Previous David Prior Award Winners

Previous David J. Prior Award Winners

2017 Winner

Maria Gershuni,  SUNY Geneseo 

Maria Gershuni is a senior International Relations major, Central and Eastern European Studies minor, Edgar Fellow at the State University of New York College at Geneseo. Born in Moscow, Russia, Maria spent most of her childhood in Brooklyn, NY and loves the break from city life she received at Geneseo. Her work mostly focuses on peace building, diplomacy, and conflict studies in the regions of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She spent her senior year fall semester interning at the United Nations in NYC, and is currently working on an honors thesis about the Eurasian Economic Union. After she graduates, Maria will be attending the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for her Masters Degree in International Relations.
Read her essay here.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions go to Jacob Secor (UNC Asheville, read his essay here), Khabeera Calaman (Mansfield University, read her essay here), and Samatha Clapp (Georgia College, read her essay here).

2016 Winner
Nathaniel Duggan

Nathaniel Duggan, University of Maine at Farmington

Nathaniel Duggan is a dual English and Creative Writing major in his senior year at the University of Maine at Farmington. He primarily writes fiction and poetry. A Maine resident, he has many pieces that include rocky coastlines, pine trees, and deep-sea crustaceans. After graduating, he'd like to pursue an MFA in creative writing.
Read his essay here.

Honorable mentions go to Carmelo Pampillonio (UNC Asheville, read his essay here), Leandra Griffith (SUNY Geneseo, read her essay here), and Breon Haskett (Georgia College, read his essay here).

2015 Winners
Ryan Lindsay headshot

Ryan Lindsay, University of Alberta's Augustana Campus

Ryan Lindsay, an Outdoor Education/Physical Education major at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus has been named the recipient of the 2015 David J. Prior COPLAC Award
Read his essay here.

Honorable mentions go to Lydia Godwin (University of Montevallo, read her essay here), Justine Lazatin (SUNY Geneseo, read her essay here), and Sheryl Murray (University of Illinois at Springfield, read her essay here).

2014 Winners
Jane Jackson headshot

Jane Jackson, Fort Lewis College

Jane Jackson is graduating this year from Fort Lewis College with a degree in U.S. History. Growing up in Wyoming and spending time exploring the Western United States has given her a keen interest in western history. Her senior thesis was a study of the uranium industry in Moab and its connection to the establishment of Canyonlands National Park. After graduating, Jane plans on following her passions for climbing, exploring, reading, and writing for a while and looks forward to see what else life has in store for her.
Read her essay here.

Sherry Leung headshot

Sherry Leung, SUNY Geneseo

Sherry Leung is a senior at SUNY Geneseo, majoring in History with Adolescent Education certification and with a minor in Sociology. A native of Fresh Meadows, New York, Sherry has taught in New York City, Hong Kong, and Ghana. She was the recipient of a 2013 Geneseo Volunteer and Service award for her personal dedication to serving the Geneseo campus and community. Next year, Sherry will be working with City Year in Manchester, New Hampshire, mentoring and supporting at-risk students.
Read her essay here. You can also watch a video of Sherry reading her paper here.

Honorable mentions go to Gregory Bukowski (Ramapo College of New Jersey, read his essay here), Leah Kuehn (University of Maine Farmington, read her essay here), Corey McClintock (UNC Asheville, read her essay here), and Leah Tams (University of Mary Washington, read her essay here).

2013 Winner
Cory Young headshot

Cory Young, SUNY Geneseo

Cory Young is a senior History major and theater minor at SUNY Geneseo. A native of Pittsford, NY, Cory’s work focuses on 18th and 19th century American history with an emphasis on the intersection between ideas and policy. He wrote an honors thesis on Thomas Jefferson's identity as a Virginia planter and slaveowner. After graduating, Cory would like to attend graduate school and begin work on a PhD in early American intellectual and social history.
Read his essay here and watch his video here.