Awards and Scholarships

The Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award: bestowed on the department’s best graduate student instructor.

The recipient is determined based upon standard student evaluations, faculty observations, and any other evidence that a graduate student has exceeded normal expectations in terms of the effort and innovation. The Prizes and Scholarships committee announces the award to the department in an open letter which describes some of what makes the graduate student exceptional.

     2017: Clay Alsup

     2018: Andrew Smith

     2019: Seungil Lee

     2020: Brittany Currie

     2021: Ashli Anda

The C. E. Caton Award: is a writing competition;  All graduate students in the department are welcome to submit entries. The Prizes and Scholarship committee reads each entry and ranks them in terms of such features as writing style, clarity, ambition, and the extent to which the author is able to defend the paper’s main thesis.

      2022: Robert Vanderbeek

      2021: Nick Louzon

      2020: Seungil Lee

      2019: Steve Mischler

The Shwayder Philosophy Prize: is an essay competition, in which all graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit entries for based on the guidelines listed below.

The paper must address a topic in “first philosophy.” First philosophy is no longer a phrase that is widely used in philosophy nor is there an indisputable characterization of it. In applying for the prize, the student must therefore provide a short description of why they believe the submitted essay discusses a topic in first philosophy. To guide questions of whether or not a particular paper qualifies for this prize, note that papers that address foundational questions in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, meta-ethics, logic, and the formal philosophical languages (including syntactic/modal logic, mathematical logic, semantics, and formal epistemology) will typically qualify.

In contrast, a paper that presupposes the validity of a certain theoretical, practical, or aesthetic principle and then tries to apply this principle to specific cases will typically fall outside the parameters of this award.

In between these two categories are papers in any area of philosophy—from history of philosophy, ethics, and religion to philosophy of science, physics, and experimental philosophy—that call for a lengthier justification for why and how the paper, despite initial appearances, addresses questions in first philosophy.

The paper should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including bibliography and notes.

A student who wins this prize in one academic year cannot win another departmental essay prize the same academic year.

      2022: Emily Ann Pasetes

The Donald W. Doerscher Award: goes to one (or possibly more) graduating seniors; The Prizes and Scholarship committee selects an eligible student who has shown, over many courses in philosophy, the highest consistent level of performance throughout their career in the major.

      2021-22: Francis Fabian

                         Jack Warshawsky

      2020-21: Rebecca Eng

      2018-19: Xiuhao Chen

                         Ali Akhatar

       2016-17: Gracie Reinecke 

The Howard F. Crombie Scholarship: goes to a non-senior undergraduate, and the winner must be a philosophy major. It is typically awarded on an annual basis to one (or possibly more) students of freshman, sophomore, or junior year standing who have demonstrated academic merit and distinction in the study of philosophy.

      2021-22: Meghan Reynolds

      2018-19: Jacob Kokeris 

                         Anna Stephens

      2016-17: Jessica Shung

The Lois S. Green Scholarship: is an undergraduate scholarship that is awarded from time to time, but not necessarily annually, to one or more promising undergraduate students at the university who are studying or intend to study philosophy.

        2021-22: Emily Ann Pasetes

                           Clay Ward

                           Sanketh Bhaskar

                           Natalie Hartl

                           Jack Popovich

                           Yixiao Xiong

       2020-21: Alexander Sardjev

       2018-19: Sam Bhagwandin

                          Sebastian Solewski

                          Theonesse Cheon

        2016-17: Alexander Motchoulski

                           Kyung Min Song

                           Kuizhi "Lewis" Wang

                           Syed Muhammad Yousef

                           Ryan Woods

The Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award: awarded to any graduate student or faculty member who showed excellence in teaching an undergraduate course.

The above awards and scholarships typically carry cash gifts (usually on the order of hundreds of dollars) whose specific amounts may vary from year to year.