Annual Report 2010

Dissertation Awards

The D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize

The D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize was established to recognize excellence in doctoral research. Each year, the winners of the D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize become the University of Iowa's nominee in the national competition for the Council of Graduate Schools/University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award.

Prizes are awarded annually in two of four broad disciplinary areas-Humanities and the Fine Arts, Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences. The Graduate College, in turn, holds two D.C. Spriestersbach Prize competitions in the areas specified by the Council of Graduate Schools.

Winners of the D.C. Spriestersbach Prize are honored in the spring at a special reception held in conjunction with the James F. Jakobsen Graduate Research Conference, organized by the Graduate Student Senate. At that time, winners are presented with $2500 along with an award certificate.

D.C. Spriestersbach Prize winners have fared exceptionally well in the national competition. With five winners, Iowa has been recognized more times than any other university since the inauguration of the national competition in 1981.

Jessica HorstPsychology2008
Michael ChasarEnglish2007
Susan Behrends FrankArt History1997
Matthew P. AndersonPhysiology & Biophysics1993
David LasockiMusic1984

Eleven other Iowa nominees have been finalists in the national competition. The success of Iowa's candidates in the national competition is a tribute to the high standards of excellence met by doctoral research conducted at this University.

See a list of past winners and their dissertation titles.

L.B. Sims Outstanding Master's Thesis Award

The L.B. Sims Outstanding Master's Thesis Award recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research carried out by University of Iowa graduate students pursuing Master's degrees—a group with fewer opportunities for such recognition than for students pursuing doctoral degrees.

The winner of the L. B. Sims Award receives a $500 honorarium and a certificate from the Graduate College. In addition, the Graduate College submits the winner's thesis as the institution's nomination for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis Award.

The 2009 Sims Outstanding Master's Thesis Award winner was Susan C. McKernan, a student in Dental Public Health. The thesis title was "Modeling a State Dentist Workforce Using County Level Data." Her advisor was Professor Raymond Kuthy.