AAPA Pollitzer Prize prompt for 2016

Deadline: January 1, 2016

The Pollitzer Student Travel Awards are designed to help students defray the costs of attending the AAPA meetings. They are named in honor of William S. Pollitzer, a Human Biologist who taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was a Darwin Lifetime Achievement Awardee, and past president of the AAPA.

Qualifications: This award is open to all AAPA members in good standing (undergraduate and graduate) who are students and attending the annual meeting. You do NOT have to present a paper or poster to compete or receive an award. In order to be eligible for a travel award, you MUST be a student member of AAPA at the time that you apply AND at the time the meeting is held (to check your membership status, go to http://birenheide.com/AAPA/membership.php). Priority will be given to students who have not previously been awarded a Pollitzer Prize.

Award: Each award of $500 is made to defray travel costs to the meetings.

Essay Prompt: On May 30, 2012, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a plan to ban the sale of sugary soda drinks larger than 16 ounces (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/nyregion/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-large-sugared-drinks.html?pagewanted=all). Outrage ensued. While the legal and ethical issues surrounding this plan are fascinating, the proposal draws attention to an important public health issue – the growing number of individuals who are considered to be overweight or clinically obese. The reasons why more people exceed what is considered to be a healthy weight are multifactorial in that the underpinnings are social, environmental, epigenetic, and genetic – and therefore our evolutionary history played a role in shaping how and why this is occurring. Biological anthropologists are well-positioned to offer tremendous insight. How does knowledge about the evolution of our species inform this important public health issue?

Application: Submit your essay online by 1 January 2016 at: http://physanth.org/forms/pollitzer-student-travel-awards-2016/

Any submission over 750 words will be automatically disqualified.

Essay Evaluation and Scoring Procedures: The AAPA Student Affairs Committee will evaluate each submission with an identification number to mask applicants’ identities. When distributed to the judges, each essay will be identified by a number assigned by the committee chair. The scoring criteria are:

1. Clarity and focus. 45 points possible

2. Originality of thought and insight. 45 points possible

3. Grammar and spelling. 10 points possible

The average scores from all judges will be used as the basis for deciding the winners of the award, with the AAPA Executive Committee giving final approval of the committee’s recommendation. Winners will be notified in early February 2016 and payment from the AAPA Secretary-Treasurer will be made via check or PayPal once meeting registration and travel are confirmed.

If you have questions please contact Dr.Leslea Hlusko at hlusko@berkeley.edu.