|At this year's History Awards Ceremony on May 12, we were pleased to offer more than $200,000 in departmental scholarships and prizes in recognition of the academic and service excellence of our students. In total, 52 undergraduate prizes to were awarded to 38 students, 5 different prizes were given to 5 graduate students, 1 award given to a special member of our staff, and 1 Washington history teacher was honored. All these awards are made possible through generous contributions from our alumni and friends, and we are deeply grateful for their continued support.|
The Rorabaugh Award is named in memory of former History Department faculty member William J. Rorabaugh in recognition of his incredible legacy and loyalty to the department. It recognizes those who demonstrate exceptional service.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipients Taylor Soja and Kim McKaig
Taylor Soja has an incredible portfolio of service to and on behalf of the department, as well as being an incredible student and teacher. Taylor has served on several committees, including the Graduate Liaison Committee (GLC), the departmental Diversity Committee, the Committee on Undergraduate Enrollment, the search committee for Chris Tounsel, and the Digital Histories Committee. She's also worked with and presented to the History Advisory Board and has been on numerous panels for other graduate students. The former chair of the Diversity Committee commented, “Taylor did an outstanding job, committing herself 100% to the work, both on this committee and others. She has done a massive amount to support community in our department during her time here.” Not only has Taylor contributed to the department through service, but she has also taught a record number of six courses, two of which she helped develop, and has consistently been rated highly as a TA for eight additional classes. Taylor has steadfastly committed herself to the work and mission of the department, and she has done a great deal to support the community within it during her time here.
Kim McKaig, Pacific Northwest Quarterly editor, is the definition of a team player who, much like Bill himself, spreads cheer, community spirit, and knowledge. Kim voluntarily serves as the Smith Hall Building coordinator and has done an incredible job of ushering in improvements and ensuring the maintenance of this historic (in several senses) building. She was instrumental in Smith Hall receiving its new elevator. She is known for providing perspective and guidance and often takes the lead on planning events to honor fellow members of the history community. Her ability to see the big picture when organizing events and to understand the amount of work involved is of incalculable value to our department
In her roles at the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Northwest Quarterly, her supervisor says, Kim keeps both the center and the journal running smoothly, like well-oiled and well-cared-for machines. She does much of the heavy lifting, especially with event planning and budgets, and is an invaluable editor of manuscripts for both PNQ and the Sick Series in Western History and Biography. The articles in the journal and books are known for their high quality of writing, due in no small part to the careful eye and critical feedback that Kim offers.
Pressly Prize for Excellence in Secondary Education
This prize is named after University of Washington emeritus professor of history Thomas Pressly and his wife, Cameron. It recognizes outstanding teaching of history and social studies at the high school level in the state of Washington.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson, Lake Washington High School, Kirkland, Washington, is an alumnus of our department (Class of 1998) who is a devoted educator. He is energetic and consistently offers thoughtful and rigorous lessons that prioritize student learning through guided exploration, hands-on work, and peer collaboration. An inclusive teacher, he is dedicated to improving and involving every student in the classroom. He is also described as a great mentor even in the most chaotic moments. For instance, during the 2020-21 academic year, when most teaching was done online, Mr. Dawson, together with his colleague, took time from their already overwhelming schedule to start an online lunch gathering with students to discuss social and world issues, which sparked engaged and insightful conversations.
Most important, Mr. Dawson is heavily invested in students developing responsibility toward their communities. This is best exemplified by his 10-year participation in the TVW Classroom Program for his AP Government class. A hands-on civic education program to teach students participation in the state legislative process. Every year, Mr. Dawson prepares students to present a bill at our state legislature. He regularly invites legislators to school to engage in conversation with students on the issue at hand, learn of the process, and hopefully get the legislator to adopt their bill in their political agenda. Last year, Mr. Dawson’s students were in the cohort that pushed a bill guaranteeing access to free menstrual products in schools, and a few of his high school students at Lake Washington testified in several of the legislative hearings that made possible the passing of the bill (House Bill 1273) in April 2021. In all, this is an amazing program but, in particular, it works because of the expertise and ability of Mr. Dawson to guide students in group work, cultivating not just citizens but activists in the classroom.
