The following guidelines and accompanying explanations are provided to ensure objectivity and the highest possible standards for the Caminos Thesis Competition.
1. Eligibility to enter the Caminos Thesis Competition:
- Any Hispanic (must be a U.S. Citizen or a resident of the U.S.) individual
- Completed and defended a thesis by September 30, 2017
- Completed a Masters degree between December 1, 2015 and December 30, 2017
- Degree completion is defined as satisfactorily completed all course work
- Written and defended a thesis between the specified dates
- Thesis focuses on Food and the Agricultural Sciences
Theses are eligible if they are in fields that are related to the USDA priority areas, including Food Safety, Climate Change, Sustainable Energy, and Childhood Obesity. Theses in the humanities or social sciences are not eligible. Studies using any research approach (historical, experimental, survey, etc.) are eligible.
2. What are the criteria used in evaluating the theses?
The following criteria will be used to evaluate the theses:
(a) The conceptualization of inquiry and focus; creativity and innovation;
(b) The appropriateness of the research design, approach and data analysis;
(c) The discussion of findings focused on comprehension and integration;
(d) The significance of its contribution to knowledge in the field: discussion of findings, implications and contributions to the discipline;
(e) The scholarly quality of the thesis focused on the writing, literature review and bibliography (current and appropriateness to the study).
3. Caminos Thesis Competition Deadline:
September 30, 2017, 5 p.m. CST
4. Thesis requirements:
(1) Letter: A letter, on university stationery and signed by the chair of the thesis committee, must indicate how the thesis a) meets the eligibility criteria, defined earlier in these guidelines, detail is essential; b) would be ranked among previous theses chaired; meets the evaluation criteria listed above.
(2) Summary: On a separate page, include a summary, approximately 150 words in length, stating in non-technical terms, the purpose and major findings of the study. Double-spaced and one page in length.
(3) Completed and Defended Thesis: Your writing style should be clear, consistent, and concise. Particular care should be taken to ensure that each table, chart and/or figure is adequately explained. Confirmation of thesis completion and defense from the chair of the thesis committee is required to protect all competitors, the universities, AAHHE, USDA, NIFA, and Texas State University.
(4) Please use the Easy PDF Cloud tool to submit all parts (title page, letter, summary, completed thesis, appendices, etc.) of your submission for the Caminos Thesis Competition. Select the 3rd option, Combine Files to PDF, save to your desktop and then submit that final document for the Competition.
5. Judging each submission:
The chair of the competition will send all theses submitted to a Panel of Judges who will be asked to judge/evaluate all submissions. Each judge will be asked to submit to the chair of the competition a ranking of the top five (5) theses. The Panel of Judges will read, evaluate, and rank the completed submissions and will determine the top three (3) theses.
All decisions by the Panel of Judges are final.
6. Important dates and deadlines:
The schedule below, in addition to providing important dates and deadlines, provides additional information about the process.
- September 30, 2017: Deadline for applicants to submit a defended thesis
- December 11, 2017 - January 22, 2018: Panel of Judges reviews and selects the top three (3) theses.
- January 29, 2018: Chair of the competition notifies all participants of competition results
- March 8 - 11, 2018: Winners attend the 13th Annual National AAHHE Conference in Irvine, Ca.
- March 11, 2018: The 2018 Caminos Thesis Competition winners are announced at the awards luncheon at the 7th Annual National AAHHE Conference in Costa Mesa, Ca.
- April 2, 2018: Announcement will be posted on the website of the following entities; AAHHE, Texas State, and USDA. Announcements will be submitted in the
- Journal of Hispanic Higher Education
- Hispanic Outlook of Higher Education and other journals.
- USDA will announce the competition to its constituencies.
7. Recognition for the winners:
The three (3) winners will be recognized formally at the Annual Awards luncheon during AAHHE’s 13th Annual Conference in Irvine, California on March 8-10, 2018.
Conference registration costs and travel expenses within the continental United States, to include hotel room for three (3) nights will be paid for the participants.
The first place winner will receive an award of $1,500. The second place winner will receive an award of $1,000, and the third place winner will receive an award of $500. All three winners will receive an AAHHE plaque.
Winners will also present their theses in individual concurrent sessions at the conference. The American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education will also ask the three (3) finalists to submit to the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, an academic article based on the thesis.
Support for this project is provided by the USDA/NIFA HSIs Education Grants Program.