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World Social Science Association

Formerly the Western Social Science Association

Scholarship, Service, Collegiality

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WSSA Competitions & Awards

Due to the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional awards were temporarily suspended for 2021 through 2023.
Beginning with the 2024 WSSA Conference, professional awards will once again be given.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSSA student paper competitions were NOT suspended, but the cash prizes were suspended for 2021 through 2023.
Beginning with the 2024 WSSA Conference, cash prizes for student awards will once again be given.

To see the list of previous WSSA Award winners, please visit the WSSA Web site by clicking the button below.

Outstanding Emerging Scholar Awards

This award was temporarily suspended from 2021 through 2023.

WSSA Distinguished Book Award

This award was temporarily suspended from 2021 through 2023.

WSSA Student Paper Competitions

DEADLINE for ABSTRACT to be submitted to a Conference Section is DECEMBER 10, 2023.

DEADLINE for APPLICATION for competition to be submitted is DECEMBER 30, 2023.

DEADLINE for FULL PAPER to be uploaded for COMPETITION is JANUARY 31, 2024.

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 certificate, a prize of $800 (cash prize temporarily suspended, through 2023), and reimbursement of their 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 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 (cash prize temporarily suspended, through 2023), and congratulatory letters. Students must submit the title and abstract of their papers to a conference section by December 10, 2023 and must also submit an Application for Student Competition by December 30, 2023. The application form gives the format and content requirements for the papers. The full papers must be uploaded, by logging into the user's WSSA account, through the same submission portal, no later than January 31, 2024. Competitors will be notified of their status by March 13, 2024. (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.)

Winners of the 2023 WSSA Student Paper Competitions:

Best Undergraduate Paper: No Winner Selected

Best Graduate Papers:

Outstanding Graduate Paper: Teverayiu Muguti, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, "The River is a Natural Resource, not a Border"

Graduate Honorable Mention: Oladotun E. Awosusi, University of Fort Hare, South Africa, "Security Realism’ vs Pan-African Construct of Nigeria's Border Diplomacy in Africa"

To make a donation to the WSSA Student Paper Competitions funding, click the button below. Be sure to put in the notes section, "Donation to the WSSA Student Paper Competitions Funds".

John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award

DEADLINE for ABSTRACT to be submitted to a Conference Section is DECEMBER 10, 2023.

DEADLINE for APPLICATION for competition to be submitted is DECEMBER 30, 2023.

DEADLINE for FULL PAPER to be uploaded for COMPETITION is JANUARY 31, 2024.

This is awarded to the student sole-author of a paper, which has been selected by a section coordinator to be presented at the Annual Conference, and which is based on a dissertation either in progress or completed before January 15 of the conference year. The paper is about the dissertation, not the dissertation itself. The winner receives a certificate, a prize of $250.00 (cash prize temporarily suspended, for 2021 through 2023), reimbursement of the conference registration fee, and congratulatory letters from the WSSA President-Elect sent to the student's department chairs, deans, provosts and other administrators at the student's home institution. (Note: it is not required that this awards be made each year; the award will only be made one of the papers submitted is of sufficient quality to merit it.)

Winners of the 2023 WSSA John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award:

Best Undergraduate Paper: No Winner Selected

To make a donation to the WSSA John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award funding, click the button below. Be sure to put in the notes section, "Donation to the John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award Funds".

Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science

This award was temporarily suspended for 2022.

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. Other members of the Selection Committee are: Nicholas Lovrich of Washington State University; Sheldon Gen of San Francisco State University, Erika Allen Wolters of Oregon State University, and M. Dawn King of Brown University. This year, all members of the Selection Committee are also WSSA members. 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). Visit the website at https://lambprize.org/.

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

The application period for the 2024 prize will begin on November 1, 2023. The deadline for application for the prize is the third Friday in February of each year, which this year is February 16, 2024. The winner will receive public recognition and a $1,000 prize, and his/her reasonable travel expenses to the 2024 WSSA Conference will be reimbursed. Further information can be found at http://lambprize.org, along with the application submission form.

There is a short video clip about the benefits of the prize, posted on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/nYyi4lW2_qE.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2019's winner of the Prize was Paul F. Weisser, Department of Philosophy and Politics, St. Vincent College, for his essay “I Believe We are Lost: the Worst Casualties of the Great War.”

2020's winner was Sandra Carrillo Rodriguez of Idaho State University, for her paper that sought to understand how perceived discrimination and partisanship influences Latina/o/x linked fate.

2021's winner was Andrew Steinberg of Brown University, for his paper “No Home for the Brave: Understanding America’s Veteran Deportation System”. Honorable Mention was presented to Andrew Hinckley of Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Mr. Hinckley’s award-winning paper is entitled “Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.”

N. Joseph Cayer Public Administration Best Student Paper Award

The Public Administration Section N. Joseph Cayer Best Student Paper Award. during the annual WSSA conference. Dr. Cayer is a past President of the WSSA, Professor Emeritus of the School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University, where is also a past Chair of the Department. Dr. Cayer is a mentor to public administration students and scholars who are inspired to walk in his footsteps. The award is open to students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Students must present in the Public Administration section of the WSSA conference to be eligible for the award.

Student abstracts must be submitted to the Public Administration section through the WSSA portal on or before JANUARY 20, 2024. Full papers must be submitted to Dr. Scott Lee via email to scottlee@iue.edu on or before February 8, 2024. Email must be identified as Cayer PA Student paper submissions.

The 2020 winner of the N. Joseph Cayer Public Administration Best Student Paper Award is "Voices of Syrian Refugee Child Brides: A Photovoice and Herstory Project in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon", written by Shahrzad Sajadi, Katherine A. Aronson-Ensign, and Matthew L. McClellan, University of Massachusetts, Boston. https://medium.com/@SGISDInclusion/phd-students-paper-wins-national-award-c8aa9b7ced18.

To make a donation to the N. Joseph Cayer Award, click the button below. Be sure to put in the notes section, "Donation to the N. Joseph Cayer Award Funds".

Vine Deloria Jr. American Indian Studies Student Paper Award

This award was temporarily suspended for 2021 & 2023.

The deadline for submissions to the Vine Deloria Jr.student paper competition is January 15, 2024. Email all submissions for the student paper competition to Aresta Tsosie-Paddock atsosiepsddock@arizona.edu, primary contact for the AIS. Instructors and community members, please encourage any student you know to submit. Students: this is a great opportunity to get your work out there and to network with scholars and practitioners in the field. Award winners will receive this prestigious award in front of the membership of WSSA.

Here is how you can participate:

  • Submit a single paper, OR
  • Propose a panel (please include your list of panelists), OR
  • Propose a roundtable

The paper, or panel, or roundtable must be accepted by the American Indian Studies section of the WSSA, for presentation at the conference, in order to be eligible for the award.

Click here for flyer with further information.

To make a donation to the Vine Deloria Jr. Award, click the button below. Be sure to put in the notes section, "Donation to the Vine Deloria Jr. Award Funds".