Under normal circumstances, the department of Comparative Cultural Studies honors its scholarship recipients and winners of the Junior Book Prize in a ceremony during the spring semester. We are incredibly proud of our students and invite you to congratulate them on their awards on our department Facebook page.
CCS major (emphasis Comparative Study of Religions) Dominic Counihan will receive the Lakeview United Methodist Scholarship. He is from Tehachapi in California and is also pursuing a major in Military Science. Dominic’s favorite CCS classes so far have been HUM 130 Introduction to Southwest Humanities and REL 221 Christianity. He writes “I chose this major because I feel that religion is the most inspiration and influential force in our lives. I want to become an Army Chaplain and I thought this major would be an excellent trail for understanding religions more.”
Ronald Finley is pursuing the CCS Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies-Humanities 90-30 and has been awarded the Junior Book Prize for Humanities. Originally from Waukegan in Illinois, he returned to college after thirty-eight years to complete his degree and pursue a career as a college professor in the future. A father of four boys and one girl, four of whom are currently in college as well, Ronald writes ” My mission is to engage in academic excellence to accomplish finishing what I started in 1982. In attaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, my master’s degree in humanities or sociology, and finally graduating with my Ph.D. in related fields of study. Thus demonstrating to myself and my children that it is never too late to redefine whom you are personally and professionally while inspiring your children to achieve their dreams.” Ronald has enjoyed all of his classes so far, including CINE 383 Cinema of Spain, HUM 345 Critical Writing in Global Humanities, and HUM 371 Humanistic Values in a Technological Society. He writes “I chose my major because I have found that I enjoy learning about subject matter related to the Arts, Humanities, Sociology, and Religion. I have also identified through my Retail and life experiences that I value and enjoy helping others and serving people. These values and actions give me a sense of accomplishment, integrity, freedom, variety, and creativity, while continually learning and sharing what I have learned with others.”
CCS major (emphasis Public Humanities) Reina Jasper has been awarded the Kellogg Duncan scholarship. A Flagstaff native, Reina is also pursuing minors in Civic Engagement and Arts & Cultural Management. She writes “I chose to pursue this set of degrees as I’m extremely passionate about the importance of cultural awareness and interaction as well as the ways in which the arts foster this. I plan to commit my life to creating community, understanding, and compassion between a wide array of groups.”
Aspiring filmmaker and Creative Media & Film major (emphasis in Film) Ramona Mejia has been awarded the Junior Book Prize for Cinema Studies. Born and raised in Tucson, Ramona will graduate in May 2021 and is pursuing minors in both Anthropology and Cinema Studies. Ramona writes “I chose my major because I knew it would open many doors to a more productive, visionary, and happier future working towards my dreams/aspirations. It would be an honor to inspire others through my film work as I have been inspired and molded throughout the years. So far on my journey towards graduating, I have had the privilege of taking many Cinema classes but the one that has impacted me the most would have to be Professor David Gray’s CINE 380 Topics of Modern Cinema class on Essay Films and Autobiographies.”
Dakota Nelson has been awarded the Junior Book Prize for Arts & Cultural Management and is pursuing a major in Strategic Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Arts and Cultural Management. Original from Colorado, Dakota resides in Flagstaff and will begin a new position as the Communications Assistant for the College of Arts and Letters at NAU this summer. Dakota’s favorite CCS class so far has been ACM 350 Arts and Cultural Policy with Dr. Stephanie Stallings and writes “I chose Arts and Cultural Management as my minor because it connects me to new parts of the community and has so many different aspects to it.” During the fall semester, Dakota plan on conducting research into how gentrification affects culture and art expression in low-income neighborhoods.
Shea O’Neill, John Acker Foundation Scholarship and Junior Book Prize for Art History
CCS major (emphasis Art History) Shea O’Neill has been awarded both the Junior Book Prize for Art History and the John Acker Foundation scholarship. Originally from Tempe, Arizona, Shea discovered art history in her high school humanities class and her favorite course at NAU so far was ARH 335 The Politics of Images with Dr. George Speer. She writes “Politics and art have been significant parts of my whole life and learning about how politics have a profound effect on the art produced is a great integration of both.” Shea will begin work at the NAU Art Museum this summer and plans on pursuing a graduate degree in art history at Arizona State University after graduating in 2021 from NAU.
CCS major (emphasis Art History) Abigail Paternina has been awarded both the Junior Book Prize for Museum Studies and the John Acker Foundation scholarship. Originally from New Jersey, she moved to Arizona at a young age. Abigail is also pursuing minors in Museum Studies and Anthropology. Her favorite class so far has been HUM 395 Public Humanities in the Digital Age with Dr. Pratt, as it is “a class unlike any I’ve taken before and has given me the opportunity to create a digital exhibit on a topic I am interested in, and hope to continue working on through my senior year.” Abigail looks forward to moving to New York after graduation to pursue a career in museums while continuing to write and explore her passion for photography.
CCS major (emphasis Asian Studies, minors in Art History and Comparative Study of Religions) Megan Yurk has been awarded two departmental scholarships, the Aktins Family Scholarship and the Lakeview United Methodist Scholarship, and the Junior Book Prize for the Comparative Study of Religions and Asian Studies. Megan is from Anthem, Arizona and will graduate in December 2020. Megan writes that ” I chose my major because I felt my middle school and high school education completely ignored another half of the world, I am very glad I chose this major because I’ve not only filled out my education but also discovered so much about what I wish to pursue.” Her favorite class so far in CCS has been Dr. Dunja Jelesijevic’s REL 395 Indigenous Religions of East Asia.