Criteria for the Paul A. Stellhorn Undergraduate Paper in New Jersey History Award

Nominations for the Paul A. Stellhorn Undergraduate Paper in New Jersey History Award are

due June 1

The Stellhorn Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate writing about New Jersey history. It honors an outstanding and much-loved historian of New Jersey, the late Paul A. Stellhorn.

In 2021, there will be one or more awards in two categories, course or seminar papers and senior theses. Awards will consist of a certificate and a cash award of $200. The sponsors will present the award(s) at the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Annual Conference in November 2021. The New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance will invite the recipient(s) to speak about her, his, or their work at one of the Alliance’s 2022 meetings.

Stellhorn Award recipients’ papers will be eligible for publication in the online journal, New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

2020 Recipients

Senior Thesis: Vayne Ong, Princeton University, “Springwood Avenue Rising: Race, Leisure, and Decline in the 1970 Asbury Park Rising.”

Term or Seminar Paper: Sean Graham, Centenary University, “The Origins of Centenary Collegiate Institute: A Story of Industrialization, Wealth, and Natural Resources.”

Both papers are published in the January 2021 issue of New Jersey Studies.

Submission Criteria

· Papers or theses may be about any subject in New Jersey’s history and may come from history and other departments, and from institutions in New Jersey and elsewhere.

· Nominated works should be truly outstanding in all respects (see evaluation criteria, below).

· Senior theses are eligible for the award and will be judged separately in their own category.

· Papers or theses must be nominated by the professors for whose courses students wrote them or who mentored the thesis or served as one of its readers. Students may not nominate their own papers or theses.

· Nominations should include a discussion of why the paper or thesis is award-worthy.

· Papers or theses must have been written by undergraduate students attending colleges (including community colleges) or universities during calendar 2019, 2020, or 2021.

· Papers by current graduate students are not eligible unless a student wrote the paper as an undergraduate in 2018, 2019, or 2020. NOTE: The New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance sponsors an annual award for graduate student writing about New Jersey history. Contact Professor Paul Israel at, or visit for criteria.

· Email nominating letters and papers by June 1, 2021, to, or surface-mail nominating letters and four (4) copies of each paper by the same date to Richard Waldron, 150 Flock Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619; 609.468.3824.

NOTE: The NJSAA has established the Marc Mappen Student Research Scholarship to assist high school and undergraduate research and writing projects. Awards of up to $300 will be made in March and October of each year. Visit for requirements and application procedure or email the committee chair, Professor Melissa Ziobrio,

Receipt of a Mappen Scholarship is NOT a requirement for the Stellhorn Award.

Evaluation Criteria

A paper or thesis submitted for the Stellhorn Award will be evaluated on its narrative strength, the thoroughness of its author’s research (mastery of sources and the standard forms of historical citation), and analysis of the paper’s subject, including its historical context. A nominated paper should, therefore, tell a good story, explain its subject’s significance and how the subject changed over time, and utilize a broad array of relevant primary and secondary sources. Evaluators are historians the sponsors have chosen for the breadth and depth of their knowledge of New Jersey and American history.


The Stellhorn Award’s sponsors are the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance; the New Jersey Historical Commission, New Jersey Department of State; Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries; and the New Jersey Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference.