Alum Liaison Committee Award

Presidents Hall

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

At least four awards will, ideally, be given each year (one each for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors).

Eligibility & Review Process

All students enrolled in a 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 a new piece of writing.

Deadline & Submission Process

To be considered for this annual award, students must submit by file attached PDF, to Dr. 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, CWID, and email address
  • The student’s College (A&S, Business, Nursing, Social Work, Engineering, etc.), major/minor
  • 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


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.


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.


Instituted in the 2018-2019 academic year, the recipients of this award have been

Hannah Alexander
Madeline Brodbeck


Hannah Alexander

Tom Danner
Vincent Pawloski
Skyler Sizemore
Elizabeth Tagg
Leah Varnell
Will Watson

Savannah Aldridge
Tyler Blair
AnnaLaura Campbell
Ruth Hallstead
Abigail Hubbard
Jeremy Lindlan
Reya Sison
Catherine Snyder
Jade Teel

This annual award is generously supported by alumni gifts