AABS Awards 2020
Two Lithuanians, Marija Aldona Čyvaitė and Gintarė Daulytė won the 2020 AABS (Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies) awards for their work. The awards, bestowed every two years, are given on the recommendation of professors to their undergraduate students, whose essays on Baltic topics are deemed insightful, original and scholarly.
Marija A. Čyvaitė graduated from Wooster College in Ohio, specializing in sociology and Slavic studies. M. Čyvaitė interviewed 10 first and second generation American-born Lithuanians, questioning them about their understanding of their ethnic identity and how that is influenced by the image of Russia and the former USSR. She also analyzed critical commentary by Tomas Venclova and a Ukrainian author on this topic. She was recommended for the award by prof. Heather Fitz Gibbon.
Gintarė Daulytė also graduated in 2019, with a Bachelor‘s degree in biomedical studies from Arizona State University. She also studied Spanish. In her final paper, she discussed the effect of the memoirs of Lithuanian exiles in Siberia on Lithuanian identity. She analyzed memoirs by Lithuanians who wrote about the hardships of exile but emphasized their hope of survival and return to Lithuania. Her thesis was recommended for the award by prof. K. Paul Žygas.
Both students grew up in the Chicago area and are active in the Lithuanian Community, having studied at Lithuanian heritage language schools and participated in various Lithuanian organizations. M. Čyvaitė was a member of last year‘s Mission Sibiras expedition. G. Daulytė volunteered for the Children‘s Gate to Knowledge („Vaiko vartai į mokslą“) project in Lithuania and also completed an internship at a hospital in Vilnius.