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WSSA Competitions & Awards


Awards

Outstanding Emerging Scholar Awards

 The Immediate Past-President of the WSSA, the President, and the President-Elect annually choose to honor a junior faculty member at a United States university who has been active in his or her discipline for less than six years.  The awards recognize cutting edge research and substantial contributions to the social sciences, and the strong promise of future such contributions . The recipients receive a $2,000 cash award, are honored at the Presidential Luncheon, and have an opportunity to present at the conference. 

The accolade began as the "Past-President's Junior Scholar Award", became the "Outstanding New Scholar Award" and, with the 2017 awardees, is now designated the "Outstanding Emerging Scholar Award", which we feel most accurately describes the honorees.

2018's Outstanding Emerging Scholars are
Dr. Michael Kyle Thompson, Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences, Pittsburg State University
Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
Dr. Tristan Wu, Department of Political Science, Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Past Winners

WSSA Distinguished Book Award

Each year's Immediate Past-President chairs a committee which chooses to recognize one book published that year for its major contribution to the social sciences.  The author(s) receive a $1,000 cash award and are honored at the President's Reception and Awards Ceremony.

2018's WSSA Distinguished Book Award Winner is
Dr. Jessica Smith Rolston, Liberal Arts & International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines, for “Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West”.  The following link goes to a press release about the book : http://www.minesnewsroom.com/news/jessica-smith-wins-2018-wssa-distinguished-book-award

Past Winners

Larry Gould Best Article Award

Each year, a committee chaired by the Editor of the Social Science Journal chooses the best article from those published in the previous year.  The author(s) receive a $1,000 cash award and are honored at the President's Reception and Awards Ceremony.

2018's winners of the Larry Gould Best Article Award are
Dr. Edmond Berisha, Montclair State University, and Dr. John Meszaros, West Virginia University, for "Household debt, economic conditions, and income inequality: A state level analysis” The Social Science Journal, 54(1):93-101.

Past Winners


Competitions for Students

Student Paper Competitions

This competition has two categories, one for the best Undergraduate paper and one for the best Graduate paper.  The winners in each category receive a plaque, a prize of $800, and reimbursement of their conference registration fee, and congratulatory letters from the WSSA President-Elect will be sent to the students' department chairs, deans, provosts and other administrators at the students' home institutions.  Authors of excellent papers that are not chosen for the award may be eligible to receive a certificate of honorable mention, a cash prize of $400, and congratulatory letters. Students must submit the title and abstract of their papers to a conference section by December 1, and must submit their full paper to the competition, and register for the conference, by January 15 of the conference year.   (Note: it is not required that all of the awards be made each year; awards in each category will only be made if the papers submitted are of sufficient quality to merit them.) 
For the complete rules, and information on how to submit a paper to both the competition and a conference section, Click here 

2018's Winners of the Student Paper Competitions are
♦ Best Undergraduate Paper: no papers met the criteria for 2018 
♦ Best Graduate Paper: Soham Das, University of Texas, Dallas, “Ethnic Conflict: Assessing the Causal Cleavages"
♦ First Honorable Mention Graduate Paper: Virpi Kaisto, University of Eastern Finland, and Olga Brednikova, Centre for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg; "Lakes, Putin and Shopping on Mental Maps: Young People’s Perceptions of Space and Spatial Socialization in the Finnish Borderland"
♦ Second Honorable Mention Graduate Paper: 
Yusun Kim, Syracuse University, "State Mandate Relief and Local Property Tax Cut: How Reduction in New York Mandated Medicaid Spending Impacts County Fiscal Behaviors"

Past Winners

John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award

This is awarded to the student sole-author of a paper, selected by a section coordinator to be presented at the Annual Conference, which is based on a dissertation either in progress or completed before January 15 of the conference year. The winner receives a plaque, a prize of $1,000, and reimbursement of the conference registration fee, and congratulatory letters from the WSSA President-Elect will be sent to the student's department chairs, deans, provosts and other administrators at the student's home institution.  Students must submit the title and abstract of their papers to a conference section by December 1, and must submit their full paper to the competition, and register for the conference, by January 15 of the conference year.   (Note: it is not required that all of the awards be made each year; awards in each category will only be made if the papers submitted are of sufficient quality to merit them.) 
For the complete rules, and information on how to submit a paper to both the competition and a conference section, Click here 

