If you enjoy the study of the past, you've found a home in the Department of History at SUNY Potsdam.
We offer a broad range of courses from the Ancient World to the present, and across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
We invite you to follow the links to learn more about our program, faculty, and students. Find out what new and exciting opportunities await you as you pursue a degree in history.
Tabitha Brown '20
It’s never too late to go back to school. Just ask Tabitha Brown who is back in college after a 25-year hiatus. After raising a family and homeschooling her children, she decided it was time to complete her bachelor’s degree—starting the same year her daughter went off to college. Brown is now excelling as a non-traditional student in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of History where she has been delving into local history projects to explore Northern New York’s past.
Shannon Mattice ’19
Shannon Mattice ’19, a history major with a minor in women’s studies, has been examining a variety of unique history topics—everything from the use of smallpox as a biological weapon to opium addiction in China. As a presidential scholar, she has been conducting research on the role of women in the New Netherlands.
Austin Raetz ’18
Austin Raetz just graduated summa cum laude and was accepted into a prestigious graduate program in History at Cornell University. What’s equally impressive is his passion and personal connection to his field of study, as he examines sexuality and gender roles through a historical lens.
Katelyn Legacy '16
In high school, Katelyn Legacy ’16 wanted nothing to do with history, but that all changed when she arrived at SUNY Potsdam her freshman year. It all started when she took a history class with Dr. M.J. Heisey. “I really bonded with her. She kind of took me under her wing. The whole history department was wonderful,” Legacy said.
Alexis Michael '18
As one of 21 students working on independent research projects through the Presidential Scholars Program this year, Alexis Michael ’18, a double major in archaeology and history, took aim at an experiment that could change archaeologists’ theories about when Indigenous populations first used the bow and arrow in Eastern North America.
Mahala Nyberg ’18
As a SUNY Potsdam Presidential Scholar, Mahala Nyberg ’18 worked extensively on a project focused on the life of WWII Veteran Donald Waful. She is now a senior and wrapping up a challenging course load with a double major in history and archaeological studies.
Associate Professor of History Dr. Axel Fair-Schulz--who grew up in East Germany during the Cold War and traveled to many Eastern bloc countries during his youth--co-edited a book titled "East Germany Historians Since Reunification: A Discipline Transformed," that was recently published by SUNY Press.
Steven Stannish - The Study of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
You won’t find opportunities to study Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphs on many campuses, but motivated students need to look no further than SUNY Potsdam history Professor Steven Stannish’s hieroglyphs class.
Confronting Our Nation's Past
The Department of History supports the recent statement (PDF) issued by the American Historical Association (AHA) against racial violence in the United States. We join with the 90 scholarly societies that have co-signed this statement to date that "It is past time for Americans to confront our nation's past, using insights from history to inform our actions as we work to create a more just society."