Honorable Mention: Outstanding Submissions Recognized in 2018

For the first time the 2018 the Lamb Prize Selection Committee 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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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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Claire McMorris Writes About the Importance of Mentoring

 By Claire McMorris

I first learned about the Lamb Prize a few years back from my academic advisor at Oregon State University. Knowing how few opportunities there are highlighting undergraduate academic excellence in Political Science, I promised myself, “I’m going to apply for that someday.” I suspected that day would come when I started working on my capstone thesis for the University Honors College. I didn’t give myself an easy task. As my mentor, Dr. Michael Jones often reminded me, “this is more of a graduate level project,” which only made me want to dig deeper into my research. When I had a final draft ready, my next logical step was the Lamb Prize. I put my application together and submitted my hard work to the Selection Committee.

I believe one of the defining aspects of my project was the outstanding mentorship by Dr. Jones. As an undergraduate student it is easy to get lost in a sea of ideas, not understanding what would constitute meaningful research in a given field. Under Dr. Jones’s guidance I was able to take an advanced theoretical concept, the Narrative Policy Framework, and pair it with a relevant and multi-faceted issue, Oregon Measure 97. He helped me better understand the literature and work towards a paper that was sophisticated and intentional. Through my research and submission to the Lamb Prize I developed as a student, writer, and scholar. The support of my mentor was invaluable to my growth and receipt of the Prize.

McMorris & Michael Jones Edited

Claire McMorris–2017 Recipient–with her faculty sponsor Dr. Michael Jones of Oregon State University.  





Oregon State University Department of Political Science

The 2017 Lamb Prize Recipient, Claire McMorris, graduated this spring 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.

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Claire McMorris Receives the Lamb Prize at the WSSA

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Claire McMorris of Oregon State University received the Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science during the Awards Ceremony of the President’s Reception at the Western Social Science Association  (WSSA) Conference. The annual meeting of the WSSA was held in San Francisco April 13-15, 2017.

The Prize consists of $1,000, membership in the WSSA, travel expenses to attend the conference, publication of the winning article, and a crystal plaque. Dr. Berton Lee Lamb, Chair of the Lamb Prize Steering Committee, said “The Prize was created to support and reward undergraduate work in Political Science that highlights innovation and good writing. The submission by Claire McMorris highly exemplifies both those goals.”


Photo by Larry Preuss

Ms McMorris was joined in the Award Ceremony by Dr. Donna Lybecker (Chair of the Selection Committee), David Belcher (Recipient of the 2015 Lamb Prize), Dr. Dawn King (Member of the Advisory Consortium), and Dr. Lamb.

The Prize was awarded by Dr. Lybecker, who is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Idaho State University, and Dr. Lamb. The winning submission is entitled “Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97.” Ms McMorris studied policy narratives in the campaigns for and against a citizen initiative known as Oregon Measure 97.

In making its decision, the Selection Committee wrote that “Ms McMorris’ work is not only innovative, but well designed and logical, revealing her as a promising talent.” Professor Dawn King of Brown University remarked that “The quality of Claire’s work rivals that of graduate students years her senior.  Her original project design successfully demonstrates the potential use of the Narrative Policy Framework to better understand voting outcomes on public ballot measures.” 


Claire McMorris (Oregon State University) and Berton Lee Lamb, Ph.D. (Past President of the WSSA & Chair, Lamb Prize Steering Committee).

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Oregon State University’s Claire McMorris wins the 2017 Lamb Prize

Negotiation Guidance Associates and the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb are pleased to announce that Claire McMorris, a senior majoring in Political Science at Oregon State University, is the recipient of the 2017 Prize. Her submission is entitled Corporate Oregon: A Narrative Study of Measure 97

ClaireMcMorris 2.jpg

Claire McMorris, Oregon State University

The Selection Committee found Ms McMorris’s paper applying the Narrative Policy Framework to the outcomes of Measure 97 in Oregon to be innovative and interesting.  The paper itself was well written, well-reasoned, and thoroughly referenced.

The Selection Committee chose her paper from among the applicants due to its “strong structure to the argument,” “innovating approach to using an interesting framework to study how persuasion shapes policy,” and “well-done analysis.”  Furthermore, as noted in the paper itself, the work is the first NPF study using ballot measures as data, and “uniquely blends public opinion, hearty campaign narratives and real policy consequences” (McMorris, précis).  Overall, the Committee felt Ms McMorris’ work was not only innovative, but well designed and logical, revealing her as a promising talent.

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Recipient of the 2016 Prize–Quinn Massaroni–Talks about Innovation

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Dr. Heather Albanesi (WSSA 2016 President), Quinn Massaroni (2016 Recipient), Dr. Berton Lee Lamb.

Click Here to view the video by Quinn Massaroni. Ms Massaroni was the 2016 Recipient of the Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science. In her video she talks about how she crafted her paper in preparation for submitting it to the Selection Committee.

