M.Ed. Capstones - Awards

College of Education Deans Award for Outstanding Masters Project and Thesis


To recognize outstanding student research and applied scholarship at the graduate level


Thesis or project must have been completed during academic year prior to fall deadline (1st day of classes)


One thesis winner and/or one project winner with 2-4 finalists


  1. The Dean of the College of Education will send out a general call for nominations at the beginning of each semester and post announcement on COE website.
  2. Project or thesis advisor will write a brief letter of support describing why they believes the project or thesis should be considered for the award. This letter and the project or thesis needs to be submitted to the Dean's Office by 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
  3. Award recipients will be notified in January.

Selection Process

Panel of readers will consist of at least five COE faculty members. Any committee member who has a student under consideration will withdraw from discussion that focuses on that students project or thesis. The committee will meet during the fall semester and make recommendations to the Dean.


Upon notification of award, the College of Education will request award recipients' permission to submit their work to ScholarWorks@GVSU, GVSU's open-access scholarly works repository.

Recent Award Winners

  • Tiffany L. Steele – 2016 Outstanding Thesis
    Retaining Staff Members of Color at a Midwestern Predominantly White Institution
    Read at ScholarWorks@GVSU
  • Lauren Presutti – 2016 Outstanding Project
    Designing an Online Orientation Program for Adult Learners at Grand Valley State University
    Read at ScholarWorks@GVSU
  • Theresa Lyon – 2015 Outstanding Thesis
    Undocumented Latino College Students and Identity Development: A Qualitative Analysis of Undocumented Latino College Students’ Movement Towards Developing Purpose
    Read at ScholarWorks@GVSU
  • Kate Thome – 2015 Outstanding Project
    Promoting Self-Authored Career Decision-Making through Parent Partnerships
    Read at ScholarWorks@GVSU
  • Tung Nguyen - 2014 Outstanding Project
    Student-Centered Behavior Management: A Holistic Approach to Reducing Overall Discipline While Minimizing the Disproportionate Racial Gap
    Read at ScholarWorks@GVSU