History and Haunts: An Interview with Dr. Alena Pirok

Dr. Alena Pirok is one of the newest professors to join Armstrong State University’s History Department. An Illinoi native, Dr. Pirok’s main area of research is how Virginians use ghost stories as a way to teach and learn about historical places. As a student in Dr. Pirok’s Colonial/Revolutionary America course during her first semester, I was glad to conduct an interview with her regarding her teaching and historical research.

PirokWhen Dr. Pirok entered college as a freshman at Southern Illinois University, she did so as an education major. She reveals with a laugh that inconvenient class scheduling was a significant factor in her decision to change majors. “I decided I was just going to major in history and see where that took me,” she says, leading her to ask her professors about their work. After learning what went into being a historian, she says “all that sounded really great to me, so by sophomore year that’s when I started getting really serious.” Dr. Pirok moved on to go to the University of South Florida after completing her undergraduate program, where she’d receive her doctorate in history and graduated in August 2017.

Continue reading


Above Board and Windward: An Interview with Dr. Kurt Knoerl


Dr. Knoerl in pirate costume on Armstrong Day, Oct 19, 2017

As a recent addition to the Department of History at Armstrong State University, Dr. Kurt Knoerl specializes in maritime history, underwater archaeology, and digital history. He believes that accepting a faculty position in Savannah is, “in a way, [his] career coming full circle.” He earned a bachelor of the arts degree in legal studies from State University of New York in Buffalo. During his last semester of undergraduate studies in 1987, he took an introduction to archaeology class and learned about underwater archaeology. His professor encouraged him to explore his new passion and attend a conference in Savannah. He did just that and fell in love with the city and the discipline and went on to earn a master of the arts degree in history and Continue reading

“Savannah as a History Classroom” An Interview with Lydia Moreton, the Curator of Collections for the Coastal Heritage Society

Editorial introduction

ethan interviewLydia Moreton, the Curator of Collections for the Coastal Heritage Society, is an Armstrong graduate, who earned her Masters in Public History in 1999. During the fall semester of 2016 she began her first adventure in teaching, spearheading a museums study class for both graduate and undergraduate students. During this time, she agreed to be interviewed for our journal. A range of topics were discussed, from how she hoped her students would benefit from her class to her current job and the many responsibilities that come with it. What follows are excerpts from this discussion, the first taking place on a park bench in Chippewa Square on September 27, 2016 and the second, a month later, just outside City Hall on October 27, 2016.

Continue reading

History Matters: An Interview with Dr. June Hopkins

If you were a history major with a serious interest in 20th-century United States history, particularly the New Deal, welfare policy, or FDR, then you are more than familiar with Dr. June Hopkins, who has officially announced her retirement after teaching American history for almost two decades at Armstrong. As a senior who has taken two of Dr. Hopkins’ classes, I was very happy to have the opportunity to interview this well-respected professor.

Continue reading