Dissertation of the Year

The Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values recognizes an outstanding doctoral dissertation relevant to the field of college student character and values development. The recipient of this annual award shall receive the following:

  • Complimentary Dalton Institute registration
  • $500 cash award
  • Recognition during the annual Dalton Institute awards luncheon
  • Opportunity to present your research during the Dalton Institute

Submit a Dissertation

Nomination Guidelines

Entrants in the Dissertation of the Year Award competition must have completed their dissertation and had their degree conferred between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. Dissertations previously nominated will not be considered.

Entrants must submit the following items electronically via the link at the bottom of this page:

  1. Application form
  2. A single document in .doc/.docx or .pdf format that includes the following sections:
    • Cover sheet (1 p max)
    • Abstract containing the following four sections:
      • Research rationale and brief literature review
      • Statement of the hypothesis/problem
      • Methodology and rationale for its selection
      • Significant findings and implications for practice (10 pp max)
    • Selected references or brief bibliography (2 pp max)


Review Process

All materials submitted become the property of the Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values. The panel of reviewers will include practicing student affairs professionals, preparation program faculty, and preparation faculty emeriti. All dissertation reviewers will possess a terminal degree.

  • Each abstract will be reviewed by the same number of reviewers.
  • Reviewers will use standardized rating criteria.
  • Two to four dissertations will be selected as finalists.
  • Upon notification, finalists will submit one electronic copy of their entire dissertation with identifying information removed.
  • The entire panel of reviewers will evaluate the dissertations of the finalists.
  • The winner  will be recognized at the annual Dalton Institute awards luncheon.
  • The award recipient will be notified no later than December of 2020.
  • The decision of the reviewers will be final.

For more information on past award winners, please visit the Character Clearinghouse.

title-inside title-centered