The Georgia Political Science Association Executive Board of Directors has established a recognition program to advance the mission of the organization. Awards have been created to celebrate excellence in scholarship, service and teaching.  The recognition program includes awards for outstanding research in the field, the best undergraduate research paper, service to the association, teaching innovation and contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning.  The individual award descriptions and a list of past award recipients follows.

The McBrayer Award

The McBrayer Award is awarded in years when a paper of outstanding scholarship within the discipline is presented in its entirety on the GPSA annual meeting program and subsequently recognized as such at the discretion of the Editorial Board and Editors-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the GPSA by their decision to bestow the McBrayer Award. Contact Adam Stone or Tom Rotnem, Co-Editors-in-Chief, with questions or concerns.(Emails:

2015: Dwight Wilson, University of North Georgia: “The Paradox of State Failure in Mexico.”

2013: Jerry Herbel, Georgia College & State University: “Public Virtue-Public Vice.”

2012: James and Kristina LaPlant, Valdosta State University: “Dixie Rising? Revisiting the Classification of the Southern States in the 21st Century.”

2011: Michael Eskey, Park College: “Humor in the Online Criminal Justice Classroom”

Sandra J. Reinke and Gretchen Keneson, Augusta State University: “Can We Keep Them Coming Back for More:  Volunteer Motivation and Job Satisfaction.”

John Tures and his undergraduate students, LaGrange College: “Are Southern Moderates ‘Dying Quickly’ or Is This Just a Lie?”

The Roger N. Pajari Undergraduate Paper Award

The Pajari Award is awarded annually to the best undergraduate paper presented by an undergraduate student as part of the Pajari Undergraduate Research Panel at the annual conference. Professors may nominate undergraduate students for inclusion on the panel or students may submit papers directly. Group papers are acceptable; however, faculty members may not be co-authors. Nominations should be sent to the GPSA Immediate Past President who chairs the awards committee. The awards committee selects the best paper from those submitted each year. All papers must be formatted as an MS Word or PDF document file. The file then must be sent via email attachment to the Immediate Past President and the Program Chair. The winner(s) will be posted on the GPSA site each year.

2015: Mary Spirou, Georgia College and State University

2014:  Nicholas A. Rudnik, Valdosta State University: “Away Down South in Dixie: White Voting Patterns and Biracial Coalitions in Southern U.S. House Elections,” Dr. James LaPlant (faculty advisor)

2013: Andrew Patrick Hansen,  Southern Polytechnic State University: “Forgetting the Ditch: A Constructivist Analysis of the Transfer of the Panama Canal,” Southern Polytechnic State University, Dr. Thomas J. Nisley (faculty advisor)

Katheryn L. Nikolich, Georgia Gwinnett College: “Gwinnett County, Georgia, Suburban Public Policy,” Dr. Dovile Budryte (faculty advisor)

2012: Kathryn Grant, Valdosta State University: “Gunning for Votes: An Analysis of Voting Behavior in the Georgia General Assembly,” Dr. James LaPlant (faculty advisor)

2010: John Tures and Undergraduate Students, LaGrange College: “Angels and Demons . . . and Democracy”

2009: Catherine, M. Morrow, Valdosta State University: “A Comparison of Poll Results and Election Results in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Dr. James LaPlant (faculty advisor)

Amber McLemore, Valdosta State University: “Marshall, Taney, and Chase Courts: Property Rights and Economic Liberties.

2008: Chris Chiego, University of Georgia
: “Democratic Disunity: Race, Religion, and Representation in 
Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District”

Alexander B. Johnson
, University of Georgia
: “Georgia Congressional District 10 1994 Election: 
a Partisan Tide Drowns a Moderate”

2007: Danielle Pearl, University of Georgia

2006: Wesley C. Tharpe
, University of Georgia
: “Biracial Politics, Social Moderation, and Natural Advantages:
How Atlanta Defeated Birmingham to Become the Capital of the South:

2005: Matthew Mauldin
, University of Georgia: “The Republican Party and U.S. House Elections in the South from 1965 1994”

2004: Nicholas Deeb
, University of Georgia: “Tort Reform in the Georgia General Assembly: A Case of Legislative Malpractice”

2003: Katie Baird, 
University of Georgia: “The District 45 State Senate Race in 2002″

