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The University Graduate School Distinguished Thesis Award

Two former IUPUI graduate students from the School of Liberal Arts were recently recognized for their outstanding thesis work. Abby Curtin Teare, a former student in the History department, and Karim, a former student in the Anthropology department, received The University Graduate School Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. Every year, each degree granting program of The University Graduate School may nominate one “truly outstanding” Master’s thesis for consideration by a committee of faculty reviewers. Annually, only two recipients are selected for this prestigious award from among the many IU and IUPUI students nominated, and this year both of the awardees are IUPUI graduates.

Abby Curtin Teare

Abby Curtin Teare

Curtin Teare’s thesis, “Rethinking Landscape Interpretation: Form, Function, and Meaning of the Garfield Farm, 1876-1905”, stood out for its “depth of research, creativity, and sophistication,” according to one of her thesis committee reviewers.

Another reviewer wrote, “Abby Curtin has demonstrated how a thorough collection of historic documents related to the political, social, and agricultural history of one Midwestern farm and its family presents an opportunity to share with the general public... an important chapter in American history when farms become suburbs.”

Curtin Teare said the history program prepared her well for her current role as Grants Manager at the Cleveland History Center. “IUPUI's public history program gave me rigorous training in academic history as well as practical experience working for two public history institutions in Indianapolis. I've found that the research, writing, and project management skills I used to balance my studies and my internship schedule has prepared me for my current position, which requires me to manage the museum's grants calendar and write proposals and reports.”

Karim & Nobel Prize Winner Mohammed Yunus

Karim (right) with Nobel Prize Winner Mohammed Yunus at an International Poverty Conference in Washington D.C. Karim received a travel grant to speak about his work in Indonesia, as well as about his research on homelessness in Indianapolis.

Karim’s thesis, “Leaving the Bridge, Passing the Shelters: Understanding Homeless Activism Through Utilization of Spaces with the Central Public Library and the IUPUI Library in Indianapolis”, ranks as “among the best I have read, and in most respects, it rises to the level of a doctoral dissertation,” according to Karim’s thesis committee chair.

Another member of Karin’s thesis committee wrote, “As an applied anthropologist Karim has provided a rich body of ethnographic data that can be used by a wide range of professionals, such as policy-makers and non-governmental organizations, as they move forward to create more relevant and sensitive programs for homeless populations at the local, regional and national levels.”

Karim explained his work on the thesis “equipped me with valuable experience doing ethnographic research about homeless activism in the City of Indianapolis; this experience has given me a new perspective on poverty and inequality in a more global context.”

Karim is currently an associate planner in the Directorate of Poverty Reduction, the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) in the Republic of Indonesia.

In choosing winners, the committee considers such criteria as originality, documentation, significance, accuracy, organization and style. To be eligible for the award, nominees must have received their master’s degree between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Each winner received a $1,500 stipend and will be recognized at an April 11, 2016 awards reception.