Alfred University News

Alfred University professor Andrew Kless wins Outstanding Dissertation Award

Andrew Kless
Andrew Kless

Andrew Kless, assistant professor of history and global studies at Alfred University, was named winner of one of four Outstanding Dissertation Awards presented by the University of Rochester.


ALFRED, NY – Andrew Kless, assistant professor of history and global studies at Alfred University, was named winner of one of four Outstanding Dissertation Awards presented by the University of Rochester.

Kless won a 2021 U of R Outstanding Dissertation Award in the category of Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences. The award recognizes excellence in graduate student dissertation work. Kless earned his doctorate in history from the University of Rochester in 2020; his dissertation was titled “Infighting at the Front: Officers, Bureaucrats, and Politicians at War in German-Occupied Russian Poland, 1914–1915.”

The 400-page dissertation uses German, Polish, and English sources. Kless said his dissertation discusses “the building of a German occupation in Poland at the start the First World War amidst the disintegration of the German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian Empires.”

The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize, which Kless donated to the United Service Organizations (USO) in memory of his friend, Captain David Lyon, who was killed in action in 2013 while serving with the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan. Kless’s dissertation is dedicated to Lyon, whose family was supported by the USO, described in the feature, “Finding Kindness in the Darkest Hour.”   

The dissertation is being published this fall by Peter Lang (Oxford, UK). Peter Lang is a publisher of scholarly monographs, specializing in the humanities and social sciences.

Kless was appointed assistant professor of history and global studies at Alfred University last August. He also serves as director of the University’s Global Studies Program.