Gwenyth Taradash ’22 did not just major in history at Stonehill College—she also managed to make some of her own. The North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, resident is the first person ever to receive both the Peter R. D’Agostino Prize for Excellence in History and the Thomas C. Clarke Award. 

“I am honored and humbled to receive these awards. I worked diligently in my classes over the past four years, and I am grateful to be recognized for my hard work,” said Taradash, who complemented her history major with minors in speech-language pathology and psychology

The Peter R. D’Agostino Prize honors the legacy of the late Peter D’Agostino, a member of Stonehill’s history and religious studies departments from 1995 to 2001. This monetary award is given annually to a graduating history major who writes, in the faculty’s judgement, the best senior thesis during a given academic year. 

Taradash received the D’Agostino Prize for her thesis, “‘In Order to be Civilized’: Elias Boudinot and the Tragedy of Cherokee Removal.” This work investigates the life and writings of the titular 19th century Cherokee political leader and editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States.  

The Clarke Award, the other honor recently bestowed upon Taradash, is named after Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies Thomas C. Clarke. It is given to a graduating history major who exemplifies a commitment to the field, to the principles of a liberal arts education, and to Stonehill’s mission and values

“Gwenyth perfectly captures the spirit of the D’Agostino and Clarke awards. While developing her thesis, she always responded positively to my recommendations and made a genuine effort to incorporate them, but also demonstrated the independence of mind and the intellectual maturity to come to her own conclusions,” said Professor of History John Rodrigue, Taradash’s thesis advisor.