The Emerging Scholars Program was implemented by the ACPA Senior Scholars in 1999. The Emerging Scholars Program supports, encourages, and honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship and who are pursuing research initiatives congruent with the mission, interests, and strategic goals of ACPA. Emerging Scholar Program candidates must have an earned doctorate and must be or become members of ACPA.

Emerging Scholar Program participants commit to ongoing engagement in research and scholarship as well as attendance at two consecutive ACPA national conventions, beginning with the ACPA convention immediately following their selection. In the first year of the Program, Emerging Scholars participate in a half-day research institute prior to the beginning of the ACPA convention. At the ACPA convention during their second year of the Program, Emerging Scholars present their research at a dedicated research symposium session.

ACPA Emerging Scholars Program 2019-2021

The Class of 2019 ACPA Emerging Scholars Program (i.e., Fall 2018 selection process), is now accepting applications.  Recipients will be announced as "2019-2021" ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designees" (that is, the 2019 ACPA Convention in Boston through the 2021 ACPA Convention in Long Beach) and will each receive a $3000.00 research grant from ACPA. 2019 Emerging Scholar-Designees who have fulfilled their research and scholarly leadership commitments - as specified in their applications - by the end of their two-year term will receive the ACPA Emerging Scholars Award. Requests for a one-year unfunded extension or renegotiation of the specified leadership commitments by Emerging Scholar-Designees will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Award Eligibility:

Applicants must be an ACPA member.  In addition, all applicants need to be within 5 years of completing their doctorate or within 5 years of entering a tenure-track faculty position.

Application Process

Applicants for 2019-2021 ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designee must submit the following by 30 September 2019. Additional application information will be shared soon!

  • letter of interest
  • current CV
  • at least one recommendation letter
  • Research Project Proposal of no more than three single-spaced pages, excluding cover page and reference list
  • Three proposed Scholarly Leadership Commitments (see below).

A. Research Project Proposal

Proposal must include, at minimum, all five of these elements:

  1. A description of the proposed research project and how it advances the applicant’s broader research agenda.
  2. A proposed time frame (ordinarily, no longer than the Designee’s two-year term as ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designee).
  3. A brief project budget totaling $3000.00. Funds may be used for operating expenses including travel for data collection or dissemination. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment or to offset or supplement the Designee’s salary.
  4. An explanation of how the proposed research project, within the context of the applicant’s overall research agenda, advances at least two of ACPA’s Strategic Planning Priorities.
  5. A commitment to present research findings at a minimum of one ACPA Convention during the Designee’s two-year term (that is, 2019 Emerging Scholar-Designees must present at either the 2020 or the 2021 Convention as part of the sponsored Emerging Scholar Research sessions).

B. Scholarly Leadership Commitments: The applicant must choose and complete (by the end of the Designee’s two-year term) at least three of the following scholarly leadership commitments:

  1. Serve as an invited manuscript reviewer for the Journal of College Student Development (a maximum of six manuscript reviews over the two-year term). Note: This invited manuscript reviewer status does not constitute membership on the JCSD Editorial Board.
  2. Participate in an ACPA-sponsored 15-20 minute video-recorded presentation centering on their particular research expertise and its relevance to student affairs professionals. Videos will be accessible via ACPA website and/or its media networks. Depending on the circumstances, videos will vary in format (e.g., featuring one individual’s research, two individuals engaged in similar research, two individuals in research-to-practice-to-research conversations relevant to a particular research area)
  3. Co-coordinate (with a current Senior Scholar) an ACPA convention session or pre-convention session designed to mentor and coach aspiring practitioner-scholars interested in contributing to scholarship and practice.
  4. Co-coordinate (with a current Senior Scholar) an ACPA convention session or pre-convention session for student affairs professionals who wish to teach in graduate degree programs and current adjuncts who seek information, potential sources, and strategies to improve their teaching effectiveness.
  5. Serve as designated Scholar-in-Residence (minimum one-year term) for an ACPA Commission, Coalition, Community of Practice or other formally constituted group.
  6. Other (to be proposed by the candidate).

As one of their three Scholarly Leadership Commitments, applicants for ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designee may propose a project or task that will advance one or more of ACPA’s strategic goals and is consistent with the applicant’s scholarly agenda. Applicants should describe the proposed commitment in sufficient detail to foster understanding of its content and scope during the ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designee review and selection processes.

As this newly configured ACPA Emerging Scholars program evolves, additional scholarly leadership opportunities will be cultivated, and some ad hoc opportunities may arise. Examples may include: authoring or co-authoring a Senior Scholar-commissioned white paper/policy paper on a contemporary issue of concern to student affairs professionals or authoring or co-authoring a chapter or section of an edited Senior Scholars publication.

2019 Recipients

Sonja Ardoin, Appalachian State University

Tricia Shalka, University of Rochester

Keon M. McGuire, Arizona State University

Eugene T. Parker, III, University of Kansas

Claudia García-Louis, University of Texas at San Antonio

Past Emerging Scholars