History graduate student to compete on 'Jeopardy!'

September 11, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Bill Cossen has been working hard in his doctoral studies in history and pursuing research on religion in the U.S. But recently, he showcased his academic skills in a different forum: the national TV show "Jeopardy!"

Cossen will appear as a contestant on the "Jeopardy!" program to be broadcast nationally on Tuesday, Sept. 16. (Check local TV schedules for exact times and channels).

"I've been watching Jeopardy for as long as I can remember, and I've always dreamed of appearing on the show,” said Cossen. “It was a thrilling experience to actually set foot on the 'Jeopardy' stage, stand behind the contestant podium and meet Alex Trebek."

He is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and a member of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, studying under the direction of history faculty members Philip Jenkins and Amy Greenberg. His research focuses mainly on 19th- and 20-century Catholicism, including anti-Catholicism and Catholic-Protestant interactions.   

Cossen currently is the editorial assistant for The Journal of the Civil War Era. He has served as a graduate teaching assistant in the history department and a research associate with the Richards Civil War Era Center and the Association of Religion Data Archives at Penn State.


  • William Cossen

    Bill Cossen is studying for his doctorate in history. 

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 15, 2014