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Recognition Roundup 2021

The College of Liberal Arts is known for having highly-regarded faculty members and students. Here, we compiled just a few of the recent recognitions from the 2021 spring semester.

Distinguished International Studies Honors Students 

Nine International Studies Honors students have completed their honors theses for their honors capstone seminar, and are also participating in this year’s university undergraduate research scholars program LAUNCH. LAUNCH works to support students, faculty, and staff across Texas A&M through community building, high-impact practices, personal and professional development opportunities, and the recognition of excellence.

All students worked hard to create their Honors Thesis’, receiving every piece of advice and criticism with gratitude and enthusiasm. The International Studies Honors students from the College of Liberal Arts and their thesis titles are as follows:

Jake Shatzar, Cornerstone participant, “Before and After Terrorism: Economic and Political Development in the Basque Country”

Kristin Morton, “The Relational Shift Between Global Governance and State Sovereignty in the Catalan Independence Movement”

Cheryl Thomas, Cornerstone participant, “Isreal’s Influence on the Palestinian Protection Gap”

Lucas Mendoza, “Patriarchal Origins of Japanese marriage Tax Credit Structure and Consequences on Married Japanese Women”

Rylie Evans, “Modern Landscape of Marriage in Urban China”

Lauren Curtis, Cornerstone participant, “Wind in Film: Representations of Wind Energy in the Onscreen Anthropocene”

Meredith Dickson, Cornerstone participant, “The Physical and Symbolic Function of U.S.-Mexican Border Wall”

Katie Morris, Cornerstone participant, “Border Externalization on a New Shore: A Comparative Analysis of American and European Migration Policies’ Effect on the Legitimacy of the Right to Asylum”

Bella Nowland, Cornerstone participant, “Birth Outcomes as a Lens to Understanding the Hispanic Health Paradox”

Texas A&M Young Alumni 12 Under 12 Honor

Twelve Aggies have been named to the 2021 cohort of the Texas A&M University 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight. This honor from The Association of Former Students recognizes 12 former students who have graduated in the past 12 years for demonstrating excellence in business and service while representing Texas A&M’s core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.

The Aggie Alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who have been awarded this honor are as follows:

Jayci R. Giaccone ’08 of Dallas, TX, Career fundraiser and nonprofit executive who has raised over $50 million for charitable work. Increased revenue by 80% since joining EVF in 2016, accomplished through projects like an annual fundraising event she launched that has grown from raising $50,000 to more than $1 million; this allows EVF’s impact to grow from 120,000 people in 2015 to 537,000 in 2019.

Elizabeth “Liz” Allbright ’09 of Washington, D.C., Director of product strategy, previously chief of staff, for WhyHotel, a pop-up hotel startup. Communications consultant for Brunswick Group, where she worked with Facebook, Hilton, Walgreens, and more. Supported several startups.

2021 PROSE Award Winner

The Association of American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence  (PROSE Awards) honors and recognizes the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by celebrating the authors, editors, and publishers whose landmark works have made significant advancements in their respective fields of study each year. These awards are given to the best academic books of the year, published in any field. 

The PROSE award has never been awarded to anyone at Texas A&M until this year. The PROSE 2021 Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Government & Politics recipient from the College of Liberal Arts is as follows:

Jennifer Mercieca for her book titled Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump

2021-2022 APSA Diversity Fellowship Program Recipients

The Diversity Fellowship Program, formerly the Minority Fellowship Program, was established in 1969 to increase the number of under-represented scholars in the political science discipline. Since 1969, the American Political Science Association (APSA) Diversity Fellowship Program has designated more than 500 Fellows, both funded and unfunded, and contributed to the completion of doctoral political science programs for more than 100 individuals. APSA Diversity Fellows are very active in the discipline as faculty members, researchers, and mentors.

Founded in 1903, APSA is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 13,000 members in more than 80 countries. APSA announced the following student from the College of Liberal Arts as a 2021-2022 APSA Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP) Fellow:

Lindsey Paola Gonzalez ‘21 – As a joint-degree candidate, she will earn both a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s of public administration in 2021. She currently works as a graduate research assistant studying diversity in higher education. Gonzalez has additional experience researching the nonprofit sector, immigration policy, and political participation. In her graduate studies, she acts as the research and data manager of a capstone project investigating emerging technologies in local government.

Additionally, Gonzalez actively participated in efforts of diversity and inclusion on the university level. She proudly mentors and uplifts first-generation college students and other underrepresented groups at Texas A&M. Gonzalez is interested in the subfields of American politics, racial and ethnic politics, and methodology. She plans to investigate the connection between American political institutions and inequality as a Ph.D. student in political science.

Recognition of Excellence

John Lenihan – After several years of diligent service to Texas A&M, a professor from the Department of History at the College of Liberal Arts retires. 

Lenihan first joined the department in 1968-1970 as an instructor. Immediately after obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Lenihan returned in 1977 as a tenure-track member of the faculty. Lenihan has an outstanding record as a scholar of American cinema, culture, and the West. He has excelled in teaching popular upper-level courses on the American West, film, and popular culture and he has also taught generations of Aggies in his big U.S. history surveys with tremendous care and wisdom.

Creation of the Brian McAllister Linn Dissertation Research Fellowship in Military History

The Department of History at Texas A&M is very pleased to announce the creation of the Brian McAllister Linn Dissertation Research Fellowship in Military History. This award will provide funds for graduate students in the department to pursue dissertation research on war and the military institutions that wage it in all periods of American military history.

The award has been funded by a gift from Michael and Sue Morris. Morris completed his doctoral dissertation in History in 2020 and is now an Assistant Professor of Military History at the School of Advanced Warfighting, Marine Corps University.  He began work on his Ph.D. after retiring from the United States Marine Corps as a Colonel in 2015.  He also holds degrees from National Defense University, the US Army War College, American Military University, Marine Corps University’s School of Advanced Warfighting Studies, and the United States Naval Academy.

