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***Award Citations Spring 2020***

Prothro Best Paper Award

Committee: Rahsaan Maxwell and Sarah Treul

After reading a collection of excellent and impressive papers, we decided to give the Prothro Best Paper award to Eroll Kuhn for “Do Longer Refugee Journeys Hamper Economic Integration? Evidence from Switzerland’s Participation in the European Refugee Relocation Program” and Caroline Lancaster for “Not So Radical After All: Ideological Diversity Among Radical Right Supporters and Its Implications”.

Kuhn’s paper stood out for its impressive research design and ambitious data collection.  Lancaster’s paper stood out for breathing fresh and clever insight into the study of Radical Right parties.  We look forward to seeing both papers have successful impact on their respective fields in the years to come.

Prothro Award for Best MA Thesis

Committee: Frank Baumgartner and Graeme Robertson

We enjoyed reading the MA theses. After looking at them all, we have decided to choose

Matthew Young as the winner of this year’s Prothro Award for best MA thesis, for his thesis, “Patiently To Suffer The World: Eschatology and Apocalypse in Early Modern Religious Toleration”. In this thesis, Matthew considers a serious contemporary political problem — toleration — from a historically grounded and intellectually rich perspective. The thesis is lively and creative and struggles with real political and intellectual dilemmas.”

Wallace Award for Best Teaching by a Teaching Assistant in a Large Class

Committee: Susan Bickford and Isaac Unah

Our Department is fortunate to have a group of graduate students who bring a very high level of commitment and professionalism to their teaching responsibilities. Both Susan and I reviewed the seven files very carefully and, independently, we arrived at the same conclusion about who should win this year’s Wallace Award from the Department.  That teaching assistant is Devin Case-Ruchala.

Whereas most of the files we reviewed were impressive, Case-Ruchala’s file stood out! Devin received truly outstanding teaching evaluations.  Students lauded Devin’s interest, sense of responsibility, and care for their intellectual growth.  They wrote glowingly about Devin constantly encouraging diversity of opinion and being very clear and fair in expectations and grading.  Students rated Case-Ruchala’s graduate teaching in the methods course as a truly marvelous experience for a methods class.  Finally, we were very impressed with Devin’s self-nomination letter, which detailed how the candidate prepares for each class and being very conscious about how to impart new knowledge on students during classroom discussions.

Patrick Hagan Award for Best Teaching by a Graduate Student of Their Own Class

Committee: Anna Bassi and Pam Conover

We looked at all the nominations, and we selected Devin Christensen as this year’s Hagan award winner. Devin has demonstrated to be an outstanding instructor, an excellent lecturer inside the classroom, and an extraordinary mentor, making himself always approachable and available to all of his students. Devin’s enthusiasm for the material, coupled with his support for student intellectual discovery, is noted by many of those who nominated him. Students say that Devin has evident expertise in his field, that he inspires students by engaging them with nontraditional pedagogies and assignments, and that he is adept at weaving student opinions into his discussions of the material. It is also clear, from his students’ assessments, that Devin strives to make a conscious effort to establish a personal relationship with every student in the class and that this effort makes a difference in his students’ lives and academic experience.

Robson Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and Mentoring

Committee:Leah Christiani, Jacob Gunderson, and Simon Hoellerbauer

Cameron Ballard-Rosa dedicates time and effort to classroom instruction, where he is clearly invested in his students’ success. He is an engaging, approachable, and always enthusiastic presence, both in the classroom and out. He’s also a great colleague and mentor to graduate students, treating them with respect, always being willing to help when needed, and supporting their academic endeavors however he can.

Carol Nichols Award for Outstanding Staff Contribution to the Office

Committee: Shannon Eubanks and Mark Crescenzi

We are so happy to present this year’s Carol Nichols Award to Kim Barbour. Kim set a very high standard for herself last year, yet it feels like she easily surpassed it in the last twelve months. Kim’s contributions are connected to everyone in the department. Her dedication to building safety and emergency planning, managing and planning events, coordinating searches, and assisting with instruction is a big part of what makes our department work. Much of her work goes unseen, but she has made essential contributions to the graduate students, the faculty, and the rest of the staff. Thank you, Kim!


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