Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award

The submission deadline has passed. Awardees are announced in the fall, and the next contest will begin in the spring.

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 2022 award is for secondary school mentors.

The current prize amount is $1,000. See the list of past recipients.

Application Process

Log into your MY AHA account at historians.org/myaha and click “Available Application Forms” in the AHA Awards, Grants, and Jobs section. 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 (at least 5). 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. 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, 2022, to be eligible for the 2022 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2022 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2023 AHA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.