HomepagePolitics and International RelationsCongratulations to Politics & International Relations Students on Commencement Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Politics & International Relations Students on Commencement Awards and Honors

Students were recognized for academic achievements, research, and global engagement.

Each year, the Department of Politics and International Relations honors particularly accomplished graduates with several departmental awards. This year, at a student gathering on May 3, the department announced the following awards:

For their distinguished Honors theses, Rachel Arthur and Claire Velte received the Professor Eugene H. Miller Prize awarded annually for the best essay on a subject in politics and international relations. Rachel received the Miller Prize for her Honors thesis, Altruism Versus Self-Interest: Why do some INGOs engage in conflict settings while others leave? Claire received the Miller Prize for her Honors thesis, The Weaponization of Rape: Conflict-Related Rape and The International Criminal Court.

For outstanding research and academic achievements in the field of government, politics, and political science, the department awarded Kate Moore and Mackenzie Owens the Heller Prize. In addition to their exceptional coursework, Kate researched European institutions while studying abroad in Madrid and Mackenzie earned interdisciplinary Honors in Politics & Applied Economics for her thesis, Estimating the Xi Effect: How Chinese Aid Affects Economic and Political Institutions.

Rachel Arthur and Paige Bristow were awarded the Joseph H. Melrose Jr. Prize for their strong academic work, concern for overlooked areas, and a global perspective. In addition to her Honors research, Rachel is a Bonner Leader and recipient of the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship, which offers valuable experience in managing international security and humanitarian assistance-related programs. In addition to Paige’s honors research Balancing Support for Health Outcomes with Financial Limitations through Voluntary Health Insurance in Universal Health Systems in the OECD, she was the recipient of the prestigious Watson Fellowship, a postgraduate grant that allows recipients to follow their dreams around the globe.

Hira Khattak and Olivia Negro were honored with the Award for Student Leadership in Politics. Hira served as a Model UN head delegate for two years and as a double major has conducted Honors research in Politics and Neuroscience. Olivia, a Model UN head delegate and Bonner Leader, was selected as one of 20 Key into Public Service Scholars designated by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious honor society.

The sophomore book prize, awarded annually to the sophomore(s) with the leading grade point average, was given to International Relations major Katie Barlow.

In addition to departmental awards and honors, the following students majoring in Politics and International Relations graduated as members of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national honor society: Rachel Arthur, Paige Bristow, Elizabeth Elliott, John Flynn, Hira Khattak, Katherine Moore, Olivia Negro, Mackenzie Owens, Jenna Smith, and Claire Velte.

Congratulations to our award winners and all of the graduating members of the Class of 2023. We are proud of you!

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