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Honors Program Awards


The Honors Committee serves as the selection committee for the following awards:

The Barrett Prize 
(students from the senior class apply for this prize)

The Laughlin Prize 
(members of faculty nominate a member of the junior class)

The Class of 1950 Prize 
(members of faculty nominate a member of faculty or a student)

For the following award, the Chair of the Honors Committee collects and prepares the nominations to be submitted for vote by faculty during faculty meeting.

Flanagan Prize 
(members of faculty nominate a member of the senior class)


The Barrett Prize

The prize, established to honor Father Philip Barrett, a Mount faculty member and administrator for 20 years, is awarded to the senior who submits the best research project. The winner of the $500 prize is announced at the Honors Convocation in the spring. The Faculty Honors Committee (together with other faculty members chosen because of their professional knowledge of the areas of research submitted) evaluate the projects.

How to Apply:
Any senior student may apply for the Barrett Prize. Seniors interested in applying must submit a Preliminary Proposal consisting of a two-page description of the chosen research. The proposal must be submitted via email to the director of the Honors Program by the second Friday of January. 

To be considered for the award, the following final documentation must be submitted by the end of the third week of March:

  • Final paper in a Word document or an Adobe pdf file.

  • A letter (in a Word document) from the student that explains the purpose and significance of the research, the research methodology, and the time spent researching and writing the project.

  • A detailed evaluation letter from the faculty mentor (in a Word Document).

Please email all documentation directly to the director of the Honors Program.
*No late entries will be permitted (detailed evaluation criteria follow).

I.   General Criteria

  1. The project's primary emphasis should be on research. Essays that are not based on extensive research will not be considered.

  2. There is no restriction on the format or methodology of the project. Research papers, field studies, lab projects, and computer studies are eligible.

  3. Creative works such as painting, poetry, fiction, music composition, are not eligible for the Barrett Prize.

  4. Faculty sponsors function as advisers whose contributions include assistance, advice, direction, and editing; their contributions cannot include co-authorship of the project.

II.  Specific Criteria

  1. How well is the project conceived?

  • How original is the project?

  • Is the purpose clear?

  • Is the problem clearly defined?

  • Is the plan of work carefully thought out?

  • Is the methodology adequate to meet the goals of the project?

  1. How well are the results of the project presented?

  •  Is the report well written?

  • Are the results effectively substantiated?

  • How well organized is the material?

  • Has good and selective use been made of a variety of sources?

  • Was the research design appropriate to the research?

  •  In the case of quantitative research, was statistical analysis appropriate to the research question and properly carried out?

  • In the case of qualitative research, was triangulation of data sources thoroughly executed?

  1. How valuable is the project…

  • as a learning experience for the student?

  • to the understanding of an important question or problem?

  • in terms of its usefulness to the University or elsewhere?

  • as a model for similar research activity carried out by other students?

  • as a work worthy of submission to a professional journal?

III. Procedures

  1. Preliminary proposals must be emailed to the director of the Honors Program by the second Friday of January.

  2. Two students may collaborate on a project and share the prize; no more than two students may do so.

  3. A faculty member may sponsor as many student projects as she/he wishes. Sponsors should take a thesis-like interest in the project.

  4. The Provost will commend all worthy participants in the competition.

  5. The judges may select outstanding entries for honorable mention; this honor will be entered on the students' transcripts and considered in the granting of other awards by the College.

  6. The following must be emailed to the director of the Honors Program by the second Friday of March to be considered for the award:

  • Final paper in a Word document or an Adobe PDF file;

  • A letter from the student explaining the purpose and significance, the methodology, and the time spent researching and writing the project;

  • A detailed evaluation letter from the student’s faculty mentor.


The Laughlin Prize

The Laughlin Prize recognizes a junior who models academic excellence and demonstrates the capacity for making scholarly contributions to his/her major field of study. The award comes with a $500 prize.

Nominations:
Nominations for this award come from the chair of the student’s academic department. Department Chairs are asked to email nominations to the director of the Honors Program, by the second Friday of February.

The nominations must include:

  1. A letter written by a faculty member in the student’s major (not necessarily the chair.) If the department nominates more than one student (it is an honor to be nominated for this award), the chair must rank the nominees and provide justification for the ranking.

  2. A second supporting letter from a faculty member or a research mentor outside of the department who can vouch for the student's academic qualities. This person may be someone from outside the University.

  3. A copy of the student’s transcript.

  4. One sample of the student’s writing.


The Class of 1950 Award

The Class of 1950 award is our highest service award and is given at the Honors Convocation. It is given to the faculty member or student who made the most significant service contribution to the Mount community during the current academic year. The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

Nominations:
Nominations for this award may come from any faculty member. Faculty members are asked to email nominations to the director of the Honors Program by the second Friday of February. In the nomination letter, faculty members must explicitly describe the candidate’s service to the Mount community and why she/he is deserving of the award. The letter is the only document that the Honors committee uses in its deliberations to select the recipient of this award.


Flanagan Prize

The Flanagan Prize is awarded to the member of the senior class who best represents the tradition of Mount Saint Mary’s University in scholarship, conduct, and leadership. The Flanagan Prize is awarded at the Honors Convocation and includes a $500 prize.
Although the criteria indicate that the award go to "the member [not plural] of the senior class", the award may be shared by two (but not more than two) seniors.

Nominations:
Three faculty members are required to nominate a candidate for the Flanagan Prize. At the faculty meeting in March, the three faculty members will nominate the candidate together in one ten-minute presentation. The nominating team can choose to have only one member of the team speak. Each faculty nominator is permitted to send a letter of nomination via email to faculty prior to the meeting.

Nominating faculty will prepare a PowerPoint presentation to present a summary of the student’s accomplishments. The content of the PowerPoint is divided into:

  • GPA and academic accomplishments;

  • Service to the Mount community and beyond the college setting;

  • Acceptances into graduate schools; employment offers etc.

Following presentations, faculty members vote to determine the winner of the Flanagan Prize. Each faculty member will vote for one student. Faculty members must be present at the meeting to vote. A student must receive a majority of votes to win.

Faculty members are asked to email their nominations and supporting materials to the director of the Honors Program, by the second Friday of February. Copies of the submitted materials will be made available to faculty shortly thereafter.

Nomination materials should include the following:

  1. In Word or in PowerPoint, create a “résumé” for the candidate. The résumé should have the following three sections:

  • GPA and academic accomplishments;

  • Service to the Mount community and beyond the college setting;

  • Acceptances into graduate schools; employment offers etc.

The Director of Honors Program compiles the submissions and places them into a PowerPoint presentation to use at the Faculty meeting.

  1. Provide the Director of Honors Program with a digital photo of the candidate. (The MOUNTCard office will send the Director the candidate’s ID picture with his/her permission. However, the student may want to use a more flattering picture.) The Director places the photo in the PowerPoint presentation to use at the faculty meeting.

  2. Indicate who will be the three faculty members nominating the candidate at the faculty meeting.

*The Honors Director will serve as the master of ceremonies of the deliberation during the March faculty meeting.

 
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