exactly how a graduate-level history conference operates,” said Edwards, who researched the Spanish Civil War. “I really appreciate Dr. Stearns, and the History Department, for giving us the opportunity to participate in the conference.”

Bridges analyzed Ernest Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” while Googer researched the 1943 film adaptation of the same novel.

“Participating in the conference was a wonderful experience,” said Googer. “Not only was I able to research and produce work that I was interested in, but I also gained valuable practice in collaborating with others to form a cohesive panel. I am thankful for this opportunity and all that I learned; I know this experience will go on to benefit my work in graduate school and my future career as an educator.”

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,200 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. In 2014, the College was granted active membership in NCAA Division II and is a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2015-2016 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit

History Conference Students

Four Young Harris College students recently presented at the graduate conference “Aftermath: European Reactions to War, Genocide and Catastrophe in the 20th Century” at Clemson University.