East Asian Studies Grad Wins Academic Competition

Nathanael Hood, who graduated in May with a major in East Asian Studies, has won first prize in the joint Phi Alpha Theta/World History Association undergraduate paper competition. His winning paper will be considered for publication by either of the sponsoring organizations.

Nathanael’s paper, written for History 342 with Professor Hugh Clark, was titled, “East Asian Religions,” and addresses the spread of Mahayana Buddhism from India to China. The paper traces “how Buddhism evolved from a faith based around the extinction of the soul to one that incorporated countless Buddha, Bodhisattva, saints, and mythological figures which promised salvation and deliverance to heaven for its faithful,” Nathaneal explains.

Phi Alpha Theta and the World History Association, with support from Oxford University Press, a publisher of history textbooks, co-sponsor two student paper prizes in world history, each of $500, for the best undergraduate world history paper and the best graduate-level world history paper composed in the 2010-11 academic year. A world history paper is one that examines any historical issue with global implications.

Nathanael, from Doylestown, Pa., participated in Ursinus College Choir and Riff Club at Ursinus, and is now at Tisch School of the Arts of New York University where he is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Film Studies.