The Department of Near Eastern Studies awarded nine exceptional students, across subjects, 7 awards for the 2013-2014 academic year. This year's Prizes in Arabic were awarded at the Retirement Reception for Professor Raji Rammuny on April 10, 2014 at the Michigan League. All other awards were handed out at the Spring Awards Luncheon on April 23, 2014, held in the Thayer Atrium. Congratulations NES Award winners!
Nathan D. Metzger Award for Excellence in Writing in Post-Biblical Jewish History, Literature, or Philosophy:
Adam Awerbuch: Adam is a graduating senior, with a major in HJCS. He excelled throughout his studies combining interest in both ancient and Modern Hebrew and Jewish topics. He has deep love and appreciation to the Hebrew language; although he came to the university with a strong foundation, he used his years here to pursue less-studied, more "exotic" aspects of the language, such as Rabbinic Hebrew.
George Cameron Award in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies.
Gina Konstantopoulos: Gina has been one of the department’s finest students in Assyriology. Her dissertation, in progress, is on certain aspects of Mesopotamian magical representations. She has not only excelled in her field, but has been a wonderful GSI in non-Assyriological curses and has been an engaged and active member of the department and the university, spearheading various activities, such as the graduate student colloquium. She has been honored with a prestigious and selective award from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and will spend her last year as a graduate student there, finishing her dissertation.
Outstanding GSI Award:
Ali Hussain and Aiyub Palmer: joint award for their work in NES 100, Ali Hussain and Aiyub Palmer were awarded the Outstanding GSI Award for the 2013-2014 academic year because of their exemplary work in NES 100 in the fall of 2013. This is a high enrolment class and is not an easy one to deal with, given the shifting and very broad subject matter. They were both excellent, handling difficult matters with tact and ease, with acclaim from the teachers and students alike.
Great Books of Islamic Civilization:
Ali Hussain: Ali's dedication to the study of Islam and Islamic intellectual culture is outstanding. An avid reader of books on Islamic studies, he generously shares his vast knowledge of the subject with his peers, older colleagues, and undergraduate students. His quest for new knowledge about Islam is inspiring.
Raji Rammuny Award for Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language
Katie Arraj (TAFL Masters Student): Katie is as a truly deserving TAFL student for her unwavering enthusiasm to become an Arabic teacher, positive outlook, and excellent academic achievement.
Alex Scott (TAFL GSI): Alex was awarded the TAFL GSI prize for his superior academic and teaching achievements, along with his motivation to become a superb teacher of Arabic.
Ernest McCarus Prize in Arabic:
Jessie Stoolman: Jessie was awarded the Mcarus Prize in Arabic for her superior mastery of the Arabic language almost without an equal comparable in her stage of learning Arabic, and for her positive outlook.
Michigan Center for Early Christian Studies Graduate Student Award:
Jason Zurawski: Jason was awarded this prize by the Board of the Michigan Center for Early Christian Studies in recognition for his work as secretary of the Graduate Enoch Seminar in Montreal and the Nangeroni Meetings in Israel and Rome. Jason is one of most active students of our Department in the fild of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. He is an instructor of Biblical Hebrew and Syriac. Jason is Secretary of the Enoch Seminary, and he is also the coeditor of the two volumes of Proceedings of the 2011 Enoch Seminar on 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra, published by Brill and T&T Clark respectively.