Eastern Illinois University Logo
History |

History Scholarships and Writing Awards

2015 Awards Banquet 1
2015 Awards Banquet
2015 Awards Banquet 2
2015 Awards Banquet
2015 Awards Banquet 3
2015 Awards Banquet 4
2015 Awards Banquet 5


About the Program

Come Visit Us

Why Choose EIU

Apply Now


Scholarships & Awards


Student Activities

Career Advice for History Majors

Research Resources

Departmental News

History Graduate Programs

History with Teacher Licensure

Undergraduate Advisors

Contact Us


The History Department recognizes exemplary undergraduate and graduate student work with several awards. Some reward consistent high performance, others recognize distinction in research and writing or work on a topic or geographic region (see below). Deadlines vary, so please follow the directions that accompany a specific award, or contact Dr. Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, Awards Committee Chair, for clarification.

The awards listed below are not an exhaustive list of funding available here at EIU. As a student within the History Department, you are probably eligible for a number of scholarships awarded from outside the department. Using this simple search engine, we can provide you with a list of these awards and more information about each scholarship's application requirements.


History Department Scholarships

The Awards Committee requests nominations from History faculty for students deserving the following scholarships and awards. Deadlines vary. Applicants should complete applications or solicit nominations to meet the published deadlines. The deadline for nominations for History Department awards marked with an asterisk* is the first Friday in March. For departmental awards, students should submit hard copies with their name, course number and course name on the title page ONLY to Dr. Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, Awards Committee Chair. All decisions are announced at the Spring Awards Banquet.


Undergraduate Scholarships

  • The Errett and Mazie Warner History Award* (first awarded in 1977): For an outstanding junior or senior history major.

    • 2016 Recipients: Megan Kessler, Quentin Spannagel, Nick Waller
  • The Stephan M. Horak Award* (established in 1987 in memory of Dr. Stephan Horak, who taught in the EIU history department for 21 years from 1965 to 1986 and published numerous books and articles on Russia and Eastern Europe): for an outstanding senior history major with a concentration in European history and at least one course in Russian or Eastern European history.

    • 2015 Recipient: Nathaniel Rees

  • Robert and Julie Sterling History Education in Social Science Scholarship* (established in 1999 by Robert & Julie Sterling. Dr. Sterling taught in EIU's history department for 43 years (1956-1998), specializing in Civil War History. Julie likewise has provided dedicated service to EIU, working as an academic advisor for many years): For a junior or senior history major with teacher licensure. Graduating seniors are not eligible.

    • 2016 Recipient: Cody Drone

  • The William B. Reid, Jr. History Education Scholarship* (established in 2001 by the family of William B. Reid, Jr. in recognition of his dedication to education. Mr. Reid taught for 35 years and received his high school, undergraduate, and graduate education at EIU): for a junior or senior history major with teacher licensure.

    • 2016 Recipient: Jessica Schluter

  • Lawrence and Emily Nichols Memorial Scholarship* (established in memory of Lawrence Nichols, a member of the History Department's faculty from 1962 through 1994; first awarded in 2006): for a full-time EIU student exhibiting academic excellence with an interest in U.S. or Latin American history.

    • 2016 Recipient: Thomas Spencer

  • The Elisha H. and Estella Ziegler Baumgartner Scholarship* (established in 1991 through the estate of Elisha H. Baumgartner): for an outstanding sophomore history major.

    • 2016 Recipient: Joelen Quinn

  • The Ardath Fogelsanger History Scholarship* (established in 1974 by Ms. Edna Honaker in memory of her daughter Ardath Fogelsanger): for an upper division history major who, through activities in class and outside of the classroom, demonstrates a love for and dedication to the study of history.

    • 2016 Recipient: Cayla Wagner

  • Jeanne and Donald Tingley Memorial Scholarship* (established in 2006 by the friends and family of Dr. Donald Tingley, who served on the EIU History Department faculty from 1953 to 1985, and his wife, Jeanne): for a full-time history major in good standing. Preference is given to first generation incoming freshman and/or transfer students.

    • 2016 Recipient: Emily Moreno
  • Click here for information about non-departmental scholarships for which History undergraduates qualify.

Undergraduate/Graduate Scholarships

  • The Rex Syndergaard Scholarship* (in recognition of P. Rex Synderaard's service to the EIU History Department in which he taught from 1956-1980; first awarded in 1981): For an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in teaching.

    • 2016 Recipients: Brittany Borowski, Erin Harrington, 
  • The Wolfgang and Barbara Schlauch European History Scholarship*(established in 1999 by Wolfgang Schlauch, EIU's modern German History professor for nearly 30 years, from 1969-1998, and his wife, Barbara, also a historian): for a history major (undergraduate or graduate) with an outstanding academic record and a concentration in modern European history.

