Six MA Students in the UMKC History Department win National Council on Public History Award for Student Project

Making History MHC with AudienceThe UMKC Department of History is proud to announce that six graduate students in the Master of Arts in History with a Public History Emphasis program have been awarded the National Council on Public History’s Student Project Prize for their project, Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights. The UMKC students receiving the award are: Taylor Bye, Kathryn Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts.

The award is given to “an outstanding public history student project initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history.”

The UMKC student’s project, Making History, chronicles Kansas City’s pivotal role in launching the LGBTQ movement prior to the Stonewall riots. The project began as part of Dr. Christopher Cantwell’s Public History Theory and Method course in Fall 2016.

Making History demonstrates that communities make history inside and outside mainstream institutions and that public historians’ support and collaboration can elevate these stories into their own practice,” NCPH said in the award announcement.

Throughout the semester, students collaborated with members of the LGBTQ community, who had worked tirelessly to document this history and secured funding from Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area to make both a traveling and a digital exhibit.

“I have admired the hard work and dedication this group of students have demonstrated in this project,” said Dr. Sandra Enríquez, UMKC History Professor and Director of the Public History Emphasis program. “Making History illustrates the caliber of students in our program and their commitment to bridge the UMKC History Department to the greater Kansas City community.”

Making History is touring different libraries and universities across the region. It is currently on display until the end of February at the Kansas City Missouri Humanities Council office at 1800 Baltimore 1S. The digital version of the exhibit can be found at