Program News



Paul Otto published an article titled "This is that which... they call Wampum: Europeans Coming to Terms with Native Shell Beads" in the journal Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol 15, Winter 2017 . The article analyzes the way Native American Wampum symbolized and aided in the cross-cultural exchange between early European settlers and Native Americans during European colonization of North America.



Caitlin Corning's book, World History: A Short, Visual Introduction , has been published by Fortress Press and was released October 15, 2015. This book is a short survey of the last two millennia of world history. The focus is the political, economic, social, and cultural events that provide context for the history of Christianity. It should come as little surprise, given the aims of this text, that the emphasis remains primarily on Europe and the Middle East until after the sixteenth century. It is also important to know that this book does not explore church history in depth. It has been written as a companion volume to a church history textbook or course.


Professors' News

Paul Otto will be among a select group of scholars nationwide spending the 2015-16 academic year as a fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Otto is the first George Fox professor to earn the fellowship, which this year was granted to 32 individuals out of a pool of 547 applications. He will spend the fellowship working on his book  Beads of Power: Wampum and the Shaping of Early America, which incorporates historical, archaeological, economic, linguistic and sociological approaches to understand how wampum – white and purple beads of shell – functioned in the intercultural matrix of early America. Earning the fellowship is a high honor, as Otto is one of only a handful of professors from a Council for Christian Colleges & Universities school to ever get the distinction.

Our history scholar in residence, Laura Gifford's article, “Planning for a Productive Paradise: Tom McCall and the Conservationist Tale of Oregon Land-Use Policy,” has been awarded the 2015 Joel Palmer Award. Each year, the  Oregon Historical Quarterly presents the award to the author of the best article published in the journal during the previous year. The award was established by Omar C. "Slug" Palmer and William J. Lang in honor of their ancestor Joel Palmer, an Oregon pioneer. It is voted on by members of the  Quarterly's Editorial Advisory Board. In addition to the first-place prize, which carries with it $300, two authors are presented honorable mention. The award will be given at the Oregon Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 16, at 2:00 pm, in our downtown location.


Laura Gifford, our history scholar in residence, spoke at the Newberg Early Bird Rotary January 22, 2015, on Herbert Hoover and World War I.

Laura Gifford also had an article, "Planning for a Productive Paradise: Tom McCall and the Conservationist Tale of Oregon Land-Use Policy" published in the winter 2014 issue of Oregon Historical Quarterly. She also had an article published in the September 2014 edition of The Lutheran (denominational magazine of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) titled "100 Years Ago, 'Patriots' in any Language" (on American Lutherans during World War I).


Professor News

Laura Gifford, our history scholar in residence, presented a paper, “Piercing Leathered Hides and Stultified Thinking: Tom McCall and the ‘Third Force’ of the Watergate Era,” at the Institute for Policy History’s Policy History Conference in Columbus, Ohio, June 4. She also chaired and commented upon a panel titled “Forging Conservative Coalitions in Modern America.”

Laura Gifford, our history scholar in residence, was appointed to the board of directors of Lutheran Community Services Northwest. LCSNW is the branch of the Lutheran Community Services nonprofit social service agency that serves Oregon, Washington and Idaho. 

Kerry Irish’s lecture, The Presidency of George Washington, was filmed by C-SPAN as part of their “Lectures in History” series. His lecture was aired on C-SPAN3 on November, 30, 2013, at 8 pm (ET) and again on December 1, 2013, at 1 pm (ET).

Paul Otto served as guest editor for the  Journal of Early American History for a special issue titled "Early Iroquoian-European Contacts: The Kaswentha Tradition, the Two Row Wampum Belt, and the Tawagonshi Document?" In addition, his essay, "Wampum, Tawagonshi, and the Two Row Belt," was included in the volume. Another essay, "Real Estate or Political Sovereignty? The Dutch, Munsees, and the Purchase of Manhattan Island," has been published in  Opening Statements: Law, Jurisprudence, and the Legacy of Dutch New York. Finally, he published a review of  The Memory of All Ancient Customs: Native American Diplomacy in the Colonial Hudson Valley by Tom Arne Midtrød in the  Journal of American History 100, No. 2.


Paul Otto published an article, “Christian, Providential, and Ecclesiastical: Graphic Christian Perspectives on History,” in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of  Fides et Historia, a semi-annual peer-reviewed academic journal that concerns the intersection of Christian faith and historical inquiry.


