The History Department has established three programs to recognize the hard work and commitment that students display during their time at Davidson: the Kendrick K. Kelley Award, the 480 Research Program awards, and the Earl Edmondson Award for Extraordinary Service.
The Kendrick K. Kelley Award
The Kelley Award is part of the Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies, established in memory of Ken Kelley, a 1963 honors graduate in history who was killed in Vietnam in 1968.
James Mietus, 2012 Winner of the Ken Kelley Award in History
The 480 Research Program Awards
For the majority of History majors not enrolled in the Kelley program, the capstone course is HIS 480 taken in the fall of their senior year. After discussing the nature of primary sources and of different historiographic approaches, students define, research, and write a major research paper on a topic of their choice. The Department awards prizes to those senior majors whose work best exemplifies the nature of the historian's craft.
Pictured: L to R
Hannah Jakob, Iris Leung, Whitney Suflas
Not pictured: Ben Jacks
First Prize: Whitney Suflas
Second Prizes: Hannah Jakob, Iris Leung, Ben Jacks
The following comments were made by Dr. Robin Barnes, the 480 coordinator, at the 2012 History Department Graduation Open House:
I was privileged this past fall to serve as the coordinator for History 480, our senior research seminar. Our team this year included three of our department's bright stars: Professor Sally McMillen, Professor Trish Tilburg, and Professor Thomas Pegelow Kaplan. I can't say enough about what a pleasure it was to work with them.
I think I can speak for all of us, though, in saying what a true delight it's been to work with this class of seniors. It's deeply satisfying to see our majors becoming historians themselves, engaging in scholarly research and writing on a high level. We're extremely proud of the accomplishments of ALL our seniors, but each year we celebrate the outstanding papers of a few students, especially successful historical projects that deserve a little extra recognition. The awards include a certificate (suitable for framing, of course), along with a modest cash gift.
This year we want to give this extra recognition to four students. It's very hard to rank their papers because they're on very different topics and show different virtues. But after much deliberation we finally settled on three second-place winners, and one first-place award. I'll start by bestowing the second-place awards -- in random order.
We begin with a second-place winner who deserves gold stars for the diligence and enthusiasm she showed in pursuing her 480 project. She began investigating her topic in an independent study during the spring of junior year, and then conducted further research that summer; by early in the fall semester she was already in high gear. Her 480 paper displays painstaking research in considering economic, social, cultural, and epidemiological factors to explain how and why Americans in the 1920s became so obsessed with personal hygiene. For her impressive, informative paper titled "Cleanliness is American: Marketing Personal Hygiene in the Roaring Twenties" -- which was also just a lot of fun to read -- the 480 team is proud to award second prize to Iris Leung.
Reflecting her passion for all things British after a semester abroad during her Junior year, the next student we want to recognize exploited that interest and focused it wonderfully in a study of early 19th-century British children's Sunday school periodicals, looking in particular at how they sought to expose young people to larger political and social concerns. She examined three issues that received attention in the stories, poems, essays, and illustrations of these magazines: abolition, child labor, and Catholic emancipation. For her carefully organized and meticulously-researched paper, "Beyond Indoctrination: Political and Social Issues in British Children's Evangelical Periodicals, 1824 - 1848," the 480 staff is pleased to award second prize to Hannah Jakob.
Our next winner seemed to perform miracles in the last weeks and days of the fall semester, producing a nicely written essay on a challenging pre-modern topic with a complex historiography. This paper dealt with the late-fourteenth and early-fifteenth century English religious movement of the Lollards, heretical followers of the Oxford professor John Wyclif. While the Lollards were often associated with political sedition as well as with religious heresy, this paper makes a convincing case that seditious goals were in fact not central to the Lollard movement. For writing that would make even our friends Strunk and White smile, and for his ability to integrate primary and secondary sources seamlessly into an effective essay titled "Heresy and Sedition: Lollardy in England at the Turn of the Fifteenth Century," the 480 staff is happy to award second prize to Ben Jacks.
Our first prize winner also addressed a British topic, one that took her back to the early nineteenth century. This remarkable essay dealt with the use of caricature and satire in the famous Westminster election of 1824. In key campaigns for this election a few elite women, led by the alluring Duchess of Devonshire, took an active part. In the press they were both mocked and lauded for stepping outside their traditional roles and into the world of politics. This student, known for her diligence and strong work ethic, produced a beautifully written, well-organized, and nicely conceived paper that showed close attention to the nuances and tensions of primary sources. In the process she shed important light not only on the politics of gender, but on broader characteristics of the emerging public sphere in Britain. For her paper titled "Political Woman/Public Woman: Satire and the Female Canvassers in the 1784 Westminster Election," the 480 staff is proud to award first prize to Whitney Suflas.
Congratulations again to all!
Earl Edmondson Award for Extraordinary Service to the Department of History
The Earl Edmondson prize rewards students or a student for extraordinary service to the History Department.
Leslie Adkins and Bryce Robinson won this year's 2012 award.