2018 winner : no paper submitted met the criteria

2017's winner of the John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award was 
Zihe (Lauren) Guo,  University of Kentucky, for “Conduit Bond Financing of Local Governments Perspective from the U.S. and China”

Past Winners

Poster Competition

The poster competition occurs on the Friday morning of the conference, at the Association Buffet Breakfast, and has two categories, one for the best Undergraduate poster and one for the best Graduate poster. Contestants are expected to attend the conference and be available at the breakfast to answer questions about their posters; the winner will be chosen by the conference attendees. Poster proposals must be submitted no later than December 1 of the year before the conference. The winner will receive a $250.00 prize and free registration at the conference of the year following their award.  The second place winner will receive $125 and free registration at the conference of the year following their award.
For the complete rules, and information on how to submit a poster to the competition,

Click here 

2018's winners of the WSSA Poster Competition are
Winner : Carlos A. Gonzalez, Western Wyoming Community College, for “Adolescence in Black and White: Recognizing Student Agency in Gebo, Wyoming"
Runner-Up : María Isabel Martínez Méndez, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, for “Retroceso con Progreso en Mexico- Regression with Progress in Mexico”

Past Winners

Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science

The Lamb Prize, rewarding undergraduate innovation and good writing, is awarded annually based on an evaluation of applications by an independent Selection Committee, chaired by Dr. Donna Lybecker of Idaho State University. Dr. Lybecker is a member of the WSSA. Other members of the Selection Committee are: Sandy Davis of Colorado State University (WSSA member); Pinky Wassenberg of University of Illinois, Springfield; Sheldon Gen of San Francisco State University; and Nicholas Lovrich of Washington State University (WSSA member). The Lamb Prize is underwritten by the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb through Negotiation Guidance Associates. The Lamb Prize Steering Committee is chaired by Dr. Berton Lee Lamb (Past President of the WSSA). 

The Lamb Prize is also supported by a 21 member Advisory Consortium representing faculty, agency personnel, and undergraduates from institutions nationwide.

The deadline for application for the prize is the third Monday in February of each year.  The winner will receive public recognition and a $1,000 prize, and his/her reasonable travel expenses to the WSSA conference will be reimbursed. Further information can be found at http://lambprize.org, along with the applicant submission form. The  application or nomination period for the Prize runs from November 1st until the third Monday in February.


Grants for Students

Local Participation Waivers

For local area students who are traveling less than 250 miles to the Annual Conference site. WSSA will provide free conference registration (which includes a non-subscription WSSA membership and a ticket to the President's Luncheon). Grantees must participate (by way of either presenting a paper or a poster, or by serving as a member of a panel) in the conference. Any authorized Dean of a higher education institution within the designated local area may certify up to five students from his or her institution to receive these awards. The list of certified students must be forwarded from the Dean to the WSSA Communications Director, Kate Herke, by March 1st of the conference year.

Click here to email Kate Herke

Travel Grants

For students who are traveling more than 250 miles to the Annual Conference site. WSSA will make a grant of up to $500 each, plus complimentary registration, toward defraying the awardees' necessary travel expenses. Grantees must participate (by way of either presenting a paper or a poster, or by serving as a member of a panel) in the conference program. The student must complete an application letter to the Student Grant & Award Coordinator,  confirming his or her participation in the upcoming conference and the need for the amount of the grant to defray travel expenses. Submissions must include a budget narrative and a one paragraph statement of interest/need, and are due by February 15 of the conference year. Preference will be given to students whose papers have been accepted to a panel.  Recipients for grants will be selected by a Grants & Awards Committee that will be constituted and chaired by the Student Grant & Award Coordinator. No more than ten (10) awards may be made annually by this Committee. The list of grantees will be forwarded to the WSSA Communications Director by March 1st of the conference year. Checks for the grant amount will be issued by the WSSA Communications Director following participation by grantees in the Conference.

Click here for the Travel Grant application