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Winston Family Honors Awards

Established by Roger ('76, '79) and Karen Winston (’75), the annual Winston Honors Wriiting Awards recognize the best essays, research papers, and theses written by honors students.

2020 Winston Winners Announcement

The Honors College 2020 Winston Family Award Winners

Winston Family Honors Awards categories

Short Essay Award:

Essay written for an Honors (HONR) Seminar.
Length: 1,500-2,500 words (double-spaced)

Research Paper Award:

Paper written for an Honors (HONR) Seminar, H-version, or H-option course.
Length: 2,500-7,500 words (double-spaced)

Honors Thesis Award:

Culminating research project undertaken in a departmental honors program.
Excerpt length: 5,000-10,000 words (double-spaced)


  • Submissions for the Short Essay and Research Paper Awards must have been submitted for course credit during one of the following terms: Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021.
  • Eligibility for papers written in H-option courses require successful completion of the course with Honors credit (papers in current fall 2020 semester) are not eligible.
  • Submissions for Thesis Awards must represent work from the culminating research requirement in a departmental honors program during Spring 2021.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the time of submission to be eligible for these awards.
  • Students must have a cummulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible for these awards.
  • Submissions must be in an academic writing format.
  • One submission per student.

Faculty Mentors
Faculty mentors are those persons who either taught the course for which a student's essay or research paper was written (in the case of both the Short Essay and Research Paper Awards), or who are the thesis advisor for the student (in the case of the Honors Thesis Award).

Submissions will be accepted through March 28, 2021 as follows:
  • For all submissions: students must contact their faculty mentors to request a statement of support. Faculty mentors must complete a Faculty Statement Form by March 28, 2021.
  • Thesis Award submissions: complete the Student Application Form and attach in one file a 1-2pp. thesis abstract and a 20-40pp. thesis excerpt (preferably one or more chapters) by March 28, 2021.
  • All submissions should be revised, polished, and suitable for consideration by an awards committee comprised of readers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Co-authored and/or group papers are not accepted.

Awards Celebration

Winston Award awardees will receive a monetary prize and a certificate. Awardees and mentors will also be celebrated on the Honors College website and social media accounts. A celebratory event is usually planned for the awardees, their faculty mentors/professors of the course in which the paper was submitted, and the Winston family. The status of COVID-19 at the state, county, and campus levels will determine if this event is held for the spring 2021.

About the Awards
The annual Winston Family Honors Writing Awards were established to recognize Honors student writing and to acknowledge the central role that faculty members play in mentoring Honors College students. We are grateful to Roger Winston ('76), Karen Winston (’75), and their daughter Emily Winston (’06) whose generous gift provides these merit awards. We deeply appreciate the Winston family’s investment in academic excellence and their commitment to University Honors, the Honors College, and the University of Maryland.
Questions? Please contact us at

Winston Family Honors Faculty Award

This award recognizes outstanding faculty advising, mentorship and supervision of University of Maryland Honors students. Nominees must be tenure-track or professional-track faculty members who serve, or have served as departmental honors directors and/or undergraduate thesis advisors. The recipient will receive a $1,200 award. Department chairs or their designees should submit letters of nomination to Questions? Please email Stephan Blatti at