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Senior Benjamin Austin won an award at the 34th annual Committee for the Advancement of Early Studies Conference on the campus of Ball State University October 10 and 11. Austin presented "Two Hillarius Hymns," a research endeavor that centered on St. Hillary of Poitier, a fourth-century bishop. He completed the project with theology professor Dr. Yudha Thianto as part of his Vander Velde Junior Scholarship award.

In the mid-300s A.D., St. Hillary wrote treatises that denounced the beliefs held by Arius that Christ was not a divine being. He also penned hymns that promoted the Orthodox Christian doctrine. Austin focused on two of those hymns, comparing them to some of the treatises that St. Hillary used to teach his beliefs.

Austin, a native of Orland Park, Illinois, is majoring in history, theology, and computer science. Named a Vander Velde Junior Scholarship recipient for the 2002-03 academic year, he collaborated with his mentor, Dr. Thianto, to study the Arian controversy. Vander Velde awards are available to outstanding juniors or seniors who study disciplines in the exact sciences (mathematics, chemistry, biology, and computer science), social sciences, fine arts, and humanities.

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