Eliot S. Berkley Award
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Applications for the 2018 Eliot S. Berkley Award will open in September.
To be notified when the application period begins, sign up for the IRC newsletter ».

Each year, in memory of our founder and longtime executive director, Eliot S. Berkley, the International Relations Council presents this award to an exceptional high-school junior or senior who has demonstrated superior academic interest and competence in international studies. The award includes a $500 scholarship.

The 2017 prompt invited applicants to respond to outline the arguments both for and against embracing globalization and share whether they agreed or disagreed with these views. The review committee selected Hilary Griggs from Seabury Academy in Lawrence to win the 2017 Berkley Award for her essay, "Nothing is Hopeless: Recommitting to Positive Globalization." Hilary wrote, in part, "To ensure truly successful globalization, every nation must reaffirm its commitment to an interdependent, cooperative, and collaborative global community. Citizens should elect competent, knowledgeable, and strong leaders who share a desire to integrate their nation into the globalized system. And, most importantly, every individual should begin to consider themselves not only a member of their local or national community, but also as a member of the international system."


Who Can Apply?
Currently enrolled juniors or seniors at Kansas City–area high schools

Steps to Apply

  1. Submit this informational form ».
  2. Write an essay of between 1,000 and 1,200 words, with sources appropriately cited, on the following topic: The Global Policy Forum has noted, “Unprecedented changes in communications, transportation, and computer technology have given the process new impetus and made the world more interdependent than ever.” Yet recent elections in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and other countries seem to go against the concept of globalization. Outline the arguments both for and against embracing globalization. Do you agree or disagree with these views? Explain why. Send your essay to mhughes@irckc.org » with the subject, “Berkley Award.”
  3. Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals not related to you to demonstrate your superior academic interest and competence in international studies. The letters should be e-mailed as a PDF to mhughes@irckc.org » with the subject, “Berkley Award Recommendation: [Applicant’s Name].”


What Happens if You Win?
The awardee will be notified by Tuesday, October 31, and invited to attend the IRC’s Global Honors Evening » on Thursday, November 9.


Any Questions?
Feel free to contact Matthew Hughes with any questions at mhughes@irckc.org » or 816-423-2632.


Download an informational flyer »


Past Berkley Award Winners

2017: Hilary Griggs, Bishop Seabury Academy (Lawrence)

2016: Marcus Leong, Olathe Northwest High School
Runner-up: Nathalie Kiersznowski, Pembroke Hill High School

2015: Stefan Petrovic, Lawrence High School
Runner-up: Zachary Klamann, Rockhurst High School

2014: Therin Showalter, Kearney High School
Runner-up: Kathleen Harding, Olathe Northwest High School

2013: Claire Thomas, Shawnee Mission South High School
Runner-up: Whitney Horn, Olathe North High School

2012: Felix Albl, Lansing High School
Runner-up: Ashley Hung, Shawnee Mission South High School

2010: Sam Reichman, Shawnee Mission South High School
Runner-up: Marquitta Hall, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

2009: Shawn Gunn, Blue Springs High School
Runner-up: Chelsey Clark, Plate County R-3 High School

2008: Edward "Ted" Hart, Rockhurst High School
Runner-up: Libby Maese, Shawnee Mission Center for International Studies

2007: Mark Thomas: Shawnee Mission Center for International Studies

2006: Anthony Badami, Rockhurst High School
Runner-up: Steffi Krull, Blue Valley High School

2005: Rachel Voss, Shawnee Mission Center for International Studies
Runner-up: Kathleen Rice, Lee's Summit West High School

2004: Courtney Robbins, Lee's Summit North High School
Runner-up: Andrew Green, Oak Park High School

2003: Jason Humphrey, Shawnee Mission North High School
Runner-up: Valerie Tarbutton, Olathe East High School

2002: Lilia Toson, Winnetonka High School

2001: Matt Knuth, Park Hill South High School

2000: Anna Hold, Shawnee Mission West High School

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