The Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) awards $500 awards to University of Pittsburgh students who write outstanding papers on contemporary race-related issues. Awards are given at each academic level: undergraduate, master’s, and PhD.
Master's thesis and dissertation chapters are not permitted.
In this university-wide competition, CRSP solicits papers in the following seven areas:
- Economic disparity
- Education disparity
- Race relations
- Families and youth
- Older Adults
- Mental health
- Criminal justice
- Paper must have been written for a course during either the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Spring 2023 semesters
- Course instructor must approve submission for award consideration;
- A faculty member can submit up to two student papers per course.
Paper should be
- No more than 18 pages including references
- Double-spaced using a 12 point font
- Clearly identified with a title, author's name & email, instructor's name & email, course name, and page numbers
Although faculty advising is permitted, the work presented in the paper must be the student's (or student team's) own work. The work presented in the paper must not have been previously published. Master’s theses and dissertation chapters are not permitted.
Note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Student Paper Awards will not be awarded in 2022. Papers written during the 2021-2022 school year will be eligible for the 2022-2023 awards. Submissions for the 2022-2023 Student Paper Awards will be accepted in spring 2023.
Past Student Award Winners
Cindy J. Vincente, MSW, whose paper "Cuba y el Colorismo: El Socialismo es un Sueño Fallido de Equidad" was written for the study abroad course "Cuban Social Policy."
Corey Brooks, BPhil, whose paper "Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Environmental Racism, Sustainability, and the Flint Water Crisis" was written for Joshua Bloom's Capstone Research Practicum course.
Claire Hortens, MSW, whose paper "Future. Forged. For Whom?" was written for Jeffry Shook's course "Organizations and Public Policy" in spring of 2018.
Devin Rutan, undergraduate in Urban Studies, whose paper "Food Oases: A Case Study of East Liberty" was written as an independent study for Waverly Duck.
Allison Hall, JD/MSW candidate in Law and Social Work, whose paper "The Language of Osama Bin Laden: How Language is Used as a Proxy for Race in Discrimination Against Arabic Speakers in U.S." was written for Jasmine Gonzales Rose's Race & The Law seminar.
Kess Ballentine, PhD candidate in Social Work, whose paper "A Theoretical Analysis of Differential Diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder by Race" was written for John Wallace's macro-theory course.
Bhavini Patel, undergraduate in Sociology and Africana Studies, whose paper "Environmental Risk: A Case Study of the Hill District and Homewood-Brushton" was written for Waverly Duck's Ethnography of the Internet and Inequality course.
Brittney Singletary, MSW candidate, whose paper "Psychosocial Mediators of Racial Disparities in Depression Risk Among Black Americans" was written as an Independent Study directed by Shaun Eack.
Hector Ramirez-Cruz, PhD Candidate in Linguistics, whose paper "Creole, English, and Spanish: the Racialized Distribution of the Languages in a Multilingual Community" was written as Dissertation Research under Shelome Gooden.
Ira Murray (Graduate Student Paper): Featured in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 9, 2016
Ira Murray has been chosen as the recipient for the 2015 Doctoral Student Paper Award from the Center on Race and Social Problems for his paper entitled "Not as Much as It Should Be: How Community-Based Outside of School Time Programs Attend to Black Male Sociopolitical Development." Mr. Murray is a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow in the School of Education. His sponsor was Dr. Amber Pabon with the School of Education.
Megan Carson, Brian Maine, and Daniel Salmon (Undergraduate Student Paper)
Megan Carson, Brian Maine, and Daniel Salmon have been chosen as the recipients for the 2015 Undergraduate Student Paper Award from the Center on Race and Social Problems for their paper entitled “N-1 Kinds of Freedom.” Their sponsors were Drs. Randall Walsh and Werner Troesken in the Department of Economics.
