The Charles O. Richardson Award for Outstanding Achievement in the First-Year History Seminar was won by Joseph Ratel. The award is based on the vote of fellow seminar members for the most valuable player in the historical role-playing game, as well as on contributions to seminar discussions and excellence in historical research. The unique feature of the first-year seminar is playing Patriots, Loyalists & Revolution in New York City, 1775-76, created by Reacting to the Past.
The Gary A. Carskaddan Prize winner for Spring 2014 is Eric Faeder. Eric is a Baccalaureate Honors Program scholar double majoring in History and Political Science. The Carskaddan Prize is awarded to the History or Education/History major who, with 12-21 credits in history courses at the end of the previous semester, had the highest cumulative grade point average in history courses. Winners receive a Rider Bookstore gift certificate or equivalent cash award.
The fall semester winner is Kyle Stenger, a History major and English writing minor. His award-winning paper, “An American Dream Come True: Nostalgia and Futurism in the Culture of Walt Disney,” was produced in Dr. Erica Ryan’s HIS-460: Research Seminar exploring modern U.S. cultural history. Kyle provided the following abstract for ISCAP Day: “Walt Disney’s culture of nostalgia and futurism helped present and promote a bond to the traditional American values of individualism, ingenuity, and free enterprise while advancing progressive themes and practices from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. This era is one of the most paradoxical in America’s history: the affluent society grew, conformity and suburbia took over, Cold War anxiety was perplexing, and urban decay was becoming more apparent. The nostalgia found in Frontierland, in both Disneyland the television show and the theme park, valued individualism, hard work, and free exploration, while infusing those traditional aspects into the modern world. The Tomorrowland part of the Disney experience popularized both entertaining and educational scientific and futuristic programs that glowed with hopefulness and progressivism. Disney’s plan for EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, would put the natures of both those lands to work to help fight a serious problem growing across the nation—that of urban decay.”
Valerie Losa, a Baccalaureate Honors Program scholar double majoring in History and English with a minor in American Studies, is the spring semester recipient. Her paper, “In the Body of the King: Politics and Religion during the Reign of Henry VIII,” was completed in Dr. Thomas Callahan’s HIS-460: Research Seminar focusing on Irish & British history and fulfilled both the major capstone and Baccalaureate Honors thesis requirements. Valerie more than met the challenge of saying something new and important about a well-known historical figure. She presented a sophisticated analysis of Henry VIII’s religious beliefs and their implementation as royal policy and her exquisite writing wowed the selection committee.
This is our most prestigious prize awarded to the graduating History major or Education/History major with the highest cumulative grade point average in history. The co-winners of this year’s prize are Jeana Sabatini, a Secondary Education and History double major with a minor in Secondary Special Education and Rebecca Russo, also a Secondary Education and History double major.
Brooke Erdman, a History and American Studies double major, and Marcella Scalise, a Secondary Education and History double major, are the recipients of this year’s award. Brooke has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Villanova University where she also earned a graduate assistantship. Marcella is pursuing a Master’s degree in Education at Columbia University, ranked among the top 10 graduate programs in the nation.