Courtney Hicks
Publish Date

Connor Krater (MA 2023) was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award at the 2024 Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium (STARS), for his thesis “Metternich the Pragmatist: A Look into Metternich’s Impact on the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna in the Regions of Italy, Saxony, and Poland”. This thesis focuses on Clemens Von Metternich as a historical figure, and how narratives surrounding him were politicized to fit narratives within the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). Krater argued that the trauma experienced in Metternich’s youth, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, was what pushed him to seek a return to the political status quo that existed before the French Revolution. In his research, Krater explored the longstanding relationship and affair Metternich had with the Duchess of Sagan and translated their correspondence from French to English. He also got the opportunity to interview a prominent 19th Century German Historian who had previously written about Metternich; Krater shared, “Brian Vick, a professor at Emory College, was kind enough to be interviewed by me and provided a good deal of insight needed for my research. Researching for my thesis was an enjoyable experience.” 

Dr. Heather Bailey was Krater’s advisor and got to work with him as he evolved as a historian. Bailey shared, “He stood out as a student who went above and beyond minimum requirements. While at UIS Connor was also a participant in MIG [Model Illinois Government], an organizer, and an activist. He created opportunities for students to engage in civil discourse on controversial subjects and he was involved with student efforts to insist that the administration provide a safer campus climate. Thus, he exemplifies academic dedication, leadership, and engaged and informed citizenship.”

Following his graduation in May of 2023, Krater joined a branch of AmeriCorps known as Teach for America (TFA). Since then, he has had experience teaching multiple levels of Social Studies and Mathematics in Chicago, IL, and Minneapolis, MN. Currently, Krater has taken on the role of a 7th Grade Social Studies teacher, teaching United States History, and will be moving down to 5th Grade Social Studies and Science next year! On his experience at UIS, Krater stated, “My time with the UIS History Department was a wonderful and supportive time. The department is personable, kind, and tight-knit…Dr. Bailey and Dr. Owen were the professors I worked most closely with during my master’s program, and I am immensely grateful for their guidance.”

Connor is the third History student to win the Outstanding Master's Thesis Award since 2017, and seventh overall since its inception in 2001.

Congratulations Connor!