Graduation Awards

Every year GSPIA honors its most outstanding students with a variety of awards presented at the graduation ceremony. To be eligible, students must have completed a minimum of 36 cumulative credits by the end of the fall term and be on course to graduate, at the latest, by the summer term of the same academic year. Graduation award winners are selected around March 1 of each year. Below you will find a description of each award, the procedure used to select the award winners, and a list of students who have won the awards in the past.

The Dean’s Award. This award is given to the student deemed the best overall in the graduating class. The winner is selected by the GSPIA Awards Committee composed of the Dean (Chair), all of the Program Directors (or their representatives), the Director of Alumni Relations and a representative of Student Services. The students considered for the award are the top-ranked students from each degree program as determined by the Program Faculty Award Committees (see below). Click here for a list of past winners of the Dean’s Award.

Program Faculty Awards. These awards are given to the students deemed best in the graduating class for each degree program: MID, MPA, MPIA, MPPM and Ph.D. Near the end of February, Student Services provides the Program Faculty Awards Committees with a list of finalists (the top 10% of the eligible students in each program rank-ordered by cumulative GPA) and with “statements of service” submitted by the finalists; Student Services requests via email on January 15 that all finalists submit a brief statement of their service to GSPIA through leadership in student organizations, support for activities of the School, community engagement and/or research. Each Program Faculty Awards Committee selects from among the finalists the Program Faculty Award winner—the student deemed the best overall as determined by both academic achievement and service to GSPIA as described above. Each committee also designates a runner-up; the runner-up wins the Program Faculty Award if the top-ranked student within that degree program is selected to receive the Dean’s Award. Click here for a list of past winners of the Program Faculty Awards.

Endowed Awards

Four awards presented at the graduation ceremony are endowed awards, i.e., awards created by donors to GSPIA. The winners of these awards are selected according to the criteria stipulated by the donors.

The Gloria Fitzgibbons Memorial Award. This award is given to a woman graduating in the MPA or MPPM program who has high scholastic standing and is deemed to have the potential to become a recognized public administrator. The winner is selected by the MPA/MPPM Faculty Awards Committee. Click here for a list of past winners of the Fitzgibbons Award.

The David Oeler Award in Information Systems. This award is given to an outstanding student in the field of information systems. The winner is selected by the GSPIA Awards Committee. Click here for a list of past winners of the Oeler Award.

The Taraknath Das Foundation Award. This award is given to an outstanding student whose primary interest is international problems of Asia. The winner is selected by the GSPIA Awards Committee. Click here for a list of past winners of the Taraknath Das Award.

The Sergeant James “Rip” Taylor Award. This award is given to a student who exemplifies Sergeant Taylor’s spirit of public service and who demonstrates financial need and satisfactory academic achievement. The winner is selected by the GSPIA Awards Committee. Click here for a list of past winners of the Taylor Award.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
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