/ History Department


Each year we’re honored to offer awards to students who have excelled in their work in the department.

Students need not be history majors to qualify for the awards. Winners of the awards are announced at the annual Honors Convocation in April and celebrated at a departmental award ceremony.

The William Cohen History Prize

A fund established in honor of professor William Cohen. The award recognizes excellence in scholarship by a history major or minor whose paper in the topic of United States history is deemed outstanding by the History Department. 

2023 Recipients: Alexa Watkin and Holly Vincet

Future History Teacher Prize

A cash award for the most promising future teacher. Based on commitment to the discipline and achievement in both history and education courses.

2023 Recipient: Brooke Carbaugh

The Ray de Young History Prize

A cash award to the senior student(s) whose interest, achievement and promise in history, as indicated by his or her academic record and a significant piece of historical research, most merit the award.

2023 Recipients: Aubrey Brolsma and Annika Dekker

The Robert L. Melka Memorial Award

A cash prize awarded annually to a freshman or sophomore for an essay in European history that is judged superior by the faculty of the Department of History.

2023 Recipient: Lily-Kate Pritchard

Miles Award in Law

An annual cash award established by Judge Wendell A. Miles in honor of his father, Judge Fred Thomas Miles, presented to a senior student whose promise in the study of law is judged superior by the faculty of the Department of History.

2023: not awarded this year

Metta J. Ross History Prize

A cash award to the junior student whose interest, achievement and promise in history most merit recognition, in the judgment of the history faculty, as indicated by academic record and career plans.

2023 Recipient: Emma Gail Compton

Phi Alpha Theta Book Award

A book prize awarded to freshman and sophomore student(s) who, in the opinion of the history faculty, show the greatest promise in history.

2023 Recipients: Alex Goffinet, Audrey Kunce, Carlos Prieto, Carly Hughes, Carolyn Thornbury, Daniel Dykstra, Grace Arakelian, Grace Critchfield, Henry Lerchen, Ingrid Oslund, Jack Cove, Jacquelyn Best, Lauren Carpenter, Natalie Schiller, Rey Tello, Tori Rathkamp, and Wyatt Wilcox