The William I. Shorrock Award and the Marjorie S. Shorrock Graduate Student Award are testaments to the Shorrock family’s long, deep connection with the Department of History. Professor William Shorrock came to CSU in 1969 and retired in 2005 after a distinguished career as a professor and administrator. As an administrator, Bill Shorrock never abandoned his love for students and the classroom. He joined the staff of the Provost’s office in 1988 as an Associate Provost but continued to serve as Graduate Director that year. Over the years he advised students, served on MA thesis committees, and continued to teach regularly. His untimely death was a loss to the entire university community. Through the generosity of Marjorie S. Shorrock, a longtime friend of the department and wife of Bill Shorrock, these two awards continue to recognize and support outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. This year the William I. Shorrock Award winner is Matthew Manfredi and the Marjorie S. Shorrock Graduate Student Award goes to  Aaron Fraley.

A bit about Matthew…

Portrait of Matthew Manfredi

Matthew Manfredi recently graduated from CSU with a 3.83 GPA and a double major in History and Psychology. He received “A”-range grades in almost all of the classes he took for his majors. Prof Cory notes, “Matthew took my History of the Modern Middle East class during the height of the pandemic in Spring 2021. Although the class was held entirely remotely, Matthew regularly contributed to class discussions on Zoom. He wrote a fascinating paper on America’s role in Iran leading up to and following the Iranian revolution of 1978-79. Matthew argued that U.S. foreign policies blunders and American misunderstanding of Iranian society and its people contributed to the domestic abuses that triggered the revolution and also fueled a hostile relationship with Iran in its aftermath.”

Matthew’s interests include listening “to tons of music” and playing instruments such as guitar and piano. After graduation he is going back home to California where he is enrolled in Fall 2022 in a program at California State University, Sacramento to earn an MA in History. He also plans to obtain a teaching credential and hopes to teach somewhere on the West coast.

Regarding his time at CSU, Matthew states, “While a lot of my favorite memories stem from being a student-athlete here at CSU, I feel like I have connected greatly with the campus and the city of Cleveland. CSU will always be the place where I have realized the type of person who I want to be along with the career path that I wanted to take.”

Congratulations to Matthew for his accomplishments as a History major at CSU and best wishes for success in graduate school and beyond!

A bit about Aaron…

Aaron Fraley recently completed his Masters in History at CSU with straight “A’s” in all his classes, and he is the 2022 recipient of the Marjorie Shorrock award.  Aaron hopes to continue his education post-graduation by pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies.  He identifies himself as being both a cinephile and bibliophile, who loves cooking international cuisine with his wife, and spending time with his children.  He also regularly teaches a systematic theology class at his church.

Prof Cory states, “Aaron took two classes from me in 2021, HIS 587 (History of the Modern Middle East) and HIS 693 (Graduate Readings in the History of Modern Islamic Movements).  Although Aaron had limited previous knowledge of Middle East history, he excelled in both classes.  For HIS 587, Aaron’s research paper provided a concise analysis of several key elements that contributed to the outbreak of the Six Days War of 1967.  He challenges traditional dualistic analysis of the conflict and points to the roles of outside powers, Arab nationalism, and Israeli fears of another Holocaust as decisive factors leading to the conflict.  I very much appreciated Aaron’s thorough preparation, insightful observations, ability to interact with fellow students, and sincere interest in the subject during both of my classes.  I am confident that he will do well in his PhD program and future career.”

Regarding his experience at CSU, Aaron has the following to say:  “It was incredible, and I particularly enjoyed the diversity of history courses available to me.  It allowed me to acquire information about people that I would never have encountered on my own.  This was especially true of my classes in Middle Eastern History and Environmental History, where I was woefully ignorant.  I truly believe this made me a better historian and a better person.”

Congratulations to Aaron for his accomplishments at CSU and best wishes for success!

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