Dr. Robert Hawkins Wins Best Dissertation Award from American Studies Association

September 27, 2011

By Steven Johnson ’13

Dr. Robert Hawkins recently received the best dissertation award from the American Studies Association (ASA). With the national recognition, the history department’s newest faculty member brings Bradley University added prestige.  

“The History Department is thrilled and proud that Professor Hawkins was recognized for his innovative scholarship with a prestigious national prize,” said Dr. Stacey Robertson, Department of History chair. “The American Studies Association best dissertation award is extremely competitive because it includes scholars from universities across the nation working on topics that are diverse, fascinating and creative.”

“Professor Hawkins' dissertation rose to the top because it combines lucid analysis with original research and beautiful writing. His work on African-American musicians will continue to win awards and intrigue audiences.”

At Bradley Hawkins is lending his knowledge about African-American history to students in a classroom environment he calls a “perfect fit.”

“I’m really excited to be here at Bradley,” Hawkins said. “I like a teaching situation where I can have small class sizes and a lot of essential relationships with my students. It is very similar to the undergraduate experience that I had and I’m really committed to undergraduate teaching.

“I am especially honored to be able to teach African-American history,” Hawkins said. “As a white scholar, it’s a very special opportunity for me and also a special responsibility for me. I have to do it very well. It’s something I care about and want to do my best with.”

During the interview process, Hawkins was attracted to the way Bradley faculty relate to each other and their students.

“I really liked the collegiality of the history department here. I felt like it was a group of individuals who work together really well and are really committed to fostering a successful student experience.”