At this year’s commencement, on May 11, the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI awarded the 2019 Faculty Medal of Academic Distinction to Edward M. Vaughan.
Edward ‘Eddy” Vaughan was a Liberal Arts student who attained a double major in German and Global & International Studies, as well as completed certificates in Chinese Language and Culture and Africana Studies. The Faculty Medal of Academic distinction is given to students who meet strict criteria related to GPA and have demonstrated multi-disciplinary approaches to their studies while actively participating in extracurricular activities. It is the highest honor that the School of Liberal Arts can bestow on a graduating Student.
Eddy was a Loretta Lunsford Scholar, and he was a recipient of the Plater Scholarship since 2015. He earned a Powell scholarship, and was an Olaniyan Scholar whose research focused on German Colonialism in Africa in the early 20th century. Eddy completed all four aspects of the RISE designation, studying abroad in Freiberg Germany, where his aptitude for the language helped him garner a research assistantship (an impressive feat for a non-native speaker). And while Eddy earned many well-deserved awards in his time at IUPUI, his qualifications extend well beyond academic performance. His journey with the School of Liberal Arts was marked significantly by service to the IUPUI Community. He served as a Liberal Arts Ambassador, he held leadership roles in the Chinese Cultural Club, the Undergraduate Student Council, and the Honors College Student Council, and he helped the school put its best foot forward with incoming freshman as part of Orientation Services.
The Faculty Medal of Academic Distinction is a very special award, and when asked what means the most to him about the award, Eddy stated “I was nominated by five faculty members across all of the academic divisions in which I study (International Studies, German, Chinese, and Africana Studies). They all have worked very closely with me during the last four years, and the fact that they all saw me as deserving of such an honor means a lot to me.”
Each of his faculty recommendations made similar notes of what set Eddy apart from many other candidates – he has a strong, natural curiosity that came through in his academic pursuits and his research practices. He cares deeply for the topics and material that he studies and this elevates his scholarship and participation. The faculty that worked closely with Eddy all remarked on how his interest and engagement with often complex material enriched the classrooms and environments in which he participated, elevating not only his work, but the engagement of other students as well.
The future is bright for Eddy who will spend the next few years in Germany, first as a Fulbright scholar working in the English Department at a School in Niedersachsen, and afterwards, as he plans to complete a Master’s Degree in Germany focusing on International Relations and Conflict and Peace Studies. Eddy mentioned that “studying in liberal arts makes it easier for me to look at new opportunities and know that, with my education, I can be flexible and do a variety of different work in many different areas.”
The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI is very proud of Edward M. Vaughan and congratulates him on his exciting new journeys. He is a wonderful example of the power and breadth of a modern liberal arts education.