Each Fall, UIS graduate faculty may nominate one student for this award, using these Nomination Guidelines.

Nominations are due September 24, 2021 before 5 pm.

By November 1 the Research Board selects one Outstanding Master’s Thesis or Project, using criteria as outlined in Scholarship Assessed, (Glassick et. al.)

The thesis chosen as the campus’ Outstanding Master’s Thesis is forwarded to the Midwest Association of Graduate School’s (MAGS) annual Outstanding Master’s Thesis competition. A reception honoring all departmental nominees and their faculty mentors is held early in the spring semester. Please note that Master’s Projects are ineligible for MAGS submission.

Nomination Material and Criteria

Nomination Guidelines

Each graduate faculty member at UIS can nominate one student for the Outstanding Thesis/Project award program. To be eligible for this year’s award, the student must have graduated in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021.

Faculty nominating a former student must complete an application form located at OMTA nomination and include:

  1.  an electronic copy of the thesis or project including:
    • a list of closure committee members on the manuscript’s title page and
    • the nominated student’s current contact information
  2.  a nomination letter which should:
    • explain the reasons for the nomination,
    • note whether the nominated piece is a thesis or a project,
    • comment on issues such as the breadth of conceptualization, the depth of the analysis, the significance of the results, and/or the originality of the idea underlying the thesis/project, and
    • be signed by the thesis chair.
    • If the nominated work is a project, the letter should highlight the purpose and nature of the project, as well as its importance to the student’s course of study.
  3.  a note from the student indicating that they accept their faculty mentor’s nomination and are willing to be considered for further award nominations. The Research Board may recommend a master’s thesis be entered into the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award program of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools.

The electronic form with nominated thesis/project and nomination letter must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 24, 2021Documents received after the deadline may not be accepted.

The UIS Research Board will select the outstanding thesis or project, based on criteria described below. The selected author and honorable mention awardees will be recognized at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium (STARS) luncheon during the Spring 2022 semester, with an opportunity for the awardees to present their research. Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Evaluation Criteria

Clear Goals

  • Does the scholar state the basic purposed of his or her work clearly?
  • Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?
  • Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?

Adequate Preparation

  • Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?
  • Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?
  • Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?

Appropriate Methods

  • Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?
  • Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?
  • Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?

Significant Results

  • Does the scholar achieve the goals?
  • Does the scholars’ work add consequentially to the field?
  • Does the scholar’s work open additional areas for further exploration?

Effective Presentation

  • Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?
  • Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?
  • Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?

Reflective Critique

  • Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?
  • Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?
  • Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work?

Current and Prior Winners

2020-2021
Angela Try
Communications

2019-2020
Nicholas Dabbs
English and Modern Language

2018-2019
Rashaun DeBord
History

2017-2018
Sarah Lindholm
Biology

2016-2017
J. Mark Redding
History

2015-2016
Amelia Owre
Environmental Studies

2014-2015
Hillary Rikli
Biology

2013-2014
Justin Ramey
Biology

2012-2013
Christopher Young
Environmental Studies

2011-2012
Sarah Collins
English

2010-2011
Stephanie Marie Ebersohl
English

2009-2010
Vera Leopold
Environmental Studies

2008-2009
Kelsi Megan Kerns
Communication

2007-2008
Heather Wikens
History

2006-2007
Denise Howard Long
English

2005-2006
Joshua Alan Doetsch
English

2004-2005
Patrick Pospisek
History

2003-2004
Tracy DiMezzo
Biology

2002-2003
Kristine Muschal
English

2001-2002
Laura E. Johnson
History

2000-2001
Madeline Gumble
History