Home / Awards / Outstanding Dissertation Award

Outstanding Dissertation Award

The Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS) invites submissions for the Outstanding Dissertation Award. The $1,500 award is presented every year  at the IEHS banquet during the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians to recognize an outstanding dissertation in the field of immigration and ethnic history of the United States and/or North America.


To be considered, a dissertation must focus on some aspect of the history of North American immigration and/or ethnicity, be successfully defended between October 1, 2023 and September 30, 2024, and be written in English.

Please submit a copy of the dissertation by the deadline: December 1, 2024.

In addition, applicants will arrange for their major advisor to submit a supporting letter.

Copies of the dissertation and supporting letter will be shared with each committee member.

Inquiries, dissertations, and letters should be submitted to: outstandingdissertation@iehs.org, which will reach all committee members.

Committee Members

Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez (Chair), Michael Salgarolo, and Brendan Shanahan

Previous Recipients

Hongdeng Gao – 2024

“From Medical Schools to Free Clinics: Health Activism and Education in New York’s Chinatown, 1950-1980,” (Columbia University).

Michael Salgarolo – 2023

“Transimperial Histories and Racial Formations in Filipino Louisiana, 1860-1949,” (New York University, 2022).

Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez – 2022

“Undocumented Youth: The Labor, Education, and Rights of Migrant Latinx Children in Twentieth-Century America,” (Columbia University).

Dr. Brianna Nofil – 2021

“Detention Power: Jails, Camps, and the Origins of Immigrant Incarceration, 1900-2002,” (Columbia University).

Honorable Mention

Dr. Kathleen Reed, “Graffiti at Ellis Island: Personal Testimony, Mark-Making and Experiences of Immigration Detention, 1900-1924,” (Columbia University).

Matthew Guariglia – 2020

University of Connecticut, “The American Problem: Race, Empire, and Policing in New York City, 1840–1930.”

Brendan A. Shanahan – 2019

“Making Modern American Citizenship: Citizens, Aliens, and Rights, 1865-1965”

Honorable Mention

Evan Taparata,”No Asylum for Mankind: The Creation of Refugee Law and Policy in the United States, 1776-1951.″

Bernadette Jeanne Perez – 2018

Before the Sun Rises: Contesting Power and Cultivating Nations in the Colorado Beet Fields (University of Minnesota, 2017)

Sarah R. Coleman – 2017

Redefining American: The Shifting Politics of Immigration at the End of the Twentieth Century (Princeton University, 2016)

Megan Asaka – 2016

“The Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle’s Urban Landscape” (Yale University, 2014)

Jared Toney – 2015

“Locating Diaspora: Afro-caribbean Migration and the Transnational Dialectics of Race and Community in North America, 1910-1929” (University of Toronto, 2014)

Elizabeth Craft (honorable mention) “Becoming American Onstage: Broadway Narratives of Immigrant Experiences in the United States” (Harvard University, 2014)

Julian Lim – 2014

“The Future Immense:’ Race and Immigration in the Multiracial U.S. – Mexico Borderlands” (Cornell University, 2013)