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2024 History Graduate Student Annual Awards

photo of the UGA Founders Memorail Garden

The History Department held our 2024 Annual Graduate Student Awards dinner Monday, April 29 at the University of Georgia Founders Memorial Garden.Our annual event recognizes those graduate students who have exceeded expectations in scholarship, teaching, and leadership while enrolled in graduate studies. Our graduate students have received a number of external awards and grants this year as well. Listed below are the recipients of this years departmental awards and a few notable others.

Kudos to Matthew O’Neal (Ph.D. ‘23)

 O’Neal was awarded the UGA Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award. The award was initiated in 1999 to recognize the quality and significance of graduate-student scholarship. Dr. O’Neal earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia in 2023, where he completed his dissertation, “Home and Hell: The Great Migration and the Making of Sundown Towns in Appalachia” under the direction of Scott Reynolds Nelson. O’Neal recently accepted a tenure-track faculty position in History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.

Encouragement to Teach Award. Presented to a history graduate student who will teach history at a state college, junior college, or high school. Awarded to Elyse Elyaman (nominated by Cassia Roth). 

Gregory Research Fellowship was awarded to Jared Asser and Steven Krug.

History Department Award. Presented annually to an outstanding graduate student in a field other than American history. Maya Peters-Greno (nominated by Tim Cleaveland).

Manthorne Memorial Award. This award honors the dedication of beloved UGA graduate and teacher Jason Manthorne by recognizing a current graduate student in the Department of History who exhibits his passion and spirit.  Maggie Neel (nominated by graduate students and presented by Chris Choe).

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Presented annually by the Graduate School and the Center for Teaching and Learning to outstanding teaching assistants. The following students were recently presented with award certificates by the graduate school. Nominated by the Graduate Studies Committee.  Elyse Elyaman, Devin Jerome, and Cole Wicker.

Thomas Pleasant Vincent Sr. Award. Presented annually to a distinguished student of history with a special interest in the history of Georgia. Hannah Hamrick (nominated by Scott Nelson).

Carl Vipperman Teaching Assistant Award. Presented annually by the History Department to outstanding teaching assistants. Gisell Fuentes (nominated by Scott Nelson) Taylor Howard (nominated by Joey Kellner) Shayla Manwill (nominated by Scott Nelson).

William Jennings Bryan Award Presented to a graduate student for the best history paper of the year. Ben Prostine (nominated by Cindy Hahamovitch)

Warner-Fite Award Presented annually to an outstanding student in American/U.S. history. David Parker (nominated by Tim Cleaveland and Peter Hoffer)

Parks-Heggoy Teaching Award Presented for excellence in graduate student teaching by a faculty member. Timothy Cleaveland (nominated by graduate students and presented by Tedi Light)

In addition to History Department and Graduate School awards, our graduate students were also the recipient of a number of Graduate Research Awards from the Willson Center. 


The Willson Center Graduate Research Award provides support toward research‐related expenses for arts and humanities projects that are essential components of a graduate degree program. The following students received a Graduate Research Award from the Willson Center for 2024: Steven Krug, Nathanael Mickelson, Maya Peters-Greno, Tedi Light, Ben Prostine, and Patrick Sheridan. In addition, Nathanael Mickelson and Patrick Sheridan were also each awarded the Janelle Padgett Knight Graduate Award for best proposal.

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