Barbara Brown Outstanding Student Paper Award


  • Nominations are due on August 09, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT (August 10, at 3:59am, UTC).
  • Papers may not exceed 8,000 words, including notes, tables, and references.
  • All identifying information must be removed for blind review.
  • Papers are to be formatted with 1-inch margins and use 12-point font.
  • Authors should follow the American Psychological Association (7th edition) guidelines for journal article style throughout the paper, and should include line numbers to facilitate reviewer comments.
  • Authors should include a separate cover page with the title of the paper, their full contact information, institutional affiliation, degree program, advisor’s name and contact information, and award category for submission (master’s or doctoral). They should submit their paper (de-identified of author information) as a separate file for review.
  • Submit applications via email to Committee Chair, Letisha E. C. Brown [[email protected] ] by August 09, 2024.
  • Please direct any questions about the award to Committee Chair, Letisha E. C. Brown


  • Authors MUST be members of NASSS at time of submission. Please be sure that your membership status is updated and current.
  • Papers do not need to be submitted for presentation at the NASSS conference (though most are).
  • Authors must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time their paper is submitted.
  • Papers that have undergone formal, peer review for publication are not eligible for the contest. Furthermore, papers that are currently under review for publication at the time of submission are not eligible for the contest.
  • Papers must represent student-produced inquiry only. Limited input from supervisors (e.g., general feedback on structure and content, recommendations for editing) is acceptable, but papers on which supervisors have had substantial input (e.g., analysis of data, writing or rewriting of sections of the paper) are not eligible.
  • The committee will accept one (1) submission per author.
  • Papers that were previously submitted for consideration and not awarded may be resubmitted for consideration, provided the author and paper meet all other criteria.
  • In the event that a co-authored paper is selected as winner, the authors will share the prize.
  • When warranted, the committee will offer up to two (2) awards, one (1) for a Master’s Student and one (1) for a PhD student.
  • Only papers deemed by the committee to be truly outstanding will be considered for the award, and thus there is a possibility that no awards will be given for either or both award categories (i.e. Master’s and PhD).


Papers will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Explanation of Conceptual Framework
  • Analytic Clarity and Currency
  • Organization and Clarity of Expression
  • Discussion or Interpretation
  • Contribution to Knowledge-Impact
  • Relevance to NASSS/field (i.e., importance of topic)
  • Adherence to Consistent Referencing Style (e.g., APA)


The award recipient(s) will receive up to $1000 towards their NASSS conference expenses, plus a waiver of the conference registration fee. The Student Paper Award Committee may also give up to two honorable mentions in each category. Students receiving an honorable mention will have their conference registration fees waived. In addition, all authors will receive feedback on their papers, which will hopefully benefit the authors.

Committee Members
Julie Brice
Chris Knoester
Anna Posbergh
Nik Dickerson
Doo Jae Park


