Thomas Sizgorich’s first seminar paper was published in Past & Present. His second was published in the American Historical Review. His doctoral dissertation was recognized by the Council of Graduate Schools as the best dissertation in the humanities for the biennium 2004-05. The published version,Violence and Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity and Islam (2009), catapulted him into the first ranks of a new generation of scholars of early Islamic history. Tom had just received tenure in the UC Irvine History department when he died prematurely, early in 2011. His family and friends established this award to recognize an outstanding entering graduate student from an economically disadvantaged or non-traditional background in one of Tom’s fields of interest: ancient Mediterranean, Late Antiquity, or early Islam.