Student Honored with Bennett-Tinsley Award
Campus News

Josie Lyons

Franklin College senior Josie Lyons was named runner-up of the esteemed Bennett-Tinsley Award, a statewide honor designed to promote undergraduate research and writing in history. Lyons’ paper was titled “The American Woman Suffrage Movement: Connecting the Pieces between Suffragettes, Indiana, and College Campuses.” It explored how Indiana’s suffrage movement uniquely impacted female college students and how they, in turn, impacted the movement. The work of Bennett-Tinsley Award recipients are available to current and future scholars.

Lyons accepted the award, along with a cash prize, at the annual meeting of the Indiana Association of Historians (IAH) in early April. The IAH, along with the Indiana Historical Bureau, recognizes outstanding student research that furthers the understanding of Indiana history. The annual competition draws submissions from all colleges and universities in the state of Indiana.

“Josie began her research on woman suffrage in Indiana in one of my upper-level U.S. history courses. She continued her secondary source research on this topic in historiography, under the guidance of Dr. Lourdes Hurtado. With the incredible mentorship of Dr. Katie Streit, Josie conducted her own original primary source research and crafted this award-winning research,” said Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Ph.D., professor and Hon. Roger D. Branigin Chair in History. “The history department is extremely proud of Josie. Her work is a testament to her academic capability and hard work, but it’s also a testament to how the Franklin College Department of History prioritizes student learning, professional development and individual mentorship.”

“This award means a lot to me because sometimes in our little Franklin College bubble, you can wonder how your work shapes up against people from other schools. While I never doubted Franklin, it was just so rewarding to see that all of my work on my paper was worth it and that my work truly was exceptional compared to students from all across the state,” said Lyons. “Along with my professors trying to convince me, I think this award really gave me the extra push I needed to want to apply to grad school.”

Lyons will graduate from Franklin College with distinction on May 18. While at Franklin, she was a four-year member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams, a member and officer in Pi Beta Phi Sorority and a member of FC Singers choir. Lyons, a double major in history and theatre, also participated in 14 theatre productions, gaining experience as an actor, stage manager and sound director. She is a member of several honor societies, and was recently named a Top Ten Senior by her classmates. She is the daughter of Greg and Brenda Lyons, who reside on Heritage Lake near Coatesville.

In addition to being honored with the Bennett-Tinsley Award, Lyons was one of six Franklin College students selected to present research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), held April 8-10 in Long Beach, California.

“Traveling to Long Beach for the NCUR was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was able to travel there with five other senior history majors and three professors and we all presented on our research. I had the opportunity to present twice – on my senior capstone research and on my internship I had been working on for the past year and a half. It was really cool being able to see students’ research from all over the country and again realize that Franklin College really does prepare us just as much, if not better, than other schools. As a theatre major as well, it was especially cool to see the Hollywood sign and Hollywood Walk of Fame for the first time.”

Others presenting at NCUR included students: Jackson Ailstock of Upland; Sydney Barnett of Martinsville; Will Butts of Muncie; Maxwell Johnson of Lebanon; and Jack Sells of Indianapolis. Faculty presenting at NCUR included: Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Ph.D., of  Franklin; Jessica Mahoney, MLS, director of library services and assessment, of Franklin; and Katie Streit, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, of Greenwood.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED May 8, 2024