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2016–2017 Jackier Prize Winners

Jackier Prize ceremony, April 2017. Donors Larry and Eleanor Jackier with prize winners Amanda Talaski, Joshua Burg, and Ryan LaRose. Not pictured: Anna Billiard and Logan Light.

About the Winners

Anna Billiard

Anna is a first-year planning to double major in data science and English. An alum of Professor Eliav's class, The History of the Land of Israel and Palestine, she has also discovered an interest in Near Eastern studies and history in general. She now researches bathhouses for Professor Eliav's upcoming book. She spends most of her time buried in books, either for class or for pleasure, but when she finds the time, she can be found trying out various restaurants in Ann Arbor and dreaming of having a decent kitchen. 

Read Anna's essay: Playing 20 Questions with Inanimate Objects: An Examination of Ancient Peoples and Their Figurines (opens in a new window).

Ryan LaRose

I am a senior majoring in mathematics and physics, and next fall I plan to start a PhD in computational mathematics, science, and engineering at Michigan State University. Some of my hobbies include playing and writing music, doing community service, and woodworking. I also love to write! and although I do not consider myself a history buff, I am very interested in the ancient world and am greatly indebted to Dr. Yaron Eliav’s excellent course The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages for providing me with the necessary historical context and background information for the Jackier Prize.

Read Ryan's essayMysticism in the Middle East: Mirror Plaques and Bowl Spells from Late Antiquity (opens in a new window)

Joshua Burg

I am a freshman from Petaluma, California. I hope to study business at the Ross School of Business and beyond that wish to pursue a career in law. On campus I am involved in greek life as a brother of Psi Upsilon fraternity and serve as the service and philanthropy chair. I also play for the Hillel ice hockey team. Off campus I work part time as an ice hockey referee. I very much enjoyed researching and writing this paper and would like to extend my thanks to Larry and Eleanor Jackier for the tremendous opportunity that they continue to provide to students of the University of Michigan. Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to my parents who have enabled me to pursue my dreams here at Michigan. 

Read Joshua's essayAn Arrowhead and Javelin Head in the Ancient World: Innovations of Late Bronze Age Warfare (opens in a new window)

Logan Light

Logan is a junior studying computer science in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. While he enjoys studying a breadth of subjects, his primary interest is in network theory. Logan is passionate about community engagement, and he participated in the Michigan Community Scholars Program during his first two years in order to practice social action and community service. Logan stresses the importance of understanding modern and world history, particularly during a times of social unrest. Logan hopes to open a restaurant by the time he is 30.

Read Logan's essayA Two-Headed Ceramic Figurine and a Female Ceramic Figurine in the Ancient World (opens in a new window)

Amanda Talaski

Amanda Talaski is finishing her first year at the University of Michigan. She plans to apply into the School of Public Health as a junior and eventually wishes to pursue a master’s degree in nutrition. She is the first person in her family to attend the University of Michigan and is currently a part of Rotaract, which extends from her service in her high school’s Interact Club. 

Read Amanda's essayDecorative Styles (opens in a new window)