Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award

The 2020 submission deadline has passed. Awardees will be announced this fall.

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. See the list of past recipients.

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 2021 award is for graduate mentors.

Submission Details

Nominations should include:

  1. A minimum of five letters supporting the nomination. 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. Individuals organizing nominations should solicit a cross selection as appropriate to address the essential elements noted above. Maximum length of letters is two pages.
  2. The nominee’s CV highlighting educational experience and student mentoring (publications and professional activities should be summarized in no more than two pages). Maximum length of CV should be 5 pages.

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.

Nominations must be submitted by May 15, 2021, to be eligible for the 2021 competition. Mailed, emailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2021 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2022 AHA annual meeting in New Orleans.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.