This award is open to all AAPA members in good standing (undergraduate and graduate) who are students and attending the annual meeting. You do NOT have to present a paper or poster to compete or receive an award. In order to be eligible for a travel award you must be a student at the time of the essay submission (January 2020), and you must be a member of AAPA at the time of the meeting (or be on the list of members to be approved at the AAPA Business Meeting). To check your membership status, go to

Applicants who have won a Pollitzer travel award previously are eligible to enter the competition again, but students who have never won before will be given priority. 

Students from underrepresented groups and undergraduate students from two- and four-year colleges are strongly encouraged to apply.

Award: Each award of $500 is made to defray travel costs to the meetings.

Deadline: Essays must be submitted by 11:59 pm Samoa Standard Time (UTC-11) on January 1, 2020.

Essay Prompt

In 2019, the AAPA formally adopted a new position Statement on Race and Racism. The Association is uniquely positioned to offer such a statement, given the historical roles that biological anthropologists have played in the creation and perpetuation of racialized systems of oppression and discrimination. In our professional contexts, biological anthropologists have opportunities to address "race," educate students, and inform publics about the science of human biological variation. In an essay of 750 words or less, describe how you may approach such opportunities in the classroom or in other professional arenas, and how they can best be used to communicate an honest and accurate message concerning the science of race and racism.

Use references as needed for your answer.

Essay Evaluation and Scoring Procedures: The AAPA Student Affairs Committee will evaluate each submission with an identification number to mask applicants’ identities. When distributed to the judges, each essay will be identified by a number assigned by the committee chair. The scoring criteria are:

  1. Specificity of the approach to the types of audiences and resources typically available to biological anthropologists. 20 points possible.
  2. Originality of the approach. 10 points possible.
  3. Soundness and completeness of the plan and its justification. 50 points possible.
  4. Clarity of writing, grammar, and spelling. 20 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 Committee giving final approval of the committee’s recommendation. Winners will be notified in early February 2020. Payment from the AAPA Secretary-Treasurer will be made via check or PayPal once meeting registration and travel are confirmed.

If you have questions about the essay or process please contact the Early Career Liaison Kevin Hatala.

Submit your essay below.

Professional conduct disclosures

As a candidate for an AAPA award, honor, or governance position, you must complete two questions:

  1. Professional conduct question: Have you been the subject of a filed allegation, complaint, investigation, sanction or other legal, civil or institutional proceeding, where there was a finding of misconduct; or, are you currently the subject of such an allegation, complaint, or investigation in which your professional conduct is at issue? Click the appropriate button below.
  2. Certification question: The undersigned hereby affirms that they have read, understands, and agrees to comply with the AAPA Professional Ethics Policy, including its Statement on Sexual Harassment and Assault, and other policies and procedures established by AAPA, as amended from time to time. By signing this document, I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the above response and all information provided by me related to this Professional Conduct Disclosure Form are truthful, accurate, and complete, and I agree to notify the AAPA promptly of any material changes required in my responses to the above question. I acknowledge that failure to comply with the AAPA Professional Ethics Policy, including the Statement on Sexual Harassment and Assault, may result in my ineligibility to receive, or revocation of, any AAPA award, honor, recognition, or governance position.

Enter your institution's name in full. Please do not use abbreviations. For example, Penn State University should be The Pennsylvania State University rather than Penn State or PSU.

Please indicate if your institution is a 2-year college, 4-year undergraduate college, or PhD-granting institution.

Separate paragraphs with a blank line. 750 words maximum.

This is where you enter the full citations referred to in your essay text so that they are not included in the 750 word count.

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