Actions speak louder than words and the ACUA is committing to making overdue changes to our organization to be more inclusive. This student travel award provides support in the amount of $1,000 (USD) for a student to present a paper or poster at the annual SHA Conference and to encourage student involvement at the meetings.

Diversity is inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and socioeconomic background. Applicants that self-identify as diverse are encouraged to apply.

For more information about qualifying, applying, and submitting for this award, please download the ACUA & RECON Offshore Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Travel Award guidelines.

The ACUA is very pleased to announce that beginning with the 2023 awards Recon Offshore will be a co-sponsor and contribute annually to support this important student award. The award is renamed the ACUA & RECON Offshore Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Travel Award.

DEI Student Travel Award Winners

2023 Megan Crutcher, Nautical Archaeology Program, TAMU

Megan Crutcher is a third-year PhD student in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, and holds an M.A. in Public History from Duquesne University (2020). Megan’s interests are in West African archaeology, maritime archaeology of the Early Modern Atlantic World, heritage politics, archaeological conservation, migration and forced displacement, and public archaeology. At Texas A&M, Megan’s research focuses on histories of maritimity, identity, diaspora, and labor among the Kru in Liberia. With an approach driven by interdisciplinary collaboration with the public, Megan hopes to use Africana Studies, public history, and historical archaeology methods for community archaeology in Liberia.

Megan Crutcher, is the 2023 recipient of the ACUA & RECON Offshore DEI Award for the Lisbon, Portugal Conference. L-R: Ashley Lemke (ACUA Chair), Megan Crutcher, Michael Krivor (RECON Offshore), Julie Schlabitsky (SHA President)

2022 Stephanie Sterling, East Carolina University

Stephanie Sterling is a second-year graduate student in the Program for Maritime Studies at East Carolina University. Her thesis investigates geographic and cognitive boundaries of freedom and confinement within the rice plantations of Brunswick County, North Carolina from the perspective of enslaved and descendant Gullah Geechee Africans. Her interests and methods include Black Geographies, coastal communities, resource management, remote sensing, and photogrammetry. Whenever possible, Sterling takes a community-driven approach to projects and believes that public outreach should not be considered a by-product or an obligation to the research conducted, but rather, fundamental to the research design itself.

Stephanie Sterling (left) receives the first DEI Student Travel Award from Jennifer McKinnon (right). Photo courtesy Jennifer McKinnon.