This prize, made possible by Jack and Linda Ravage, recognizes an outstanding paper or project on the history of African Americans, with a preference for African Americans in the American West.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient Marshall Bender
Marshall Bender “Community Activism and Police Violence in Seattle’s Major Print Media, 1960-1970”
Bender illustrates how the relentless work of civil rights activists in the city of Seattle during the 1960s slowly changed media representation of their work, a critical piece to effect change in the area of public opinion. Through labor intensive exploration of reporting in the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Bender tracks the innovative civil rights work in the city around issues of housing and job discrimination, de facto segregation in schools, and, most important for this essay, police violence. Bender uncovers that the increase in direct action events by civil rights activists forced media coverage to include non-official, state-aligned sources, effectively bringing in activists’ own viewpoints and demands into the public consciousness and making some changes possible. Although, as we know today, not permanent.
Thomas M. Power Undergraduate Paper Prize
This prize is given to undergraduates who have produced truly outstanding research papers in a University of Washington history course.
►Click to find out more about 2022 first-place recipient Estey Chen, and honorable mention Simon Ferry
Estey Chen “Cracks in the Bandung Spirit: The 1962 Sino-Indian War and Decline of Third World Solidarity”
International politics are deeply fraught and volatile. Unfortunately, today we are first-row witnesses to the deadly conflict in Ukraine. In the essay at hand, Chen takes us to a different time and place of explosive actions and long-term consequences. She pours over an exceptional pool of government materials from India, Indonesia, and the United States to unearth the ongoing fractures plaguing important anticolonial international mobilizations such as that of the Bandung Spirit initiated by its 1955 Conference in Indonesia and the Non-Aligned Movement of the early 1960s. In many ways, this paper demonstrates that the politics foundational to the nation-state form, in this case, instantiated in conflicts over border control, is always a critical threat to any attempt to build international solidarities. In this paper, Chen investigates the border conflict between China and India in 1962 to illustrate how quickly the conflict devolved in ways that betrayed the stated project of Asian-African collaboration and anti-imperialism of the 1955 conference. In its confrontation with China, for instance, India leaders sought out support from wealthy Western nations such as weapons and intelligence from the United States. These actions inspired not only criticism but also distrust from other major players such as Indonesia, slowly eroding their earlier commitment to sustain the Bandung Spirit with a second conference, an effort that ultimately did not materialized. But as Chen says “This is not necessarily reason to lose faith in international institutions or anti-imperialism as a movement, so much as a reminder that instigating change within international and national systems of governance is not easy and that verbal promises only mean as much as the actions behind them.”
Simon Ferry “The Link to the Stable French Past: The Suez Crisis and the Scramble to Save the French Empire”
Simon's thesis investigated the French government's motivations during the Suez Crisis of 1956, which culminated in a joint invasion of Egypt by France, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Simon put the decisions of French policymakers into the broader context of decolonization, showing how the invasion was part of a larger strategy to reimagine the future of France's role across Africa. For this project, Simon relied on a wide variety of French-language sources, including periodicals, surveys, and memoirs. His thesis advisor, Dr. Kyle Haddad-Fonda, praised Simon's intellectual curiosity: “This thesis project evolved gradually out of a question that Simon asked me after a lecture about the Suez Crisis. I didn’t know the answer but suggested some ways he might investigate. Well over a year later, he’s still exploring.”
Thomas M. Power Prize for Outstanding Student Leader
Given to a graduating history major or a graduate student, this award recognizes outstanding work to integrate the study of history with community and public engagement. As such, it builds on the department's sense that many of our students are drawing on their studies to do important work beyond the classroom.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient Ryan Mealiffe
Ryan Mealiffe serves as President of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, this year and has done an outstanding job. He's revamped the club's social media, held several social events, and promoted community within the department. His efforts have enabled the club to thrive during a very difficult time. He also serves as the President of the UW Secular Student Alliance, an interfaith club, and has done original research at the local historical museum in his hometown of Campbell, CA. He worked on several projects related to race at the Campbell Museum, including a history of institutionalized racism in Campbell, documenting BIPOC students in the Campbell Union High School yearbooks, and starting the “Color Campbell Survey” to address disparities in racial representation in local histories as well as the museum’s archives. Beyond this, he also participated in the Department’s Honors in History program which he completed this winter quarter.
Ryan is also the Department’s nominee as Dean’s Medalist.