Professor News

Paul Otto  has been awarded a one-month Anthony N. B. and Beatrice W. B. Garvan Fellowship in American Material Culture at the Library Company of Philadelphia. He will be conducting research this summer for an article with the working title, “Trading in Wampum: Manufacturers and Merchants in the Eighteenth Century.”

On March 22, Paul Otto was one of the featured speakers at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He spoke on Christianity and the liberal arts.

Paul Otto was featured in the November edition of the newsletter " Relics," issued by the Pasack Historical Society in Park Ridge, New Jersey. He visited the Pasack Historical Society's museum in July this year to look at a wampum drilling machine being featured there. His visit to the museum was a part of a research trip for his new book about wampum. 

Laura Gifford, our Scholar in Residence, received a Bordin-Gillette Researcher Travel Fellowship to do research at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan where she plans to look into the George Romney Papers, and secondarily at the papers of '70s-era Michigan governor, William Milliken. 


2012 Presidential Prognostication Challenge!

Ron Mock is again running his presidential prognostication game! Friends of our program are invited to play . . .

Before each Republican primary or caucus you are invited to predict the top three finishers in order. Your predictions will be entered into a spreadsheet that has been devised by Professor Mock. You will score 5 points for picking the w inner correctly, 3 points for picking second place correctly, and 2 points for picking third place correctly. Also, you will score 1 point for missing any of your top three picks by only 1 place. However, if any of your top three picks miss your prediction by more than 1 place, you lose 1 point.

The first thing you will have to do is pick the outcome of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican caucuses. The deadline for these picks will be midnight on Friday, December 16th. You can enter the contest by e-mailing Professor Ron Mock ( your picks. For more information about the challenge contact Professor Ron Mock.


Paul Otto published “Wampum” in the Encyclopedia of Native American History, edited by Peter C. Mancall and published by Facts on File.

Paul also published an editorial, “ Political Commitments and Doing Justice,” in Capital Commentary, a weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice. The center, established in 1977 by a group of citizens interested in developing and communicating an integrated biblical view of political service and responsible government, is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to policy research and civic education.

Mark O. Hatfield

Former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield died Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, at the age of 89, leaving behind a vast legacy of service to his country, state and at George Fox University. After an illustrious career in state and national politics, Hatfield joined the faculty of the university as Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor.   During his tenure with the History and Political Science Department, he taught or co-taught The Vietnam Experience, Herbert Hoover and His Times, Recent America: 1945 to the Present, Christianity & Politics in U.S., Public Policy, International Relations, Campaigns and Elections, and President/Congressional Relationship.  For ten years, he made a substantial contribution to the academic and scholarly life of the university.  More on Senator Hatfield’s life, legacy, and contributions to the university can be found on this blog post about Senator Hatfield


Professor News

Kerry Irish traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to receive the Army Historical Foundation’s prize for the best article on the U.S. Army to appear in a journal or magazine in 2010 for his article, "Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines: There Must Be a Day of Reckoning" which was published in The Journal of Military History, October 2010.

The inaugural issue of the Journal of Early American History has just appeared.  Paul Otto is a member of the editorial board and regularly serves as a manuscript reviewer for the journal.


Paul Otto’s essay, “Wampum: The Transfer and Creation of Rituals on the Early American Frontier,” appeared in Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual, Vol. 5: Transfer and Spaces, released in December of 2010 by Harrassowitz Books.

Faculty Lecture

Paul Otto presented Beads of Power: A Short History of Wampum at the Fall Faculty Lecture on October 5, 2010.  


George Fox University hosted the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History on the Newberg campus on October 7-9, 2010.  This event was preceded by the Undergraduate Student Conference on October 6-7.



George Fox University hosted its 17th symposium on Herbert Hoover and his times on October 3, 2009, in Newberg, Oregon.  Joshua Hawley, author of Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness, spoke on the origins of the conservationist movement.  Kendrick A. Clements, author of Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism, addressed the question of whether Hoover was a conservationist, an environmentalist, or something else.  In addition, a panel of experts  considered whether or not history can offer practical lessons for modern environmentalists.

Professor News

Paul Otto was awarded a faculty achievement award for research as an undergraduate professor in 2010.

Paul presented "Henry Hudson, the Munsees, and the Wampum Revolution" at a conference, "Henry Hudson, New Netherland, & Atlantic History," at State of University of New York at New Paltz on September 25, 2009.


Paul Otto published "Intercultural Relations between Natives and Europeans in New Netherland" in Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations, 1609-2009 (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009).  He also published museum exhibition catalog entries on Wampum and Munsee Indians in Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).


