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NEW: Student Excellence Awards in Jewish Studies

Offered for the first time in academic year 2023-24, the Center’s Student Excellence Awards in Jewish Studies will recognize Carolina graduate students, and advanced undergraduates, that are doing exemplary work in a subfield of Jewish studies and are active participants in the Center’s programming. (Such as: participation with the Grad Student Network, attending lectures, lunch seminars and Jewish Studies Seminars, teaching or serving as a TA for courses cross-listed with JWST, serving as Uhlman Fellows in Jewish Studies Public Humanities, conducting independent undergraduate research, participating in a related undergraduate Study Abroad program, majoring in RELI/JWST or minoring in Jewish studies or modern Hebrew, etc.)


Each award amount is up to $2,000. The Center is offering four awards, named in honor of two former faculty directors and two retired faculty members:

  • The Jonathan M. Hess Student Excellence Award in Jewish Studies
  • The Ruth von Bernuth Student Excellence Award in Jewish Studies
  • The Christopher Browning Student Excellence Award in Jewish Studies
  • The Marcie Cohen Ferris Student Excellence Award in Jewish Studies


Nominations and Selections: Faculty members affiliated with the Center may nominate up to four students each year. (They do not need to be a student’s advisor to make a nomination.) Carolina graduate students may also self nominate. Carolina undergraduates must ask an affiliated faculty member to nominate them. (See list of affiliated faculty.) A faculty committee will review nominations and select recipients.


Criteria: The Student Excellence Awards will recognize students that have a strong interest in Jewish studies and participate in Jewish studies programs and activities, such as:

  • coursework that demonstrates a commitment to the field of Jewish studies
  • teaching, research/writing, study abroad or other campus activities that demonstrate a commitment to Jewish studies
  • participation in the programming of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies
  • service to the Center, their home department or other unit/organization at Carolina


Nominations are due January 22, 2024.

Nomination Form


Please note:

  • Grad students must have completed at least one year of graduate study at Carolina and must be working in a subfield of Jewish studies at Carolina.
  • Undergraduates must be in their junior or senior year at Carolina; a strong preference will be given to students that have declared a minor in Jewish studies or modern Hebrew or the RELI/JWST major.
  • Students may receive a Student Excellence Award more than once during their time at Carolina.
  • Grad Students that are supported with a Dissertation Fellowship from the Center in 2023-24 are eligible for the award. Starting in 2024-25, students receiving support through a TEP Fellowship* or a Dissertation Fellowship are not eligible unless they are in the final year of their graduate program. (* Receiving Year Five support from a TEP Fellowship.)
  • Grad students receiving support from the Center in 2023-24 through an Uhlman Fellowship, summer stipend, research and travel grant or a Jewish language grant are eligible for this award. The Student Excellence Award will not impact decisions made or funding awarded for the other Fellowships and grants available through the Center.
  • If a grad student is receiving funding support in 2023-24 that restricts/prohibits any additional funding, the Student Excellence Award can be offered without the stipend.
  • Undergraduates that are receiving financial aid will need to check with the UNC Financial Aid office to ensure that the award payment will not impact their financial aid package. If needed and at the request of the student, the award can be offered without the stipend.

For  further information, please email