2022 Student Prize Recipients

2022 American Cultures Prizes Virtual Ceremony

0:00    Welcome - Oliver O'Reilly, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

6:39    Jo Alvarado, 2022 AC Student Prize Recipient, UC Berkeley Undergraduate

8:26    Professor Brandi Summers, 2022 AC Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient,
               AC Faculty, Department of Geography

11:22  Lauren Adams, 2022 AC Student Prize Recipient, UC Berkeley Undergraduate


Since 2008, the American Cultures Student Prize has recognized and celebrated undergraduate achievements within American Cultures courses. The prize is awarded annually to undergraduates for projects they develop in an American Cultures course that promotes understanding of U.S. race, ethnicity, and culture and exemplifies a standard of excellence in scholarship.  Prior award-winning submissions have included essays, poetry, films, reflection statements on live performances, among other work produced for American Cultures courses. 

2022 Recipients of the American Cultures Student Prize

Lauren Adams, “A Call Back, A Multimodal Literacy Autobiography”

Lauren Adams is receiving the 2022 Student Prize for their multimodal literacy autobiography created in Professor Glynda Hull’s Education 140AC course, ‘The Art of Making Meaning: Educational Perspectives on Literacy and Learning in a Global World’. In a project from the course structured to provide an analysis of a student’s ‘literacy story, language acquisition and language history’ Lauren communicated their journey through a poem titled ‘A Call Back’. In a powerful, intimate and emotive piece of performance art, Lauren’s poem brings the reader into the language and cultures of the ancestors of the Coast Salish people that they were separated from by adoption, presenting the sorrow and happiness, that in Lauren’s words, “collide in a confusing mess”. 

Front cover of Ross Gay's book, “Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude”

Jo Alvarado, "Loving What Goes Away: Ross Gay’s Gratitude for Loss and Life"

Jo Alvarado's award winning essay was developed in Professor John Alba Cutler’s 166AC course, ‘Racial Joy’ in the Department of English. Jo’s paper is titled “Loving What Goes Away: Ross Gay’s Gratitude for Loss and Life.” The essay responds to a prompt in which students were asked to consider how the form of a poem produces “racial joy,” building on concepts discussed in class. Professor Cutler wrote in his letter supporting Jo’s nomination for the prize, that “Jo’s essay is not only a brilliant close textual analysis of Ross Gay’s poem but also a sensitive and moving consideration of how Black poetry provides resources for joy and abundance in the face of racial violence and discrimination.”