2011 Student Awards

2011 CLA Distinguished Dissertation Award

Winners of the  CLA Distinguished Award are chosen from nominations from each department and interdisciplinary graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts. Each award is for $500 and includes an engraved plaque.


Robert Drury KingRobert Drury King took his Ph.D. from Purdue University's Philosophy and Literature program in December 2010, completing a dissertation entitled, “System Individuation in Differential and Dialectical Ontology:  Deleuze, Hegel, and Systematic Thought.” Robert's dissertation asked, what is a system?; how do systems come into being, establish themselves for a time, and then fade away?; how have systems been defined by the great thinkers and do these definitions have anything important to say to us about how individuals find a place in the systems they belong to and that cut through them? Robert also received his M.A. in English Literature from Purdue University and his B.A., also in English Literature, from the University of Florida. Currently, Robert maintains an active research agenda as an assistant professor at Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe.


Brady SpangenburgBrady J. Spangenberg earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Purdue in May 2011. His dissertation, “Civil Death in Early Modern Europe from Jack Cade to Luther, Raleigh and Hamlet” explores the practical and metaphoric consequences of the legal designation civil death, namely how certain people in early modern Europe publicly “died” even though they were still very much alive. He earned his Master’s in Comparative Literature from Purdue and his Bachelor of Arts in English and Religion from Simpson College. He currently works in Limburgerhof, Germany as a Senior Editor for the Crop Protection division of BASF.




2011 CLA Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

CLA Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award winners are chosen among nominations from each department and interdisciplinary graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts. Each award is for $250 and includes an engraved plaque.


Kyle JonesKyle Ellis Jones is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a minor in Geography from the University of Oklahoma in 2008, and received his Master's from Purdue University in May of 2011. His thesis, Hip Hop Huancayo: Youth Identities, Performative Sites, and the Politics of Legitimation, explores some of the individual and collective ways in which youth in Huancayo, Peru use hip hop to shape social and cultural worlds. With the aim of demonstrating precisely how hip hop coheres across various contexts in the lives of youth, he examines how hip-hoppers forge identities through hip hop culture and discourses of authenticity, and rearticulate their own senses of cultural identity and difference. Linking this analytic strand to the tensions of performative sites, he further illustrates how hip-hoppers negotiate numerous points of authority and levels of politics through a process of legitimation to actively shape the contours of hip hop performance in Huancayo. Kyle plans to continue his research into youth and hip hop in Peru for his PhD dissertation.


Liz O'ConnorElizabeth J. O’Connor received her Master of Arts in Communication from Purdue University in May 2011. Concentrating on Organizational Communication, her research interests include organizational culture, careers, and virtually distributed work teams. Her thesis, “Winning with Culture: A Case Study of Customer-Oriented Casinos,” examined the cultures of two casinos owned by the same parent company. While both casinos were subject to similar culture development efforts, the study revealed distinct cultural differences at each site. Findings demonstrate the communicatively constructed nature of organizational culture, and highlight key processes of culture development. Her work will be presented at the National Communication Association conference in the fall of 2011. Elizabeth is currently working as a Human Capital Analyst for Deloitte Consulting LLP.

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