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Many UB Undergraduate History Department Awards Go To Local Students

Scholarships, grants presented for academic excellence and travel abroad

Release Date: June 3, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Department of History awarded scholarships and grants in the amount of more than $50,000 to 17 undergraduate history majors this spring, many of them from the Buffalo area.

The students received the awards for academic excellence, leadership and other personal qualities, as well as to help fund their plans to study abroad.

Jen Hoppe of Holland, N.Y., received the $3,000 Brian Argo Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually through the generosity of the family and friends of Bryan Argo, a UB history student who died in 2003. The award is given to an undergraduate history student who best embodies the ideals held by Argo, among them integrity, hard work, and a love for history and continuing education.

The Milton Plesur Merit Scholarships, made possible though the generosity of the late Plesur, a long-time professor of history at UB, recognize academic excellence with grants of $1,000 to $3,000 each. This year's recipients are Disleiry Benitez of New York City, Edward Benoit of Derby, Jake DiVeronica of Canastota, Osiris Gomez of Williamsville, Daniel Johnson of Buffalo, James O'Malley of Tonawanda, Michael Vaughn of Liverpool and Haley Walton of West Falls.

Plesur's generosity also underwrites the Milton Plesur Study Abroad Awards, which carry grants of $2,500 to $5,000 each. This year's winners are Christopher Colicchio of Fairport, who will spend the fall 2011 semester at the University of Sheffield, UK; Erin DesMeules of Goffstown, N.H., and Josh Olivieri of Elma, who spent the spring 2011 semester at the University of Leicester, UK; and Jason Weidenkeller of Rochester, who spent the 2010-11 academic year at Korea University, South Korea.

A $6,000 scholarship recently endowed by John Walker was awarded to Robert Murphy of Elma, for his academic excellence and to help fund his study abroad program this summer at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France.

The Joyce J. and John D. Milligan and Family Scholarships for $5,600 each, were awarded this year to Osiris Gomez of Williamsville and Mark Franklin of Buffalo. These scholarships are given to underrepresented minority students dedicated to the study of history who exhibit positive personal characteristics.

Graduating senior Joshua Dill of Rochester, received the department's $500 Horton Essay Prize for his senior honors thesis, "Spanish Carlism in the International Context (1834-1936)." His classmate Kyle Cox of Wyoming, N.Y., received a $100 "honorable mention" award for his honors thesis, "Assessing Drug Scares: Film Influence on Federal Drug Legislation."

James J. Bono, professor and chair of the UB History Department, praised the generosity of alumni and former faculty members whose long careers at UB shaped generations of students.

"UB's history department has been truly fortunate in earning the loyalty of generations of alumni, which itself testifies to the department's success in educating its undergraduates," he said.

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