    • 2016 Recipient: Monica Burney
  • History Study Abroad Scholarship (first awarded Spring 2005; two awards up to $500 each): for EIU students (undergraduate or graduate) majoring in History and exhibiting a commitment to studying abroad through EIU. Priority given to History undergraduate and graduate students who plan to participate in a study abroad program through EIU. Students conducting research abroad may also apply. Application Deadline: last Friday in January. See Study Abroad Scholarship form.

    • 2015 Recipients: Monica Burney, Kevin Lux, Katie St. John, Hunter Worthey
  • The Leften Stavrianos World History Award* (first awarded 2004): a one-year membership in the World History Association presented to one graduate student and one undergraduate student majoring in history and pursuing a career in teaching.

    • 2016 Undergraduate Recipient: Ivan Soria
    • 2016 Graduate Recipient: John Bays 
  • Cathy Hunter Memorial Study Abroad Scholarship: for EIU students in good academic standing attending the Summer Archaeology Program in Belgium.
  • Click here for information about non-departmental scholarships for which History undergraduate and graduate students qualify.

Graduate Scholarships

  • The Charles H. and Dorothee Coleman Scholarship (established in memory of Charles H. Coleman who taught history at EIU from 1926 through 1961 and distinguished himself as a Lincoln Scholar; first awarded in 1973):For a distinguished graduate student majoring in history. Awarded at the beginning of the Fall semester; selected by the History Graduate Committee. Contact the History Graduate Coordinator for information.
  • Historical Administration Program Association Scholarship:For a student with a distinguished undergraduate record entering the Historical Administration Program. Awarded at the beginning of the Fall semester, selection by the Historical Administration Graduate Committee. Contact the Historical Administration Graduate Program Coordinator for more information.
  • Thesis Research Grant Award (first awarded Spring 2006): to support graduate students whose thesis projects are of outstanding promise and quality. Contact the History Graduate Program Coordinator for information.
  • Click here for information about non-departmental scholarships for which History graduate students qualify.

History Department Writing Awards

The History Department recognizes undergraduate and graduate student writing with several awards. Hard copies of papers for awards marked with double asterisk** must be submitted to Donna Nichols, Departmental Secretary, by noon on the first Friday in March (student’s name, course number, & course name should appear on the title page ONLY, followed by a second title page with title only, unless otherwise specified). Winners are announced at the History Department's Spring Awards Banquet.

Students should submit hard copies with their name, course number & course name on the title page ONLY to:

Donna Nichols, Secretary, History Department
Deadline: 12 PM on the first Friday in March


Undergraduate Writing Awards

  • The Herbert and Jane Lasky Anne Frank Award** (established in 1998 by Herb & Jane Lasky. Herb Lasky served the EIU History Department for nearly forty years (1966-2004), directed the EIU Honors program from its inception (1982-2004), and spearheaded the creation of the EIU Honors College): for the best undergraduate paper on the Holocaust written for a course taught by a member of EIU's history department.
  • The History Faculty Writing Award in European History** for the best paper in European history written by an undergraduate for a course taught in EIU's history department.

    • 2016 Recipient: Kevin Lux, “Publicity and Propaganda”
  • History Faculty Writing Award in World History** (established by the faculty of the EIU History Department in 2011): for the best paper in world history (excluding European and US history) written by an undergraduate for a course taught in EIU's history department.

    • 2016 Recipient: Kevin Lux, "Fireboming of Tokyo"
  • The Alexander Hamilton Paper Award in American History**(established in 1999 by Herb & Jane Lasky. Herb Lasky served the EIU History Department for nearly forty years (1966-2004), directed the EIU Honors program from its inception (1982-2004), and spearheaded the creation of EIU Honors College): for the best undergraduate paper on American history written for a course taught in EIU's history department.


    • 2016 RecipientMichael Olson, "Civil Rights Act of 1964"
  • Click here for information about non-departmental writing awards for which History undergraduates qualify.

Graduate Writing Awards

  • The Lavern M. Hamand Graduate Writing Award** (Lavern Hamand taught in the EIU History Department from 1957 through 1982; first awarded in 1993): for the best paper by a graduate student in the Department of History enrolled in either the traditional or the historical administration program. (There are two competitions for this award - fall and spring.)

    • 2016 Recipient: Michael Bradley, "White By Design, Black By Desire"
  • Click here for information about non-departmental writing awards for which History graduate students qualify.

College & University Awards


  • Livingston C. Lord Memorial Scholarship (EIU's highest scholastic award, established by the Alumni Association in memory of EIU's first president; nominations are made during the Fall semester and awards are made at Spring commencement): for five junior or senior students, nominated by faculty and staff who have stellar academic credentials and are pursuing teacher licensure. See: Alumni Services Scholarships.

  • Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (URSCA) Grants (administered through the Honors College; for an application, completed early during the semester before the research project starts, see: Grant Research Information): for any EIU student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The funding awards a student and their faculty mentor as they engage in research.

    • Fall 2014 Recipient: John Bays, "State Centralization & the 17th Century Court: the Role of Royal Bastards in France & England" (advised by Newton Key)
    • Spring 2015 Recipient: Megan Kessler, "Not Ladies But Sisters: Roman Catholic Sister Nurses, Gender, and Domesticity in the American Civil War" (advised by Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz)
    • Spring 2015 Recipient: Emily McInerney, "Passes, Petticoats and Propaganda: The Role of Female Spies along the New Jersey-New York frontier, 1775-1783" (advised by Charles Foy)
  • Social Science Writing Awards (an award for which History undergraduates qualify: administered through the Dean's Office, College of Sciences): Regardless of major, students who write strong research papers in upper-division social sciences courses, including history, should consider submitting them for recognition and cash awards. Submissions are made directly to the chair of the History Department; selections are made by the Social Science Writing Awards Committee. For more information, visit this Social Science Writing Awards Website or check out this form.

    • 2015 1st Place: Jay Lawler, "Sexual Uses of Myth as a Bias for a Male-Dominated Society"
    • 2015 Runner-Up: Michael Olson, "Eisenhower and Lebanon, 1958"
  • Distinguished Senior Awards (administered through Alumni Services):Recognizes EIU seniors who have enriched the university community by demonstrating outstanding character and leadership through academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and extra-curricular honors and awards. Nominations due in March.

    • 2015 Recipients: Emily McInerney, Taylor Yangas

  • Study Abroad Student of the Year (administered through the Study Abroad Office): Recognizes a student who embodies the values of the Office of Study Abroad and the importance of international education in the calendar year. For more information, visit the Study Abroad Office's International Awards page.
  • Women's Studies Writing Award (an award for which History undergraduates qualify; administered through the Women's Studies Program) Regardless of major, EIU students can submit essays or research papers that incorporate a feminist perspective. The papers can be written during the previous academic year or semester concurrent with the competition. Deadline: First Monday in February with awards made during Women's Awareness Month; Contact Dr. Jeannie Ludlow, Coordinator, Women's Studies Program and consult the rules.
  • Booth Library Award for Excellence in Student Research and Creativity (an award for which all University students qualify; administered through the Booth Library): The program encourages students to enhance their studies by utilizing the wealth of information available at Booth Library and other research venues. All entries are original works completed by Eastern students within the last 12 months. The award recipients are selected on the basis of excellence, creativity and the use of research resources. For more information, consult the rules on the Booth Library website.


  • Distinguished Graduate Student Award (awarded by the EIU Graduate School): Every graduate program has the opportunity to name one currently enrolled student from the program as a "Distinguished Graduate Student" to be recognized during the April awards ceremony. Criteria for selection is left to the faculty of the graduate program and the graduate coordinator is responsible for organizing the selection process and completing the notification form for the Graduate School. Students selected are then eligible to be nominated for induction into the Hamand Society of Graduate Scholars and graduate programs may want to refer to that eligibility criteria when selecting their program's Distinguished Graduate Student, but are not required to do so. Graduate Coordinators need to submittheir program's selection by Friday, February 21, 2014.

    • 2015 Recipient HA Program: Brian Failing
    • 2015 Recipient MA Program: Kimberly Jones
  • Graduate School Research/Creative Activity Awards (awarded by the EIU Graduate School): to support outstanding graduate research and creative activity projects that include partnerships with external businesses, industries, or educational agencies. For information and an application.

    • 2015 Recipient: Brian Failing
  • Williams Travel Award (awarded by the EIU Graduate School): to provide travel support for EIU graduate degree-seeking candidates who have papers or creative works accepted for presentation at regional, state, national, or international conference between July 1 and June 20 of current fiscal year. Forinformation and an application.

    • 2015 Recipient: Colin Chadwick, Brian Failing, Kimberly Jones
  • EIU Distinguished Master's Thesis Award Competition and Midwest Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Thesis Nomination Recognition of the highest achievement in master's degree research based on projects. Second-place in the competition is awarded the The EIU Master's Thesis Award of Excellence. For more information, see the Graduate School competitive scholarships website.
  • King-Mertz Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award (awarded by the EIU Graduate School): recognition of the highest achievement in graduate research based on non-thesis graduate research/creative activity projects required for a degree program and completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 the prior year. For more information, see the Graduate School competitive scholarships website.
  • James Madison Memorial Fellowship (administered by James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation): a national competition that awards a maximum of $24,000 to individuals interested in becoming outstanding teachers of the American Constitution. The funding covers expenses related to graduate study leading to a masters degree. For information consult EIU's Madison Fellowship liaison, Dr. Charles Foy, and the Foundation website.