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History Major Wins Lankford Prize

History major Kalina Hadzhikova ’15 won the Lankford Award for her thesis on Rome and Byzantium. Photo by Matt D'Annunzio

History major Kalina Hadzhikova ’15 has won the prestigious 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 co-edited the Student Body Handbook. She hails from Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Lankford Award honors the memory of Prof. Bill Lankford (1946–1983), a distinguished teacher of English and humanities who served Reed College from 1977 until his untimely death in 1983. The award recognizes accomplishments in English literature in order to keep our collective memory. Bill Lankford’s national reputation as a scholar of the works of Charles Dickens and his inspiring teaching that imbued many of his students with the same passion for literature that possessed him. The award also specifies accomplishment in history and in the relations between history and literature to honor Bill Lankford’s second great love—his avocation—history, and to recall his important role in bringing new life and energy to the history and literature program at Reed College. Finally, the award recognizes potential, as well as past academic accomplishment, to underline Bill Lankford’s deepest conviction, that devoted teaching makes a difference in the lives of young people and that it helped them to fulfill their potentials as intellectuals, citizens, and as human beings.

History-lit major Kieran Hanrahan ’15 also earned the award. Both winners received a cash prize and a copy of David Copperfield in honor of Prof. Lankford’s love of Dickens.

Tags: brilliant students