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The AY 22-23 Jean Fort Dissertation Prize winners have been chosen and are listed below.

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The Jean Fort Dissertation Prize, established in honor of UC San Diego's long-time Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Jean Fort, is awarded annually to a Ph.D. recipient of unusual intellectual breadth whose doctoral research has met the highest standards of academic excellence and may make a significant contribution on an issue of humanitarian or public concern. This year's two winners will each , one nominee will be selected to receive a $1000 prize.

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  • To be eligible, a doctoral candidate must receive their Ph.D. degree from UC San Diego during the Academic Year 20222023-2324June 1217, 20222023, to June 1714, 20232024.

  • Doctoral alumni who received their degree previously (before June 1217, 20222023) are ineligible.

  • Doctoral candidates who intend to complete their degree later in Summer 2023 2024 will be eligible for nomination during the next academic year.

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titleNomination Materials
  • Graduate departments/programs can each submit one nomination by Monday, May 22April 29, 2023 2024 at 711:59am59pm.

  • Please submit: 1) the nominee's CV, 2) a letter of recommendation endorsed by the department chair/program director and 3) a 1-2 page summary of the candidate's dissertation.

  • Please submit all nomination materials as one single .pdf file via Google Form.

If you have any questions please send an email to which will create a ticket in the Services & Support portal.

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The deadline for submission Monday,

May 22

April 29,



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2022-2023 Recipients

  • Anna Mai – a Fall 2022 Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Linguistics, Dr. Mai's dissertation is entitled: Contrast, Neutralization, and Systems of Invariance

  • Pascal Polonik – a Spring 2023 Ph.D. graduate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Polonik's dissertation is entitled: Aerosols, Air Quality Equity, and Climate Impacts

2021-2022 Recipients

  • Channing Prend – a Spring 2022 Ph.D. graduate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Prend's dissertation is entitled: Physical Controls on Southern Ocean Biogeochemistry

  • Maxie Gluckman – a Fall 2021 Ph.D. graduate in Education Studies, Dr. Gluckman's dissertation is entitled: Education on the Move: Informal Learnings of Honduran Child Migrants In-Transit

2020-2021 Recipient 

  • Qiguang He – a Winter 2021 Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr. He’s dissertation is entitled: Bioinspired Liquid Crystal Elastomer (LCE) Based Soft Actuators with Multimodal Actuation

2019-2020 Recipients

  • Cameron Sells – a Spring 2020 Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Political Science, Dr. Sells’ dissertation is entitled: The Life of the Party: Grassroots Activists and Mass Partisanship in Latin America

  • Michael Berman – a Summer 2019 Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Berman’s dissertation is entitled: Hearth of a Heartless World: Compassion, Alienation, and the Formation of Liberal Secularism in Contemporary Japan