History Awards Ceremony 2020

Congratulations to our 2020 scholarship and prize recipients!

Please join us in celebrating our outstanding undergraduate and graduate students by watching the video below. Congratulate your favorite history students on Twitter with the hashtag #historyawards or by tagging @uwhist - and your message will appear on the right side of this page in our live feed!

This year, over $200,000 was awarded in the form of departmental scholarships and prizes to undergraduate and graduate students in recognition of their excellent work and service. These awards represent the breadth and depth of activity in the Department of History community -  from recognizing outstanding and thought-provoking research papers, to excellence in student leadership and teaching. The following students truly are our community's current and future leaders.

In total, 43 undergraduate, and 3 graduate students, 1 very recent PhD alumnus, and 1 high school teacher are recognized this year for 19 different awards. These awards are made possible by contributions from our generous donors, and we are deeply grateful for their continued support!

2020 Undergraduate Winners:

Bicknell Fund for Academic Travel

 Established by Professor Emeritus Daniel C. Waugh, this fund provides travel aid for students who intend to study the languages and cultures of Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Near and Middle East, and North Africa. 

A message to the students, from the donors Daniel Waugh and Charlotte Green:

Charlotte and I (Daniel) have so benefited from international travel, especially in our later years when we could begin to afford to do more of it and have more time. So, it is travel with a purpose to learn, which we hope is what happens when one of the UW students gets support from the Bicknell Fund.

Naturally we are pleased every time we read about the wonderful history majors and their achievements.  The Bicknell Fund is not just for history students, but we feel that history is at the core of what any recipient of the awards is most likely to absorb when in another culture.  Our contribution is small compared to student needs, but we do as much as we can.

This year's winner was:

  • Historia Bonaparte, Junior majoring in History

C.R. Des Hart Memorial Prize

This Fund was set up in memory of C. R. Des Hart and supports History majors intending to pursue a career in History or History related field.

  • Levi Orem, Sophomore majoring in History

Otis Pease Scholarship

The Otis Pease Scholarship is named after UW History professor and former Department Chair Otis Pease (1925-2010). It supports the activities of undergraduate history majors with an interest in US history.

  • Estey Chen, Junior majoring in History and Political Science

Virginia Brandeberry Denison and Mark Kernaghan Endowed Scholarship

This award celebrates a friendship of more than 20 years between Mark Kernaghan and Virginia Brandeberry Denison. This endowment is an enduring legacy to help students gain rich experiences through their education.

  • Ryan Mealiffe, Junior majoring in History and Anthropology and minoring in Philosophy

Meder-Montgomery Family Endowed Student Support Fund in History

This award was established by Marilyn Montgomery, an alumnus of the UW Department of History, to be used to support undergraduate history majors and their studies.

  • Elizabeth Su, Senior majoring in History and Biochemistry and minoring in Chemistry

Faye A Wilson Endowed Scholarship Fund

The Faye Wilson scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Faye Wilson, who directed that a portion of her estate be used by the University of Washington Department of History to assist outstanding undergraduates with tuition costs.

  • Conley Wright, Junior majoring in the History of Empire & Colonialism and English
  • Jazzlynn Woods, Sophomore majoring in History
  • Marshall Bender, Sophomore majoring in History: War & Society and Germanics with a minor in Labor Studies
  • Neave Carroll, Senior majoring in History
  • Samantha Zink, Sophomore majoring in History
  • Selma El-Badawi, Junior majoring in History and Political Science with a minor in Labor Studies
  • Tomasita Battiato, Junior majoring in History

Maurice D. and Lois M. Schwartz Scholarship Fund

The Schwartz scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Maurice and Lois Schwartz, who endowed a scholarship fund in 1977 to support the study of non-western history at the University of Washington. It is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and commitment to the study of non-western history. 

  • Estey Chen, Junior majoring in History and Political Science
  • Historia Bonaparte, Junior majoring in History
  • Jesse Du, Senior majoring in History and Human Centered Design & Engineering
  • Noah Placzek, Senior majoring in History with a minor in Anthropology
  • Victoria Fleck, Senior majoring in History and Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management: Natural Resource & Environmental Management
  • Zhanhao Zhang, Junior majoring in History and Anthropology

Dale Roger Corkery Endowed Scholarship in History

The Corkery Scholarship is made possible through the generosity of donors who wish to support undergraduate history majors with an interest in ancient history.

  • Kristina Nguyen, Junior majoring in History
  • Levi Orem, Sophomore majoring in History

Larry Lee Sleizer Endowed Scholarship Fund

The Sleizer scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Herman and Rose Sleizer, who endowed a fund in 1989 in honor of their late son, Larry Lee Sleizer. It is awarded on the basis of academic excellence and commitment to the study of history. This year we had 22 recipients of the Sleizer scholarship!

  • Amelia Biddle, Junior majoring in History and Political Science
  • Amy Xu, Senior majoring in History and Computer Science
  • Chayenne Lim, Junior majoring in History
  • Chinami (Belladonna) Minden, Junior double majoring in History and Japanese
  • Devin Deatrich, Junior majoring in History
  • Elizabeth Su, Senior majoring in History and Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry
  • Hayden Jenkins, Senior majoring in History with two minors in International Studies and French
  • Henry Zing, Senior majoring in History
  • Hope Morris, Junior majoring in History
  • Ibrahim Perry, Junior majoring in History
  • Julia Schoemig, Sophomore double majoring in History and Germanics
  • Kiera Dempsey, Sophomore majoring in History
  • Leha Haworth, Senior majoring in History with two minors in French and Geography
  • Linda Zhang, Senior majoring in History and Microbiology
  • Madison Oversby, Junior double majoring in History and Communications
  • Melinda Whalen, Sophomore majoring in History: War & Society
  • Meredith Weinstock, Senior majoring in History: War & Society with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies as well as a minor in Germanics
  • Michael DeKock, Junior majoring in History and English (Creative Writing) with a minor in Classical Studies
  • Rachel Ray, Junior majoring in History
  • Ryan Mealiffe, Junior majoring in History and Anthropology with a minor in Philosophy
  • Ryan Terriff, Junior majoring in History with a minor in Education, Learning & Society
  • Sean Palmer, Senior double majoring in History: War & Society and Swedish

