Abdul H. Rifai Award

Each year, the KPSA awards the Abdul H. Rifai Award for the best paper presented by an undergraduate student at its annual meeting. We encourage students from all disciplines to apply, though the paper must be related to some political issue, event or idea.

The following rules apply:

1. All papers must have a faculty sponsor, identified as such on the title page. Papers which have been previously submitted for course credit may be revised, if desired.

2. Papers must be no more than 15 double-spaced pages long, including text and notes, with 1 inch margins, 12 point font in Times New Roman style. Tables. figures, and bibliography do not count toward page limit count.

3. Papers must be presented at the annual KPSA meeting. Presentations should not last more than 15 minutes, with time for questions. Typically, a panel slot is reserved for ungraduate presentations, though undergraduate papers presented at other panels are eligible.

4. Judges are selected by the KPSA President, and give approximately equal weight to the quality of the paper and that of the presentation. The award is given out at the Friday Dinner Meeting.

Past Winners

2015 Nathan McNichols, Murray State University, “Decisions Dictated By Perceptions: The Influences of Society and Education in Scalia’s Originalism.”

2015 Ashley Taulbee, Morehead State University, “The Evolution of Kentucky’s Constitutions: A Comparison of The Original and Second Constitutions.”

2015 Kelly Grenier, Berea College, "Operation Nudge: How Non-Sovereign Organizations can Gain Quasi-Sovereign Powers to Solve Public Choice Issues."

2015 Matt Hart, Kathleen Kennedy and Bryan Repishti, Centre College, “Split Ticket Voting in Kentucky.”

2015 Kelli South, Chase Deppen, Matthew Gilbert & Ryan McDonald, Centre College, “Do Coal Unions and Racial Diversity Affect Split Ticket Voting in Kentucky?”

2014 Tyler O'Daniel, Center College, "Cross of Iron: Public Attitudes and Military Spending Since the Cold War."

2013 Autumn Baker, Morehead State University, " Roger Sherman: The Transition from Articles to the Constitution."

2010 David Hughes, Georgetown College, "Gay Rights and Social Movements in Latin America."

2010 Wes Hunt, Murray State University, "V.O. Key Revisited: Confirms Campbell's Model?"

2011 Ahmad Shuja, Berea College, "Minority Secessionism in Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes"

2009 Sarah Spiker, Western Kentucky University, "Eco-Sanitation: A method of providing the human right to dignity across the globe."

2008 Beth Coleman, Berea College, "Immigration in the EU and the UK: A Conflict of Interests and Policy"

2007 Jeremy Wells, Berea College. "Imperium et Sacerdotium: Universalism, Fragmentation, and New Medievalism."

2006 William Gyude Moore, Berea College. "Demographic Pressures and the Stability of the State in Sub-Saharan Africa."

2005 Diana Freeman, Centre College, "An Explanation of Conflict: Ethnicity, Deprivation, and Rationalization."

2004 Heather Barton, Berea College, "Political Participation and College Students: The Case of Berea College"

2003 Trish Gibson, Berea College, "Prophet vs. Politician: Evaluating the Role of Charismatic Leadership in the Promotion of Political Stability"

2002 Christopher Skye Freeman, Berea College, "Political Disequlibrium, Containment, and the Cold War: How the Natural Selection of Political Issues May Drive American Foreign Policy and the Unintended Consequences of Political Decisions"

2001 Irakli Khodeli, Berea College, "Human Rights And Sovereignty In Contemporary International Relations"

2000 Gail Guiling, Western Kentucky University, "Black Enfranchisement In Kentucky: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965."

1999 Carrie Cutter, Centre College, "Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Economies: A Study of Mozambique and Uganda."

1998 Seth Kincaid Jolly, Centre College, "Mediating European Integration in the 1990s: National Identity and Economics in France and Ireland."

1997 Lisa Vaughn, Berea College




1993 Michelle Woolwine, Moorehead State University

1992 Lisa A. Clark, Berea College

1991 G. Keith Alvey, University of Louisville

1990 Celia T. Feldpausch, Berea College, "The European Integration Process"
         Tara Bellando, Berea College

Our records right now are incomplete: if you have additional information about these or other award winners, please contact  Michael Hail, and this page will be updated accordingly.

Note as well that we hope to put the full text of the latest winning papers on this site in the near future.