Bonnie Spencer awards announced

bonnie spencer award winners with professors

Pictured Front Row: Fatima Fuentes, Erika Alvarado, and Davin Whatley:  Back Row: NTCC history professors--Dr. Andrew P. Yox, Dr. Melissa Fulgham and James McGregor

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

Three NTCC history students emerged on top in the 2021 Bonnie Spencer competition, for the best student essays in history.  Essays could have been entered from any history course from any history instructor, full-time or part-time, on campus or off, such as with embedded dual history classes.

This year Davin Whatley came in first and won $100 for his essay on John D. Rockefeller.  His essay, “John D. Rockefeller: Changing American Capitalism,” was a robust presentation on how the great oil magnate transformed the way American capitalism functioned.  Fatima Fuentes came in second and won $50. Her essay, “Reasons behind War,” emphasized how American self-interests brought the nation to war in 1898, 1917, and 1941. Finally, Erika Alvarado came in third and won $25.   Her essay, “Toward a More Virtuous Feminism,” discussed the legacy of Hispanic feminist prototypes.


History instructor, John Russo, with Fatima Fuentes
History instructor, John Russo, with Fatima Fuentes


The contest honors the student founder of the college’s first history club in 2002. Bonnie Spencer subsequently helped transition the efforts of the NTCC Webb Society and Honors Northeast toward feature-length films.  She has also raised and donated funds for activities in history at NTCC.

Title V Phi Theta Kappa/Honors Coordinator, Andrea Reyes, adjudicated the contest.  History and English department faculty served as judges.

History at NTCC offers courses in American, Texas, and World Civilization.  Starting this fall, students will have the additional option of taking African-American History as a U.S. History survey option.  The college’s Walter Prescott Webb Society, linked both to Honors Northeast and to the study of Texas history, recently won a Webb Chapter Award on the state level, for its film on Bo Pilgrim. Since 2008, students at NTCC have presented works of history nationally, regionally, and locally.  Each year since 2015, NTCC students have published essays in the state’s collegiate journal for Texas History, Touchstone.