2023Doctoral Award: Jodan Keesler (University of Maryland) “Phenomenological Understandings of Transness: Queering Sporting Experiences”
Masters Award: Daniel Uy (York University) “Pride Body: Racialized Gay and Queer Men’s Physique Preparation for Canadian Pride Events”
2022Doctoral Award: Tori Justin (University of Maryland, College Park),"Woosah: Black Womxn, Yoga, and Wellness."
Masters Award: Janeanne Levenstein (University of Iowa), "What Does 'Big Gay Megan' Rapinoe Have to Apologize for Anyway? Rethinking the Female Apologetic through Post- and Popular Feminism."
2021Doctoral Award: Anna Posbergh (University of Maryland, College Park), “Defining ‘woman’: A governmentality analysis of how protective policies are created in elite women’s sport”
Masters Award: Monica Nelson (University of Maryland, College Park), “Muscle Moves Mass: Constructing the ‘Ideal’ Athletic Body in American Olympic Weightlifting”
2020Doctoral Award: Julie Brice (The University of Waikato), "Women's Bodies, Femininity, and Spacetimemattering: A Baradian Analysis of the Activewear Phenomenon"
Masters Award: Not Awarded in 2020
2019Doctoral Award: Sekani L. Robinson (University of California - Santa Barbara), "Black Swans: Black Women in Ballet and the Management of Emotional and Aesthetic Labor"
Masters Award: Not Awarded in 2019, No Applicants
2018Doctoral Award: Katelyn Esmonde  (University of Maryland), There’s only so much data you can handle in your life”: Accommodating and resisting self-surveillance in women’s running and fitness tracking practices
Masters Award: Ali Greey (University of Toronto), Transcending All Terrains: Engaging the Methodologies of Black Geographies and
Indigenous Land Education to Explore the Places of Sport
2017Doctoral Award: Nida Ahmad (University of Waikato), Muslim Sportswomen as Social Media Space Invaders: Recreating Identities and Challenging Stereotypes in Digital Space
Masters Award: Mitchell McSweeney (Brock University), Reflexive Accounts of a Postcolonial Ethnographer: Understanding Insider-Outsider Status
2016Doctoral Award: Madeleine Pape (University of Wisconsin-Madison) “The fairest of them all: The science of sex difference in the Court of Arbitration for Sport”
Masters Award: Vrinda Marwah (University of Texas at Austin) “Racialized Labor in Sport: A Review of Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering.”
2015Doctoral Award: Matt Hawzen(Florida State University), “Reading Tim Tebow: Sporting celebrity, whiteness and the cultural politics of morality in America”
Masters Award: Matt Crockett(San Jose State University), “A Spatial Ethnography of the CrossFit Gym”
2014Doctoral Award: Bryan Lagae (University of Miami) African American representation in big-time sports: The case of baseball
Masters Award: Bahar Tajrobehkar (York University) Subverting the ideal? Female bodybuilding competitors’ perceptions and negotiations of the competition norms
2013Doctoral: Gavin Weedon (University of British Columbia) Mud Running: Political Ecology Meets the Sociology of Sport
Masters: Anima Adjepong (U Texas, Austin) Rethinking sportswomen’s un/apologetics: Gender, race, and sexuality on and off the rugby pitch
2012Masters: Shawn Forde (University of British Columbia) Look at Yourself! A Critical Discourse Analysis of Right to Play’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Manual
Doctoral: Jennifer Hardes (University of Alberta) Toward a sporting common: Spectacle, biopolitical production and multitudinal becomings
2011Masters: Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown (University of Texas at Austin) The Spectacle of Blackness: Race, Representations and the Black Body
Doctoral: Mark Norman (University of Toronto) The Consumption and Production of Hockey Day in Canada on Twitter: Cultural Citizenship, Collective Discussion, and the Implications of New Media Communication
2010Masters: Brittney Boliba (California State University, East Bay) - Accessibility of an Action Sport: Examining Social Inclusion/Exclusion in Kiteboarding
Doctoral: Koji Kobayashi (University of Otago) - Corporate Nationalism and Glocalization of Nike Advertising in Asia
2009Sean Smith (European Graduate School of Media and Communications) - From Panoptic to Panhaptic? High Performance Running and the Societies of Control
2008Masters: Lindsey Pilver (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) - "I am Naturally Competitive, but I am O.K. with Being in the Middle." Identity Negotiation and the Conflicting Discourses of Female College Athletes
Doctoral: Michael Friedman (University of Maryland) -  "The Transparency of Democracy" : Spectacle and Symbolism in the Design of Washington National Park
2007Masters: Jennifer J. Hardes (Ohio State University) - More than Merely "Me"?: "Identity Politics" and the Paradigmatic Assumptions of Sport Sociologists
Doctoral: Simon C. Darnell (University of Toronto) - Post-hegemony? Investigating the Utility of Sport within International Development
2006Barbara Ravel (Université de Montreal) - "I Play Hockey and I’m Gaie But Don't Call me Butch!": Discursive Constructions of Gender and Sexuality in Québec Women's Sport
2005Holly Thorpe (University of Waikato) - Beyond ‘Decorative Sociology’: Contextualizing Female Surf, Skate and Snow Boarding
2004Jamie Schultz (University of Iowa) - "Staff of Which Legends are Made": Jack Trice Stadium and the Politics of Memory
2003Benita Heiskanen (University of Texas) - Boxing Womanhood: Spatio-Bodily Dialogue in Texas
2002Parissa Safai (University of Toronto) - Healing the Body in the 'Culture of Risk': Examining the Negotiation of Treatment between Medicine Clinicians and Injured Athletes in Canadian Intercollegiate Sport
2001Jeanne Kay (Université de Montréal) - The Corporate Habitus in Adventure Racing
2000Christine Provvidenza (University of Toronto) - A Feminist Discourse Analysis of "Heart Smart Women: Your Guide to Your Health"
1999Jay Scherer (University of Windsor) - Globalization and the Construction of Local Particularities: A Case Study of the Winnipeg Jets
1998Theresa Walton (University of Iowa) - Steve Prefontaine: From Rebel with a Cause to Bourgeois Hero
1997Michael Atkinson (University of Calgary) - Controlling the (FAN)Fare: The Role of Ticket Scalpers in Determining Access to Sporting Events
1996Brian Wilson (McMaster University) - The Black Athlete in Canada: Race, Representation and the Toronto Raptors
1995Shari Dworkin (University of Southern California) - A Woman's Place is in the ... Cardiovascular Room?: Gender Relations, the Body and the Gym
1994Faye Linda Wachs (University of Southem California) - A Structural Analysis of College Basketball: The Negotiation of Capital
1993Jennifer Joslin (University of Iowa) - Out of the Vacuum, Onto the Playing Field: Hoover-Bali and the Resurrection of an American President
1992Samatha King (Queen’s University) - The Politics of the Body and the Body Politic: Magic Johnson and the Ideology of AIDS
1991David Andrews (University of Illinois) - All Consumed Bodies: Baudrillard, Hyperreality and the Cybemetic Construction of Michael Jordan
1990Lisa McDermott (Queen’s University) - Towards an Integrative Critique of Modern Sport
1989Laurel Davis (University of Iowa) Racism and the Articulation of Differences: White Athletes
1982Cathy Bray (University of Alberta) - Gender and Political Economy of Canadian Sport
1981Jacqueline Gillis (University of North Carolina-Greensboro) - American Civil Religion and Sport

Barbara A. Brown was a professor of sport sociology at the University of Western Ontario from 1983 until 1990, when she died of cancer at the age of forty. Dr. Brown, who was President-Elect of NASSS at the time of her death, was widely recognized for her expertise on women in sport and leisure, her political commitment to extending girls’ and women’s opportunities for participation in sport, and her contributions to the development of a professional community of sport sociologists. She was also a dedicated mentor and teacher whose invaluable work with students is appropriately memorialized in the naming of this award for her.