Each year the Department of Political Sciences hands out various prizes and awards to recognize the excellent teaching and research being doing within the Department by faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students.
Kathleen Burkholder Prize
The Kathleen Burkholder Prize is awarded each year in honor of Kathleen (Kathy) Burkholder. Kathy was a University of Illinois alumna and Political Science graduate student when she tragically passed away from a brain hemorrahage in 1981. Her parents and other donors established a fund in her memory, the Kathleen L. Burkholder Graduate Student Award. The Department of Political Science uses this fund to award a prize for the best dissertation completed in the previous two calendar years.
William Bernhard Award
Named in honor of Dr. William Bernhard, former Department Head of the Department of Political Science, this award recognizes the best dissertation prospectus defended in the calendar year.
Rita and Leonard Ogren Prizes for Academic Achievement
The Rita and Leonard Ogren Prizes recognize the best performance by PhD student(s).
Clarence A. Berdahl Award
The Clarence A. Berdhal Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching by a faculty member. The award is chosen each year by the members of Pi Sigma Alpha.
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Student
Since 1986, Political Science has acknowledged a graduate student for excellence in undergraduate instruction. Starting in 1998, the department has recognized excellent teaching of undergraduates by a graduate student acting as an Independent Instructor with the Marvin G. Weinbaum Award, and excellence by a graduate Teaching Assistant with the A. Belden Fields Award, in alternating years.
Excellence in Graduate Education, Teaching, Mentoring, and Service
The award for Excellence in Graduate Education, Teaching, Mentoring and Service is awarded each year to a faculty member within the Department of Political Science. The award is chosen by the PhD students.
Undergraduate Thesis Awards
Each year a student in the Political Science Honors Program is selected for the best research poster and best thesis. A committee of faculty vote on these awards.