The Duke Human Rights Center is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of the second annual Oliver W. Koonz Human Rights Prize. The prize was established in 2010 by Dr. Claudia Koonz in honor of her father, Oliver W. Koonz (1910-2009).
From her father, Dr. Koonz inherited a passion for the outdoors and for learning. Dr. Koonz is a tireless advocate of undergraduate education. She has taught and mentored hundreds of Duke students during her career at the university, where she teaches on human rights, genocide, 20th century European history and women’s history. Dr. Koonz is professor in the Department of History and the Peabody Family chair. She is a founding member of the Duke Human Rights Center.
2011 was an especially competitive year. Submitted topics included child soldiers, human rights in China, refugees, human rights and globalization, immigration in the US and the legacy of apartheid and press freedom in South Africa. Our purpose in hosting this prize is to highlight some of the outstanding research being done in human rights by Duke undergraduates, supported by faculty.
The judges, members of the DHRC Advisory Board, chose two winners, one for best paper and one for best alternative project. The two winners each receive a $500 prize. The 2011 winners are:
BEST PAPER: Brianna Nofil (’12) ”The Case at Krome: Conditions and Controversies at U.S. Immigration Detention Centers,” prepared for Karin Shapiro’s “American Immigration” class. Brianna was a double major in History and Public Policy Studies with a minor in Education. While at Duke she studied abroad in Oxford, Venice, and Glasgow and taught English in rural Poland. She played in the Duke University Marching Band and worked in Creative Services at The Chronicle. She wrote her thesis on the ethical and political issues surrounding immigration detention.
BEST ALTERNATIVE PROJECT: Archer Wang (’14), for three opinion pieces (“Honoring a Chinese Nobel” and co-authoring “In China, Strolling for Reform” and “For Security in Tibet, Can China Relax?“). Archer’s first opinion piece, “Honoring a Chinese Nobel,” on human rights advocate Liu Xiaobo, was prepared for Robin Kirk’s “Human Rights Activism” class offered in Cultural Anthropology. Archer is majoring in English and Political Science. He is interested in human rights issues in China, China’s modernity, and cultural clashes between East and West.
Congratulations to our winners!