AGHE Awards

Article Index

Graduate Student Paper Award

Award Guidelines

The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in scholarly work by a student at an AGHE member institution who presents his or her work at the GSA Annual Meeting. If the quality of submissions meets the following guidelines, one award will be granted annually.


At the time of submissions, eligible students must be actively enrolled in a graduate program at an AGHE member institution. Students must first submit an abstract for presentation at the GSA Annual Meeting and be accepted for presentation.  


1) Significance: Does this paper address an important problem? What is the potential effect of this paper on problems that drive this field?
2) Innovation: Does the paper employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Is it original and innovative? Do findings or conclusions challenge existing paradigms or help develop new methodologies?
3) Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the purposes of the paper? Do the authors discuss the paper’s limitations?
4) Implications for gerontology and/or geriatrics education: Are the implications for education adequately articulated? Do the findings or conclusions have broad applicability?
5) Writing: Is the writing style concise? Are concepts, methods, and findings clearly explained? Does the submitted version of the manuscript suggest that the student carefully reviewed the manuscript (e.g., no grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors) and had feedback from others to improve the manuscript?


The review panel will include representatives from the Awards Committee and AGHE Student Representative, to serve as chair. Panel members will be expected to excuse themselves from the judging if they have a conflict of interest, and a replacement will be identified from the Awards Committee.

In addition to reading and evaluating each submission, panel members will be assigned paper(s) to critically review (depending on the number of finalists). For this review, the panel member will write a critique of the assigned manuscript that will be returned to the student. These reviews are intended to provide constructive comments to the authors in order to help them improve their papers, with the hope that they will revise and submit them for publication.

The chair shall tabulate the ratings and share the results with the panel, which review and select an award recipient.


The awardee receives a personalized award certificate, a $250 cash award, and will be recognized at the AGHE Business Meeting at the GSA Annual Meeting.


The student is responsible for submitting:

  1. An article submission-quality paper not to exceed 4000 words (not counting references and tables). Manuscripts must be double-spaced, employ 12-point font, and 1-inch margins. The review committee reserves the right to not consider a submission if it is determined that the author did not comply with the submission guidelines and criteria.
  2. A personal letter verifying that the work is his or her own.
  3. A letter from the student’s mentor or faculty advisor indicating that, at the time of abstract submission, the student was enrolled in a graduate program either part- or full-time, that the mentor endorses the submitted manuscript as one that merits consideration for such an award, and that the manuscript represents the student’s own work

Self Nomination Process

Submit using the online nominations portal.

Submission Period

July 1, 2019 to July 31, 2019.

Past Recipients

2018  Jill J. Naar | Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, "Exploring Intergenerational Educational Tourism Programs to Promote Age-Friendly Universities"
2017  Sara J. English | University of South Carolina,  "Increasing the Knowledge and Agency of Certified Nursing Assistants: A Response to Serious Mental Illness in Long Term Care"
2016  Reath Melendez | California State University, Long Beach, "Eldercare Responsibilities Among CSULB Faculty and Staff: A Needs Assessment"
2015-14 Not Awarded
2013  Kristen E. Porter | University of Massachusetts Boston, "Do LGBT Aging Trainings Effectual Positive Change in Mainstream Elder Service Providers?"
2012  Melinda S. Heinz | Iowa State University, "Teaching Sensitive Topics in Gerontology: Differences Between Online and Face-to-Face Courses"
2011  Not Awarded
2010  Deborah Gray | University of Massachusetts Boston, "Weight and Wealth: The Relationship Between Obesity and Net Worth for Pre-Retirement Aged Men and Women"
2009  Christina E. Miyawaki | University of California, Berkeley, "Preferences of Japanese American Baby Boomers about Senior Social Services and Senior Center Programs"
2008  Jessica E. Haxton | University of Denver, "Social Work Graduates: Transformative Field Experiences with Older Adults"


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