Hemelt receives APPAM thesis award

MOUNT VERNON – Steven Hemelt, new Cornell College assistant professor of politics, is off to an impressive start in his young academic career after his thesis was named one of the best in the country.

people_steve_hemelt_September_3_2009 007Hemelt was named the winner of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Dissertation Award for his thesis “Essays in Education Policy: Accountability, Achievement, and Access.”

He will be flown to the APPAM conference in Washington, D.C., this November to accept his award and present his thesis. Furthermore, an abstract of his thesis will be published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

“A national award is not what you expect when you start your new job,” said Hemelt, who is in his first year teaching after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, last spring. “It’s really humbling.”

“This is beyond anything I might have expected,” he added. “Past winners are people whose papers I read all the time.”

Hemelt graduated last spring with a Ph.D. in public policy. His masters and undergraduate degrees were also from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Cornell College is his first full-time college-level teaching appointment.

Universities and colleges are allowed to nominate only one paper for the APPAM award, and Hemelt was nominated a few months ago by his alma mater. Just being nominated, he said, “was an honor in and of itself.”

APPAM is the premiere professional organization for those with Ph.D.s in public policy, economics, and other applied social science disciplines.