Instituted in the Spring of 2019, the Alum Liaison Committee Award is given out each Honors Day, as part of the Department’s yearly ceremony, and comes with a $100 award.

Up to four awards will be given each year, one each for Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

Eligibility & Review Process

All students enrolled in an REL class, in the Fall or Spring semester of the current academic year, are eligible to make a submission for this award — one does not have to be a major or a minor. Recipients are selected by the members of the Alum Liaison Committee, in consultation with the Department.

Students can re-enter the competition each year, but always with new piece of writing.

Deadline & Submission Process

To be considered for this annual award, students must submit by file attached PDF, to Prof. Vaia Touna (the Alum Liaison Committee coordinator), a short piece of writing, by no later than March 1 of each year. This brief essay, of approximately 500 words, should address, in a well-written and organized manner, one or more of the following topics:

  • How the student found the study of religion at UA
  • Aspects of the field that the student found surprising
  • Unexpected ways in which the student might apply what they learned in the study of religion

Because the academic study of religion is generally not found in US high schools, few students arrive at university aware of it. And so, based on the widely shared experiences of our grads, these three themes are common talking points for our students, who somehow happen upon us, learn unexpected things, and apply them in unexpected ways and places.

Each submission must also include:

  • The student’s name, email address, and CWID
  • The REL course/section in which the student was/is enrolled and its year/semester
  • The student’s status (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior) at the time of their submission

Criteria

The Committee members will look for creative and engaging submissions that effectively convey the unanticipated gains students see themselves to have made in our classes.

Notifications

Recipients will be notified approximately one week prior to Honors Day and will receive their award at the Department’s annual ceremony (which begins at approximately noon on the Manly Hall balcony each year). And, with the permission of each recipient, the selected submissions will then be posted on the REL blog.

This annual award is supported by alum donations.