The Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award is presented annually by OCPA to encourage original, rigorous, and well-respected research manuscripts, evaluations of promising best practices endeavors, and theory grounded assessment reports of innovative initiatives. The ultimate goal is disseminating knowledge about programs and research studies that are making a difference in student affairs practice through research manuscripts, assessment manuscripts of best practices, position manuscripts on current topics in higher education, or graduate student research manuscripts. As the award is also intended to encourage original work, the manuscript need not be complete to be considered for the award.

The successful Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award nominee will be announced at the OCPA Annual Conference in January. To formally present the award, OCPA will require the nominee to submit the complete manuscript to be considered for publication in the Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education by June 30th (email awards@myocpa.org with questions about meeting this timeline). Upon successful submission, the nominee will be formally named a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award and may collect the $500 monetary prize included with the award.

The selection criteria for the Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award are as follows:

  • Current graduate student, masters or doctoral candidate, or practitioner, in the field of student affairs, college/student personnel or a related field.
  • Proposed manuscript will disseminate knowledge about programs and research studies that are making a difference in student affairs practice, especially those that would engage the readers in practical and methodological extensions that would transform institutions, inspire colleagues, and engage campus beyond the traditional boundaries of the student affairs profession.

Past Recipients 

2016-20  Not Awarded
2015-16  Laura Gentner, University of Dayton