2002 Marty Klein, University of Georgia: “The Long Frustration: The Causes of Republican 
Losses in Recent Races for Governor in Georgia”

2001: Jessica Langston
, University of Georgia: “Vote Fraud in Dodge County, Georgia”

2000: Scott Edenfield
, University of Georgia: “Redistricting Effects on Minority Substantive 
and Descriptive Representation in Georgia in 1991”

1999: Brent Powell
, University of Georgia: “Minority Populations: Substantive versus Descriptive Representation”

1998: Martin Magda, 
University of Georgia: “The Tullos – Childers Glynn County Commission Race of 1994”

1997: Robert Trammell, 
University of Georgia: “Desegregation of Bibb County Schools”

Donald T. Wells Award

The Wells Award  is presented for outstanding service to the Georgia Political Science Association.

2015: Tinaz Pavri

2014: Tom Rotnem

2013: Greg Domin

2012: Gerald Merwin

2011: Carol Pierannunzi

2010: Jim Cox

2009: Dick Saeger

2008: Jan Mabie

2007: Adam Stone

2006: Jim Peterson

2005: Mike Digby

2004: Gwen Wood

2003: February – Harold Cline , November – George Cox

2002: Joe Trachtenberg

2001: Tom Lauth

2000: Willoughby Jarrell

1999: Ben Tate

1998: Sandra Thornton

1997: Ralph Walker

1996: Ray Chambers

1995: Brian Murphy

1994: Roger Pajari

1993: Ben de Janes

1992: Charles Pyles, Donald Fairchild and Lane Van Tassell

1991: Don Wells

Teaching Excellence Awards

In order to better serve our mission as the preeminent professional association for Georgia Political Scientists, the Executive Board of the GPSA has established teaching awards designed to recognize teaching excellence scholarship and practice. The award descriptions are as follows:

GPSA Teaching Innovation Award

  • This Award is designed to recognize excellence in teaching methods as demonstrated at the annual conference each year in the annual teaching workshop. Space in the workshop is limited and available on a first-come, first served basis after the theme is announced.
  • The recipient of this award will be chosen by a committee that includes the GPSA Teaching and Learning Coordinator and past award winners after observing the presentations at the teaching workshop at the Annual Conference.
  • Eligibility for this award is limited to full-time instructors (temporary, tenured or tenure track.)
  • The winner of the Teaching Innovation Award will be announced at the GPSA Business Meeting on the last day of the conference.
  • Criteria for award consideration include teaching innovation, activity documentation and workshop presentation.

GPSA Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Award

(Formerly the GELT Award)

  • The SoTL Award is designed to recognize members of GPSA who demonstrate quality scholarship in teaching and learning.
  • The recipient of this award will be chosen by a committee including the GPSA Teaching and Learning Coordinator and past award winners.
  • The winner of the award will be announced at the GPSA Business Meeting on the last day of the conference.
  • The criteria for this award include a letter of self-nomination that demonstrates excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and a letter of support from a member of GPSA. All materials must be submitted in one email.
  • Eligibility for this award is limited to full-time instructors (temporary, tenured or tenure-track).
  • To submit a letter of application for SoTL Award, please send your materials in a SINGLE email to the GPSA Teaching and Learning Coordinator by the application deadline each year.

Past Award Winners

2015 SoTL Award:  Tamra Ortgies-Young, Georgia State University

2015 Teaching Innovation Award:  Barbara Robertson, Georgia State University

2015 Certificate of Merit: Randall Parish, University of North Georgia

2014  SoTL Award: Crystal Garrett, Georgia State University

2014 Teaching Innovation Award: Steve Elliott-Gower, Georgia College and State University

2014 Certificate of Merit: Barbara Robertson, Georgia State University

2013 SoTL Award: Shyam Sriram, Georgia Perimeter College

2013 Teaching Innovation Award: Martha Ginn, Augusta State

2013 Certificate of Merit: Steve Elliott-Gower, Georgia College and State University

2012 SoTL Award: Craig Albert, Augusta State University

2012 Teaching Innovation Award: Eleanor Morris, Agnes Scott College

2012 Certificate of Merit: Martha Ginn, Augusta State University

2012 Certificate of Merit: Randy Moffett, Savannah College of Art and Design

2012 Certificate of Merit: Thomas Dolan, Columbus State University