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APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement 

2021 Award Nomination Deadline: March 1, 2021

Click Here to Submit



The Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement honors significant civic or community engagement activity by a political scientist, alone or in collaboration with others, which explicitly merges knowledge and practice and goes beyond research to have an impact outside of the profession or the academy.

The award, supported by the Ivywood Foundation, is presented at the APSA Annual Meeting and carries a $1,000 honorarium and a $4,000 budget for the recipient to organize an activity to advance civic and community engagement at the following year's Annual Meeting.


Nomination Information

Eligibility: Self-nominations are accepted. Nominees do not have to be members of APSA, affiliated with an institution in the United States, or an American citizen in order to be considered for an award.

Nominations are also encouraged from all types of academic institutions; because contributions may come from outside of academia, there is no requirement that the honoree be a current faculty member. The award is intended to recognize a significant singular contribution rather than the cumulative work of a career, so scholars of all ranks are eligible for the award – including scholars at the early or mid-career level. Past receipt of the award does not preclude one’s future eligibility for a later/separate significant contribution.

Honored work will demonstrate benefit to the public, including, but not limited to: enhancing democratic processes and outcomes; improving civic engagement; or practically addressing contemporary policy issues and conflicts through work with civic or community groups, or government institutions at any level and in any country. Such work could involve the crafting of innovative collaborations between scholars and non-academic institutions and entities. It is through such work of direct and clearly elaborated public relevance that our discipline will build the community-informed research and practically-focused partnerships between academics and non-academic entities (advocacy and community organizations, policymakers, etc.) that will help to address issues of social importance within our communities, states, nations, and the broader globe. Because the award is seeking to honor a civic and community engagement activity, honorees should be political scientists, but the award could be given to a single individual, an academic collaboration, or to a partnership between scholars and those beyond the academy (community organization, government actor, etc.).

Required Materials: 

  • Nominee CV
  • Description of nominated work and impact (1,000-1,200 words)
  • Abstract of description of work and impact (150-200 words)
  • Letter(s) of support: at least one and up to three letters from those who have been impacted or can provide evidence of the impact of this work, which may include civic and community organizations or their members, students or other campus stakeholders.

APSA Distinguished Award For Civic and Community Engagement Committee


Chair: Dr. Nancy Burns
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
[email protected]

Cassandra Giana Khatri
Lone Star College- University Park
[email protected]

Dr. Kyle Casimir Kopko
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
[email protected]

Dr. Gisela Sin
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
[email protected]

Dr. Matthew Woessner
Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
[email protected]


Year Recipient Affiliation
2020 Marc M. Howard Georgetown University and Frederick Douglass Project for Justice