Awards and Scholarships

Dawson Award for Best Undergraduate Political Science Student

The Dawson Award for Best Undergraduate Political Science Student is the highest honor our department bestows upon a student. It was established in 1988 to recognize outstanding undergraduate achievement in the field of political science. The award was named after Professor Irving O. Dawson who came to Lamar University in 1951 and served as an educator, mentor, and department chair until his retirement in 1971.
Dawson Award recipients have gone on to achieve great professional success. Past Dawson recipients include numerous university professors and professional educators, one university athletic director, one corporate transactional business executive, 16 practicing attorneys, and two current law school students.

Dawson Award Winners

2017-2018 Dawson Award for
Best Undergraduate Political Science Student

Tara Hoch
Robert Root

Tara Hoch
Robert Root

The Department of Political Science is very fortunate to have a number of scholarships made possible by the generosity and kindness of former students and community leaders. Each year, the faculty members in the department meet to select scholarship recipients from among our many exceptional majors. With the exception of the one-semester only Mayor Frances Monk Scholarship in Public Service, our department scholarships cover the entire academic year with financial deposits made directly into the recipients' Cardinal One accounts at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. We are extremely thankful to the benefactors of our scholarships and exceptionally proud of the students who will be recognized for their academic excellence through the scholarship awards.

Marilyn and Gilbert Adams Jr. Scholarship in Pre-Law

Established by the children of local attorneys Marilyn and Gilbert Adams, Jr. in honor of their parents, the Adams Scholarship is open to sophomore, junior and senior level students majoring in Political Science with a demonstrated intent to continue their education after graduation to obtain a Juris Doctorate degree.
2018-19 recipient of the Marilyn and Gilbert Adams Jr. Scholarship in Pre-Law - Connor Raborn

Connor Raborn scholarship recipient

David J. Beck Regents Scholarship in Political Science

Mr. David Beck established the David J. Beck Regents Scholarship in Political Science and increased the endowment to the status of Regents Scholarship in 2016. Mr. Beck served as a Regent of the Lamar University System and also served on the Lamar University Foundation Board. He was also named a Lamar University Distinguished Alumnus and is an active trial lawyer. In 2011, the Department of Political Science nominated and the Board of Regents approved Mr. Beck to receive an honorary doctorate from Lamar University.
2018-19 David J. Beck Regents Scholarship recipient - Katey McCall

Katey McCall scholarship recipient

Jack Brooks Scholarship in Government and Public Service

Congressman Jack Brooks had a close personal relationship with Lamar University for over 50 years and due to the congressman's tireless efforts in the Texas Legislature, Lamar was propelled from a two-year college to a four-year university. As a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, Congressman Brooks was one of only two representatives from southern states to vehemently oppose and refuse to sign the "Southern Manifesto" rejecting the Supreme Court's desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Educational opportunities were greatly expanded through the Congressman’s sponsorship of significant pieces of national legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and his help in writing and passing both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who seek a career in legal, government, or teaching.
2018-19 Jack Brooks Scholarship recipients: Savannah Parfait and Emily Lawrence.

Jimmie P. Cokinos Endowed Scholarship for Equality in Education

The Cokinos Scholarship was established by the Cokinos family in memory of Jimmie P. Cokinos, civic leader and former Mayor of Beaumont. In 1956, as Mayor, Cokinos was instrumental in integrating Lamar State College of Technology by using his authority to avoid race riots and allow black students to safely enter Lamar’s campus to enroll. He served as Beaumont City Manager from 1968-1970 and later served three terms from 1992 - 2004 as Jefferson County Precinct 1 Commissioner. At the age 87, as his political career came to a close, Cokinos remained devoted to serving the community and protecting civil liberties. With this scholarship, the Cokinos family seeks to fulfill his lifelong quest for justice and equality in education.
2018-19 Jimmie P. Cokinos Scholarship recipient - Emily Lawrence

Emily Lawrence scholarship recipient

Dr. Irving O. Dawson Scholarship in Political Science

Houston attorney David J. Beck established the Dr. Irving O. Dawson Scholarship in Political Science to honor his former political science professor for his mentorship and compassion for higher education. Dr. Dawson came to Lamar in 1951 and served for 20 years with 11 of those serving as chair of the Political Science Department. Port Arthur native David J. Beck, who established the Dawson Scholarship in his professor's honor has publically stated that Professor Dawson “knew [his] economic background and helped [him] get part-time jobs to make some money and stay in school. He was a tremendous influence on me.” Mr. Beck is now a successful Houston trial attorney, and was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules and reaffirmed to the position by current Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007.

2018-19 Irving O. Dawson Scholarship recipient - Raegan Minaldi

Raegan Minaldi scholarship recipient

Carl D. Levy Memorial Scholarship in Arts and Sciences

The Carl D. Levy Memorial Scholarship in Arts and Sciences was established in honor of Mr. Carl Levy by his wife, Doris Rosinger Levy. The scholarship is open to incoming freshmen with a priority in pre-law studies.
2018-19 Levy Memorial Scholarship recipient - West Brook High School senior and Fall 2018 incoming Lamar freshmen, Maissa Elsalibi.

Maissa Elsalibi scholarship recipient

Howard McDaniel Presidential Scholarship

The Howard McDaniel Presidential Scholarship was endowed by Helen Leger Laughman in memory and honor of her son, Howard McDaniel. Ms. Laughman taught in the Port Neches ISD and after retirement traveled the world with Italy being her favorite destination. The scholarship endowment notes that "Helen's love of life and those around her was only surpassed by her sense of humor and quick wit." Ms. Laughman specified in the endowment that the scholarship be awarded to exceptional students who have an interest in municipal government and public administration.
2018-19 Howard McDaniel Presidential Scholarship recipients – Tristen Anding and Savannah Parfait
Tristen Anding scholarship recipient
Savannah Parfait scholarship recipient

Mayor Frances K. Monk Award in Public Service

Frances K. Monk was elected mayor of Port Neches, Texas in 1996 and served on the city council for 15 years and as an educator for 32 years. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mayor Monk worked as a linguist for the U. S. Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. and helped write the first Vietnamese-to-English dictionary in the U. S. In honor of the contributions made by Mayor Monk, the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission established the scholarship in 2014 to provide a scholarship in the amount $500 each semester to a junior or senior political science student seeking a career in public service.
Fall 2018 Mayor Frances K. Monk Scholarship recipient - Connor Raborn

2017-2018 Best Undergraduate Paper and Research Awards

Each year, the faculty members of the Department of Political Science nominate the most outstanding papers they have received in their courses for consideration of the award of Best Undergraduate Paper. The competition is fierce since our majors are among the finest researchers on campus.

Award Recipients:
Tristen Anding, "Guaranteed Paid Vacation and its Effects on the Health and Productivity Rates of Workers,“ nominated by Dr. Terri Davis.
Michael Edwards, "Examination of the S.W.A.T. Forces Program and the Effects of Newer Policies,“ nominated by Dr. James Nelson.
Best Undergraduate Research Presentation:

Wesley Stapleton, "The Rise of Volunteerism during Hurricane Harvey Compared to Volunteerism during Hurricane Katrina,” nominated by Dr. Terri Davis.

Department Scholarship Award Winners

Maissa Elsalibi and Lindsey Darby-Raby
Maissa Elsalibi and
Lindsey Darby-Raby (LU Alum)
Scholarship Recipients
Maissa Elsalibi, Katey McCall, Raegan Minaldi, Tristen Anding,
Emily Lawrence, Connor Raborn, Savannah Parfait