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Dr. Sonya M. Barclay

Sonya Barclay BookplateDr. Barclay was member of the IUP history faculty. She was born in Florida in 1959 but had grown up in Indiana County, Pa. She graduated from IUP in 1999 with a major in history and minors in women’s studies and English. A superb student, she won both the 1999 Alice K. Schuster Award as the most outstanding senior history major, and the department’s Senior Seminar Award for the year’s best research paper, which was used to explore the lives of widows and unmarried daughters in Indiana County, 1807–37.

Dr. Barclay continued her interest in the early-nineteenth-century countryside during her graduate study at Carnegie Mellon University, where she completed an MA in 2000 and a PhD in 2008. She was the 2007 winner of CMU’s Goldman Fellowship Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching. Enthusiastic and innovative in the classroom, she was known for her creative assignments—such as churning butter—that made old-time rural life come alive for her students.

Dr. Barclay died of cancer on December 25, 2008. At the time of her death, Dr. Barclay was in the midst of a one-year appointment as an assistant professor of history at IUP. She had already established a record as a dynamic teacher who was liked and respected by her students and colleagues.

Dr. Barclay’s generous bequest allowed for the purchase of academic books for the University Libraries.