Political Science Awards and Recognition

Commencement at Yager Stadium

Each year, the Department of Political Science at Miami University celebrates its top students by bestowing a variety of honors upon our majors. To distinguish between the awards, we divide them into “prizes,” “scholarships,” and “recognitions.” Prizes tend to be given “on the spot” to reward the winner of a contest or to reward someone for achieving a high level of past work. By contrast, scholarships are intended to support your tuition or research for study. Recognitions are a way of honoring our students, but do not carry a monetary prize. Each individual prize, scholarship, and recognition was created by the generosity of a particular donor or in honor of an individual person. 

Every year, spring semester, the Department hosts a ceremony to honor the many accomplishments of our majors. In addition to awarding these prizes, scholarships, and recognitions, we also honor students in our majors for their activities at a University level (e.g., Dean’s Scholars and Undergraduate Summer Scholars) or beyond (e.g., Truman Fellowship, Seasongood Fellowship, or Fulbright).


  • Review the scholarship information below to determine if you are eligible—some awards are for first year students only, some for rising juniors or seniors.
  • You may apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible, but you must provide an application letter for each individual scholarship.
  • Application documentation must include:
    • A cover letter to the Awards Committee explaining why you best meet the scholarship criteria. At the end of your cover letter, please include two Political Science faculty members who support your application. We do not need letters of recommendation.
    • A .pdf copy of your DAR.

For questions about awards, scholarship, or prizes, please contact Dr. Christopher Kelley. The deadline for consideration is 5 pm, March 6, 2023.


The Engel Prize in Political Science 

The Engel Prize in Political Science was established in 1997 through the generosity of Alan and Sondra Engel. The nomination and selection of awardees is made by faculty teaching courses in the area of public law. This is given for outstanding promise in the field of law and public affairs to one junior and one senior, with a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary. Alan Engel was a member of the Department of Political Science from 1960-1997 when he retired at the rank of Professor. He was very active in university faculty governance and served for many years as one of Miami’s premier pre-law advisors.


Howard White Award

Howard White was chairman of the Department of Government at Miami University from 1927 to 1958. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the American Political Science Association from 1938-1941, and President of the Midwest Conference of Political Scientists from 1942-1946. He served as a delegate to the European Conference of Professors of International Law and Relations in 1926 and was a member of the Heidelberg International Workshop on the Social Studies in 1950. In 1959 he participated as a delegate to the Atlantic Council in London, and was also involved in the 5th NATO Parliamentarians Conference in Washington. Active in state and local government and author of many publications, Dr. White had a truly distinguished career as a political scientist.  This award recognizes seniors who have excelled in their scholarship and leadership.

Cyril Kofie Daddieh Award

The Cyril Kofie Daddieh Award recognizes outstanding continuing students in the Department of Political Science who have compiled an impressive overall academic record and excelled in the Department of Political Science’s three majors. Dr. Daddieh joined Miami University in 2006 as Director of Black World Studies and Professor of Political Science. After serving five years in Black World Studies, he returned to research and teaching in the Department of Political Science where he taught international relations and black world studies courses. Born in Jaway, Ghana, Dr. Daddieh spent his summers conducting research in Ghana and the Côte d’Ivoire. For several presidential election cycles he participated as an election monitor through the Ghanaian Center for Democracy and Development. He wrote a myriad of articles on the political economy and electoral system in Ghana. In addition, he published several books on rural development and subsistence farming, including a 700-page tome titled Historical Dictionary of the Côte d’Ivoire, which was published in February 2016. Dr. Daddieh passed away in April 2017 at the age of 62.

Departmental Honors

Students with an overall grade point average of 3.5 and above, and a 3.7 GPA in the POL, DGP, or PA major, who are at the end of their third year or beginning of their fourth year, are invited to declare their intent to pursue Departmental Honors in Political Science to be completed during their fourth year. Students who may be finishing their degree in 3 years may also apply for their final year. Students must have at least 9 hours in political science coursework at a 300 level or above.  To declare their intent to pursue honors, students must identify a faculty sponsor, a topic, and fill out a form signed by the faculty sponsor. The forms can be found in the main office and must be completed by September 1st of a student’s fourth or final year in order to be eligible for the program.

To complete Departmental Honors, students must do the following:

1. Complete the POL, DGP, or PA major with at least a 3.7 major GPA.

2. Complete the following:

  • A thesis paper, under the guidance of a POL faculty member. This paper must be read by a second faculty in POL (to be chosen by the student with the assistance of his or her primary sponsor) and both faculty members must sign that the work of the thesis is honors quality.  This paper may be one that is a significant extension of an internship or fellowship experience, presented at a professional conference, completed as part of the Dean's Scholar or Undergraduate Summer Scholar program, or counted for the University Honors Program. Completion of the aforementioned programs does not guarantee departmental honors.
  • One 2-credit hour independent study (POL 477, Departmental Honors) with the faculty member who is your primary sponsor. Internship hours or hours in another department’s honors program may count towards these Independent Study hours, with permission of your primary advisor. 

 3. (Optional) Participate in the University Undergraduate Research forum in spring semester.


Gary Best Memorial Scholarship

The Gary L. Best Memorial Award was established by the Department of Government in 1966 to confer high honor upon a student of distinguished scholarship and professional promise. This scholarship is awarded to a student who is a rising senior majoring in Political Science who demonstrates excellence and an interest and promise in teaching.

Sara C. Glosik Scholarship

Sara Glosik was a native of Brecksville, Ohio, and was a junior at Miami University majoring in Political Science and Finance. She was involved in a number of campus activities, including the lecture board and the multicultural council. She was also an active member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She died an untimely death at the age of 20 in a car accident over Easter weekend of 2002, and her family, friends, and sorority sisters have endowed this scholarship in her memory. This scholarship is based on academic merit and is awarded preferably to a rising junior or rising senior female student, majoring in political science, with interests business and/or economics.

Augustus J. "Gus" Jones, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

The Augustus J. "Gus" Jones, Jr. Memorial Scholarship was established by the Department of Political Science and the family of Dr. Jones to honor his memory upon his unexpected death in 2015. Dr. Jones taught courses and conducted research on American civil liberties, constitutional law, civil rights, and American politics and diversity. In addition, he served Miami’s students as a pre-law adviser for nearly 30 years. He was selected as Outstanding Educator by the Miami University Alumni Association in 1999 and was named Distinguished Educator by the College of Arts and Science in 2002. This scholarship will be awarded every spring for the next academic year and given to students of historically underrepresented populations, with preference to African American students.

Dr. Philip A. Russo Jr. Public Administration Scholarship

For more than 40 years, Dr. Russo has dedicated his life to teaching students about public administration and public leadership and toward empowering local governments across the state of Ohio. During his career, Dr. Russo was recognized repeatedly for teaching effectiveness, and nominated for various awards. He was named Miami's Outstanding Professor selected by the ASG-CAC.  He is the founding Director of the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs, and was the Principal Investigator for over 30 external grant/contracts from various federal, state, local, and private agencies. The scholarship will help recruit incoming public administration students – and shape our next generation of student leaders with a passion for impacting their local communities.

NOTE: Available to incoming first year students only.


updated: 1/10/23