Thomas M. Power Prize for Outstanding Graduating Senior
This award recognizes the outstanding work of graduating undergraduates within our program.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient Estey Chen
Estey Chen has not only proven herself academically while at UW but has also been deeply involved in student journalism throughout her time here. Not only is she a natural leader, but, also, a thoughtful and caring mentor for those following in her footsteps. As Dr. Joel Walker stated, “Estey combines an outstanding intellect with a profound commitment to social justice and a contagious energy and enthusiasm for learning. She is one of those rare students who elevates every discussion she joins. Although I've taught many remarkable students in this department, she is a star even among the stars.”
Each year, the College of Arts & Sciences chooses six gonfalonieres (banner carriers) to represent the College at the UW Seattle Commencement ceremony and lead the undergraduate students into Husky Stadium. Gonfalonieres are graduating seniors who exemplify the college’s core values of excellence, inquiry, community, accountability, integrity and citizenship.
►Click to find out more about 2022 banner carrier Audun Holland-Goon
“Audun is passionate about Pacific Northwest and Indigenous history. He eagerly participates in class discussions, projects, and activities by posing insightful and thought-provoking questions. He works well with his peers in a supportive and generous way. His papers and projects consistently model exemplary work. Moreover, I am constantly impressed by the authentically self-directed nature that Audun brings to his studies. For example, he has studied Chinuk Wawa (Chinook jargon) on his own through coursework offered online by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde through Lane Community College. This same spirit of curiosity fueled his honors thesis on Indigenous timber work in the late-nineteenth century. He conducted graduate-level archival research and analysis, reading widely across both Washington State and American Indian history. Frankly, his final paper was better than much of the work I regularly see from graduate students. Audun easily ranks among the top five undergraduates I have worked with over the last 13 years.” – Dr. Josh Reid
Other Undergraduate Awards
Bicknell Travel Fund
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.
2022 recipients: Madison Frederick (Italy), Lilya Garzon-Boyd (Italy), Wendi Zhou (Viet Nam)
Otis Pease Fund
This fund was established to support students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in history.
2022 recipients: Faith Balajadia, Davis Massey, Alexis Young
Denison – Kernaghan Fund
This award celebrates a friendship of more than 20 years between Mark Kernaghan and Virginia Brandeberry Denison. It is the donor's hope that this endowment fund will be an enduring legacy to help students gain rich experiences through their education.
2022 recipient: Claire Jacobs
This award was established by Marilyn Montgomery, an alumna of the University of Washington Department of History, to be used to support undergraduate history majors and their studies.
2022 recipient: Wendi Zhou
One of our newest funds, the Burke-Erickson Fund provides support to students in the study of languages of the Middle East.
2022 recipients: Jalin Fitzgerald, Xianzhi Sun
Faye Wilson Scholarship
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. It is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, among other criteria.
2022 recipients: Marshall Bender, Ethan Benson, Jade Dickson, Lilya Garzon-Boyd, Gabriela Sanchez, Colton Schons, Samantha Zink
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.
2022 recipients: Eilis Bury, Kireeti Devarakonda, Jalin Fitzgerald, Kuangting Hu, Xianzhi Sun, Melinda Whalen
The Corkery Scholarship is made possible through the generosity of donors who wished to support undergraduate history majors with an interest in ancient history.
2022 recipients: Ethan Benson, Madison Frederick
The Sleizer scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Herman and Rose Sleizer, who, in 1989, endowed a fund 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.
2022 recipients: Faith Balajadia, Samantha Cutts, Zacharie Dupertuis, Emily Edgett, Rafael Gonzalez-Posada, Kelly Husted, Claire Jacobs, Nicole Johnson, Rachel Kulp, Davis Massey, Eulalie Mathieu, Ruby Nelson, Elisabeth Petersen, Braden Robinson, Quinn Rundell, Colton Schons, Alexis Young, Kaityn Zagelow, George Zhang, Samantha Zink, Wendi Zhou
This scholarship, named for Nancy Freedman and Ben Remak, 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 and knows first-hand the financial burden such students face. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of non‐resident status and academic excellence.
