The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

All full- and part-time graduate students in the Department of History belong to the Graduate History Society (GHS).

The GHS works to enhance our student community in a variety of ways:

  • Working with faculty members, the chair and the graduate coordinator on student and program issues
  • Organizing scholarly seminars
  • Organizing the annual graduate history symposium
  • Introducing new students to the department and the city
  • Arranging social events
  • Administering a listserv for all graduate students

Governance Structure

Each fall, our graduate students elect an eight-person executive committee to lead the GHS. These committee members express graduate students’ concerns and serve as voting members at departmental meetings. The society has four seats (3 PhD and 1 MA) on the department’s Graduate Program Committee. The GHS is also a member of the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), from which it receives annual funding. All registered graduate students in the department are welcome to attend and participate in GHS’ monthly meetings.


The GHS office contains a wide variety of academic and professional resources, including graduate course evaluations, winning scholarship applications from recent years and past comprehensive exam questions. There are also numerous guides on subjects ranging from teaching techniques to campus resources.

Contact Information

Graduate History Society
Room 3104, Sidney Smith Hall
100 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
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The GHS executive committee puts out a call for nominations for and bestows three awards each spring.

The Distinguished Service Awards recognize substantive contributions to graduate student intellectual and social life in the Department of History over the past academic year, and are awarded to a graduate student and a member of faculty.

The Dana Wessell-Lightfoot Award (formerly the Long-Term Service Award) recognizes distinguished service by a graduate student over several years. Individuals who have successfully defended their dissertations in the department in the past 12 months are eligible, with the winning nominee being deemed to have contributed substantially to the department and the graduate student community through his or her involvement in GHS, departmental or other activities and projects. In bestowing this award, the GHS will recognize outstanding contributions to the culture of the department, and a longstanding commitment by the recipient to improving the graduate student experience in the Department of History.

GHS Distinguished Service Award – Graduate Student

  • 2014-15 Susie Colbourn
  • 2013-14 Kathryn Segesser
  • 2012-13 Jennifer Evans
  • 2011-12 Seth Bernstein
  • 2010-11 Jonathan McQuarrie
  • 2009-10 Katie Edwards
  • 2008-09 Peter Mersereau
  • 2007-08 Alexandra Guerson
  • 2006-07 Jennifer DeSilva
  • 2005-06 Wilson Bell and Jennifer Polk (co-winners)
  • 2004-05 Heather Dichter

GHS Distinguished Service Award – Faculty Member            

  • 2014-15 Russell Kazal
  • 2013-14 Steve Penfold
  • 2012-13 Franca Iacovetta & Russell Kazal
  • 2011-12 No nominees
  • 2010-11 Professor Lynne Viola
  • 2009-10 Professor Lori Loeb
  • 2008-09 Professor Doris Bergen
  • 2007-08 Professor Barbara Todd
  • 2006-07 Professor Carol Chin
  • 2005-06 Professor Mark Meyerson
  • 2004-05 Professor Ken Mills

Dana Wessell Lightfoot Long-Term Service Award*               

  • 2014-15 Jennifer Evans
  • 2013-14 Daniel Rosenthal
  • 2012-13 Auri Berg
  • 2011-12 David Stiles
  • 2010-11 Denis McKim and Katie Edwards (co-winners)
  • 2009-10 Mairi MacDonald
  • 2008-09 Heather Dichter
  • 2007-08 Sarah Amato and Ariel Beaujot (co-winners)
  • 2006-07 Amy Milne-Smith and Michael Pettit (co-winners)
  • 2005-06 Dana Wessell-Lightfoot

*The Long-Term Service Award was renamed the Dana Wessell Lightfoot Long-Term Service Award after the inaugural winner.