2010 Student Awards

2010 CLA Distinguished Dissertation Award

James B. WilliamsJames B. Williams graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.  In 2001, he received a master's degree in history from Oxford University.  After working for a couple of years, he returned to academia at Purdue University to pursue a Ph.D. in medieval history, which he completed in 2009.  His dissertation, "The Adoptive Son of God, the Pregnant Virgin, and the Fortification of the True Faith: Heterodoxy, the Cult of the Virgin Mary, and Benedict of Aniane in the Carolingian Age," argues that conflicts over orthodoxy led to new cultural creations and explorations into the role of the Virgin Mary in the Christian Church.  Currently, Dr. Williams is working as a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Indianapolis.


Brenda L. BerkelaarBrenda L. Berkelaar came to Purdue to earn her Ph.D. in Communication. Specializing in organizational communication, Brenda’s research interests include careers, technology, and leadership. Her dissertation, “Cyber-vetting: Exploring the Implications of Online Information for Career Capital and Human Capital Decisions,” examined the use of online information in hiring decisions, including how the hiring process is changing and the potential implications for, and reactions from employers and job applicants. Before attending Purdue, Brenda worked in various management positions and as an independent consultant in areas including information technology, financial services, not-for-profit, training and development. Her single- and co-authored work appears in various journals and edited books. This fall Brenda will be an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.


2010 CLA Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

Sarah A. SchraderSarah A. Schrader received her Master of Science in Anthropology from Purdue University in 2010.  She studies bioarchaeology, the analysis human skeletal remains in an archaeological context.  Her thesis, "A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Activity Patterns in New Kingdom Nubia,” researched osteoarthritis, vertebral degeneration and entheseal remodeling at the New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC) site of Tombos in Nubia (modern Sudan).  Low levels of these activity patterns reflect an imperial community that was not participating in a mechanically strenuous lifestyle.  These data suggest Tombos served as a colonial administrative center as the Egyptian Empire successfully consolidated Nubia into the imperial regime of the New Kingdom.  Sarah is continuing her PhD research at Purdue University further examining activity patterns and diet of Ancient Nubian populations.


Christiane Pottmeyer-GerberChristiane Pottmeyer-Gerber (MA, Purdue University, 2010) is a doctoral student in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Purdue University. She is originally from Saarbrücken, Germany. She has a Diplom in Biology from the University of Saarbrücken as well as a BA in Spanish and German from the Indianapolis University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Her research interests include how autobiographic memory is formed and how the writing of a text follows the same principles as that of weaving. In her thesis “Erinnerungen an die Kindheit als Webmuster von Erfahrungen, die durch universale Sprachsymbole ausgedrückt werden: Ein Vergleich zwischen Anna Seghers Der Ausflug der toten Mädchen und Rigoberta Menchús Enkelin der Maya“ she shows that both authors – besides their different educational backgrounds and periods they live in – use identical symbols in their autobiographical memories. Her work will be presented at a national conference in the fall of 2010 and is submitted for publication to theArgonautenschiff.

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