We celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2017 on June 9th. Surrounded by proud families, Matt Briones, faculty chair of the undergraduate program, thanked the students for all their hard work, good humor, and inquisitiveness. The winners of BA theses prizes were announced to applause.

Fulbright US Student Program

BA Theses Awards

  • David Abraham, Barnard Prize for "Time, Work-Discipline, and the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, 1866–1886: Cliometric Commentary on Personal Clocks and Labor Costs" (Advisor: Jon Levy; Preceptor: Misha Appeltova)
  • Hansong Li, Karafiol Prize for "Strategic Assimilation and Imperial Transformation: The Dual Role of Religious Conversion in Byzantine-Bulgarian and Song-Tangut Relations, 893–1038" (Advisor: Walter Kaegi; Preceptor: Elisa Jones)
  • Elliot Mertz, Karafiol Prize for "The Mechanical Puzzle: The Eighteenth-Century English Past and the Hidden Role of Antiquarianism in Enlightenment Thought" (Advisor: Ada Palmer; Preceptor: Elisa Jones)
  • Jonathan Morris, Nicholson Prize for "Little Britons in Little Britain: Urban Children, Country Landscapes, and National Solidarity in East London's WWII Child Evacuations" (Advisor: Tara Zahra, Preceptor: Phillip Henry)
  • Michelle Shang, Asada Eiji BA Thesis Prize for "'I Almost Forgot I was a Girl': Maoist Gender Politics and the Memory of Gender in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976" (Advisor: Jacob Eyferth; Preceptor: Sarah Weicksel)

Unsung Hero Award

Matt praised the editors of the Chicago Journal of History on a great year. Guided by Editor in Chief Hansong Li, the editors of the journal were awarded the university's Unsung Hero Award for "positively influenced a program or organization from behind the scenes with a positive attitude, a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary, and a commitment to excellence." In 2016-17 the editors published two volumes of the journal with contributors from universities across the nation and England, they organized three panels of distinguished scholars, and hosted numerous talks.

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Farewell and Good Luck

Our newest alumni will be doing remarkable work; here is a sampling:

  • David Abraham, Barnard Prize, joins Novantas in Chicago as a financial services consultant.
  • Jonathan Arone, Phi Beta Kappa, begins a two-year appointment as a litigation fellow at Stris & Maher LLP in Los Angeles.

  • Mari Cohen, Phi Beta Kappa, will be an intern at the Chicago-based Injustice Watch, an investigative journalism organization.

  • William Kuehnle is heading to South Bend to study for an MEd and will teach high-school history as a graduate teaching fellow at the the University of Notre Dame.

  • Hansong Li, Amy Kass Award, Karafiol Prize, and Unsung Hero Award, will study political thought and intellectual history in Cambridge University's MPhil program.

  • Sarah Manhardt, Unsung Hero Award, will study for at MEd at Harvard University and will seek certification to teach history, 7–12 grades.

  • Jake Smiley begins veterinary school in August at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Jane Tuszysnski is joining the Brooklyn nonprofit, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, as a neighbor services program assistant.