Ridington and Argonaut awards presented at Class of 2023 Commencement
History major Stephanie A. Eckard was honored with The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award for writing the best senior paper. Six undergraduates were tied for the highest cumulative GPA and were recipients of the Argonaut Award: Kate Rebecca Cramer, Evan J. Darr, Kyra M. Greenfield, Lyra Juliet Houghton, Grace Elizabeth Maglietta, and Eleanor Vivienne Tomkins.
The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award and the Argonaut Award for the highest cumulative undergraduate GPA were presented May 20 during McDaniel College’s 153rd Commencement.
The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award
The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award for the best senior paper was awarded to Stephanie A. Eckard of Westminster, Maryland.
Eckard graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in History. Her research paper titled “The Deathless Devotion of Southern Women: How the United Daughters of the Confederacy Weaponized Monuments in the Battle for Southern Memory” won the top writing award.
The paper examines the ways that the United Daughters of the Confederacy portrays the Lost Cause narrative, particularly through monuments and memorials, and how their unique depiction of the Confederacy has impacted public memory of the Civil War. Eckard’s winning paper recently earned second place at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in March.
Professor of History Bryn Upton says her research paper stood out for its rigorous analysis and representation of various elements in the history discipline — such as art history, monuments and memorials, written texts, and political and social narratives. Eckard dug into how these elements “both reflect and create public memory,” he says.
“Drawing on all of these disciplinary understandings, Steph was able to craft a narrative that was informative and very well informed, something that advanced our understanding of the public history of the last century and a half since the end of the Civil War,” Upton says.
During the Undergraduate Awards ceremony in November 2022, Eckard earned The Major George N. Keady Award for Excellence in History. Eckard also participated in student-faculty research with multiple faculty members during her time on the Hill, such as Associate Professor Corey Wronski on “The McDaniel Medieval Ghost Mapping Project,” and Professor Gretchen McKay on “Object as Archive: Sacks and Quilts as Conveyers of History.”
The Argonaut Award
The Argonaut Award for the highest cumulative GPA during their entire completed courses of study was given to six undergraduates: Kate Rebecca Cramer, Evan J. Darr, Kyra M. Greenfield, Lyra Juliet Houghton, Grace Elizabeth Maglietta, and Eleanor Vivienne Tomkins.
Kate Rebecca Cramer of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in Art. Cramer is a Global Fellow and a College Scholar and was inducted in the Trumpeters as a junior and in Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa as a senior. She was also awarded The Maria Leonard Senior Book Award, The Michael and Polly Beaver Award for Excellence in Education, and The M. Louise Shipley Art Award of Excellence.
Evan J. Darr of Frostburg, Maryland, graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in Psychology. He is a College Scholar and was inducted in Phi Beta Kappa as a senior.
Kyra M. Greenfield of Beltsville, Maryland, graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in History. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and was awarded The H. Peyton Gorsuch History Award.
Grace Elizabeth Maglietta of Finksburg, Maryland, graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in Writing & Publishing. She is a College Scholar and was inducted in Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. She was awarded The Maria Leonard Senior Book Award and The Philip and Azalea Myers Award for Creativity in English.
Eleanor Vivienne Tomkins of Central Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, graduates summa cum laude with departmental honors in Psychology and a second major in Sociology. She was inducted into the Trumpeters as a junior and also received The Dr. H. Samuel Case ’63 Senior Scholar Athlete Award.