IMS Awards

Christopher DeCormier Memorial Scholarship

Christopher DeCormier

The Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at SUNY-Albany is pleased to present the Christopher DeCormier Memorial Scholarship in Mesoamerican Studies. Every year, the award is given to one or more graduate or undergraduate students to conduct research on Mesoamerica. Preference is given to IMS student associates.

The scholarship was established to honor the memory of Christopher DeCormier, a SUNY-Albany student with strong interests in Maya culture and fieldwork. Proposed projects may be in any subfield of anthropology, but should focus on interpreting some aspect of ancient or modern Mesoamerican culture or society. Fieldwork should not be an end in itself but should contribute to an understanding of some feature of Mesoamerican culture or thought.

To learn more about Christopher DeCormier and the Memorial Scholarship, click here.

For a list of DeCormier Scholarship recipients from 1979 to the present day, click here.

To learn more about the 2021 recipients, click here.

To apply for a DeCormier Schoalrship, click here.

Applications for Spring 2022 are OPEN. To see the complete annoucement click here


Making a donation to the Christopher DeCormier Memorial Scholarhsip: A Letter from Robert M. Carmack

Dear Friends of Christopher DeCormier:

I would like to introduce myself to you as the original Director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, and now a regular board member of that institute.

It was under my direction that Chris originally spent a year abroad among the Quiche-Mayas of Guatemala in order to learn their language and become familiar with their culture. Chris was a wonderful student and person. He was bright, hard-working, caring of others, dedicated, and energetic. It was a joy to work with him, and to watch him grow as a scholar. He undoubtedly would have become one of the leading Mayan linguists in the U.S., had not cancer cut short his highly productive life. The scholarship which his family initiated and supported has always seemed to me to be the perfect memorial to Chris. It has supported many young people like Chris to do what he was not able to do: to complete their studies and go on to live productive, humanitarian lives.

IMS is proud of the fact that all the scholarship funds go exclusively to support student research in Mexico and Central America (Mesoamerica), and none for administration or any other purpose. Further, each round of competition has attracted several capable young scholars, and, thus, without fail the awards have gone to deserving candidates. We make a commitment to you that we will continue to administer the scholarship in the interest of young scholars and in a fair and just manner.

At current funding levels most students must later find additional resources to return to the field and gather needed information. We are trying to increase the overall fund in order to provide student scholars with sufficient finances to maintain themselves for at least one year in the field. Funding at this level would make it possible for most students to gather enough information upon which to base a doctoral dissertation. We ask you, therefore, to be generous in your donations.

We are pleased to be partners with you in this very human endeavor to keep Chris DeCormier's spirit alive.

Robert M. Carmack, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology

To offer a donation, please send a check, payable to the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, to:

The Institute for Mesoamerican Studies
Department of Anthropology
Arts and Sciences 233
The University at Albany
1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222