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Student Amanda Ouk receives Honors Thesis award

Published on June 30, 2022

Student Amanda Ouk receives Honors Thesis award

Ouk's painting.
Amanda Ouk's honors thesis painting

Art major Amanda Ouk ’22 received the Phillip Elliot Award for writing an exceptional thesis for the University Honors Program. Ouk’s thesis demonstrated a higher order of thinking and decision making as well as excellent scholarly work in the field of studio art (painting and drawing).

For her project, Ouk examined the shifting practices and meanings of the classical Cambodian dance tradition in transnational, diasporic contexts. She compiled large, conceptual mixed-media paintings and wrote a 100-page report. The paintings largely broke down the definition of post-genocide spirituality of the Cambodian diaspora, specifically Cambodian American dancers.

Ouk's award.
Ouk with the Phillip J. Elliot award

Ouk’s thesis featured a large, original mixed-media painting. “It is a surreal space that focuses on ‘Sampeah Kru’, a ceremony that pays homage to ‘kru,’ spirits and teachers,” she said. “Here, I and other dancers can imagine themselves honoring ‘kru,’ a spirit/teacher with ritual objects and offerings of food and reflect upon our spiritual relationship.”

Ouk worked with history Professor Bradley Davis and art/art history Professor Afarin Rahmanifar on her thesis before graduating in May.

“She has been performing so beautifully during the past three years,” said Rahmanifar. Currently, Ouk works at Barton Associates as a recruiting consultant for traveling health care workers and hopes to pursue a career in marketing, public relations or social media.

Written by Noel Teter