Freedman Remak Scholarship in History

This scholarship is named for Nancy Freedman and Ben Remak. Nancy Freedman Remak is a proud alumna of the Department of History and a longtime member of the History Advisory Board. This scholarship was created to support history majors who face the high costs of non-resident tuition. Nancy Freedman herself had been an out-of-state student at the University and knows first-hand the financial burden such students face. 

Ben and Nancy Remak

A message to the students, from Nancy and Ben Remak:

In 2006 we established the Freedman Remak Scholarship in History to help out-of-state students pay the high cost of non-resident tuition. Since its inception, we have valued the opportunity to meet extremely qualified students and hear their stories. Each one truly deserved financial assistance. With no in-person awards ceremony this spring, we do look forward to meeting this year's winner as well as reconnecting with prior recipients in the fall. We congratulate all students receiving History awards. Your passion and dedication while pursuing a degree in History will always inspire us.

  • Emily Thornton, Senior majoring in History: Race, Gender & Power

Ravage Endowment Prize (Undergraduate)

The Ravage Endowment Prize is for an outstanding paper or project written on the history of African Americans, with a preference for African Americans in the American West. This award is made possible by Jack and Linda Ravage and the Ravage family.

  • Matthew Zylstra, Senior majoring in History with minors in Classical Studies, Diversity, and Near Eastern Studies. Matthew Zylstra's paper was titled, "The Political Genius of the Civil Rights Movement: How 20th Century Civil Rights Leaders Redefined Americanism to Defeat Jim Crow."

Thomas M. Power Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in History for Undergraduate Research Papers

This award, named in memory of a former history major at the University of Washington, is given to undergraduates who have produced truly outstanding research papers in a University of Washington History course.

  • Charles Coffland, Senior majoring in History with a minor in Diversity. Charles Coffland's paper was titled, "Living as Soldiers to Die as Men: Transmasculinity in WWI- and the Weimar-Era Germany."
  • Paula Araque, Senior majoring in History and minoring in Anthropology and French Language, Literature, and Culture. Paula Araque's paper was titled, "The Mobilization of Campesinos into Colombia’s 21st Century Neoliberal National Project."

Thomas M. Power Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in History for Outstanding Graduating Senior

This award is named in memory of the same former history major at the University of Washington, and it recognizes the outstanding work of undergraduates who are completing the major in our Department and graduating this year. 

  • Paula Araque, Senior majoring in History and minoring in Anthropology and French Language, Literature, and Culture. As the Department's Outstanding Graduating Senior, Paula will be giving an address to their graduating class at this year's virtual History Convocation!

Thomas M. Power Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in History for Student Leader

  • Katherine Cavanaugh, Senior double majoring in History and Political Science with a minor in Labor Studies. As one of the Department's Outstanding Student Leaders, Kathy will be giving an address to their graduating class at this year's virtual History Convocation!
  • Racquel West, Senior double majoring in History: Race, Gender & Power and Geography with a minor in American Indian Studies. Racquel West was also named the College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Medalist! As one of our Outstanding Student Leaders, Racquel West is also giving an address to their graduating class at this year's Convocation!


2020 Graduate Student Winners:

Ravage Endowment Prize (Graduate)

  • Frances O'Shaughnessy, PhD Student

Frances O'Shaughnessy is studying US History. Their paper was titled, "Critical Fabulation: A Study of the Speculative and Subjunctive Method."

Thomas M. Power Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in History for Graduate Research Papers

  • Alvin Bui, MA Student

Alvin Bui is studying Vietnam and was awarded the Power Prize for their paper titled, "Brotherly Fellowship and Sister Cities: The Role and Impact of the Hoa on Diplomatic Interactions between the Republics of Vietnam and China, 1955-1975."

Thomas M. Power Endowed Prize Fund for Excellence in History for Outstanding Teaching Assistant

  • Jorge Bayona Matsuda, PhD Candidate

College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Medalist in the Social Sciences

  • Dr. Roneva Keel, PhD '20


Pressly Prize for Excellence in Secondary Education

  • Robert Valaas, Newport High School, Bellevue WA

This annual student-nominated award is given each year to an outstanding high school teacher in the state of Washington. This award recognizes all the great work teachers at this level put in to inspire the next generation of UW history majors.

Undergraduate and graduate students at the UW are invited to nominate their favorite high school history teachers and write essays in support of their nomination. The winner is then chosen by the Undergraduate Studies Committee. This prize is named after University of Washington emeritus professor of History Thomas Pressly and his wife, Cameron.


Special Thanks!


Thank you to our staff – a huge thanks in particular to Shannon Vacek and Kristin Roberts for doing an amazing amount of work on putting all of the student applications together behind the scenes; this event would not take place without their huge efforts, and also to Alexandra Colley, Josh Apfel, Lori Anthony, and Tracy Maschman Morrissey. We also wish to extend a big thank you to Ileana Rodriguez-Silva, our Director of Undergraduate Studies, for chairing the reading of these student applications. Finally, we would not be able to support these students without the tremendous generosity of our donors!

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