Professor News

Paul Otto has been named to the editorial board of the new Journal of Early American History, published by Brill Academic Publishers.

This summer Paul was named a Fellow of the Holland Society of New York in recognition of his work on the history of New Netherland and Dutch New York.

Paul Otto was also awarded a Phi Alpha Theta Advisor's Research Grant for his research on wampum.


Kerry Irish recently published an article entitled “Cross-Cultural Leadership: Dwight D. Eisenhower,” which appeared in a new edited work, The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell.


Professor News

The Earhart Foundation has awarded Paul Otto a fellowship research grant for a summer project, “Beads of Power: Wampum and the Shaping of the Early American Frontier.” The fellowship will support summer reading and research as Paul prepares for his sabbatical next year.

In addition, Paul was awarded a fellowship for research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, for next year. He will be an Andrew W. Mellow Foundation Fellow for two months. Paul also accepted appointment to the Exhibition Scholarly Advisor Committee for the exhibition, "Discovery and Invention: The Worlds of Henry Hudson" at the Museum of the City of New York.

Three professors led Juniors Abroad trips this May and June. Caitlin Corning took her students to Scandinavia and England.  Paul Otto travelled to South Africa and Mark Weinert went to Italy, Sicily and Tunisia.


The 2008 Phi Alpha Theta NW Regional Conference was hosted by Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, April 10-12.  Paul Otto and Caitlin Corning attended with students Rachel Webb, Megan Buff, Heidi Eidem and Kaisa Kincaid.  Rachel and Meagan both presented papers.

George Fox University's 16th symposium on the life of Herbert Hoover, the humanitarian, was held on October 6, 2007. Plenary speakers included George Nash, author of the first three volumes of The Life of Herbert Hoover, who spoke on Hoover and the Belgian relief effort, and Bert Patenaude, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921, who spoke on the relief effort to Europe and Russia. As well, representatives from humanitarian groups based in the northwest such as Mercy Corps, World Concern and World Vision addressed the question of whether history can offer practical lessons for modern humanitarians.



The Alpha Eta Omega chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and the George Fox University Department of History were pleased to host the 2007 Pacific Northwest regional student history conference. Co-hosts were Linfield College, Portland State University and University of Portland. The conference was held in Lincoln City at the Inn At Spanish Head April 12-14, 2007. 21 schools sent 122 students.

Alumni News

2005 Graduate, Stephanie Steinhorst, has been accepted into the Public History Master's Program at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. She will be doing an extended version and will complete both a public history internship and a thesis. Currently she is employed by the Bureau of Land Management as an interpretive park ranger at Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon.

Professor News

In September, Paul Otto and Caitlin Corning attended the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History at Oklahoma Baptist University. Both served as panelists in plenary sessions in the student portion of the conference. In the faculty portion, Caitlin presented the paper, "Bede's Presentation of the British and Iona in the History". Caitlin is currently a member of the CFH board. Paul served on this year's program committee.


Caitlin Corning has written a new book, The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church published by Palgrave-Macmillian.


Academic Awards

Brittany Quinn was recognized as Outstanding History major for 2006.


Paul Otto and Caitlin Corning were promoted to full Professors at the March Board of Trustees meeting.


Paul Otto has written his first book, The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley, published by Berghahn Press.

Kerry Irish published an article titled, "Apt Pupil:Dwight Eisenhower and the 1930 Industrial Mobilization Plan." It can be found in the January 2006 Journal of Military History.


Academic Awards

Michelle Forbes and Bradley Christensen were named as the Outstanding History majors for 2005.

Promotions and Tenure Granted

Kerry Irish was promoted to full Professor at the March 2005 Board of Trustees meeting. At the same meeting Paul Otto, Associate Professor of History, was granted tenure.


Corning and Otto Honored

Caitlin Corning and Paul Otto were nominated to "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." Recipients are nominated by former students.

Otto Chosen For Seminar Participation

Paul Otto, Associate Professor of history, was one of 25 historians in the nation chosen to participate in the seminar Political History of the Early Republic: New Challenges, Old Strengths. The seminar was held at Columbia University June 22-27, 2003, and offered each faculty participant the opportunity to "strengthen their teaching, recharge their intellectual batteries, and to become more familiar with several major archival centers." The seminar was sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Council of Independent Colleges.

Sabbatical Granted

During a 2003-04 sabbatical, Caitlin Corning worked toward completion of her book on the Easter Controversy in the Western Church between A.D. 590-768. Corning has been a professor at George Fox since 1996, the department chair since 2000, and is the 2002 recipient of the Teacher of the Year award.