Saint Martin’s assistant professor receives award for his first book

October 28, 2013

LACEY, Wash. – Aaron Goings, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at Saint Martin’s University, has won an award from the Historical Society of Michigan for his first book, which focuses on the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike, one of the longest and most violent labor struggles in U.S. history.

awardrecievedGoings and co-author Gary Kaunonen received the society’s 2013 State History Award for their scholarly work, “Community in Conflict: A Working-Class History of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike and the Italian Hall Tragedy.” The co-authors received the award for the book, published by Michigan State University Press, under the category of “Publications: University and Commercial Press” during a ceremony the historical society hosted earlier this fall in Kalamazoo, MI. It was one of four books to be recognized in this category.

“It was certainly a pleasant surprise to receive this honor from the Historical Society of Michigan,” says Goings. “My co-author, who is currently in Michigan Technological University’s Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Technical Communication,and I set out to craft a scholarly book on Michigan’s Copper Country history and to shed new light on the copper strike.”

“Growing up in a working-class family in Grays Harbor, I have always been keenly aware of the importance of class and class struggle in the United States,” Goings adds. “It is my hope that this book has helped to return working people – their everyday experiences, their organizations and their struggles – to the center of Michigan’s Copper Country history.”

An alumnus of Saint Martin’s (’02), Goings earned a master’s degree in history in 2005 from Central Washington University. He completed his doctorate degree in history in 2011 at Simon Fraser University. Goings’ main areas of research are United States labor and social history. Goings has taught courses on labor studies and women’s history. He also teaches U.S., World and Latin American history survey courses. During the spring 2014 semester, Goings will be co-teaching a course entitled “Working Class Literature.”

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

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Aaron Goings, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of history

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager