Texas A&M University-Texarkana will host the 2017 Bennie Walthall Awards for the best research papers written in A&M-Texarkana history courses Friday, Sept. 29, at 12 p.m. in the Tri-State Iron & Metal Atrium on the third floor of the University Center on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.
The late Dr. Bennie Walthall established an endowment fund to provide annual awards totaling $1,000 in prize money to four students. The College of Arts, Sciences and Education also will present each winner with a certificate.
Established in 2008, the contest has two categories: undergraduate and graduate student papers. The papers must have been written for an A&M-Texarkana course between the fall 2015 and spring 2017 semesters.
To be eligible for consideration, undergraduate papers had to have a minimum of 1,200 words, including documentation, and a minimum of four sources, three of which are primary documents or peer-reviewed articles or books. The minimum word-count for graduate papers was 1,800, and graduate students had to have referenced at least five sources, four of which are primary documents or peer-reviewed articles or books.
Dr. Carr Winn, a retired A&M-Texarkana history professor, judged the papers and selected the winners. Best paper awardees receive a $300 prize. Second-place awardees receive $200.
“This year’s paper submissions were especially strong and we are proud of the work of our students,” said Dr. Michael Perri of the A&M-Texarkana History department. “We are also thankful to the late Bennie Walthall for donating the funds that enable us to award our students for their exceptional research and writing.”
The 2017 winners are as follows:
- Best Graduate History Paper Award – Nathaniel “Alex” Rain for “The Crowd, the Heat, the Stench and the Groanings: Trials and Tribulations of U.S. Soldiers on the Voyage to the Mexican War”
- Second Best Graduate History Paper Award – Whitney Farmer for “Mexican American War: The Tale of Two Cultures”
- Best Undergraduate History Paper Award – Melinda Zwirn for “Education and the Path to Freedom: From Frederick Douglass to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
- Second Best Undergraduate History Paper Award – David Zwirn for “From the Roman to the Medieval”
The Office of Student Life will provide refreshments for the event, which is open to the public.