IMS Awards


The David Scotchmer Essay Award

The Scotchmer award recognizes outstanding professional writing by graduate students in the field of Mesoamerican studies. The award is named for the late Dr. David Scotchmer, an alumnus of our Graduate Program (Ph.D. 1991) who died in 1995 just as his career was flowering. David, a pioneer in the study of the Protestant Evangelical Movement in Guatemala, published several significant essays on this subject while a graduate student here at the University at Albany. This award, in his honor, celebrates and encourages the writing and publication efforts of graduate students.

Applications for Spring 2021 are CLOSED. To see the complete annoucement click here

To learn more about past recipients, click here.

To learn more about the 2020 recipients, click here.


The Award:

The award (subject to annual adjustment) will be $150, to be used as the awardee sees fit to further their research program. The winner is usually announced in mid-April of each year and will be recognized in the published program at the Honors Convocation on Commencement weekend in May.



All students enrolled in the MA or PhD program in the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Albany with research interests in Mesoamerican Studies are eligible for this competition. Student Associates of the IMS are given preference.


Essay Requirements:

Unpublished essays on any aspect of Mesoamerican Studies are eligible for submission. The essay may be a revised seminar paper, MA paper, doctoral dissertation exam essay, or an expanded version of a presentation at a professional meeting. Co-authored student essays are eligible. Co-authored student-faculty essays are not eligible. Papers submitted for consideration should be under 40 pages in length, double spaced, and should conform to the style of a major professional journal, such as American Antiquity or American Anthropologist. Students should consult the style guide of the journal and make sure that bibliographic entries, subheadings, and other elements conform to the correct style. All necessary tables and illustrations must be included, but they do not need to be in final, publishable format.


Procedures for Submission:

A submission cover letter should include the following: context in which the essay took shape, i.e., the circumstances under which it was conceived and written, and plans, if any (not required), for submission for publication.


Criteria for Evaluation:

Essays will be judged by a committee of IMS faculty for professional quality, following standard disciplinary criteria.