An Interview with Will Fitzhugh: Concord Review- Current Status!

Jan 11, 2022 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
1) Will, first of all, happy New Year and let’s hope it is a better one. What is currently happening with The Concord Review? [tcr.org]
Thanks for asking! We are now working on the 132nd issue of this unique international quarterly journal for the history research papers of secondary students. Great papers continue to come in from across the country and from 44 other countries and nearly 45% of our authors have been accepted to the Ivy League, Chicago or Stanford. The papers range across a huge variety of historical topics and I am constantly impressed by the quality of the papers these students produce (now averaging 9,000 words, with endnotes and bibliography), and many of them are writing in their second language, after all. [fitzhugh@tcr.org]
2) I know you do additional writing and research training. What is the status of that and who is conducting it?

In 2014, Jessica Li, one of our authors and an Emerson Prize winner, started the TCR Academic Coaches, which pairs students interested in doing a serious history paper with a former TCR author,—most are Emerson Prize winners now in very selective colleges. She has now graduated from Harvard, and she makes the connection, and the coach and the student work out their meetings online together. She can be reached at  jessica.feiya.li@gmail.com.

3) TCR—(The Concord Review) History Camp—what is involved in this?

In 2014, Steven Lee began work on our TCR History Camp, which brings groups of secondary students together, mostly online, but sometimes in person, to learn how to do historical research and to work on serious papers on topics of their own choosing. Attendance at these camps has grown steadily, from a handful in the beginning to nearly 300 this year, with students working on their research papers during the Camp online from across the U.S. and from Australia, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, New Zealand, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK. [steven.lee@tcr.org].
4) The National Writing Board—why is this organization important and what exactly do they do?
The National Writing Board was founded in 1998, to provide a unique external evaluation of history research papers by high school students. Each paper is read by two readers who know only that the author is a high school student. A considerable group of very selective college admissions departments have shown that they are interested in these external assessments of serious academic work by applicants. Papers have been submitted for review from across the U.S., and from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Dubai, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the UK, so far. [fitzhugh@tcr.org].
5) The National History Club—who is involved, are there meetings, and what is their focus?
Robert Nasson started the National History Club in 2002, to promote the reading, writing, discussion and enjoyment of history at the secondary level. There are now more than 600 chapters in 44 states, with 18,000 members pursuing a very wide range of activities in the pursuit of history [nasson@tcr.org].
6) In terms of the National History Club, I would think that any exploration of history and historical figures would examine both the good and the bad  (wars for example). Does this club have a mission statement? Where could one find more information?
The National History Club was founded for any secondary students with an interest in history. There are no prerequisites for membership and there is no agenda for their activities from the national level. A regular newsletter lets chapters know about the huge variety of historical activities undertaken by other chapters. [nasson@tcr.org]
7) What have I neglected to ask?
Students published in The Concord Review have now gone on to Brown(35), University of Chicago(46), Columbia(33), Cornell(23), Dartmouth(27), Harvard(158), Oxford(19), Pennsylvania(33), Princeton(80), Stanford(106), Yale(133), and a number of other fine institutions, including Amherst, Berkeley, Bowdoin, Bryn Mawr, Caltech, Cambridge, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, McGill, Michigan, MIT, New York University, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Reed, Rice, Smith, Swarthmore, Trinity, Tufts, Virginia, Washington University, Wellesley, and Williams. [tcr.org]
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