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Ashbrook Graduates: Spring 2014

The Ashbrook Center congratulates the 2013-2014 graduates of two programs: the undergraduate Ashbrook Scholar program and the Master of Arts in American History and Government program.

At Ashland University’s commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014, 21 Ashbrook Scholars received diplomas; four other Scholars graduated in December 2013. The 25 Scholars in this academic year hailed from eight different states: Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Each academic year, the Ashbrook Center gives one or more graduating seniors the Charles Parton Award for an Outstanding Statesmanship Thesis. The award honors the late Charles Parton, a former Director of the Ashbrook Center who inspired the creation of the Statesmanship Thesis program. It also underscores the serious work of Scholars, each of whom writes a thesis on a subject related in some way to political or civic life. Scholars begin this work in the second semester of their junior year and during senior year meet frequently with a faculty advisor to discuss their research and writing. In April of their senior year, Scholars defend their theses before a panel of faculty and an audience of their peers and family members.

This year’s winners of the Parton Award are Joseph Griffith of Medina, Ohio, who wrote The Life of the Nation: Lincoln’s Use of Biblical Allusions in the Gettysburg Address; Johanna Mateo of Chelsea, Massachusetts for her study, Rumination Before Revolution: The New World’s Republican Experiments; and Christian Wilson of New Market, Maryland for his thesis on The American Cincinnatus: The Unique Greatness and Republican Virtue of George Washington.

The highest honor bestowed by the Scholar program is the James Madison Award for Outstanding Senior Ashbrook Scholar. This is given to a graduating senior whose academic achievement and personal development best exemplify the program’s goal of educating principled leaders for America’s future. Scholars who win the Madison award have contributed to their fellow students’ growth and learning through their leadership and constructive participation in the program.

This year, the Madison award honors Joseph Griffith. Griffith is a History and Political Science major who served as a Resident Advisor in Andrews Hall (the dorm reserved for Ashbrook Scholar freshmen) and as a worship leader in weekly nondenominational services held in the AU chapel. Last summer, Griffith interned in the Center for Principles and Politics at the Heritage Foundation. He was also valedictorian of Ashland University’s Class of 2014. Griffith will enroll next fall in the PhD program in Political Science at Baylor University.

Six students were awarded the Master of Arts in American History and Government in May, joining eleven who graduated in December. These seventeen graduates come from eight different states. Our May graduates are Rachel Clay (NC), Nancie Lindblom (AZ), Susan Reinhiller of (ND), Meghan Slanina (OH), Kelly Sparrow (MI), and Jaime Thompson (MD). Our December graduates are Debra Allen (NC), Jennifer Crotty (MI), Joseph Csizmadia (OH), Lewis Dean (ID), Melanie Ferguson (OH), Mark McCort (OH), Sandra Reed (TX), Kelly Rodgers (GA), Elliot Rotvold of (ND), Theresa Silvester (ID), and Eric Stoner (OH). The Masters degrees earned by these students, most of whom are active secondary school teachers of American history or government, represent 32 credit hours of study and a final comprehensive exam, capstone project, or thesis.

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