Mary Katherine Clerkin Oswego, N.Y. - ‘Student Night' returns to kick off the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 17. The Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego hosts the fifth annual event which continues through Sunday, April 19. Learn more about this chapter in history and hear behind-the-scenes stories about the campaign from an esteemed panel of multinational historians throughout the weekend.

Students are invited to begin their own journey through history by participating in the student competition on Friday night.

"In the international spirit of this event, students from the U.S. and Canada are invited to present a paper with a focus on the War of 1812," said Matthew MacVittie, coordinator of the student competition. "This is a quality, competitive contest in which the winners will be decided as much for the historical content of their paper as for their presentation skills at the podium."

All interested graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to submit a 3,000- to 4,000-word paper on a topic of their choice about the War of 1812. The document must adhere to the University of Chicago format and be submitted electronically to MacVittie at mattmac537@yahoo.com by Friday, April 3.

Papers will be judged on writing quality, scholarly source material and argument. From the submissions, five applicants will be chosen to demonstrate their work with a 15-minute presentation at the symposium. An international jury of historians will then decide the winning applicant.

Cash prizes ranging from $300 to $100 will be awarded to all five student presenters immediately following the contest.

"This is a great way for the next generation of historians to gain experience and demonstrate their research and presentation skills as they get started in this field," said Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear, chairman of the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium Committee.

On Saturday and Sunday, nine renowned historians will explore a variety of topics about the war that helped secure America's independence over 200 years ago.

They includes prominent author and military historian Donald Graves; author Dr. Donald Hickey, history professor at Wayne State College in Nebraska; Dr. Jane Errington, author and history professor at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; naval historian and author Dr. Gary M. Gibson; and Walter Lewis, author and marine historian.

Author and retired Canadian Army Maj. Sandy Antal; historical marine artist Dr. Peter Rindlisbacher; naval historian and retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Clayton Nans; and retired U.S. Army Maj. Dr. Richard Barbuto, author, professor and deputy director of the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas complete the roster.

For more information about the student competition, e-mail Matthew MacVittie at mattmac537@yahoo.com.

To register for the symposium, call 315-343-4711 or go to www.fortontario.com. For visitor information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322 or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.

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APPLY NOW TO WIN STUDENT HISTORY CONTEST - Students will present research papers at the Oswego International War of 1812 Symposium on Friday, April 17. The event continues through Sunday, April 19 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego. Last year, Mary Katherine Clerkin took home first prize with her presentation about soldiers' rations during the War of 1812, which included a sample from an original recipe. Photo by Kelly Jordal, Oswego County Tourism.
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