History and Political Science
Kennedy Ryder is co-winner of this year's Colonel John Taylor Rhett History Manuscript Award for the best history senior thesis. She is a double major in history and political science, with a minor in American studies. In addition, she is a member of the Student Government Association, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society).
Kennedy's senior thesis, "The Early Federal Republic’s Forgotten Crisis: How Konrad Adenauer Stabilized West Germany Through Solving the Refugee Question (1945-1953)," focused on Konrad Adenauer’s efforts to solve the refugee question in West Germany and how that ultimately contributed to Adenauer's ability to solve West Germany's post-World War II challenges. Her extensive primary sources included U.S. Congressional reports, firsthand accounts from surviving refugees, public opinion data, newspaper articles and electoral results. Kennedy's professors have praised her for being "a leader in the History Department."
Kennedy hopes to take a gap year after graduation to learn a foreign language and take the GRE in preparation for graduate studies in history.