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2023 Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize Awardee Recognized at Regional Conference

Over the weekend, the 2023 Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize awarding took place at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Regional Conference at Hawaii Pacific University.

The award went to Tom Coffman's Inclusion: How Hawai'i Protected Japanese Americans from Mass Internment, Transformed Itself and Changed America. The book highlights a series of events that remain relevant in the politics and history of Hawaii today. Based on extensive research, Coffman's attention to detail in narrating the twists and turns in the story of the internment was recognized in the award statement.

Three individuals standing inside.
From left to right, Lois Lee, Tom Coffman, and Jon Davidann are pictured at the conference.
Photo by Jim Tueller

The Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize is an esteemed award granted to Hawaii residents who author a book in any history field. The competition honors Kenneth W. Baldridge, a former history professor of 25 years at Brigham Young University–Hawaii and an enthusiastic supporter of BYU–Hawaii Phi Alpha Theta chapter.

Baldridge also founded the BYU–Hawaii Oral History Program and served as chair of the university's division of social sciences. In addition to being an exemplary educator, Baldridge was heavily involved in the community. Many remember his time volunteering with the Oahu Civil Defense Agency. He was beloved by many and is fondly remembered by colleagues, former students, and the community of Laie.

Former competition winners include Academic Vice President Isaiah Walker, with his book Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawai'i. Walker was the recipient of the Baldridge Prize in 2014.

Former Baldridge Prize Awardees

1994 Award - Leonard Y. Andaya, The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1993.

1996 Award - John J. Stephan, The Russian Far East: A History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.

1999 Award - James P. Kraft, Stage to Studio: Musicians and the Sound Revolution, 1890- 1950. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

2001 Award - Mark Helbling, The Harlem Renaissance: The One and the Many. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999.

2003 Award - Pierre Asselin, A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

2005 Award - Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

2008 Award - Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, Nā Kua‘aina: Living Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2007.

2011 Award – Vina A. Lanzona, Amazons of the Huk Rebellion: Gender, Sex, and Revolution in the Philippines. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.

2014 Award - Isaiah Walker, Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawaiʻi. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011.

2017 – Ned Bertz, Diaspora and Nation in the Indian Ocean: Transnational Histories of Race and Urban Space in Tanzania. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2015.

2020 - Jon Thares Davidann, The Limits of Westernization: American and East Asian Intellectuals Create Modernity, 1860-1960. New York: Routledge, 2019.