IMS Awards


The Undergraduate Essay Award In Mesoamerican Studies

This award recognizes outstanding undergraduate achievement in the field of Mesoamerican studies, as judged by a written essay.

Applications for Spring 2019 are closed. Please join us to celebrate our 2019 awardees on May 13th, at 2:00 pm, in the Alumni House, University at Albany-SUNY.

To learn about past recipients, click here.

To learn more about the 2019 recipients, click here.


The Award:

The award will be $50, to be used as the awardee sees fit. The winner is usually announced in mid-April of each year and is recognized (in the published program and in person) at the Honors Convocation on Commencement weekend in May.



All undergraduate students at the University at Albany are eligible for this award.


Essay Requirements:

Unpublished essays on any aspect of Mesoamerican studies are eligible for submission. The essay may be a revised term paper, a senior honors thesis, or any other essay. Co-authored student essays are eligible. Co-authored student-faculty essays are not eligible. Papers submitted for consideration should be under 30 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 the illustrations do not need to be in final, publishable format.


Procedure for Submission:

Three copies of the essay should be submitted to the IMS office in Arts and Sciences (AS) 233 or the IMS mailbox (AS 236), including a digital copy in PDF to

Students should arrange to have a faculty member write a letter of reference that discusses the context and importance of the paper. A submission cover letter statement should include the following:

  • Context in which the essay took shape, i. e., the circumstances under which it was conceived and written.
  • The name of the Faculty reference.


Criteria for Evaluation:

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