Samantha M. Horton
Horton, a dual-degree undergraduate student in the Africana Studies and Religious Studies Departments, received the Undergraduate Student Paper Award for her paper, “Exploring the Pathological Label of Blacks.” Her sponsor was Dr. Michael Tillotson.
S. Amanda Dumas
Dumas, a master's student in the School of Social Work, received the Master's student paper award for her paper "The Pediatrician's Contribution to Child Healthcare Disparities." Her sponsor was Dr. Ralph Bangs.
Ohlsen, a undergraduate student in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, recieved the undergarduate student paper award for his paper, "Lead Exposure in Larimer: Danger and Potential Presented by Redevelopment." His sponsor was Dr. Waverly Duck.
Saavedra, a PhD student at Pitt studying economics, received the first place PhD award for his paper “Early Childhood Conditions and Life Expectancy: Evidence from Japanese American Internment.” His sponsor was Randall Walsh.
Dyer, a PhD student at Pitt studying sociology, received second place PhD award for his paper "Somali Bantu in Northview Heights: Social Isolation, Race and Social Capital." His sponsor was Waverly Duck.
Gabriella Jones Casey
Jones Casey, a master's student studying social work, received the master's student award for her paper "When Laws are not Enough: Race and Gender Inequality in Cuba." Her sponsors were Larry E. Davis and Ralph Bangs.
No Awards Given
Friedline, a doctoral student in School of Social Work, is the recipient of the 2009-2010 Student Paper award for her work entitled “Predicting Savings from Adolescence to Young Adulthood: Different Pathways for Blacks and Whites?” The paper was written for the course "Structural Equation Modeling PsyEd 3417" and she was sponsored by School of Social Work Assistant Professor William Elliott.
No Awards Given
Sanders, a joint-degree Social Work/Public and International Affairs master's student, was chosen for her paper, "Divided Labor: The Impact of Racial Job Segregation." The paper was written for the course "Race and Social Problems," and she was sponsored by CRSP Associate Director Ralph Bangs.
Reinersmann, a College of Arts and Sciences student, was chosen for her paper, "Immigration Policy: An Evaluation of the United States, France, and Germany." The paper was written for the course "Topics in International Relations: Transatlantic Security," and she was sponsored by Department of Political Science Teaching Fellow Kristen Flanagan.
For the first time in 2007, awards were given at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Jung, a doctoral student in School of Social Work, was chosen for her paper, "Stigma of Disadvantaged Socio-Economic Status and Its Effect on Life Satisfaction and Psychological Distress." She was sponsored by School of Social Work Associate Professor John Wallace.
Tan, a College of Arts and Sciences Junior triple-majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Japanese, was chosen for her paper, "Race, Immigration, and the Paris Riots of 2005." She was sponsored by Department of History Lecturer Anthony Novosel.
Conway, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology in Education in the School of Education, was chosen for her paper, "Resilience in Low-Income African American Women Enrolled at a Community College." She was sponsored by School of Education Assistant Professor Eva Marie Shivers.
Mohanty, a School of Social Work PhD candidate, was chosen for her paper, "Ethnic Identity and Self-Esteem among International Adoptees." Her sponsor was Dr. Gary Koeske, a professor also in the School.
Conner, a master's student in 2003-2004 in the School of Social Work, was chosen for her paper, "ll It Takes Is a Drop: Racial Identity and Racial Pride Development in Biracial College Students." Conner was sponsored by Dr. Daniel Rosen, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work.
Lichtenwalter, a School of Social Work Ph.D. candidate in 2002-2003, was chosen for her paper, "Black Women and Transportation—Making the Connection: Cars, Cash, Clocks and Capital." She was sponsored by School of Social Work Professor Dr. Esther Sales.
Smith, a Master's Degree student in the School of Social Work, was chosen for a $200 grant for her paper, "Environmental Justice: Environmental Racism in Urban Environments." Ms. Smith was sponsored by School of Social Work Assistant Professor, Dr. Daniel Rosen.