St. Cloud State alumna Kayla Stielow ’14 ’22 was recently announced as the 2022 St. Cloud State University Distinguished Thesis Award recipient for her work on Huskies Go to War: St. Cloud State During the World War II Era.
Stielow’s thesis highlighted the student experience at SCSU during World War II. In addition to presenting historical research and analysis of campus community actions and reactions, she also created a walking tour of significant places on campus during the war.
“What continually impressed me was all the Homefront activities were all student led, driven and organized; 18 and 19-year-olds were taking on that workload,” Stielow said. “I really saw an awesome opportunity to tell a chapter of the University’s history that hadn’t been covered from a student’s perspective.”
Stielow’s thesis was nominated by the Department of History for her outstanding master’s level research, where a committee of graduate faculty reviewed each nominated thesis to determine a winner.
She first earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education in 2014 from SCSU, later returning to finish a Master of Arts in Public History degree in the summer of 2022.
Stielow currently serves as the Charles Lindbergh House and Partnership Sites Manager for the Minnesota Historical Society. In addition to overseeing staff and daily operations at the Lindbergh House in Little Falls, she also manages community relationships with other historic sites around the state.
Stielow said the extensive work on her thesis has already made her a better historian.
“I have a better understanding of the field and how to produce academic writing for the work that I do,” Stielow said. “It showcases the relationship between academic and public history, and how they both depend on each other to create effective public programming.”
Stielow’s 136-page thesis is available to download on the SCSU Repository.