Submissions Are Closed

Deadline: May 15, 2024

Award Type

Award for Scholarly and Professional Distinction

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award was established to honor teachers of history who taught, guided, and inspired their students in a way that changed their lives. Mentoring is as important to the discipline of history as fine scholarship and good teaching. The ideal mentor is forthright, supportive, and constructively critical, committed to the student as a person, regardless of age or career goals.

While it is difficult to formulate a precise definition of this multifaceted process, there are some essential elements:

  1. belief in the value of the study of history and commitment to and love of teaching it to students regardless of age or career goals
  2. consistent personal commitment by the mentor to the student as a person
  3. honesty and integrity of the mentor
  4. mentor’s contribution to the process of mentoring as a one-to-one partnership in learning that is comfortable to both, that is likely to endure and develop beyond the initial context as each learns from, gives to, and shares with the other, enriching both professional and personal lives

The Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award is given on a three-year cycle: graduate mentors (including combined graduate and undergraduate teaching); secondary school teachers, and undergraduate mentors (both two-and four-year colleges). The 2024 award is for graduate mentors.

The current prize amount is $1,000.


Application Process

Log into your MY AHA account at and click “Available Application Forms” in the AHA Awards, Grants, and Jobs section. If you don’t have an account, create one for free at If nominating someone else, select the Nominate button and search for the nominee’s existing record or create a new record.

  1. Fill in the application form, which includes the nominee’s contact information.
  2. Upload an Application Packet as a single PDF. Include the following documents:
    • CV (up to 5 pages) highlighting educational experience, teaching, and advocacy of the nominee
    • Nomination letters (3 letters, no more than 3 pages each). These letters can be from students, former students, parents, colleagues, and others. There is no set proportion or formula on the “right” mix of letters. Multiple signatories on each letter are acceptable. The letters can be included in the application packet or solicited through the application form.

Generally, one individual serves as the organizer for the nomination, writes one of the letters nominating the individual, procures the nominee’s CV (condenses to 5-page limit as necessary), and contacts individuals to write additional letters of support.

Please Note: Entries must be received by May 15, 2024, to be eligible for the 2024 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2024 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2025 AHA annual meeting in New York.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.

Nancy Lyman Roelker
Nancy Lyman Roelker

Nancy Lyman Roelker (1915–93) was professor emerita at Boston University. She supervised, both officially and informally, many graduate students at Harvard, Tufts, Boston University, Brown, and Stanford, becoming over a period of 30 years a mentor to several generations of scholars. As a testimonial to her inspirational influence, the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award was endowed by friends, colleagues, and former students on the occasion of her 75th birthday.