New awards to keep local history alive

Finding ways to cultivate interest in local heritage and history and encourage its research is the impetus behind two new awards recently created by the Department of History.

Department head Miriam Wright says the Windsor area has a fascinating history that is central to North America but there is still relatively little written about it by local historians.

“Both awards are a wish to recognize the work people in the community do to keep the history, the heritage and the stories of this region alive.” Wright says.

The UWindsor History Department Community Heritage Medal will recognize the long-standing achievements of an individual or organization in raising the profile of history and heritage in Windsor, Essex, Lambton and Kent counties.

The department will award the Kulisek Prize to a distinguished project in local history completed in the previous calendar year.

“It’s been a wonderful experience here at UWindsor,” says the award’s namesake, Larry Kulisek. “I started here in 1968 and had a long career in the history department and got deeply involved in the local historical society and the museum. I’ve had no complaints and this award is just extra on top of that.”

An individual or organization can be nominated for the UWindsor History Department Community Heritage Medal with a 250-word biography or description of the achievement. For the UWindsor History Department Kulisek Prize, a project can be nominated with a 250-word description that includes a one-paragraph biography of the creator.

“As we become more aware of work going on in the community, we can collaborate and learn from significant contributors, and now we can officially acknowledge their work too,” says Steven Palmer, associate professor in history.

The history department is also expanding its current offerings to include more local history courses. History on the Web, offered for the past two years, sees students create local history projects and incorporate their work into various websites to be preserved and shared with the public. Another public history course involving a local component will be offered during the fall 2015 semester.

 For questions or submissions contact the History Department awards committee: Steven Palmer (, Miriam Wright ( or Natalie Atkin (

Nominations must be in by April 6; the department will announce winners at its spring awards ceremony.