Continuing their recent stretch of successes, Department of History Graduate Students have recently been awarded a number of prestigious awards and fellowships, including the rare honor of winning two Fulbright graduate research awards.
Ph.D. Candidates Patrick Harris and David Terry have both been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to work on their dissertations next year in Spain; David will go to Barcelona and Patrick to Toledo and Madrid for 2012-2013. Both students are working under the direction of Dr. Larry Simon. “It is rare when a university is awarded more than one Fulbright to the same small number country in any given year, and rarer still for the candidates to be in the same field,” Simon notes. “This is a tribute to David’s and Patrick’s talent and hard work and mutual cooperation.” Terry and Harris are the sixth and seventh history graduate students to receive Fulbrights in the last five years, joining Travis Bruce, Brian Becker, Irene Geisler, Steven Staggs, and Jack Goodman.
Harris will be working primarily at the Cathedral Archives in Toledo. His work focuses on the Mozarabs, Christians who had adopted Arabic language and culture while under Islamic rule, during the High Middles Ages. He is particularly interested in the use of economic coercion in the process of Mozarabic assimilation into Latin culture during the two centuries after the Christian conquest of Toledo in 1085.
The Department is also pleased to announce that Steve Staggs and Katherine Ellison received Dissertation Completion Fellowships from the WMU Graduate College, which will provide them time off from teaching to focus on research and writing. Ph.D. candidate John Bollweg also received the Gwen Frostic Dissertation Fellowship in the fall semester. Finally, M.A. candidate and soon-to-be Ph.D. student Skylar Bre’z was awarded the All-University award for Teaching Excellence at the M.A. level.
The department is incredibly proud of its graduate students, and wishes them all well on their ongoing projects!