Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

Dian Christensen Award

Dian Christensen (February 2, 1968 – April 4, 1991) graduated from StetsonUniversity in 1990 as an American Studies major. She was completing her Master's degree in Counseling and applying to graduate programs in American Studies at the time of her death in the spring of 1991. The faculty of the American Studies Department has established this award to honor her memory and to extend her influence to the generations of students whom she had hoped to teach.

In her application for graduate school, Dian gave a wonderful expression of a twenty-something's dreams and plans: "The wealth of knowledge is limitless and I believe that no one can ever learn all that there is to know, but I do want to know more, to learn more, and to have the chance to share this knowledge." Dian's entire life, including her intellectual life, was characterized by a spirit of generosity. Every new fact that she learned, every new idea that she grasped became a gift that she shared joyfully with everyone around her. Her special love was for the broad and expansive questions that arise from the interdisciplinary method. For Dian, every lesson in history and culture was also a lesson in humanity and ultimate truth. She learned – and she taught – with her heart as well as her head. Dian was an excellent student, and she was committed to these ideals.

This award is for students who carry on the tradition of enthusiastic learning and joyful sharing that Dian exemplified and that she would have nurtured in her own students. In the recipient of this award, Dian's legacy lives on.

Past Recipients:

1995: Ricardo A. Whitted

1996: Sharon Perkins

1997: Elizabeth Scovil

1998: Karen Winkle

1999: Sara Cotner

2000: Krista L. Brindle and Shauna White

2001: Michael H. McCombs

2003: Jacqueline M. Moore

2005: Crystal Smith

2006: Traci Blake

2007: Brendan Kingsley

The 2005 Dian Christensen Award in American Studies: Crystal Smith

For her insights and analytical skill, her willingness to tackle complex and controversial subjects, her modeling of the liberal arts ideals including intellectual curiosity and integration of diverse fields of study, and her great dedication to social justice, the 2005 Dian Christensen Award in American Studies goes to Crystal Smith.

The 2006 Dian Christensen Award in American Studies: Traci Blake

For her steady intellectual curiosity, her academic talents across the disciplines, and her dedication to social justice, the 2006 Dian Christensen Award in American Studies goes to Traci Blake.

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