Association for Community Organization & Social Administration

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Doctoral Student Award

The Doctoral Student Award honors a current PhD student who is doing meritorious scholarship in the field.


2017: Joel Izlar, University of Georgia

Nominator:  Rebecca Matthew, University of Georgia

Nomination Comments:

Joel has worked collaboratively with the Food Not Bombs organization to collect, prepare, and distribute discarded food to low-income, food insure individuals and families. He has also interned with the Economic Justice Coalition in Athens, GA directing grassroots living wage and worker’s rights campaigns, as well as serving as a full-time Program Manager for Meals on Wheels Atlanta providing free meals to 1800 low-income, predominantly African American seniors each week within the Atlanta-Metro area. And, moving from an intern position to ultimately directing Free IT Athens, Joel oversaw computer training in low-income housing communities, environmental justice education programs, and the distribution of thousands of refurbished computers to low-income individuals/families and local non-profits. These experiences have further galvanized his interest in exploring community based solutions to deteriorating social cohesion and environmental injustice for his dissertation, which will involve a qualitative examination of a Chicago-based Community Technology Center tackling issues concerning the digital divide, environmental prejudice, and community cohesion. His research is positioned to offer a significant contribution to the theory and practice of functional community organizing in particular and community practice more generally.


2016: John Mathias, University of Michigan


Nominator:  John Tropman, University of Michigan

Comment from nomination letter:

John is conducting outstanding scholarly work in the area of community organizing as evidenced by his dissertation and his other writing.  His research is focused on community/village political action in India, and has been funded by a Fulbright IE fellowship and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship.