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Senior Matt Wallin wins World History Association's Undergraduate Paper Prize

For immediate release…
Tuesday – March 17, 2015

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Matt Wallin, a senior majoring in social studies education at Northern Kentucky University, has been awarded top honors for his paper “Intellectual Crosscurrents of the Black Atlantic: Pan Africanism and Civil Rights in the Time of the Cold War” by the prize committee of the World History Association. 

Mr. Wallin’s paper was first developed in an Africa Since WWII course he completed in the fall of 2013. He then further developed the paper with Professor Jonathan Reynolds of the Department of History and Geography, prior to submission in spring 2014.

“Winning an international paper prize helped me to understand just how much I have grown as student and really as a person while at NKU,” Mr. Wallin said. “It reinforced my belief that with hard work and dedicated faculty you really can do whatever you put your mind too. NKU set me up for success.”

Mr. Reynolds gave all the credit to his student. “The competition for this prize is ferocious,” he said. “Matt was up against the very best young historians in the world, almost every one coming from high-priced and ostensibly prestigious institutions. But Matt is flat-out smart, and he combines those brains with an open mind, creativity, and a work ethic that doesn’t let him quit. That’s a tough combination to beat. He’s going to be a fantastic teacher.”

The World History Association Paper Prize, co-sponsored by the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and Oxford University Press,  is available to one graduate student and one undergraduate student each year. The prize has been offered since 2000. This is the third time an NKU student has won the award, a feat unmatched by any other institution of higher education in the world.

Mr. Wallin is currently student teaching 11th grade US History at Ryle High School. During his time at NKU, he has been active with the Baptist Campus Ministry, Phi Alpha Theta, and Sigma Phi Epsilon, as well as a resident assistant and student orientation leader. He also played guitar for the Beatles tribute band called From Me To You.

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