Religious Studies Department presents end-of-year awards

The department recognized outstanding academic work by one junior and one senior.

Reilly Linskey ’21

The Department of Religious Studies is pleased to announce the recipients of the department’s annual awards, the Outstanding Religion Scholar Award and the Thomas O. and Frances L. Pugh Award.

Reilly Linskey, a double major in religious studies and history, received the Outstanding Religion Scholar Award. This award, endowed by Professor Emerita Carole Chase, is given to the rising senior whom the Religious Studies faculty determines to have done the most outstanding work in Religious Studies courses. “She is an impeccably prepared and engaged student, and always a leader in class discussion,” writes Professor Brian Pennington.

Senior Lecturer L.D. Russell, who taught Reilly in both COR 110 (The Global Experience) and REL 110 (Religion in a Global Context), writes: “From her first day of college, Reilly Linskey was intellectually curious and actively engaged with issues of social justice. In the years since, she has shown herself to be a fearless thinker, well able to defend her perspectives but flexible enough to amend them when they have been successfully challenged. Her courage to speak out against injustice is one of her many admirable traits. Reilly has a bright future ahead.”

Hannah Thorpe ’20

Hannah Thorpe, a double major in religious studies and psychology and a Multifaith Scholar, received the Thomas O. and Frances L. Pugh Award. This award, endowed by Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Pugh, is given to an outstanding senior in the Religious Studies Department who will be attending graduate school in the following academic year. Hannah will be attending Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where she will pursue a Master of Theological Studies degree in Global Religions.

“It has been an extraordinary pleasure to witness Hannah’s growth and development—academic and personal—over the past four years. From our first class together, Hindu Traditions at 8 a.m. in the fall of her first year, to marveling as Hannah confidently presented an outstanding research paper at a regional Religious Studies conference this Spring, Hannah has been deeply committed to intellectual exchange, engagement, and challenge,” writes Associate Professor Amy Allocco, director of the Multifaith Scholars program.

Associate Professor Geoffrey Claussen, who served as Hannah’s research mentor, writes: “Hannah has done outstanding work as a Religious Studies major. In addition to her coursework, she completed a two-year research project through the Multifaith Scholars program, exploring Jewish responses to white nationalism in a community targeted by white nationalists.  She demonstrated deep empathy and insight as she conducted her research and examined difficult issues. We are so proud of the work that she has done and so excited that she will be continuing her studies at Emory next year.”

In addition to these two publicly acknowledged awards, the Department of Religious Studies also awarded scholarship funds to 25 students. All full‑time Elon University students with an overall grade point average of at least 2.00 are eligible to apply for Religious Studies Department scholarships each spring.  The Spring 2021 deadline for scholarship applications will be announced in the coming academic year on the Religious Studies Department website.