Students Colleen McAnaney ’20 and Jessica Gavin ’20 both received honorable mention in this year’s Kingston-Mann Student Achievement Awards for Excellence in Diversity/Inclusion Scholarship for their respective essays in an announcement released on January 18th.
The Kingston-Mann Awards "acknowledge work that makes valuable contribution to diversity and inclusion scholarship and broadens understanding of ideas and experiences not always recognized by traditional disciplines".
As an communications & media studies and theology & religious studies double major with a minor in gender and women's studies, McAnaney captured her multifaceted academic interests in her essay titled "Why Do They Make Her Wear That? Gender Oppression and Liberation in Islam and Christianity" for Associate Professor of Theology & Religious Studies Jon Paul Sydnor's Religious Conflicts in Dialogue class.
"I wanted to write about Muslim women and the hijab, in conversation with Christian women and feminism," said McAnaney. "My goal was to address religion and gender and to bring attention to a group that is underrepresented and misunderstood in America."
Gavin, a history and political science major, bridged her two majors together as well. Her essay "The Courts Will Justify: Peremptory Jury Strikes and the Impartial Jury" for Associate Professor of Political Science Adam Silver's Constitutional Law course examines the racial motivations behind peremptory jury strikes through a historical lens.
"I looked at Supreme Court cases that dealt with the constitutionality of these strikes," said Gavin. "My paper makes the case for abolishing peremptory strikes, as they allow discrimination to persist in courts with no real recourse."
McAnaney and Gavin will be honored at the Kingston-Mann Awards Banquet at UMass Boston on Thursday, February 27th.