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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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History Student’s Master’s Thesis Recognized by Iowa History Center

Abigail Hoy-Nissen, (MA, History, ‘18) has been awarded the 2018 Master’s Thesis Award from the Iowa History Center for her outstanding thesis on the history of Iowa. The Master’s Thesis Award is an honor presented annually by the Iowa History Center at Simpson College to recognize students who, through the writing of their thesis, make a contribution to the knowledge of Iowa history, show originality in their research methodology, and demonstrate excellent use of sources and written expression.

This award has honored students since 2009 and consists of a plaque and a $1,000 cash prize. Hoy-Nissen is the first honoree from a university outside of Iowa. Hoy-Nissen’s thesis, “The Female Voice of Enfranchisement: A Reassessment of Woman Suffrage in Iowa,” focuses on the story of early Iowa woman suffrage. She argues that too often historians have overlooked women doing the work of suffrage in the state. Hoy-Nissen connects these early women suffragists to temperance and other moral reform movements, and uses suffrage rhetoric (especially in newspapers) to highlight broader themes in the Iowa movement.

Dr. Lori Lahlum (History) served as the faculty supervisor for Hoy-Nissen’s research, and Dr. Angela Jill Cooley (History), Dr. Kathleen Gorman (History) and Dr. Laura Harrison (Gender and Women’s Studies) served on the thesis committee.

For more information about the Department of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato, visit More information about the Iowa History Center can be found at