HISTORY DAY



The Utah Historical Society’s annual awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to history, prehistory or historic preservation in Utah. Whether these efforts are quiet or prominent, they benefit the state's citizens.

Congratulations to this year's award winners!

2024 WINNERS

UTAH HISTORICAL SOCIETY AWARDS

UTAH HISTORICAL SOCIETY AWARDS


The Utah Historical Society’s annual awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to history, historic preservation, community history and scholarship in Utah. Whether these efforts are quiet or prominent, they benefit the state's citizens. Please note: the awards given out during our Annual Awards Ceremony reflect the year prior. The 2024 Awards Ceremony honored our 2023 recipients and the 2025 Awards Ceremony will recognize our 2024 recipients.

SUBMIT A NOMINATION

Outstanding

Achievement

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William P. MacKinnon

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Helen Papanikolas

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Article Awards
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Book Awards
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Honorary Life Member

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To view a list of past award recipients, click here.

To view a list of past award recipients, click here.

Outstanding Achievement

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William P. MacKinnon
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Helen Papanikolas

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Article Awards
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Book Awards
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Honorary Life Members
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Swipe to view more awards >>

To view a list of past award recipients, click here.

We invite nominations of people or organizations that have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects in Utah history and preservation or in support of one of Utah's heritage organizations.

SUBMIT A NOMINATION
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ABOUT THE AWARDS


We invite nominations of people or organizations that have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects in Utah history and preservation or in support of one of Utah's heritage organizations. This project or activity may include research, preservation, education, fundraising, community-based history and public history programs, volunteerism, journalism or other activities.

Please note: all projects must be completed within the past two years prior to nomination. Organizational nominations must include description of organization, mission, and programs. Documentation must accompany the form and should include a minimum of two letters of support, photos of project, exhibits, or visual arts, or copies of articles, books, videos, or scripts. 

SUBMIT A NOMINATION

TEXT


ARTICLE AWARDS

  • Dale L. Morgan Award goes to the best scholarly article appearing in Utah Historical Quarterly.
  • Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award goes to the best general interest article appearing in Utah Historical Quarterly.
  • Nick Yengich Memorial Editors’ Choice Award goes to the Utah Historical Quarterly article selected by the editors as their choice for the year.
  • LeRoy S. Axland Best Utah History Article goes to the best Utah history article not published in Utah Historical Quarterly.

BOOK AWARDS

  • Finalist for the Best Book in Utah History
  • Juanita Brooks Best Book in Utah History Award
  • Honorary Life Member Award goes to individuals who have provided a “distinguished service to the State and the Society,” including service and leadership over a long period of time.

ARTICLE AWARDS


  • Dale L. Morgan Award goes to the best scholarly article appearing in Utah Historical Quarterly.
  • Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award goes to the best general interest article appearing in Utah Historical Quarterly.
  • Nick Yengich Memorial Editors’ Choice Award goes to the Utah Historical Quarterly article selected by the editors as their choice for the year.
  • LeRoy S. Axland Best Utah History Article goes to the best Utah history article not published in Utah Historical Quarterly.

BOOK AWARDS


  • Finalist for the Best Book in Utah History
  • Juanita Brooks Best Book in Utah History Award
  • Honorary Life Member Award goes to individuals who have provided a “distinguished service to the State and the Society,” including service and leadership over a long period of time.

HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS


2022 Honorary Life Members

Darren Parry, Northwest Band of Shoshone Nation

Mae Timbimboo Parry (1919-2007), Northwest Band of Shoshone Nation

MANUSCRIPT


Helen Papanikolas Student Paper Award

For best student paper on Utah history. The award includes a stipend funded from the royalties of the book, Women in Utah History: Paradigm or Paradox by editors Patricia Lyn Scott and Linda Thatcher.

2022 Winner
CarrieAnne Simonini DeLoach, "Utah Women's Discharge Requests and the Price of Volunteer Enlistment in the Spanish-American War." Rice University, 2021.

Student Manuscript Award

For best manuscript submitted by a student for publication in Utah Historical Quarterly. The chosen manuscript will demonstrate innovative historical thinking, rigorous research, and excellence in writing. The manuscript will be published in UHQ, and the author will be awarded a cash prize.

The award winner is selected by UHQ editors.

None selected for 2022.

HISTORY DAY AWARDS


Helen Papanikolas Student Paper Award

For best student paper on Utah history. The award includes a stipend funded from the royalties of the book, Women in Utah History: Paradigm or Paradox by editors Patricia Lyn Scott and Linda Thatcher.