This fellowship honors the career and achievements of Brian M. Linn, the Ralph R. Thomas Professor in Liberal Arts.  Linn is a past President of the Society for Military History and the recipient of fellowships and awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and an Olin Fellowship at Yale University.

In addition to honoring Professor Linn, this gift highlights the long-standing commitment of the Department of History to providing high-quality training in military history and the tradition of educating graduate students who use their historical training in public service.


Damon Bach –  Lecturer in the Department of History for the College of Liberal Arts

Bach published his first monograph, The American Counterculture: A History of Hippies and Cultural Dissidents, with the University of Kansas Press. The American Counterculture is a comprehensive history that analyzes the counterculture throughout the United States from its antecedents in the 1950s to its decline in the 1970s. 

Evan Haefeli –  Associate Professor in the Department of History at the College of Liberal Arts

In 2020, Haefeli’s edited collection Against Popery: Britain, Empire, and Anti-Catholicism, was published with the University of Virginia Press. This exciting collection of original essays by outstanding, transnational, interdisciplinary scholars focuses on anti-Catholicism in the British Empire from the 16th through the 19th centuries.  

In 2021, Haefeli’s second monograph, Accidental Pluralism: American and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497–1662, was published with the University of Chicago Press. His work takes on the origins of American religious diversity by showing that it had no single source, and in almost every case was neither desired nor actively resisted. 

2021 Gaither Fellowship Recipients

The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program is a post-baccalaureate fellowship with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace which provides outstanding recent graduates who are serious about careers in international affairs with an opportunity to learn about and help shape policy on important international topics.

Junior Fellows work as research assistants to senior scholars whose projects include nuclear policy, democracy and rule of law, energy and climate issues, Middle East studies, Asia politics and economics, South Asian politics, Southeast Asian politics, Japan studies, and Russian and Eurasian affairs.

The fellowship provides a one-year full-time position at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, D.C. during which Junior Fellows may conduct research, contribute to op-eds, papers, reports, and books, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, activists, journalists, and government officials.

The 2021 Gaither Fellowship Recipients from the College of Liberal Arts Recipients are as follows:

Angelica Evans ‘20

Vanessa Hidalgo Hernandez ‘21 

Juan Diego Prada ‘20

2021 Distinguished Graduate Student Award Recipients

The Graduate and Professional School and The Association of Former Students have recognized 20 Aggies as Distinguished Graduate Students for 2021. As Distinguished Graduate Students, each has earned one of Texas A&M’s highest honors for their outstanding achievements in research or teaching.

The 2021 Distinguished Graduate Student research and teaching award recipients from the College of Liberal Arts, along with their departments and faculty advisors, are as follows:

Seul Lee, English, College of Liberal Arts
Faculty Advisor: Marian Eide

Sin-Ning Cindy Liu, Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts
Faculty Advisor: Mindy Bergman

Landon Sadler, English, College of Liberal Arts
Faculty Advisor: Vanita Reddy

National Science Foundation Grant Recipient

Adrienne R. Carter-Sowell is a faculty member in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She was recognized in 2020-21 as a National Science Foundation Grant Recipient. 

Texas A&M 2021 Arts and Humanities Fellowship Recipients

Texas A&M University has named 10 faculty members as Arts & Humanities Fellows for 2021. Each new fellow will receive a three-year grant of $15,000 to support their outstanding scholarship.

Since 2015, the Arts & Humanities Fellowship Program has provided funding to 50 Texas A&M faculty members, including the 10 newest fellows.

Through this program, Texas A&M acknowledges the essential contributions of the arts and humanities to the development and advancement of civilization, Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau said.

The 2021 Arts and Humanities Fellowship Recipients from the College of Liberal Arts are as follows:

Daniel R. Bare, assistant professor, Religious Studies Program

Deborah Carlson, associate professor, Department of Anthropology

Daniel Conway, professor, Department of Philosophy

Sara DiCaglio, assistant professor, Department of English

Jessica Howell, associate professor, Department of English

Hyeran Jo, associate professor

Hilaire Kallendorf, professor

Alain Lawo-Sukam, associate professor

Jennifer Mercieca, associate professor

2020-21 Distinguished Dissertation Award Recipient 

Texas A&M University’s Graduate and Professional School has announced the recipients of its Distinguished Dissertation Awards for the 2020-21 academic year. Distinguished Dissertation Awards honor current or former students whose dissertations make a significant, impactful contribution to their discipline.

Awards are given in four categories: Biological and Life Sciences; Humanities and Fine Arts; Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering; and Social Sciences. Each award comes with a certificate and $1,000 prize.

The 2020-21 Distinguished Dissertation Award Recipient from the College of Liberal Arts is as follows:

Deanna Stover, an August 2020 graduate from the Department of English, earned top honors in the Humanities and Fine Arts category

Ab Imperio Award 

The Ap Imperio Award is an award from the premier journal in Imperial Russia history which recognizes the best book in the New Imperial History and History of Diversity in Northern Eurasia, up to the late 20th century.

The award includes a monetary prize and an invited public lecture at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg in Fall 2021. 

For the year 2020, this award was given to Stephen Riegg for his monograph, Russia’s Entangled Embrace: The Tsarist Empire and the Armenians, 1801–1914, which was published by Cornell University Press last summer.

President’s Meritorious Service Award Recipients

The President’s Meritorious Service Awards recognize staff for demonstrating their commitment to the Aggie core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and selfless service. 

The 2021 recipients from the College of Liberal Arts are as follows:

Zuleika Carrasco-Martinez, Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts

Kris L. May, Ph.D., Department of English, College of Liberal Arts