Student Wins Best Graduate Paper Award at Conference

April 22, 2012

Student Wins Best Graduate Paper Award at Conference


VALDOSTA -- Graduate student Ryan Gillen was presented the Best Graduate Paper Award during the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. on Saturday, April 14.

"We congratulate Mr. Ryan Gillen for this award presented by the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society," said VSU Interim President Louis Levy. "He represented VSU with distinction."

Gillen's paper reflects research on 16th century Inca ruler, Titu Cusi Yupanqui, and his time as leader of the Inca dynasty during the Spanish Invasion. It further critiques current historiography on the subject and its portrayal of Titu Cusi.

Gillen was one of the approximately 25 graduate students who presented research papers at the conference. His paper was also recently presented during VSU's Graduate Symposium, held Friday, April 20.

Gillen added that the paper, titled "The End of Inca Resistance: Titu Cusi Yupanqui's Negotiations for Vilcabamba's Surrender," is slated to be published in the graduate journal Past Imperfect.

"Eventually, it'll be expanded into my thesis," he said. "I'm also writing an article for an encyclopedia on the Spanish conquest and I have another conference presentation for a different paper at Northwestern in the fall."

An Atlanta native, Gillen is a first-year graduate student pursuing his Master of Arts in History. He is also graduate assistant to Dr. Alfred Fuciarelli, Dean of the Graduate School.

Gillen credits the success of his research to the history faculty for "pushing its students to professionalize" and assisting him as he prepared for his first conference. He expressed special appreciation to Dr. Owen Jones, Dr. Dixie Haggard and Dr. Mary Block.