2022 Winner
CarrieAnne Simonini DeLoach, "Utah Women's Discharge Requests and the Price of Volunteer Enlistment in the Spanish-American War." Rice University, 2021.

Student Manuscript Award

For best manuscript submitted by a student for publication in Utah Historical Quarterly. The chosen manuscript will demonstrate innovative historical thinking, rigorous research, and excellence in writing. The manuscript will be published in UHQ, and the author will be awarded a cash prize.

The award winner is selected by UHQ editors.

None selected for 2022.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

These awards recognize exceptional or long-term contribution, service and/or achievement in the fields of history, archaeology, preservation, and/or historical archives. Three to four awards are generally given each year, except in the case of exceptional circumstances. These awards should recognize only those individuals, groups, or projects that have had a substantial positive impact on the public. Outstanding Achievement Awards are selected by a committee represented by Division staff, and approved by the Director and a vote of the Board of State History.

Sen. Jani Iwamoto

Senator Iwamoto is a champion of our work at the Utah Division of State History and of telling a fuller and richer story of Utah's history. In the 2022 legislative session, Sen. Iwamoto secured critical, one time and ongoing educational funding of $350,000 for the Peoples of Utah Revisited, State History's flagship project for America250. The funding will be used to support the POUR Initiative through 2026. Specifically, the agency was able to hire a Community Engagement Coordinator with these funds who will develop a Community history program that includes oral history work, community outreach, and a program that will document untold and unrepresented history from communities across Utah. Senator Iwamoto's tireless work and support over the years is evident in her years of work at the state

Think Water Utah Project Partners

Think Water Utah project is a statewide collaboration and conversation on the critical topic of water presented by Utah Humanities and its partners. Think Water Utah aims to forge a network of public history and cultural institutions across the state, and to promote public understanding of water in Utah. Through exhibits, resources, and partnerships, Think Water Utah engaged Utahns in a critical conversation about water and strengthened a statewide network of public history institutions.

2020 WILLIAM P. MACKINNON AWARD

For the professional development of meritorious employees of the Utah Division of State History

Amy Barry, Utah Cemetery Program Manager, 2022

TEACHER OF THE YEAR


SINCE 2017

Since 2017, the Utah History Day Teacher of the Year Award is given to an outstanding UHD teacher in honor of Mike Johnson, who directed this program from 1991-2006. Mike was respected and loved by the teachers and schools he served throughout the state, and he cultivated a dynamic approach to history education through what was then called the Utah History Fair.

Winners receive $500 and are nominated for the national Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award.




2023: Darlene Tanner, Diamond Valley Elementary and Melinda Reay, Skyline High School

2022: Cali Dansie Burgess, Timberline Middle School

2021: Elizabeth Halloran, Westland Elementary

2020: Lisa Pockrus, Ogden High School

2019: Melissa Crandall, Union Middle School (Sandy)

RESULTS

PROGRAM HISTORY


SINCE 1980

Our program got its start in 1980 in the History Department at Utah State University. Influenced by the Chicago Metro History Fair, Ohio, West Virginia, and National History Day, History Professor Errol Jones began work to create a history research-based competition for Utah’s youth. With help from colleagues at USU, including then History Department Chair Ross Peterson and the late College Dean William Lye, Jones worked throughout 1980 to raise the money to bring the program to fruition. Start-up money came from many sources including Utah State University. The Utah State Board of Education donated over $20,000 during the summer of 1980. In October of 1980, the Utah Endowment for the Humanities supplied over $25,000 and provided the final key to getting the Utah History Fair started.

Professor Jones and Assistant Director Shannon Hoskins began meeting educators along the Wasatch Front in November. They conducted 10 workshops with educators and 45 in-class presentations to 1,500 students and community members. They worked with 71 teachers in 31 schools and 14 school districts. Four regional competitions were held. At the state contest, judges selected 12 projects to represent Utah at the National History Day Contest in Maryland. During that first year, nearly 500 students competed in the Utah History Fair. Delmont Oswalt, Director of the Utah Endowment for the Humanities, decided to support the Utah History Fair an additional year. Since its inception in 1980, the Utah History Fair has continued to grow and turn thousands of Utah’s kids into historians.

In 2013, Utah History Fair became Utah History Day when it adopted the nationally recognized moniker, and was transferred from Utah State University to the Utah Division of State History.

To listen to the story of the “Founding of the Utah History Fair,” visit the “Beehive Archive”. “Beehive Archive” is a program of the Utah Humanities Council, formerly the Utah Endowment for the Humanities.

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