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Prize Nomination Info

Several generous donors have given the Honors Program funds for awards for outstanding graduating seniors.  Please nominate your best students for these awards, all of which carry substantial monetary value.  We welcome you to share this information with all of your faculty who are working with graduating students in Honors concentrations throughout the year.

 

Virginia L. Voss Award

The Virginia L. Voss Memorial Awards for excellence in writing by senior Honors women were established in memory of the late Ms. Voss, an Honors graduate in the 1950s and college editor at Mademoiselle Magazine. 

There are three categories of awards for excellence in writing, which carry substantial monetary awards (some, as high as $1000, and occasionally more):

  1. academic writing,
  2. journalism,
  3. creative writing.

Students may nominate themselves for the Voss Awards.  Departmental nominations of outstanding students are also welcomed. Whether self-nominated or put forward by the department, students will need a  letter of recommendation or evaluation as described below.

Voss Awards will be given at the Honors Graduation Awards ceremony on the Thursday prior to graduation. We are honored that the twin sisters of Virginia Voss are able to join us to assist in the presentation.

Deadline: Information may be sent electronically to honors.prizes@umich.edu by Thursday, April 6, 2017, by noon.

Information for Major Directors, Advisors, and Departmental Representatives:

We require input from the department/advisor for all entries regarding the strength of the nominee and their departmental ranking (if applicable). If the department is nominating multiple students, one letter comparing the work of all the women in your department is fine; you need not supply individual letters for each applicant. The more guidance provided about the quality of the nominee's work, the better. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony.

Kennedy Memorial Awards

John P. Kennedy, an alumnus of the Honors Program, has provided two generous gifts to acknowledge and support excellence in writing and scholarship for outstanding students in the senior class. 

  • Particia Kennedy Prize  Named in honor of Mr. Kennedy’s mother, this award is given with preference for students in English literature or women’s issues: any student whose work touches on these fields may be nominated for this award, no matter what the department of concentration is. Winners receive a signed certificate and a cash award of $1500.
  • Dr. John J. Kennedy Prize  Named in honor of Mr. Kennedy’s father, this award is given to acknowledge and support excellence in poetry, creative writing, and scholarship about literature for an outstanding student in the Honors Program. 

We invite department chairs, Honors concentration directors and advisors, and Honors thesis advisors to nominate all excellent students for this prize. Because of the specific fields of endeavor which this prize recognizes, the nomination letter should describe the student’s excellence in either or both of these fields, in course work, research, and thesis as appropriate.

Award winners are chosen by the Honors Directors, the Honors faculty advisory council, and senior staff. Nominations should include a supporting letter from the Department Chair, Associate Chair or Honors Concentration Director or Advisor. If apposite, a letter from the student's thesis advisor is also welcome, in which case a short endorsement from the department would suffice. Nominations should address the undergraduate achievements of the student and his/her potential for continued excellence.

Deadline: 12 noon, April 6, 2017.  You may email your recommendations directly to honors.prizes@umich.edu.  Please indicate the specific category you have in mind, but if you think a student is eligible for more than one prize, or you’re not sure which one to use, don’t worry: we will transfer nominations to the category we find most appropriate.

Prizes are presented at the Honors Graduation Awards Ceremony, which will be held the Thursday before graduation. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony.

Goldstein Prizes for Honors Seniors

Joseph and Ellen Goldstein of Washington D.C. have provided a generous gift to recognize outstanding students who are graduating with Honors. Nine prizes range across the academic divisions of the college and also recognize achievement or potential in the fine arts, public service, teaching, and humanitarianism. Each prize is named for a distinguished Michigan alumnus, alumna or faculty member associated with endeavors across the intellectual breadth of the College. In addition to a cash prize of $1000, winners also receive a formal, framed citation of their award signed by President Schlissel and Dean Martin; the winners’ names are inscribed on a plaque in our office.

We invite department chairs, Honors concentration advisors, and Honors thesis advisors to nominate all excellent students for these prizes. These prizes are not solely thesis prizes, but recognize overall excellence in the various fields of endeavor. The humanities, social science, and math and natural science prizes are intended for the most academically outstanding student in each of the large discipline areas. The creative arts prize is for a student who is a writer, musician, visual artist, or actor. The public service, teaching, and humanitarian prizes are awarded as much for the potential a student demonstrates as for past or current accomplishments. Even though Sidney Fine was an honored teacher of, mentor in, and scholar of history, the prize named for him may be won by students who have demonstrated the potential to become inspiring teachers and scholars in any discipline.

