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William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award Essay question announced (2013)

by Ed Hagen last modified Sep 14, 2012 05:33 PM
The Pollitzer Student Travel Awards are designed to help students defray the costs of attending the AAPA meetings. They are named in honor of William S. Pollitzer, a Human Biologist who taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Darwin Lifetime Achievement Awardee, and past president of the AAPA.


Qualifications: This award is open to all AAPA student members (undergraduate and graduate) who are
attending the annual meeting. You do NOT have to be giving a paper to compete or receive an award.

Award: Up to $500 to defray travel costs to the meetings.

Application and Essay: Awards are made on the basis of an essay of no more than 750 words long (excluding
references). The essay question changes each year. The essay should be submitted electronically as a
Microsoft Word file. Any submission over 750 words will be automatically disqualified.

Send essays to Anthony Di Fiore ( by January 15. Please follow the e-mail
with the attached essay with a second e-mail alerting Dr. Di Fiore to the fact that the essay was sent. Within 24
hours, students should expect to receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of their essay.

Essay topic:

On a visit to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, you happen to find yourself standing in an elevator next to the president and congressional leaders taking a tour of the facility. As secret service agents check the elevator for security risks, the president comments on your sporty tote bag from the last AAPA meetings. With that opening, lay out your best four minute 'elevator speech' as to why the next federal budget should include additional funding for physical anthropology.

Essay evaluation and scoring procedures:

The AAPA student prize committee will evaluate each submission with an identification number to mask authors’ identities. When distributed to the judges, each essay will be identified by a number assigned by the committee chair.

The scoring criteria are:

  1. Clarity and focus. 45 points possible  
  2. Originality of thought and insight. 45 points possible  
  3. Grammar and spelling. 10 points possible


The average scores from all judges will be used as the basis for deciding the winners of the award, with the AAPA Executive Board giving final approval of the committee’s recommendation.

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