Texas Students Claim Top Honors at the 2022 National History Day Contest


June 28th, 2022

On Saturday, June 18, National History Day® (NHD) presented the awards for the 2022 NHD National Contest in a live-streamed ceremony. More than 600,000 middle and high school students entered the competition during the 2021/2022 academic school year and created projects related to the theme Debate & Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, Consequences. After advancing through school, local, and state levels, just over 2,700 students from all 50 states, various international schools, and U.S . territories, advanced to the National Contest in either the Junior or the Senior division and presented  documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites.

Texas History Day, an affiliate of NHD, sent 69 students to the National Contest to represent Texas, resulting in three National first place winners, three National finalists, three special award winners, and two outstanding affiliate entries.  While the Texas History Day contest was held in-person on April 23, 2022, at the University of Texas and the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the National Contest was virtual.

“The third time is a charm, but we are confident that this was our last virtual National Contest,” shares NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “We know the many challenges that students and teachers faced again this year, but we are so amazed that they remained so engaged with learning and discovering the past. I congratulate all of this year’s National History Day participants.” 

At the conclusion of Saturday’s awards ceremony, Dr. Gorn announced the 2023 National History Day theme—Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas—as well as plans for National History Day’s 50th anniversary in 2024. “For our golden jubilee, we have programs and events lined up from Cleveland, where NHD originated, to Philadelphia, HawaiĘ»i, and, of course, here in Washington, D.C., and College Park, Maryland.”

More than 445 historians and education professionals served as judges. The judging was conducted remotely online. More than 100 students from across the country will receive cash prizes between $250 and $1,000 for superior work in specific judging categories.

Numerous awards are granted to students, including the following:

  • First-place entries in the Junior and Senior divisions’ five categories of documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, and website are given the title, “National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Scholar” and receive a $1,000 award sponsored by NEH.
  • Second and third-place entries in all categories receive $500 and $250, respectively.
  • Two entries from each NHD state/affiliate receive an “Outstanding Affiliate Entry” award sponsored by the National Park Service.
  • First, second, and third-place entries in the junior and senior individual documentary categories also receive The Next Generation Angels Awards from The Better Angels Society. The first-place senior winner is given the Anne Harrington Award, named for the late longtime friend and colleague of filmmaker Ken Burns.
  • Two dozen special awards are presented for topics ranging from African American History to World War II. Sponsored by organizations from around the country, they are presented to outstanding entries in any category and range in value from $250 to $1,000.


The following is the list of Texas winners for National History Day:


Category Awards


1st Place-- Senior Group Documentary

Students: Vinod Venkataraman, Vivek Venkataraman, Rohith Chadalawada              Teacher: Quinghua Ge

School: Jasper High—Plano, TX

Project: The Small Ball That Moved the Big World: How a Game of Ping Pong Forever Changed U.S.-China Relations


1st Place—Senior Individual Documentary

Student: Maci Hill           Teacher: Kirstina Miller

School: Livingston High—Livingston, TX

Project: Communist in the Cornfields: Roswell Garst's Citizen Diplomacy


1st Place—Junior Group Exhibit

Students: Linus Watt      Teacher: Gabrielle Herrera

Victoria Hlavaty

Anisa Herrera

School: Sudie L. Williams TAG Academy—Dallas, TX

Project: Laundry-Folders, Diaper-Changers, Dinner-Makers: The Women Who First Pushed for a Diplomatic End to the Vietnam War


National Finalists


Category: Senior Paper

Student: Shreeya Madhavanur     Teacher: Scott Cotton

School: Greenhill School—Dallas, TX

Project: The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty of 1994: A “Watershed” Diplomacy


Category: Senior Individual Documentary

Student: Gabriel Brock        Teacher: Diztorsha Lavan

School: Goose Creek Memorial High School—Baytown, TX

Project: Clay v. United States: A Debate over Conscientious Objection and its Effects on Vietnam-Era and Post-Cold War American Force Diplomacy


Category: Senior Group Exhibit

Students: Ayumi Vazquez           Teacher: Elizabeth Apodaca

Xander Garza

School: Health Careers High School—San Antonio, TX

Project: The Game that Changed the World: How Ping-Pong Diplomacy Salvaged International Relations between the United Sates and the People’s Republic of China


Special Awards


Anne Harrington Award (Named for the longtime friend and colleague of Ken Burns)

Next Generation Angels Award (Sponsored by: The Better Angels Society)

Category: Senior Individual Documentary

Student: Maci Hill           Teacher: Kristina Miller

School: Livingston High—Livingston, TX

Project: Communist in the Cornfields: Roswell Garst's Citizen Diplomacy


National History Academy Scholarship (National History Academy is operated by Journey Through Hallowed Ground, a non-profit National Heritage Area designated by Congress and the National Park Service)

Category: Senior Individual Documentary

Student: Maci Hill        Teacher: Kristina Miller

School: Livingston High—Livingston, TX

Project: Communist in the Cornfields: Roswell Garst's Citizen Diplomacy


E Pluribus Unum in History Award (Sponsored by: America 250 Foundation)

Category: Junior Group Documentary

Students: Khyati Singh   Teacher: Victoria Arnold

Tina Chen

School: E.F. Green Junior School—Baytown, TX

A Race to Ratification: The Road to the Perfect 36


Outstanding Junior Entry from Texas

Category: Junior Paper

Student: Ethan Hoenig      Teacher: Ali Miller

School: Canyon Ridge Middle School—Leander, TX

Project: Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age


Outstanding Senior Entry from Texas

Category: Senior Paper

Student: Shreeya Madhavanur     Teacher: Scott Cotton

School: Greenhill School—Dallas, TX

Project: The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty of 1994: A “Watershed” Diplomacy




About National History Day® (NHD)

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, which seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, The Better Angels Society, Jacqueline B. Mars, and BBVA. For more information, visit nhd.org.


About the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.


About Texas History Day (THD)

Texas History Day (THD), sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association (tshaonline.org), is an affiliate of National History Day. THD is a yearlong education program that culminates in an annual state-level history fair for students in grades six through twelve. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their interest in, and knowledge of, history through creative and original papers, performances, documentaries, web sites, or three-dimensional exhibits.

Over the course of the school year, students research and produce a History Day entry, the results of which are presented at one of the 19 regional competitions in early spring. From there, some students advance to the state competition in April in Austin, or even to the national contest held each June at the University of Maryland at College Park. At each level of competition, outstanding achievement may be recognized through certificates, medals, trophies, or monetary awards. The most important rewards are the skills and insight that students acquire as they move through the History Day program.

As many as 50,000 young Texans are involved in the program at the regional and state level each year. More than 1,000 students participate in THD, and approximately 70 students represent Texas at National History Day each year.  For more information, contact Lisa Berg, Director of Education Services at the Texas State Historical Association, [email protected] or visit texashistoryday.com.

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