Wegs Prize


All essays must have been submitted by a registered minor in European studies student. All essays submitted in fulfillment of this requirement each academic year will be considered for the award, whether written in the Fall or Spring semester. Essays written in a European language other than English will also be considered.


Essays will be judged on the quality of both the student’s research and writing.

The J. Robert Wegs Prize is awarded to the minor in European Studies who authors the best essay written in fulfillment of the capstone essay requirements for the minor. This prize carries a $250 award. The prize is named in honor of J. Robert Wegs (1937-2010), founding Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies who served until 2002. One of his contributions to the Nanovic Institute was the development of the Minor in European Studies.

About James Robert (Bob) Wegs

Professor James Robert Wegs

A popular and sought-after lecturer, Wegs accompanied a Notre Dame-sponsored cruise on the Danube River in the early 1990s, giving daily talks on the history and culture of the region. Among the passengers were a 1954 Notre Dame alumnus, Robert Nanovic, and his wife, Elizabeth. Impressed, the Nanovics endowed a lecture series on European issues, which evolved into the Nanovic Institute for European Studies through the vision of Bob Wegs and the generosity of the Nanovics. Paul W. Schroeder, Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, described Wegs as “one of the most self-motivated, self-directing, hard-working, disciplined, and goal-centered scholars I have ever met.  He set himself a goal, knew or carefully found out how to go about reaching it, and never wavered from it until it was achieved, and achieved well.”

A. James McAdams, William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs and former director of the Nanovic Institute explained, “The Nanovic Institute would never have come into being without Bob’s vision and inspired leadership.  He recognized Notre Dame’s great potential in European studies and made it possible for the Institute to become what it is today.”


  1. Eoghan Fay

    Eoghan Fay

    This Greek Sink of Iniquity: British Fiscal Policy in Greece, Shifting Great Power Politics, and the Truman Doctrine 1944-1947

    2023 | Major in History with minors in German, Italian, and European Studies

  2. Kate Connolly 2022 Wegs Winner by Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame.

    Kate Connolly

    The Constitution as an Authoritarian Tool: Orban and Hungary

    2022 | Majors in International Economics (Russian) and Political Science with minors in European Studies and Computing and Digital Technologies

  3. Joseph Weas 2021

    Joseph Weas

    Financial Speculation, the Decline of the Liberal Party, and the Rise of the Labour Party

    2021 | Major in Finance with a minor in European Studies

  4. Mary Kriscovich

    Mary Kriscovich

    Social Enterprise Institutions in France

    2020 | Majors in French and Finance with a minor in European Studies

  5. Christian Brunner-Lopez

    Christian Brunner-Lopez

    The Rise of Populism in Europe - Impacts on the European Project and the Future Economy

    2019 | Major in Finance with a minor in European Studies

  6. Jacob Vila 2018

    Jacob Vila

    Weathering the Storm: Thomas Cranmer's Approach to Politics and Religious Reform during the Tudor Era

    2018 | Major in Finance with a minor in European Studies

  7. Maria Camila Rolon 2017

    Maria Camila Rolon

    The Front National: Views from the Right and the Left

    2017 | Major in Finance with a minor in European Studies

  8. Thomas Lis 2016

    Thomas Lis

    Martyrs, Again: Establishing a Polish-European Identity in Lwów, 1918-1921

    2016 | Majors in History and Economics with a minor in European Studies

  9. Julia Banasikowski 2015

    Julia Banasikowski

    Slaughter, Suit, and Sorrow: The Experience of Witomiła Wołk-Jezierska and the Katyń Massacre

    2015 | Major in Accountancy with a minor in European Studies

  10. Marielle Hampe 2014

    Marielle Hampe

    Academic Writing, Writing Centres, and Peer Tutors in British Universities

    2014 | Major in English with a minor in European Studies

  11. Lauren Dunn 2013

    Lauren Ann Dunn

    The Health Situation of the Roma in the EU and Its Underlying Factors: A Comparative Analysis of the Roma in France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania

    2013 | Major in Science-Business with a minor in European Studies

  12. Kyle Collins 2012

    Kyle Collins

    Language Use in Mobile Communications in Valencia and Catalonia

    2012 | Major in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in European Studies