Dissertation of the Year Award, Presented by Dyad Strategies

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    Established in 2021, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Dissertation of the Year Award, presented by Dyad Strategies, recognizes a completed dissertation that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of fraternity/sorority life. Consistent with other functional area-specific higher education associations, the Dissertation of the Year Award is an opportunity for AFA to honor a recently-minted Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree conferred by the time of recognition of that year’s Annual Meeting. This award recognizes a dissertation that makes an exceptional contribution to research on issues directly related to fraternity/sorority life in higher education. The dissertation may honor any scholarly tradition or methodology but must focus on fraternity/sorority life as central to the dissertation study (including but not limited to students, practitioners, organizations, identities).

    The focus of the research must maintain a strong connection to fraternities/sororities (e.g., the purpose of the project relates to this population; opposed to fraternity/sorority involvement being a finding in a larger study examining another student affairs or higher education functional area).

    Dissertation Chair (or Advisor) contact information in the application will be used to confirm the degree and period of dissertation completion. The abstract should not include any identifying information about the applicant, committee members, or institution where the degree was granted. Finalists for this award are selected by the Research Committee and then reviewed by the Awards and Recognition Committee to determine a winner.

    The Dissertation of the Year Award receives a $500 award honorarium through endowed support from Dyad Strategies, LLC. Dyad Strategies is an applied research and assessment firm that helps fraternal organizations and college campuses measure and improve the impact of their work. Through longitudinal assessment, external reviews, consulting and training, Dyad Strategies has profoundly reshaped the way the fraternity/sorority industry approaches data and research. Partners Joshua Schutts, Ph.D. and Gentry McCreary Ph.D. have both been AFA members since 2005, have both served on the AFA board of directors, and continue to serve AFA in Volunteer roles. Their award-winning research examines fraternity/sorority chapter culture, the roots of fraternal brotherhood and sisterhood, the psychology of hazing, and moral development among college students.

    Year   Recipient
     2023 Meredith Bielaska, Finding Family: The Experience of Transgender Students On Gender-Based Membership and Resiliency in College
     2022 Dr. Kimberly Davis, “Not Nearly What It Used To Be”: A Mixed Methods Study on Hazing And Organizational Culture in Historically White Fraternities
     2021  Dra. Viancca Williams – An Exploration of the Retention and Attrition Factors of the Campus-Based Fraternity/Sorority Student Affairs Professional

     

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