Award winners are chosen by the Honors Directors, the Honors faculty advisory council, and senior staff. Nominations should include a supporting letter from the Department Chair, Associate Chair or Honors Concentration Director or Advisor as well as one from the student's thesis advisor and should address the undergraduate achievements of the student and his/her potential for continued excellence. Other faculty may also write to describe the breadth of the student’s achievement.

Nominations:  Nominations should reach our office by Thursday, April 6, 2017, at noon. You may email your nominations directly to honors.prizes@umich.edu. Please save all applications materials as a single PDF entitled "LastName_FirstName_Application." Please also indicate the specific category you have in mind, but if you think a student is eligible for more than one prize, or you’re not sure which one to use, don’t worry: we will transfer nominations to the category we find most appropriate.

Prizes are presented at the Honors Graduation Awards Ceremony. Faculty who submit nominations are welcome to attend the Awards Ceremony.

The prizes are:

The Robert Hayden Humanities Award

Robert Hayden (1913-1980), a preeminently important poet in American and African-American literature, was a graduate student at UM, studying under W. H. Auden. He taught at Michigan after his graduation, spent 23 years on the faculty of Fisk University, then returned to UM, where he completed his teaching career.

The Arthur Miller Arts Award

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) graduated from UM in 1938 and went on to become one of the most celebrated playwrights of the twentieth century. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and Kennedy Center honoree, Miller returned to Michigan in 2004 for “An Arthur Miller Celebration.”

The Jerome and Isabella Karle Award in Physical Sciences

Jerome Karle received his Ph.D. in physics from UM in 1938. He worked on the Manhattan Project and was a co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Isabella Karle earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at UM in 1944 and went on to pioneer new methods to study the structure of molecules.

The Marshall Nirenberg Award in Life Sciences

Marshall Nirenberg (1927-2010) earned his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at UM in 1957 and spent most of his career at the National Institutes of Health, where he became the section head for Biochemical Genetics in 1962.  He shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 with two other scientists for work on the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

The Stephen Smale Award in Mathematical Sciences

Stephen Smale received his Ph.D. in mathematics from UM in 1957, having begun his studies here as an first-year student in 1948.  He spent most of his career at UC-Berkeley and in Hong Kong, where he is a Distinguished University Professor.  His most substantial work is on the Poincaré conjecture and Morse theory; that and other ground-breaking work has been recognized by many awards and honors, including the Fields Medal, the Veblen Prize, the National Science Medal, and the Wolf Prize.

The Marshall Sahlins Social Science Award

Marshall Sahlins earned his BA at UM. He has been Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago since 1973. His numerous books and articles have covered topics from the civilizations of the Pacific to the effects of cultural resistance in indigenous populations.

The Gerald Ford Public Service Award

The thirty-eighth President of the United States, Gerald Ford (1913-2006) was a UM alumnus who, as a student, was a starting center on the football team. In recognition of his lifetime of service to the state of Michigan and to the nation, the School of Public Policy here was named for him. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is on the North Campus.

The Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award

Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947?), Swedish businessman and diplomat, is credited with saving 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi extermination in 1944. He studied architecture at Michigan in the late 1930s.

The Sidney Fine Teaching Award

Sidney Fine (1920-2009), Andrew Dickinson White Distinguished Professor of History, was among the most admired and respected faculty ever to teach at Michigan. During his career, which also included award-winning research in modern American history, Professor Fine taught more than 26,000 students.  He was the only UM professor to have been honored both by faculty colleagues in the Henry Russel lectureship and by undergraduate students in the Golden Apple Award.

Terrence J. McDonald Prize for Archival Research

This award is specifically “for the finest thesis which made substantial use of archives or museums.”  Endowed by Honors alumnus John A. Rapaport, this award may be given to a student in any field of study.  The winner will receive a signed certificate and a cash award of $1500.

Deadline: Thursday, April 6, 2017, at noon.  You may email your nominations to honors.prizes@umich.edu.

For individual questions, please call Donna Wessel Walker at (734) 764-6274.