Marshall University history student wins national award



Marshall University student Steven Straley has been chosen as one of 15 recipients of the Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award. He will be presented the award at a  ceremony in June in New York City.

Straley is the first Marshall University student to receive an award from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a leading nonprofit dedicated to K–12 American history education that also serves the general public, promoting knowledge of American history through programs and resources. The Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award recognizes outstanding college juniors and seniors who have demonstrated excellence in American history as well as a commitment to public service, leadership and community involvement.

Straley was recognized for his work creating entries and local history tours for the Clio app, featuring towns throughout West Virginia, including digital walking tours in Ceredo, Kenova, and Harpers Ferry. These walking tours are available on Clio, found online at www.theclio.com, and have guided several thousand people as they explore the history of the state. His Clio walking tours in Harpers Ferry will be the subject of an article in a national travel magazine this summer. Straley also has served area organizations such as Heritage Farm Museum and Village.

“I was honored to nominate Steven for this award,” said David Trowbridge, an associate professor of history at Marshall and creator of the Clio app, a website and mobile application that connects people to the history and culture that surround them. “I have seen him grow as a scholar over the past two years and can attest that every task Steven begins is completed with the kind of clarity, excellence, and attention to detail that represents the best of our discipline.

“He is committed to learning and sharing what he learns with others and this has been reflected in the individual entries and walking tours he has created in Clio. Steven is the kind of student we all wish to teach, and I look forward to working with him as he continues his education.”

Straley is an employee at Heritage Farm Museum and Village, where he serves as a docent.

“People love him,” said Audy Perry, executive director at Heritage Farm. “He’s a good fellow and a good ambassador for West Virginia (and a promoter of) why it’s important to study history.”

For more information, contact Trowbridge at by phone at 304-697-2717 or by e-mail at david.trowbridge@marshall.edu.