Kaleb Eller Newago is the Dean’s Scholar Award winner for History. Upon hearing the news, he first thought, “Oh what did I do wrong?” Then he quickly realized he did everything right. “It’s quite an exciting time. (The award) was a very nice honor to receive.”
Growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia, Kaleb attended Bruton High School where he developed his love of history and his future plans. “Living in Williamsburg, I was surrounded by history and I was always very passionate for (it). Since high school, I’ve wanted to be a park ranger. And I never changed my mind.”
Kaleb was also adamant about attending Radford University. “Radford was the only choice I wanted to actually make. I like the environment around it. I like that it’s a small school with a good history program. When I came here, I never considered anywhere else. Everything that I wanted in a school was here at Radford.” He also appreciated that Radford University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in History, as Kaleb wanted to also take anthropology classes.
Kaleb enjoys learning about all aspects of early American history. His particular favorite time period is western expansion. “I grew up watching westerns, so that got me stuck into it.” The Revolutionary War, however, was the topic of Kaleb’s favorite history class. His 495 Seminar with Dr. Mary Ferrari made him reevaluate his opinions on the American Revolution. “I really enjoyed the subject matter. It was something that you don’t necessarily grow up learning about. It was the Revolution from the bottom up.” Kaleb also enjoyed Dr. Straw’s Public History course. “One of our assignments was to go to a museum and report how well they do history. I went to Petersburg National Park.”
Along with bond he has built with the faculty, Kaleb never wants to forget the friendships that he has made at Radford University. He also cherishes his on-campus job of working in student activities. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The friends I’ve made. The places I’ve worked.” Kaleb is also president of the Student Activities Student Employee Association (SASEA), which acts as a liaison between employees in student activities and the department’s faculty. From conference events, to clubs, to scholarships, Kaleb has taken every opportunity to succeed throughout his college career. “If you are looking at going to school in Virginia, Radford is an ideal place.”