Application/Nomination Deadline: December 19, 2016
Award decision: February 15, 2017
Alma H. Young (1947-2004)
UAA Board Chair (1999-2001)
former Dean of the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs
Professor & Coleman A. Young Chair in Urban Affairs
Wayne State University

The Urban Affairs Association gives an annual award for emerging scholars whose work exemplifies outstanding scholarship in urban affairs. It was renamed in 2004 in honor of Alma H. Young to commemorate her longstanding service to UAA, and her particular commitment to mentoring graduate students and junior faculty. The recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque, and a complimentary registration to the conference. The award winner will be presented with the plaque and honorarium at the annual Awards and Recognition Luncheon held during the spring conference. Modest travel support may also be available.


Students pursuing doctoral research related to urban affairs, regardless of academic discipline, are eligible to apply. Applicants must have finished their coursework, passed their comprehensive examinations, and have an approved dissertation proposal. The student is not required to hold a UAA membership, however the nominator must be a UAA member.


Application for the award consists of the following items:

  1. A nomination letter from a current UAA member. This letter must attest that the student has an approved dissertation proposal, has completed coursework, and has passed comprehensive examinations. If the nominating UAA member is not familiar with the student’s dissertation research, the application should include an additional letter of support from a faculty member who can speak to the nature and quality of the dissertation scholarship. Nomination/support letters should be confidential (sent directly to the UAA office by the nominator(s)). Letters may be sent via email (scanned signed copy on letterhead).  Alternatively, letters may be sent by regular postal services in a sealed envelope, signed across the flap.  All letters should have the following phrase placed near the top of each page of text:  EMERGING SCHOLAR AWARD-Last name of student nominee
  2. A two- to three-page, double-spaced, personal statement by the applicant describing the applicant’s urban interests, engagement, and career plans.
  3. The student’s curriculum vitae or resume.
  4. A prospectus for the dissertation of 1,500-2,000* words that indicates the research questions, argument or hypotheses, literature and data sources, methodology, and nature of expected findings. *Please note: Bibliography references and/or appendices do not count towards the 1,500-2,000 words limit.

Each of these documents must be sent to UAA via email (as a PDF file).  Email documents should include the following subject line: EMERGING SCHOLAR AWARD-Last name of student nominee, and be sent to


Selection Procedures

The applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Chairperson of the Governing Board. The winner will be selected based on scholarship and commitment to urban issues. The awards committee will report its decision to the UAA Executive Director, who will inform all applicants and nominators of the committee’s decision prior to the spring UAA conference.


If you have any questions, contact the UAA Executive Office at or call 414-229-3025.

Previous Winners

  • (2016) Megan Heim LaFrombois, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • (2015) Amy Khare, University of Chicago
  • (2014) Matthew Weber, University of Michigan
  • (2013) Desiree Fields, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • (2012) Adrienne Smith, Emory University
  • (2011) Martine August, University of Toronto
  • (2010) Vladimir Kogan, University of California, San Diego
  • (2009) Sandra Zupan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • (2008) Mike Powe, University of California, Irvine
  • (2007) Julia Koschinsky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • (2006) Keri-Nicole Dillman, New York University
  • (2005) Kristin Good, University of Toronto
  • (2004) Deborah Carroll, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • (2003) Michelle Camou, University of Colorado
  • (2002) Roxanne Ezzet-Lofstrom, University of California, Irvine
  • (2001) Alvaro Cortes, Wayne State University
  • (2000) Michael Leo Owens, State University of New York-Albany
  • (1999) James DeFilippis, Rutgers University
  • (1998) Rachel Garshick Kleit, University of North Carolina
  • (1997) Dale Thomson, University of Maryland, Baltimore County