History Types Win Lankford Prize

By Chris Lydgate '90 | September 1, 2015

History major Kalina Hadzhikova '15  and history-literature major Kieran Hanrahan ’15 won the William T. Lankford III Humanities Award. The award recognizes accomplishment in both history and literature and is given to students with outstanding academic records and strong potential for further achievement.

The award committee praised Kalina’s senior thesis, Rome against Romans: Configurations of Imperial Authority in 12th-Century Germany and Byzantium, hailing it as “an exceptional thesis” and “an impressive and original achievement.”

Her thesis adviser was Prof. Michael Breen [history 2000–]. She also worked closely with Prof. David Sacks [history 1986–2015], who described her paper as “the most intellectually ambitious history thesis with which I have worked in my time at Reed.”

“I am very grateful for this award and hope that my senior thesis serves as an appropriate tribute to William Lankford’s memory,” Kalina told us. “I wish to thank David Sacks and Michael Breen in particular; my project would not have been possible without their help and encouragement.” 

During Kalina’s time at Reed she learned Latin, developed a passion for medieval studies, worked in the library, spent a year at the University of Oxford, and coedited the student body handbook. (See page 29.)

Kieran wrote his thesis, “Writing in Water, Building with Sand: American Military Strategy and the Soldier’s Experience in the Iraqi Environment during the Iraq War,” with Prof. Pancho Savery [English 1995–] and Prof. Josh Howe [history 2012–]. 

The Lankford committee praised Kieran for “an exceptional thesis” that raises “bold and challenging questions.” Prof. Howe wrote, “Kieran has succeeded remarkably in his academics at Reed, capped off by an excellent thesis. But what his thesis and his academic record do not reveal is his equally impressive success as a member of the Reed community. He has gained the trust and respect of his peers and mentors by listening closely, collaborating openly and open-mindedly, and working hard.”

Kieran edited the Quest for four semesters, served as elections czar, and was an editor of the Reed College Creative Review. He hails from Portland, Maine.

The Lankford Award honors Prof. Bill Lankford [English 1977–83], a beloved teacher and Dickens scholar who believed that devoted teaching makes a difference in the lives of young people and that it helps them to fulfill their potentials as intellectuals, citizens, and human beings. 

Both winners received a cash prize and a copy of David Copperfield.

Tags: Awards & Achievements, Students, Academics, Awards & Achievements, Thesis