2022 recipient: Sarah Newman
The Burke Prize is an award named after former Pacific Northwest historian and University of Washington Department of History faculty member, Robert Burke. The prize is given to the graduate student deemed to have amassed the most meritorious record during the year they complete their MA in U.S. history.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient William Sampson
William Sampson completed his MA in American history under the supervision of Josh Reid and Moon-Ho Jung, combining his interests in American Indian history and modern America social movements involving race, labor, gender and empire. His Masters seminar paper, “The Promises and Complications of Urban Indian Self-Determination: An Examination of Seattle’s 1970 Fort Lawton Takeover” examined how the promises, limitations and contradictions of competing visions of self-determination and sovereignty among Seattle’s urban Indians and the Duwamish manifested during the takeover of Fort Lawton.
Thomas M. Power Graduate Paper Prize
This prize is given to a graduate student who has produced a truly outstanding research paper in a University of Washington history course.
►Click to find out more about 2022 first-place recipient Sue Zhou and honorable mention Ari Forsyth
Sue Zhou “Image Politics in Early Qing Southwest Frontier: The Success and Failure of Native Chieftain Tian Shunnian”
This essay offers a rare glimpse of the crucial role of ethnic politics and self-representation in China’s empire-building endeavors during the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries from the perspective of a semi-autonomous political community in the Southwest frontier, the Rongmei Tusi. For this purpose, Zhou carefully examines a little-known set of manuscripts of the ruling Tian family collected by the Rongmei Tusi Chieftain, Tian Shunnian, who reigned over this geopolitical entity between 1639 and 1706. Conventional scholarship often relies on the power-laden central state’s representation of the Other to describe important state-making processes. In this case, however, we learn how leaders of the Rongmei Tusi took part of and expanded the public sphere emerging during these centuries, a realm key to the political maneuvers of this period, when China was transitioning from the Han to the Qing dynastic rule. Zhou demonstrates how these leaders not only borrowed Chinese language and Confusionism’s cultural understandings and values to engage the central state, but creatively subverted them to position themselves as equals and validate their own doings in the imperial political struggles in the frontier. This story urges us to rethink the limits of the center-periphery framework that often frames our understanding of dynamics at the frontier, which as this case illustrate is hardly a story at the edges.
Ari Forsyth “The Limits of Brotherhood: Ottoman Jews in a Jewish-American Settlement House, 1906-1948”
This essay is a thorough examination of the many tensions and hierarchies among immigrant Jewish communities from different geographic origins in the United States. These distinctions became sharper in their struggle to carve their own socio-cultural spaces and forge a new identity, American Jews, in the already complicated racial landscapes of early-twentieth century United States. Forsyth focuses on the civilizing project of the Jewish Settlement House in Seattle and their Education Center, where mostly Central European Jewish women implemented education and welfare programs to mold the seemingly unrefined Ladino-speaking, Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman empire according to U.S. white middle class mores, values, and practices. Simultaneously, they sought to reconfigure their religiosity to conform to the more secular public life of the United States. Through a careful and detailed reading of the organization’s records, newspapers, and oral histories, Forsyth unearths a history of contention, through which we learn of Sephardic Jewish youth’s resistance and defiance to elements of these projects as well as of their redefinition of these spaces and creation of activities better aligned with their wants and needs. Ultimately, the 1950s Jewish community around this organization in Seattle showed high levels of integration among these different groups but we should not take that as a sign of harmonious exchange and self-evident religious commonality. Instead, we should take stock of the inequities and deep struggles that lay at the foundation of the American Jewish identity.
Thomas M. Power Prize for Outstanding Teaching Assistant
This award recognizes outstanding performance by a graduate student as a teaching assistant.
►Click to find out more about 2022 recipient Adrian Kane-Galbraith
Adrian Kane-Galbraith has served as a teaching assistant for many classes in the Department from “JRR Tolkien: a Mythology for England” to the“History of Sex.” Dr. Jordanna Bailkin notes that “Adrian was an outstanding TA for HSTEU 274, PostWar Europe through Film, this autumn, and handled the stresses of returning to in-person learning with grace and fortitude. Although this was an unsectioned class, Adrian went above and beyond their prescribed duties to lead a discussion with all 75 students, and consistently reached out to students in multiple formats to engage them as they regained their footing in the classroom. Likewise, their grading was expert and conscientious, offering students careful and encouraging feedback on all of their written work. My students were very lucky to have Adrian as their TA in an often chaotic quarter, and I was lucky to work with them as well!”