Department of Religion
The Religion Department is pleased to announce that this year’s Betty Phifer award will go to both Hannah Mandatta and Elianna Cooper. Among other things, Hannah Mandatta led Students Organized for Religious and Cultural Exploration (SORCE)—a.k.a. the "Religion Club"—and organized the undergraduate symposiums this year, even in the midst of the pandemic. Elianna Cooper was instrumental in organizing J Street on campus, and was deeply involved in the Department as well. Our academic achievement award will go to Leah Singleton and Jeff Schmoll, both of whom were also involved in SORCE.
The Department remembered the late Allison Overholt this year by awarding the first Allison Elizabeth Overholt scholarship. Allison was a religion major who died suddenly last February 2019, and this scholarship memorializes her love for the study of Religion by helping to defray the costs of FSU tuition. This year’s scholarship went to Hunter Johnson, who is, among other things, an engaged and engaging major, and a rising senior. She is working on an honor's thesis with Dr. Adam Gaiser that examines material practices surrounding food and the Nation of Islam. In Dr. Laura McTighe's class this past Spring, she was voted Most Likely to Really Really Care and Make Everyone Feel Loved in their end-of-semester superlatives list/all class appreciation. Hunter is also affiliated with SISTUHS, Incorporated, FSU's Black Student Union (in their Seminole Minority Leadership Institute), the Big Sister Little Sister program, as well as the National Organization for Women. So, like Allison, she combines stellar academic work, a strong curiosity about her fellow human beings, and a desire to make a difference outside of a classroom setting.
The Religion Department congratulates the following graduate student award winners for 2019-2020:
- Moore Travel Grants (Spring 2020): Taylor Dean, Michael McLaughlin, Nathan Moats; (Fall 2019): Luke Arredondo, Marah Litchford, Jesse Young
- Best Dissertation Award: Luke Arrendondo
- Excellence in Research Award: Amanda Propst
- Porterfield Prize: Tucker Adkins
- Excellence in Teaching: John Cole
- Excellence in Service: Michael McLaughlin
Sandon Prize, Graduate Student Symposium: Florence Egbeyale for her paper, "Biblical Interpretive Strategy in the Epistle of Barnabas and Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho: A Tool for Policing Christian Identity."
Olivia Treptow, with majors in Chinese/Business and Religion, was inducted into FSU’S Garnet and Gold Scholar Society on December 4, 2019. One of 58 new inductees, Treptow completed an undergraduate honor's thesis in religion as her capstone "synthesis reflection project" to qualify for the honor.