Eliot S. Berkley Award
Share |

Applications for the 2018 Eliot S. Berkley Award are now being accepted.
Complete applications contain three parts and must be received by Friday, October 12, 2018.

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

How to Apply

Complete applications include three parts: an informational form, an essay of 1,000 to 1,200 words, and two letters of recommendation. Only complete applications will be considered.

  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 Syrian civil war and the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar are only some of the latest events to draw the world’s attention to a growing global refugee crisis. Indeed, the United Nations has recently reported that more than 25 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their home countries due to political and social unrest. Despite the magnitude of this problem, lasting solutions to refugee crises have proven elusive. What role should the United States play in helping address the plight of refugees worldwide? 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].”

To help us save paper, we ask that no hard copies of materials be submitted.


Deadline and Notification
Materials must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, October 12, 2018. The awardee will be notified by Monday, October 22, and invited to attend the IRC’s Global Honors Evening » on Thursday, November 1.


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