The Bert and Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science will now honor more than just one student. In 2018, the Selection Committee introduced the first ever Honorable Mention Awards. Although not a cash prize, Honorable Mention status secures an important place in any student CV and resume.

Since the Lamb Prize’s inaugural award in 2015, its reputation and selectivity has been growing. Although the prize has always attracted strong competition among high performing students, the number of excellent submissions in 2018 challenged the Selection Committee to choose just one student to honor. The multiple papers demonstrating top-quality research, innovation, and writing each warranted recognition.

“We wanted to give students proper recognition of a strong field of submissions,” said Nicholas P. Lovrich, Jr., Regents Professor Emeritus at Washington State University and member of the Selection Committee.  So the committee proposed to honor more than one, and the wheels were in motion for the Honorable Mention Award.  Continue reading

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Zachariah Levitan was recognized at the award ceremony during the President’s Reception at the 2018 meeting of the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) held in San Antonio, TX in April of 2018. His winning paper is entitled “The YouTube Adpocalypse and Adcquisition: Proposing a Change in YouTube’s Political Content Monetization Methodology.” 
Zachariah A. Levitan, Recipient of the 2018 Lamb Prize is shown here after the President’s Reception. With him are Dr. Donna Lybecker of Idaho State University (Chair of the Lamb Prize Selection Committee) and Dr. Berton Lee Lamb of Negotiation Guidance Associates (Past President of the Western Social Science Association [WSSA] and Chair of the Lamb Prize Steering Committee).
The Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science includes a $1,000 cash award, travel expenses up to $1,000 to attend the annual meeting of the WSSA, publication of the winning paper on the Lamb Prize website, one-year membership in the WSSA with subscription to the Social Science Journal, and a plaque.
The Western Social Science Association is committed to multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship, service and collegiality.  There are 33 “sections” within the WSSA, ranging from African-American Studies to Women’s and Gender Studies. Although the Lamb Prize is most closely affiliated with the Political Science, Public Administration, and Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management sections, many of the other sections incorporate areas of study related to Political Science. As part of the 2018 conference, the Lamb Prize hosted a roundtable panel within the Political Science section focusing on the theme of innovation. Mr. Levitan presented his paper during that discussion. The annual conference of the WSSA typically draws scholars from throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and many other countries.
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The Lamb Prize Flyer for 2019



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Belcher, David (2015). “An Efficient Electoral Method to Reduce Voter Ignorance.” Negotiation Guidance Associates. https://negotiationguidance.docsend.com/view/42ci5v9?email=*|EMAIL|*

Massaroni, Quinn (2016). “A United States Sustainable Energy Transition Based on Successful International Models.” Negotiation Guidance Associates.  https://negotiationguidance.docsend.com/view/79ciecz?email=*|EMAIL|*

McMorris, Claire (2017). “Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97.” Negotiation Guidance Associates. https://negotiationguidance.docsend.com/view/9drbcj4?email=*|EMAIL|*

Levitan, Zachariah A. (2018). “The YouTube Adpocalypse and Adcquisition: Proposing a Change in YouTube’s Political Content Monetization Methodology.” Negotiation Guidance Associates. https://negotiationguidance.docsend.com/view/mqa8t3n?email=*|EMAIL|*


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Zachariah Levitan wins the 2018 Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science

Zachariah A. Levitan of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY has been awarded the 2018 Lamb Prize, becoming the fourth undergraduate to win this coveted award.  The prize, worth $1,000, plus travel expenses and a one-year membership in the Western Social Science Association (WSSA) marks a career milestone for Mr. Levitan. The paper has been published by Negotiation Guidance Associates and may be found at “Levitan Paper.

His winning article is entitled “The YouTube ‘Adpocalypse’ and ‘Adcquisition’: Proposing a Change in YouTube’s Political Content Monetization Methodology.” The paper describes how a private market problem can have implications in the public realm. Read the précis.

In announcing the 2018 Prize recipient Dr. Berton Lee Lamb, chair of the Lamb Prize Steering Committee, observed “The paper is an excellent example of a submission that presents a challenging problem and offers a potential solution.”


Prabha Unnithan (WSSA Past President), Barbara Bonnekessen (2018 WSSA President), Zachariah A. Levitan (2018 Lamb Prize Recipient) and Berton Lee Lamb (WSSA Past President & Chair, Lamb Prize Steering Committee)

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The 2018 recipient, Zachariah A. Levitan, will graduate from the University at Albany, SUNY in the spring of 2018 with a degree from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy.

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY has consistently been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s premier schools of public affairs. The College offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level degree programs in public administration, public policy, international affairs, and political science. Talented students come to Rockefeller for the knowledge and tools to make a difference in the world. Rockefeller College prides itself on preparing dynamic leaders who will shape the public policies of the future. Students are able to benefit from academic and experiential learning opportunities in the New York Capital Region and beyond to develop a strong foundation for careers in the public, nonprofit and private sectors as well as careers in teaching and research. The University at Albany is the premier public research university in the Capital Region and offers more than 17,000 students the expansive opportunities of a large university in an environment designed to foster individual success.


The 2017 Lamb Prize Recipient, Claire McMorris, graduated in spring of 2017 with a degree in Political Science from Oregon State University.

Oregon State University is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Oregon. The main campus for OSU is in Corvallis, with other campuses in Bend, Newport, Portland, and online.  The Political Science department at OSU offers coursework in four sub-fields:  American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.  As a Land Grant University, OSU offers students unique opportunities through internships, practical real-world work experience, and research with extension offices throughout the state.  OSU is one of only two universities in the United States to have Sea, Space, and Sun Grant designations. The political science program at Oregon State is housed in the School of Public Policy. In addition to its undergraduate programs in economics, sociology, and political science, the School offers Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Public Policy.


Quinn Massaroni received the 2016 Lamb Prize and graduated with a degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from Bryant University in Spring of 2016.

The Politics and Law program at Bryant University is an interdisciplinary program that brings together Political Science and Legal Studies in order to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the terrain of a world shaped by persistant change, shifting power and debates about critical questions regarding the role of government, the importance of human rights and peacekeeping as well as current issues such as climate change. Students in this major also will develop and master a set of critical skills. These include the ability to: (1) define or describe key concepts, specific facts, and critical issues of U.S. and global politics and law, and correctly apply this information to particular examples; (2) use conceptual models and theories to analyze political and legal events and decisions; (3) identify and discuss the methods used in political science and legal studies research; and (4) apply political and legal science methods in making convincing arguments supported by evidence and reasoning.


David Belcher was the first recipient of the Lamb Prize. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis in December 2015.

The University of California, Davis is a public research university and part of the University of California system.  The university has over 36,000 total students and has numerous internationally recognized program across the university.  The Department of Political Science offers a cutting-edge education on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  At the undergraduate level, our department houses three majors: International Relations, Political Science, and Public Service, with a total of nearly 1500 majors.  In addition to a solid liberal arts education, we offer opportunities for undergraduates to do internships in Sacramento and Washington, DC, and to do research in political science, whether independently through our senior honors thesis program or through working with professors.  Our graduate program is highly ranked and respected, having been ranked 16th in the nation by the National Research Council and 17th by the most recent US News rankings of political science graduate programs.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Outstanding Submissions Recognized in 2018

For the first time the 2018 Lamb Prize Selection Committee has recognized two undergraduate papers as deserving of Honorable Mention for the Lamb Prize.

Listed as receiving Honorable Mention are:

Joshua Lindell, Colorado State University for his submission entitled “Carbon Tax.”

Anthony Taylor, Colorado State University for his submission entitled “Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology in Contemporary Society.”

Although these students did not win the 2018 Lamb Prize, their scholarship was acknowledged by the Selection Committee with a letter of commendation and certificate.

The faculty nominator for these two undergraduates was Dr. Sandra Davis, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University.* In making the nominations, Dr. Davis said Mr. Lindell’s  analysis evaluates the effectiveness of a cap and trades system and a carbon tax, “His analysis recognizes the complexity of dealing with a controversial policy issue.” The Selection Committee wrote that “…the paper is well-written and presents many of the broad issues linked to taxes, carbon emissions, and climate change.”

In her nomination for Mr. Taylor’s submission, Dr. Davis said, “One of the paper’s strengths is the recognition of the interdependence of the social, political and market components of the problem.” The Selection Committee said this is “…a well-written paper that sets out the case for the proposed solution in a very systematic fashion.  It is both innovating and practical.”


*Members of the Selection Committee who nominate students for the Lamb Prize recuse themselves from the evaluation process.

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Guidance from the Selection Committee

The Selection Committee offers the following guidance for those who are planning to apply for the Prize and those contemplating making a nomination.


1. Students who graduated in the Fall of 2017 are eligible to apply for the 2018 Prize. This also applies to future academic years. The deadline for receiving an application or nomination is the third Monday in February each year. In 2018, that deadline is February 18, 2019.

2. A faculty member may nominate more than one student per year.

3. Applicants do not have to be citizens of the United States.  Applicants and nominees must be majoring in Political Science or one of its related fields at a college or university in the United States.

4. Students from any region of the United States may apply.


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Claire McMorris on the Lamb Prize

Claire McMorris is the Recipient of the 2017 Lamb Prize. In this video she describes her experience as an applicant and winner. “Claire McMorris on the Lamb Prize” provides a quick guide to preparing an application.

The Lamb Prize recognizes the scholarship of outstanding undergraduate students like Claire

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Précis of the Winning Submissions

Click on the desired link to read the winning Précis.

David Belcher, 2015: “An Efficient Electoral Method to Reduce Voter Ignorance” 

Quinn Massaroni, 2016: “A United States Sustainable Energy Transition Based on Successful International Models”

Claire McMorris, 2017: “Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97”

Zachariah A. Levitan, 2018: “The YouTube Adpocalypse and Adcquisition: Proposing a Change in YouTube’s Political Content Monetization Methodology”

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