Congratulations to Amber Handy (History/Medieval PhD) - Distinguished Graduate Student 2011.
Established in 1991, the Distinguished Graduate Award is conferred on a graduate student who has excelled in academic and service and who has demonstrated a high level of leadership while at Notre Dame.
Amber is a PhD candidate in Medieval History with a doctoral minor in Gender Studies. Over the course of seven years at Notre Dame, Amber has held leadership positions in a number of graduate student organizations and served on important committees across the university. These include the Graduate Student Union, the University Committee of Women Faculty and Students, the Dean's Committee on Family-Friendly Policies, the Graduate Career Advisory Council, the Graduate Council, and many more. Even when she does not have an official role representing graduate students, Amber continues to advocate for the graduate community through her various committee memberships and invitations to speak before the Board of Trustees and Arts and Letters Advisory Council. Amber has worked very closely with the Graduate School to help improve the affordability of graduate student health care, to clarify doctoral examination guidelines, and to meet the needs of graduate student families and women faculty and graduate students.
Amber won the Dolores Zorhab Liebmann Fellowship and currently holds the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies Predoctoral Teaching Fellowship. She has served as a teaching assistant and taught four courses of her own design as instructor of record. One of those courses, "Marriage, Women, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe," was cross-listed with the Gender Studies department. She has also taught "Introduction to Gender Studies" as an adjunct at Indiana University South Bend. At the moment her primary research interests are gender, youth, and education in early medieval Europe, especially in Ireland, Britain, and Francia. Amber has presented six conference papers or invited lectures over the years, including a presentation of a portion of her dissertation research at the Gender Studies Research Workshop. She will present two further papers this spring and summer at major international Medieval Studies conferences in Michigan and England. Amber is also the lead editor for the conference proceedings of an international Celtic Studies conference she co-organized at Notre Dame last spring. She plans to graduate this May.