SAA Awards Call for Nominations is now open. Please see click on the awards listed in the right hand side bar for more information. Application deadlines vary.
How the SAA Awards Process Works: Nominations and Committee Service
(Prepared by Patricia Gilman)
Have you wanted to nominate someone for an SAA award? Have you wanted to serve on an SAA award committee? This discussion will cover how to nominate a person or organization that deserves special recognition, as well as how to be considered for a position on a committee.
The nomination process is not difficult, and I encourage everyone to think of a person who should be so honored and to submit a nomination.
The awards process is centered on the award committees. The Board of Directors has chosen these awards to represent a breadth of areas within archaeology. Usually five or six people serve on a committee at a time, and one or two rotate on/off each year. If you would like to be considered to serve on a committee, please complete the Committee Interest form at www.saa.org/Aboutsaa/Committees/commintrst.html. The chair of the committee on which you would like to serve will receive your form and will consider you as a committee member when there is a vacancy on the committee. While you may submit the form at any time, appointments are usually made in early spring prior to the annual meeting.
To serve on an SAA committee, you must be an SAA member. You also may not serve on more than two committees at a time. In general, committee chairs look for people whose qualifications will make them a positive addition to the committee. While you do not have to have a Ph.D. to serve on awards committees, in general student members serve only on the Student Paper Award Committee. Committee chairs seek gender equity, representation from archaeologists working in various parts of the world and using diverse theoretical perspectives, and representation from archaeologists working in different job settings.
The main responsibility of an awards committee member is to help select an awardee each year in a timely manner. The amount of work involved varies greatly among committees. It may be as little as reading five or fewer nomination packets that generally include vitas and cover letters, perhaps with some supporting material, to reading several books or dissertations. Almost all committee work is done via email, although some committees do get together at the annual meetings. Committee members generally serve for three years.
Most committees begin their work with the solicitation of nominations in the September The SAA Archaeological Record. To nominate someone for an award, you should contact the committee chair listed for the particular award and submit the material requested for that award category. If you do not know which award would be most appropriate for the person you have in mind, you may contact the chair of the Committee on Awards. All documentation must be submitted by the deadline for the particular award. The person being nominated for an award does not have to consent to the nomination; in fact, their awards surprise many awardees. We encourage all SAA members to participate in the nomination process by downloading the form provided below, completing it, and attaching it to the nomination packet that you submit to the chair of a particular award.
After the deadline for nominations has passed, the committees review the documentation submitted for each nominee and select their award recipients, based on the criteria established for the award. In February, the chair sends the name and text about the person to the president of the SAA who contacts the awardee. The awards are announced later in the spring at the business meeting held during the annual meeting; thus, the nomination and award process works several months ahead of the actual award presentation.
We use the annual business meeting as a venue in which to present the awards, because we feel that the public recognition of the award winners is important to us as an organization and to the individuals themselves. The president reads a short tribute to each award winner and presents a plaque. In addition to their announcement at the annual business meeting, the award texts are part of the annual meeting registration packet and are published in the May issue of the The SAA Archaeological Record.