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UW Students Receive American Heritage Center Undergraduate Research Award

June 10, 2022

Three University of Wyoming students are the recipients of the UW American Heritage Center (AHC) Undergraduate Research Award.

The AHC presents an award for the best undergraduate research projects based on collections held by the center. Most student-led projects are research papers, but the competition is diverse, with submissions ranging from creative writing and artistic productions to websites and group exhibitions.

Winners of the latest competition are Duncan Emmons, from Evergreen, Colo.; Amelia Gee, of Big Horn; and Kesler Stutzman, from Colorado Springs, Colo., for their website, “Wyoming’s Human Colors: Examining Ethnic Injustice.” The website can be viewed at

The three recipients were students in UW Honors College Assistant Lecturer Hosanna Krienke’s spring semester course titled “What Does It Mean to be Human?” The course is the second in the colloquium sequence for first-year UW honors students.

Among the features of Krienke’s course is creation of a digital exhibition and blogs from museum or archival materials that “speak” to the history, culture and diversity of the theme “Wyoming humans.”

Emmons, Gee and Stutzman produced a website and blogs featuring AHC archival materials related to the Black 14 football players’ controversy at UW; the internment of Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northern Wyoming; and the compulsory attendance by Native American children at the Shoshone Mission School.

The students’ project was to “examine ethnic injustice in the state of Wyoming throughout its history and how the events influence inequities and discrimination at large.” They chose a black and white palette with red highlights to convey a sense of urgency for their topic.

“Considering that the core of this project is deep archival and scholarly research, the students did careful thinking about how to bridge the gap between a public audience and academic conversations, a task they achieved both in their design and their writing,” Krienke says.

UW AHC Archivist Leslie Waggener congratulated the students for their winning project. Each earned $500.

“The students employed AHC collections extensively and creatively, and in a way that is certainly topical today,” Waggener says.

The AHC’s Undergraduate Research Award is presented each spring semester. UW faculty members may nominate one or two of their students; students also may submit their own work.

For more information, visit the AHC website at; or call Waggener at (307) 766-2557 or email

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