Awards & Scholarships

History majors and History-Education majors are eligible for several awards sponsored by the History Department.

Johnston-Aronoff History Scholarship

The $1,000 Johnston-Aronoff History Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior History student, preferably with an emphasis in the study of California and/ or the Western United States. First preference is to a Native American student who has graduated from either a Humboldt County charter or high school, but is not limited to students who meet those preferences.

The Johnston-Aronoff Scholarship was established by Guy Aronoff, a lecturer in Cal Poly Humboldt’s History Department, and his wife, Judy Johnston.

Applications for the scholarship are accepted and reviewed early in the spring semester. Contact the History Department office for details.

Charles R. Barnum History Awards

The Charles R. Barnum History Awards celebrate original historical research of Humboldt County. The awards were established in 1952 by a grant from Charles Barnum, a realtor and insurance broker in Eureka who was a member of the Cal Poly Humboldt College Advisory Board from 1946 to his death in 1953.

Up to $2,500 in prize money will be distributed each year, and up to three awards will be given. *By submitting your paper to the Barnum History Contest you hereby grant the Humboldt Library permission to make your work available in its online repository, Humboldt Digital Scholar. 

Any current student from any major can submit a paper from any year in their Humboldt career that hasn’t been previously submitted. The topic of the paper should be some aspect of local Humboldt County history; sources should be cited and a bibliography included; and the paper should be approximately 10-12 pages in length (the page length is a guideline, not a limit). Email your submission to the History Department office at Submissions should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style. Previous winning research papers are available for reference in the Humboldt Room in the Humboldt Library and on Humboldt Digital Scholar.

Dr. John Hennessy Award

The Dr. John Hennessy Award was established in memory of Dr. John Hennessy, a professor of History and department chair at Cal Poly Humboldt who, after his retirement from the History Department, provided many years of service to the university. The award is given each year to a history major and graduating senior who has demonstrated academic excellence in the study of history.

William R. Tanner History Scholarship

The William R. Tanner History Scholarship was established in memory of William R. Tanner, professor of History at Cal Poly Humboldt from 1970 to 1999 and founder of History Day at the university. Dr. Tanner was also author of A View from the Hill, a history of Cal Poly Humboldt. The Tanner scholarship is awarded each year to a History major and resident of Humboldt County who has demonstrated academic merit and financial need.