She also discusses “innovation.” Although innovation is defined as using or introducing new ideas, methods, or devices, the term itself can seem daunting.  A tip from Ms Massaroni is to not be intimidated by the word innovation.  According to Quinn, “This word is often interpreted to mean groundbreaking changes; but the reality is that everyday solutions can be applied to various problems and can lead to meaningful change.”  

Many students examine everyday solutions in their senior theses, honors papers, or seminars. Almost everyone is in a position to present ideas for change.  This is innovation.

The 2017 deadline for submitting an application or nomination is February 20, 2017.

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David Belcher, 2015 Recipient, Talks about the Lamb Prize

In this video David Belcher talks about the Lamb Prize, including how he decided to apply, how he selected the paper to include in his application, and his experience since receiving the Prize.


DAVID BELCHER, DR. DONNA LYBECKER, (Selection Committee Chair), DR. ROSS BURKHART (Poliical Science Section Chair)

David A. Belcher, 2015 Recipient, Dr. Donna Lybecker (Selection Committee Chair), Dr. Ross Burkhardt (WSSA Political Science Section Coordinator). Click Here to view the video.

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Bryant University’s Quinn Massaroni wins the 2016 Lamb Prize

Negotiation Guidance Associates and the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb are pleased to announce that Quinn Massaroni, a senior majoring in Law & Politics at Bryant University, is the recipient of the 2016 Prize. Her submission is entitled A United States Sustainable Energy Transition Based on Successful International Models.”

Massaroni & holtzman

Quinn Massaroni with her faculty sponsor Dr. Richard Holtzman. Ms. Massaroni is a senior at Bryant University, Springfield RI.

The Selection Committee was favorably impressed by an excellent submission. The paper is well written, clearly presented, and creative. The Selection Committee commended the focus on the need for energy transition and climate change including its link to renewables.

Reviewers saw this as an ambitious paper that was logically organized and had excellent follow-through on a difficult task. According to one reviewer, Quinn’s “…use of the ‘best practices’ framework and search for novel ideas for a staged approach to change are indicative of a thoughtful person mature beyond her age.” Furthermore, the paper does a nice job of summarizing what three E.U. nation-states are doing to address issues of energy sustainability. The second part of the paper points out that although the culture of the United States is different from that of Europe, it may still be possible for the United States to adopt some European techniques. The solution presented is based on getting individual states and investors to adopt technical innovations from European countries that, if adopted, would help the United States reduce carbon emissions and increase reliance on renewable energy. This solution veers from the more common U.S. approach, and is thus innovative. Overall, the Selection Committee agreed Ms Massaroni’s paper was innovative by suggesting a solution that while not new, is one not currently taken by the United States.


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UC-Davis’ Belcher Wins the First Annual Lamb Prize

David Belcher and his faculty sponsor Ethan Schiener of U.C. Davis

David Belcher and his faculty sponsor Ethan Schiener of U.C. Davis


Negotiation Guidance Associates and the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb are pleased to announce that David Belcher, a junior in the Department of Political Science at UC-Davis, is the recipient of the 2015 Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science.

The 2015 Lamb Prize Selection Committee was favorably impressed by Mr. Belcher’s application, written proposal, and the experimental research he used to support his recommendation for moving toward Ranked Voting Systems (RVS) in America. His submission addressing an important issue, voter apathy and ignorance, was well-written and presented. The research empirically tested a creative solution to those issues. It also showed a command of prior research on the topic, identified competing arguments, and noted the limitations of his approach and recommendations. A précis of his proposal follows below. Given the high quality of his proposal, the Selection Committee sees a bright future in political science, if he chooses that path, and wishes him well in future endeavors.  Full Paper


The Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science is an annual award for excellence in writing and policy or program innovation that is open to undergraduates majoring in Political Science. The Prize is underwritten by the extended family of Bert & Phyllis Lamb through Negotiation Guidance Associates Continue reading

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by Berton Lee Lamb, II, Ph.D.  Negotiation Guidance Associates

The Bert & Phyllis Lamb Prize in Political Science is presented by Negotiation Guidance Associates in memory of Berton Lee Lamb and Phyllis Jeanne Schultz Lamb.

Click Here to Read More About the Prize

Years ago, I enjoyed reading Herbert Spiro’s book entitled Politics as the Master Science. Spiro argued that the major, successful political institutions of our day are the result of the study of politics. One of the reasons I enjoyed Spiro’s book is because of the dinner table conversations in my home as I grew up. Our mother, Phyllis, especially engaged my sister and me in long conversations about successful policies and good governance. The interest in governance arose in the early part of our parents’ relationship and was one of the things they discussed throughout their lives. During our childhood, our father, Bert, focused on building his business. Our mother was also entrepreneurial, for a time owning an asphalt paving business. But at the same time they were absorbed in community affairs, such as whether or not to incorporate our small town. Both our parents were active in civic organizations. Continue reading

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