George H. Mitchell Awards for Academic Excellence 2006
Four Plan II students recognized for thesis work.
Posted: January 11, 2007
Recipient of $20,000 award:
Willian Seth Howes Major: Plan II Honors and Germanic Studies "Negativ-Dekadent: The Culture of Punk in Halle/Saale, 1978-1989" He was nominated by Professor Kit Belgum for his work in the field of contemporary cultural studies, with a focus on the punk music movement in the German Democratic Republic. After studying the history of punk in Western Europe, youth culture more generally, and the history and theories of counter-culture through readings in these areas, he then returned to Germany, where he had graduated from a German Gymnasium; he interviewed professors and punk musicians, and worked in the archives of the German Democratic Republic's Secret State Security (Stasi). Back in Austin, he transcribed hours of taped interviews and interpreted the Stasi files to which he had been given access. The result is a highly readable, richly textured and sophisticated work of original scholarship.
Recipients of $5,000 award:
Brandy Zrubek, Plan II Honors and Biology "Insect eggs exert rapid control over an oxygen-water tradeoff"
Tatiana Neumann, Plan II Honors and Government "Mexico's Democratization and its Effects on Foreign Policy"
Recipient of $2,000 award:
Phillip Hill, Plan II Honors Program and Music "Demystifying Studio Magic: A Case Study in the Record-Making Process; Phil's Crew CD"
Students nominated for these awards by faculty members have an exemplary academic record and have made an uncommon contribution to their fields of study by way of a research project, literary work, musical composition, humanitarian project, or similar undertaking.
The selection committee paid particular attention to the nominating faculty member's explanation of the significance of the work / project in the context of the relevant field of study and to the project itself.
Nominees submitted a one or two page curriculum vita or resume highlighting their activities and achievement at UT Austin, documentation of the project for which they were nominated (e.g., copy of a paper or thesis, a videotape or photographs), and a personal statement placing their work / project in the context of their educational experiences at UT Austin and their vision for themselves as a developing scholar in their field.