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World Social Science Association

Formerly the Western Social Science Association

Scholarship, Service, Collegiality

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Awards for Professionals

Professional awards were temporarily suspended for 2021 through 2023, due to complications from COVID-19. pandemic.

WSSA student paper competitions are NOT suspended, but the cash prizes are suspended for 2021 through 2023.

Outstanding Emerging Scholar Awards

(temporarily suspended, for 2021 through 2023)

Each year's Immediate Past-President chairs a committee that chooses to recognize one book published that year for its major contribution to the social sciences. The author(s) receive a $250.00 cash award and are honored at the President's Reception and Awards Ceremony.

2020's WSSA Distinguished Book Award went to

"Weapons of Math Destruction", by Dr. Cathy O'Neil, Columbia University. The following link goes to the description of the book at Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDFCP0S/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

WSSA Distinguished Book Award

(temporarily suspended, for 2021 through 2023)

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 $250.00 cash award and are honored at the President's Reception and Awards Ceremony.

2020's Larry Gould Best Article Award went to

Guizhen Ma, Michigan State University, and Erin Trouth Hoffmann, Utah State University, for “Immigration and environment in the U.S.: A spatial study of air quality.” The Social Science Journal, 56(1):94-106. The following link goes to the abstract at Taylor & Francis Online https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.soscij.2018.08.007?journalCode=ussj20

Larry Gould Best Article Award

(temporarily suspended, for 2021 through 2023)

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 $250.00 cash award and are honored at the President's Reception and Awards Ceremony.

2020's Larry Gould Best Article Award went to

Guizhen Ma, Michigan State University, and Erin Trouth Hoffmann, Utah State University, for “Immigration and environment in the U.S.: A spatial study of air quality.” The Social Science Journal, 56(1):94-106. The following link goes to the abstract at Taylor & Francis Online https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.soscij.2018.08.007?journalCode=ussj20

WSSA Student Paper Competitions

WSSA Student Paper Competitions

DEADLINE for ABSTRACT to be submitted to a Conference Section is DECEMBER 10, 2022

DEADLINE for APPLICATION for competition to be submitted is DECEMBER 30, 2022

DEADLINE for FULL PAPER to be uploaded for COMPETITION is JANUARY 31, 2023

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, 2022 and must also submit an Application for Student Competition by December 30, 2022. 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, 2023. Competitors will be notified of their status by March 13, 2023. (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.)

2020's Winners of the Student Paper Competitions are

Best Undergraduate Papers:

Best Undergraduate Paper: Dalton Bailey, Manchester University (Indiana), "Kosciusko County Drug Court Evaluation"

Undergraduate Honorable Mention: Alexandra Tipps, Collin College - Frisco Campus (Texas), "From Indigenous Land to Privatization: An Introduction to the Complicated Identity of Palo Duro Canyon in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries."

Best Graduate Papers:

Outstanding Graduate Paper: Wei-Jie Liao, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, "Examining the Patterns and Causes of Budget Changes at the Local Level"

Graduate Honorable Mention: Cody Woods, Colorado State University, "Applying the Advocacy Coalition Framework to Australia’s Military Environmentalism."

To make a donation to the WSSA Student Paper Competitions funding, click here 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, 2022

DEADLINE for APPLICATION for Student Competition to be submitted is DECEMBER 30, 2022

DEADLINE for FULL PAPER to be uploaded for COMPETITION is JANUARY 31, 2023

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.)

2020's winners of the John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award are

Winner: Evgenia Spears, Texas A&M University, "Owner-land Relationship: A Phenomenological Study in the Texas Hill Country"
Special Mention: Michelle Phillips, UC Berkeley, "Racialization of the Servant: The Role of Racism in Perpetuating National/Ethnic Hierarchies in the Household."

To make a donation to the John Wicks Dissertation Paper Award funding, click here Be sure to put, in the notes section, "donation to the John Wicks Dissertation Award funds".

Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science

(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). See 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 2023 prize will begin on November 1, 2022. The deadline for application for the prize is the third Friday in February of each year, which is February 17, for 2023. The winner will receive public recognition and a $1,000 prize, and his/her reasonable travel expenses to 2023's WSSA conference will be reimbursed. Further information can be found at http://lambprize.org, along with the applicant submission form.

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

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, 2023. Full papers must be submitted to Dr. Scott Lee via email to scottlee@iue.edu on or before February 8, 2023. Email must be identified as Cayer PA Student paper submissions.

2020's 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

(Award temporarily suspended for 2021 & 2022),

To make a donation to the N. Joseph Cayer Award, click here 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

Vine Deloria Jr. was instrumental to AIS and WSSA over the years. Each year the American Indian Studies section honors Vine through a student paper competition, the “Vine Deloria, Jr. American Indian Studies Student Paper Award”, recognizing the advancement of knowledge that resonates with the principles Vine is known for and that which honors his contribution to American Indian Studies. (Award temporarily suspended for 2021 & 2022),

The deadline for submissions to the Vine Deloria Jr.student paper competition is January 15, 2021. 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 here Be sure to put, in the notes section, "donation to the Vine Deloria, Jr., award funds".