Annual Awards

Each year, the Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values confers two awards that reward excellence in scholarship and practice within the field of college student values and character development:

Award recipients will be honored during the Institute in addition to receiving complimentary Institute registration and a cash award. Learn more about these awards by clicking the links above.

Award Nomination Timeline

October 15, 2020 Nominations open
November 23, 2020 Nomination deadline
December 2020 Award winners notified

Nominate a Dissertation

Nominate a Practice/Program

Past Honorees

Dissertation of the Year

2019 – Scott Barrett, Indiana State University, Operationalizing Humility: Character Development in Christian College Student Leaders

2018 – Shauna Morin, North Carolina State University, At the Intersection of Institutional Religious Identity and Worldview Diversity: Exploring Students’ Sense of Belonging at a Catholic University

Dr. Shauna Morin presents on her award-winning Dissertation of the Year, 2018






Dr. Shauna Morin presents on her award-winning Dissertation of the Year, 2018

2017 – Rebecca E. Crandall, North Carolina State University, Cool, Calm, and Competitive: An Exploration of Student-Athlete Equanimity and its Role in Academic and Psychological Well-Being

2016 – Michelle Sterk Barrett, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Fostering the Spiritual Development of Undergraduates Through Service-Learning

2015 – Darris R. Means, North Carolina State University, Demonized No More: The Spiritual Journeys and Spaces of Black Gay Male College Students at Predominantly White Institutions

2014 – Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, University of California at Los Angeles, Enhancing Classrooms and Conversation: How Interactions with Faculty Predict Change in Students’ Spirituality in College

2013 – Matthew Johnson, Central Michigan University, Building Students’ Civic Identities: The Role of Socio-Cultural Issues Discussions and Social Perspective-Taking

2012 – Chris Wilcox Elliot, University of Virginia, A New Transcendence Model of Identity Construction

2011 – Eric Lovik, The Pennsylvania State University, The Impact of Organizational Features and Student Experiences on Spiritual Development During the First Year of College

Best Practice Award

2019 –  Michigan State University, Spartan Project SEARCH - Peer Mentor Program Initiative 

2018 – Taylor University, Office of Intercultural Programs, The Civil Rights Trip: Working towards the Beloved Community

2017 – Calvin College, Service-Learning Center, Residence Hall Community Partnerships Program

2016 – The University of Southern Mississippi, Luckyday Foundation, Luckyday Foundation Citizenship Scholars Program

2015 – Gonzaga University, Center for Community Action & Service Learning, Mission: Possible

2014 – United States Air Force Academy, “First Call” Center for Professional Coaching, Mosaic Coaching

2013 – Virginia Tech, SERVE LLC, Striving for a Culture of Inclusive, Organic, and Appropriately Vulnerable Reflection

2012 – Northern Michigan University, Center for Student Enrichment, Leadership Education as Character Development: Best Practices from 21 Years of Helping Graduates Live Purposeful Lives

2011 – Alverno College, Valuing in Decision-Making Department, Valuing in Decision-Making Ability: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Across the Curriculum and Campus Culture

For interviews with past award winners, please visit the Character Clearinghouse.

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