The Julia Harper Day Award was created by the Center for Documentary Studies in 1992 in memory of the young woman who was CDS’s first staff member, a writer and photographer of real accomplishment. This $500 award goes to a graduating Duke University senior who has demonstrated excellence in documentary studies and contributed significantly to CDS programs.
This year’s award goes to Hannah Scott, a sociology major and Certificate in Documentary Studies graduate who grew up on a burley tobacco farm in southern Ohio. At CDS, Hannah took courses that nurtured her interest in the culture of agriculture and her own upbringing while giving her skills in video, photography, and audio. With professors Katie Hyde and Alex Harris’s guidance, Hannah brought all of these interests together in We’re Still Here, her multimedia project completed for the spring 2013 Capstone Seminar, the final required certificate course.
Hannah will earn Graduation with Distinction honors with We’re Still Here, a story about her family’s farm and a refreshing look at what it means to be rural in a changing world. “In Hannah’s work, expressions, gestures, and words inspire a visceral appreciation for the fierce sun, for rain, for nagging doubts, for sitting down after an endless day,” said Katie Hyde. “The strength of her deeply personal portrait reflects an ability to pose difficult questions, address controversial topics, and navigate the dual roles of participant and observer.”
Hannah will attend grad school at Ohio State University, where she’ll study rural sociology with a concentration in agricultural communication. She plans to use her education to continue to bring attention to rural life in America and to work for improvement in rural communities.