Spotlight: University of the Cumberlands Phi Alpha Theta

In Spotlight on December 26, 2012 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Dr. Eric Wake

Eric L. Wake, Ph.D.

Today we turn the spotlight on the work of Dr. Eric L. Wake, former KATH president and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.  He primarily teaches European and World histories as well as historiography; and, he has crafted many opportunities for students to take leadership roles as young historians at regional, state and national levels.

Recently Dr. Wake received a Meritorious Award for Years of Service at the Biennial Phi Alpha Theta Convention in Orlando, Florida. He serves as the faculty advisor of the Upsilon-Upsilon Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. Founded in 1974, the Upsilon-Upsilon chapter is one of the most active organizations on campus. The chapter sponsors a popular lecture series, conducts fundraisers; and hosts department pizza parties, a cookout, as well as the closing picnic. Members present at the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Convention and often at National Conventions

With the support of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant in 1989, Dr. Wake started the annual production of The Upsilonian, an annual journal of the top three undergraduate history research papers chosen by the faculty and students on the Board of Advisors. For example, the 23rd volume published this last summer included these three interesting articles:

  • Kyla Fitz-Gerald, “Robert H. Goddard: The Secrecy of a Physics Professor”
  • Jared Coleman, “Power: The True Purpose Behind the Tennessee Valley Authority”
  • Amanda Sickman, “Sepoy Rebellion of 1857: The Rising Discontent”

You can find all the volumes online at

We give a hearty congratulations to Dr. Wake, his colleagues and to his industrious students!


One Response to “Spotlight: University of the Cumberlands Phi Alpha Theta”

  1. In the spring of 1994, my undergraduate history mentor, Dr. Lindsey Apple of Georgetown College, drove me and a few others to Williamsburg to take part in a Phi Alpha Theta conference hosted by Dr. Wake. I walked away that day with the “best paper” award and it made a huge impact on me personally and professionally. Little did I know then what time and dedication it takes to invest in an organization and in students–thank you and congratulations Dr. Wake!

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