(WAPA) Opens the 2023 Praxis Award Competition

The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists

Bill Roberts
2023 Praxis Award Chair
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

WAPA announces the open of the 2023 Praxis Award Competition, a biennial award that recognizes professional excellence and outstanding achievement “in translating anthropological knowledge into action as reflected in a single project or specific endeavor” (WAPA website).  In the coming months, the 2023 Praxis Award Committee members will be reaching out to professional anthropologists, i.e., anthropologists who have earned a minimum of an MA/MAA, and encourage them to apply for this prestigious award.  Successful applicants are anthropologists who are able to demonstrate clearly and compellingly the “anthropological difference” their involvement had in the outcomes or impacts of a specific project or activity.  The committee will consider applications for projects or activities that are ongoing at the time of application or have concluded within the past seven years of application.  One of the main roles for Praxis committee members is to encourage anthropologists to complete a pre-entry application for the award that will be reviewed by the committee and returned to the applicant with constructive feedback for their full application.  A separate group of Praxis jurors will read and score the full applications, then give their assessment results and comments to the full Praxis committee that reaches a consensus on the award winner(s) or honorable mention(s).  The 2023 Praxis award winner(s) or honorable mention(s) will be formally recognized at the 2024 annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The Praxis award winner(s) receive(s) a $1000 (one thousand dollar) financial award and Praxis certificate, and their award is publicized by the Praxis committee to media outlets and the WAPA Praxis website. 

How to Apply   

The guidelines for the 2023 Praxis award are posted on WAPA’s website or you can write directly to me, Bill Roberts, praxisaward2023@gmail.com.  Beginning in 2019 the Praxis award committee encourages but does not require prospective applicants to complete a short, two – three-page pre-application.  The deadline for pre-applications is Friday, June 30, 2023.  Pre-applications will be reviewed by Praxis Committee members as they are received, and returned to the applicant with specific feedback that can be used to strengthen their full application.  The deadline for full applications is Friday, September 1, 2023.  Once the Praxis jurors have reviewed and rated all complete applications, the Praxis committee members use their rankings to decide the final distribution of the 2023 Praxis award(s).  All applicants are notified of the final decisions in early December, 2023.  The Praxis award ceremony includes a celebratory reception at the 2024 SfAA meetings in Santa Fe, which has been one of the favorite venues for the annual meeting for the last couple decades.

About WAPA

The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists is a Local Practitioner Organization formed in the late 1970s that has been continuously active since its founding.  There is a large number of professional anthropologists in the Washington, DC area who work in academia, government, the non-profit sector, or as independent consultants.  Many enjoy the benefits of being a member of the WAPA community.  As an organization, WAPA organizes a monthly speakers’ program that runs from October – May each year, and, since the COVID pandemic, has successfully moved the monthly programs online, which means that they are accessible to whoever has access to the internet and zoom.  WAPA’s mentoring program supports anthropologists at all stages of their professional careers and provides opportunities for networking and socializing.  Although the COVID pandemic resulted in the suspension of traditional face-to-face social events for members in the DC area, the WAPA Board envisions a time in the not too distant future when social events will be resumed.  WAPA has supported the Praxis award since 1981, and will host a reception at the upcoming SfAA annual meeting in Cincinnati.   

Join Us for a WAPA Reception in Cincinnati

As you plan your trip to Cincinnati for the annual SfAA meeting, I encourage you to include attending the WAPA reception on Saturday, April 1, in the Rue Reolon at the conference hotel from 5:30 – 7pm.  You can meet your colleagues or make new acquaintances, and also meet members of the 2023 Praxis committee and discuss your ideas for an award application.  We plan to have some of the authors and editors of the Profiles in Anthropological Praxis: An International Casebook, published last year by Berghahn books, at the reception.  This edited volume features recent Praxis awardees and is an excellent resource for anthropologists teaching courses in Applied or Practicing Anthropology, or courses in Research Methods.  I encourage all academically based anthropologists to contact their career or professional development centers to order a copy, so that anthropology students can learn more about the breadth and impact of the activities professional anthropologists undertake.  The reception is open to all conference goers, and will be an outstanding opportunity to reflect on this year’s conference, and discuss ideas for next year.  We hope to see you there!

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