April 8, 2020

The Florida Historical Society honored UCF History alumnus Gramond McPherson with the Gov. LeRoy Collins award for the most outstanding graduate level thesis on Florida history.

McPherson’s master’s thesis, “Making Our Voices Heard: Power and Citizenship in Central Florida’s Black Communities,” examines the impacts of government policies on community mobilization in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood and the all-black town of Eatonville in Central Florida. His research uses historical analysis to place Parramore and Eatonville within the broader social, political, and economic contexts of events occurring in Florida, the American South and the country at large.

“I am thankful for all the professors in the History Department who played a role in helping to sharpen my research and analytical skills,” says McPherson, who will be pursuing a PhD in history. “I am particularly thankful to my advisor Dr. Robert Cassanello in his guidance, mentorship and support throughout this process.”

The award is named in honor of the late Gov. LeRoy Collins, a distinguished Floridian connected with one of the state’s pioneer families. Collins promoted significant improvements in public education at all levels.