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Victor Bailey
Hall Center for the Humanities
785-864-7822

Outstanding undergraduates selected as Hall Center Scholars

Thu, 08/21/2014

LAWRENCE – Ten outstanding University of Kansas undergraduates have been selected to serve as Hall Center Scholars for 2014-2015. They will have exclusive opportunities to interact with the well-known authors, scholars and public intellectuals who speak in the Hall Center Humanities Lecture Series. The scholars for 2014-15:

  • Saran Davaajargal, a sophomore in economics and mathematics from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Emma Halling, a senior in American studies and women, gender & sexuality studies from Elkhart, Indiana
  • Alex Kong, a senior in pharmaceutical studies from Lawrence
  • Alexander Kuhn, a senior in history and Russian, East European & Eurasian studies from Shawnee
  • Leigh Loving, a senior in genetics, from McPherson and from Mendota Heights, Minnesota
  • Micah Melia, a senior in anthropology from Prairie Village
  • Cassandra Osei, a senior from history and Latin American & Caribbean studies from Shawnee
  • Julia Reynolds, a junior in the history of art from Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Sebastian Schoneich, a senior in biochemistry and philosophy from Lawrence
  • Corbin Stephens, a senior in economics and pre-med, Colby

The students, whose interests represent a wide array of disciplines, will discuss works they may not have time or opportunity to discuss within their own classwork. They will participate in a faculty-guided book club, focusing on books and articles by Humanities Lecture Series speakers, and will also lunch privately with the speakers.

This year, in conjunction with Blue Valley West High School, located in Overland Park, the Hall Center will also pilot a Scholars project intended to reach out to area high school students. Once a semester, competitively selected students from Blue Valley West will take a field trip to attend a Humanities Lecture Series event and will interact with the current class of Scholars. The Scholars’ outreach will introduce the high school students both to the humanities and to KU, immersing them in the type of academic experience to which they could look forward as KU students. This year, the Scholars and students’ discussions will center on Amy Wilentz and James Oakes.

The Humanities Lecture Series speakers for 2014-2015 will be Katherine Boo, John Symons, Amy Wilentz, Anna Deavere Smith, Natasha Trethewey and James Oakes. The series has long provided a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue among renowned speakers, the university and surrounding communities.

Hall Center Scholar awards, made possible by donations to the Friends of the Hall Center, are open to KU undergraduates with strong academic credentials who have demonstrated significant engagement in the university community. 

For more information about the Hall Center Scholar program or the Humanities Lecture Series, please contact the Hall Center via email or call 785-864-4798.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
Let's talk weight, seriously. Christie Befort changes obesity conversation. http://t.co/rrFjFtHbYT #KUcommunities http://t.co/tPifpXsPvy
Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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