Norwich graduate receives Nuquist Award

The Andrew Nuquist Award has been awarded to Norwich University graduate James LaMonda for his paper, "Closing the Backdoor to Washington: Vermont Civil War Soldiers in the Shenandoah Valley, 1864." The Nuquist Award is presented by the Center for Research on Vermont at the University of Vermont for outstanding research on a Vermont topic. LaMonda prepared his paper during the 2002-03 academic year as a student working under the supervision of Norwich Professor Gary Lord in the honors program in history. LaMonda's work was formally recognized at the annual meeting of the Center for Research on Vermont on May 6th in Burlington.

Along with providing reference services to Vermont researchers, educators, and the public, the Center for Research on Vermont seeks new ways to promote and facilitate Vermont research. One such innovation, begun in 1982, is the Nuquist Award, a statewide competition to encourage excellence in undergraduate research on Vermont topics. Named in memory of UVM Political Science Professor Andrew E. Nuquist and co-sponsored by Vermont Life Magazine, this award is offered annually for a project exemplifying outstanding undergraduate treatment of a Vermont theme.

As a Nuquist winner, LaMonda's award-winning project will become a permanent part of the University of Vermont's Special Collections Department at Bailey/Howe Library, where it will be available for the use of researchers.

"James LaMonda's honors paper offers an expansive narrative history of the role played by Vermont Civil War units in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864," said Professor Lord. "LaMonda's informative study is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject since the 19th Century.

"LaMonda's research was very thorough and methodologically scrupulous. He demonstrated a strong command of secondary sources and, what is especially commendable in an undergraduate paper, he was very diligent in his pursuit of archival resources, some of which are little known or unknown, even to Civil War specialists."

LaMonda's archival research ranged from the recently reorganized and microfilmed military records collections in the Public Records Division, Middlesex, Vermont, to pertinent collections at the University of Vermont, Vermont Historical Society, and Dartmouth College. An undergraduate research grant from Norwich University enabled LaMonda to travel to view several manuscript collections at the U.S. Army Military Historical Institute in Carlisle, PA.

LaMonda, a 2003 Norwich graduate and resident of Northfield, is currently attending the Vermont Law School in South Royalton.

by Mark Albury
May 2004

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