Middlebury

Three Middlebury students honored by Center for Research on Vermont

July 1, 2009

Middlebury, Vt. - Three Middlebury College seniors have received recognition for their research projects from the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont. Elizabeth Kelley is the recipient of the 2009 Andrew E. Nuquist Award for Outstanding Student Research on a Vermont Topic. Gregory McDermott received the 2009 George B. Bryan Award for Excellence in Vermont Research. Benjamin Robins received special mention from the Nuquist Award committee. The awards were presented at the Center's annual meeting on May 1.

Kelley, an environmental studies major from Westborough, Mass., won the Nuquist award for her senior thesis titled "The Implications of the Greening of Social Capital: Evidence from Bristol, Vermont." She examined the networks of relationships known as social capital and their changes over a two-hundred-year span in Bristol. According to Middlebury College Professor of International Environmental Economics Jonathan Isham, who advised the thesis and recommended it for the Nuquist award, Kelley's research explores the lessons of Bristol's two-century transformation for this challenging new century. "Her case study of the Bristol gravel pit proposal-tensions about who we are as Vermonters and how we choose to use our working landscape-will resound in many ways," Isham said.

Elizabeth Kelley '09 received the 2009 Andrew E. Nuquist Award for Outstanding Student Research on a Vermont Topic.

McDermott, a history major from New Canaan, Conn., received the Bryan Award for his seminar paper titled "Leave It or Sink with It: The Rise and Fall of the Vermont Know-Nothing Party." Middlebury College Professor of History James Ralph advised the project and recommended it for the Bryan Award. According to Ralph, the ascendancy of the Republican Party in Vermont during the 1850s, a decade of tremendous political turbulence, was only possible because of the role of the Know-Nothings. "This paper reminds us of that short-lived party's pivotal role in the evolution of Vermont politics," said Ralph.

Robins, of Chappaqua, N.Y., received special mention from the Nuquist Award Committee for his senior thesis examining the role of the short-lived Students' Army Training Corps at Middlebury College, Dartmouth College and the University of Vermont. Middlebury College Assistant Professor of History Amy Morsman advised and submitted the thesis. "The final product is enlightening about life in early twentieth-century Vermont," says Morseman. "It also advances scholars' understanding of how this government-education alliance worked in a time of war, and it makes an excellent case for the study of local history."

Benjamin Robins received special mention from the Nuquist Award Committee for his senior thesis.

The award-winning projects-along with those of the finalists-will be added to the University of Vermont Library's Department of Special Collections. This is the fifth year in a row that a Middlebury student has won the Nuquist Award. Since its inception in 1982, 15 Middlebury students have won the award. For more information about the awards and their recipients, visit www.uvm.edu/~crvt.

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