In the spring of 2011, the Arts & Sciences Graduate Studies Advisory Board voted unanimously in support of the Board’s concept for initiating these annual awards. The Carl J. Strikwerda Awards for Excellence recognize William & Mary Arts & Sciences graduate students for their outstanding written papers on thesis research or scholarship to earn an MA, MS, or MPP degree. To be considered for an award, Graduate Research Symposium presenters from William & Mary submit a 5-6 page paper discussing their research. Papers are judged blindly by a multidisciplinary panel of William & Mary faculty and Graduate Studies Advisory Board members. Previous award recipients have been commended for original investigation and the integration of knowledge, and distinguished excellence in scholarship through potential contribution to the discipline and recognition by peers.