Excellent Candidates Help Grow the Prize: Reflections on the Honorable Mention Awards.

The Bert and Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science honored more than just one student in 2018. The Selection Committee introduced the first 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. 

The Committee selected Joshua Lindell, Colorado State University, for his paper “Carbon Tax,” and Anthony Taylor, Colorado State University, for his paper “Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology in Contemporary Society”.   These papers were clearly within that top tier of papers with the ultimate Lamb Prize winner.  “The top three really were very close and all well written papers,” said Donna Lybecker, Professor of Political Science at Idaho State University and chair of the Lamb Prize Selection Committee.

The Honorable Mention Award is an established recognition available to the Selection Committee. For each award cycle, there is no minimum or maximum number of Honorable Mention Awards. Instead, the Selection Committee identifies the most outstanding papers based upon the selection criteria, selects one for the Lamb Prize, and recognizes other worthy applicants with Honorable Mention. 

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