UNC History Major Wins Prestigious National Award

Owen Volzke

Owen Volzke

A University of Northern Colorado senior is just one of 15 university students in the U.S. to receive a prestigious award recognizing academic excellence in the study of American history.

Owen Volzke, a history major with a secondary education emphasis, will accept a 2013 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award during activities at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History June 7-10 in New York City.

The award provides travel, lodging and meals, including a celebratory awards dinner. Winners will also participate in a program of special presentations, including meetings with eminent history scholars, and take tours of the historic Gilder Lehrman archives.

Volzke will be joined by peers from several Ivy League and private universities, which traditionally dominate the competition that requires students to submit a writing sample, letters of recommendation and transcripts.

Volzke, who has a 3.98 GPA, used his research paper for his capstone history seminar as his writing sample. In it he examined how the Oglala Lakota protestors during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, went about creating a new identity that drew upon a collective memory of Lakota culture in the 19th century, as well as an understanding and interpretation of Lakota-U.S. history during that period.

Last year Volzke won the College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Student Scholar Award. He plans to use his history major with a teaching emphasis to teach American history at the high school level.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute is devoted to the improvement of history education and has developed an array of programs for schools, teachers and students that now operate in all 50 states. Its website features more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection.

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