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End-Of-Year Prizes & Recognition for Graduating Seniors

Kenneth Janda Prize for Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis

The Kenneth Janda Prize is awarded for the best undergraduate Honors thesis of the year. The Honors committee selects a winner in consultation with the Undergraduate advisors and Undergraduate program committee. The Janda Prize carries a financial award. Prize-winning theses serve as a reference of outstanding work for future Honors students. 

This prize is in honor of Kenneth Janda, who taught in the Department of Political Science for 41 years. He helped shape the lives of hundreds of Northwestern graduates, for whom his courses and guidance was critical. This award is one of the many ways that his contributions to Northwestern Political Science are recognized and remembered.

William M. McGovern PRIZE for Academic Excellence and Leadership

Each year the department selects outstanding graduating political science majors for the McGovern Award. The award is for excellence in scholarship, leadership, and University citizenship.  The award carries a financial prize.

This prize is in honor of William M. McGovern, who taught comparative politics and political theory in political science at Northwestern from 1929 until his death in 1964.  He often lectured in Harris Hall 107 to an overflow crowd of 300 students fascinated by his insights and anecdotes.  His devoted students funded the McGovern Award.

R. Barry Farrell Prize for Academic Achievement

Each year the department recognizes student(s) with the best 395 research paper(s) through the Farrell Prize for Academic Achievement. The award carries a small financial prize.  A list of nominations will be made public to students so even being nominated is an honor.

This prize is in honor of Barry Farrell, who taught comparative politics in the Political Science Department from 1958 to his death in 1991.  One of the most popular lecturers at Northwestern University, Professor Farrell’s classes in Soviet Politics and Comparative Politics regularly attracted hundreds of students.  He was devoted to undergraduate students and served for many years as Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

Convocation Marshal/Leader

The department chooses one graduating senior to be the standard bearer at the WCAS convocation. The student who is chosen to be convocation marshal is nominated by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of Honors, or by a member of the Undergraduate Advising Committee.