Chester A. Berry Scholar Award

The Chester A. Berry Scholar Award for Excellence in Writing was named in honor of ACUI's first executive director and was first awarded in 1982. The award recognizes outstanding writing in the field of college unions and student activities, with emphasis on the theme of the annual conference. Students and staff are encouraged to co-author papers as well. In addition to the recognition associated with the award, winning author(s) will receive a $400 cash prize. Prize money will be split between authors.

Eligibility and Criteria

Any professional who is employed full-time or student who is enrolled full-time at an ACUI member institution is eligible for nomination. Papers submitted must:

  • Be 2,000–4,000 words in length (roughly 10–20 double-spaced pages), including bibliography and any appendices.
  • Be heavily researched, not first-person accounts or opinions. 

Each paper will receive a blind review from the awards committee. Papers will be judged on the following: topic, writing, style, consideration of literature, originality, and clarity.

If ACUI chooses to publish the paper, winning entrants grant ACUI full ownership rights to their work. ACUI assumes all entries are original and are the works and property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. ACUI is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant.


2014 Chester A_ Berry winnerPrevious Recipients

2014 award recipients: Robert Meyer & Eric Love, Indiana University–Bloomington, for their article, "The Influence of Whiteness on College Unions," published in the September 2012 Bulletin.

2013 award recipient: Kaitlyn Moran, North Carolina State University
2012 award recipient: Dirk Rodricks, University of Vermont
2010 award recipients: Julia Colyar, University of Buffalo & Trish Dillenbeck, Buffalo State University

Submission Information

Please place nominations online by filling out the Chester A. Berry Scholar Award nomination form to include the following information:

  • Name, title, institution, and contact information for all authors
  • Evidence that author(s) meet all eligibility criteria
  • One complete copy of paper

The nomination window for this year’s awards is currently closed, with recipients being presented at the 2016 annual conference. Nominations will be collected again in late 2016.

Selection and presentation

Nominations will receive written or electronic notification confirming their receipt. The ACUI awards committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review the applications to determine a winner. One winner will be chosen; one physical award will be given to the winner. If winning paper is written by multiple authors, the cash prize will be split between the authors. The winner will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference.

Updated Dec. 8, 2015