LAWRENCE — The Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has announced that this year’s Roy D. and Betty Laird Essay Contest winner is University of Kansas Department of Geography doctoral student Vincent Artman, Eugene, Ore., for his essay titled “Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan: Between Nationalism and Nation-State.”
The essay will be the topic of a brownbag lecture from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in Bailey Hall Room 318.
Now in its 19th year, the annual essay contest is named after the late Roy D. Laird, a longtime member of the Russian and East European studies and political science faculties, and Betty Laird, whose support makes this prize possible. As a recipient of the award, Artman receives $750, a book budget of $75, a certificate and his name on a plaque bearing the names of all previous winners of the competition, which is displayed outside the main CREES office.
Artman received his bachelor's and master's degrees in geography, as well as a certificate in Russian & East European studies and a bachelor's degree in history, at the University of Oregon. He was also recently awarded the David Sopher New Scholar Award for his paper “Neglected Geographies: Islam in Soviet Central Asia." In 2012, he received the Association of American Geographers Graduate Student Paper Award and Honorable Mention, Association of American Geographers Political Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Award for his paper "Geopolitics, Islam, and Terror: Representation and Uzbek-American Relations." He was also awarded a Summer 2013 CREES-FMSO Graduate Research Assistantship to conduct field research in Kyrgyzstan.
A committee of three REES faculty read and independently rated the anonymous essays submitted for the contest and noted clarity, cogency, relevance to contemporary issues and strong composition of Artman’s entry. According to CREES acting director Mariya Omelicheva, Artman’s thought-piece was “immediately engaging” and “a pleasure to read.”