SU Student Spotlight: Mark Shifflet and Jonathan Goos


History majors Jonathan Goos and Mark Shifflet won an award for most outstanding poster at an annual historical association meeting that took place during Nov. 1 and 2.

“We wanted to understand how Pennsylvania’s charcoal and iron furnaces contributed to the development of the infrastructure,” Goos said as he explained why he and Shifflet chose “Tycoons in Tailcoats” as the title for their poster.

This included how the furnaces shaped the layout of the towns around them and how the furnaces helped supply food and ammunition to soldiers during the American Revolution.

The poster took over an entire semester to complete. Goos said he and Shifflet had been researching since the Spring 2012 semester. Shifflet said that preparation for the project involved visiting local sites to take pictures of iron furnaces.

Goos credits much of the success of “Tycoons in Tailcoats” to the quality of his education at Shippensburg. “The other schools didn’t seem to have as sophisticated a program as ours.” The other schools had really good posters, but they didn’t tell a story like ours did,” Goos said.

A love for the subject-matter also helped win the award. “We live and breathe history, and I think our research supports that fact,” said Shifflet. “This made the hard work fun and the research more thorough.”

The America Studies Program at Penn State Harrisburg, the Penn State Press, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum commission hosted the meeting at the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel.

Any content centered on history of the mid-Atlantic region was an option for subject matter.

The guidelines required that every poster be based on original research of primary sources and an analysis of secondary sources. Application of techniques for teaching Pennsylvania history and culture was also a factor in judging.


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