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Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award

Dorothy V. Harris

The Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award acknowledges the distinguished contributions of Dot Harris (1931-1991) to sport psychology by recognizing the efforts of an AASP professional in the early stage of their career. The recipient receives $500 cash, a waived AASP Annual Conference registration fee in the year of the award, and a plaque awarded during a presentation summarizing the recipient’s work. 
Dr. Harris was regarded as an advocate and pioneer in the field of sport psychology and for women in sport. A longtime member of AASP and a Fellow, she was the first person to have many important roles in our field: she was the first American and woman to become a member of the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP), the first resident sport psychologist at the United States Olympics Committee's (USOC) training center, the first recipient of the Women's Sport Foundation's award for contribution to women in sport, the first woman to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Sport Psychology and in 1972, she headed the first research conference on women in sports. She was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Education, Applied Sport Psychology Society, the International Society of Sport Psychology, and the first woman president of the North American Society of Sport Psychology and Physical Activity. 
Dr. Harris earned her Bachelor's degree from James Madison University, a Master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Iowa. Dr Harris went to The Pennsylvania State University in 1970, becoming full professor in 1973. Dr Harris also started the nation's first graduate sport psychology specialization at Penn State University where she was a professor of Physical Education. 

Award Criteria
The recipient of the award must meet the following criteria:

  • Received a doctoral degree no more than seven calendar years prior to nomination (not including any breaks in careers less than nine months*);
  • Made a significant contribution to AASP through conference presentations, publications in AASP journals, and/or involvement in committees; and
  • Demonstrated a record of scholarship or practice that clearly establishes the individual as a leading scholar/practitioner within AASP (e.g., research which has progressed the field, groundbreaking practice, mentoring), compared to colleagues at similar stages in their academic careers. 
  • Evidence of national/international distinction should include reference to the innovation of the person’s work; impact the work has had on the field of sport and performance psychology, or the importance the work has in an applied setting. In all cases, the collected works of the individual should exhibit quality contributions that are both theoretical and practical, and that have been subjected to the critical review of established scholars/practitioners in the individual’s area of expertise, and explicitly state how their work represents the spirit/contributions that Dot Harris made to the field.  

Submission Guidelines
(to be attached in one-single pdf sent to

  • Submit a letter of nomination with evidence for this distinction, which might include the innovation of the person’s work, the impact the work has on the field of sport psychology, or the importance the work has in an applied setting;
  • Include a current curriculum vitae;
  • Provide a 1-2 page summary of the nominee’s work emphasizing the applied importance and connections to the work or values of Dr. Harris;
  • Include reprints of five peer-reviewed publications that demonstrate how the applicant’s contributions have been both theoretical and practical;
  • Include two (2) letters of recommendation for the nominee;
  • No mention of or attempted connection to the work or legacy of Dr. Dot Harris will result in the application being rejected.
  • AASP members who feel qualified can nominate themselves and are encouraged to do so. In addition, AASP members are encouraged to nominate qualified individuals for this award. 

Award Recognition

  • A $500 cash award is given to the award recipient.
  • The conference registration fee is waived in the year of the award.
  • A plaque is given to the award recipient during the Annual Conference, at a session in which a presentation summarizing their work will be given. 

Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award Review Committee 

  • Committee Membership – Members will be appointed by the President-Elect.
  • Someone who has been a professional AASP member for at least five years will chair the committee.
  • Three additional members will serve staggered three-year terms.

Committee Process

  • Upon receipt of the documents submitted by the nominees, committee members will: a) determine if any of the nominees are deserving of the award; b) if so, complete the award evaluation rubric for each nominee and rank the order of the nominees, and; c) submit their rubrics/ranking to the committee Chair.
  • If there is unanimous agreement of the top nominee, the Chair shall forward that information to the President-Elect.
  • If there is not unanimous agreement on the top nominee, the Chair shall guide committee deliberations via email or a conference call until agreement upon the award recipient is achieved. Upon selection of the awardee, the Chair shall forward that information to the President-Elect. 

* Extensions may be provided on a case-by-case basis for nominees who have taken multiple career breaks for longer than six months (not including sabbaticals).

*Deadline for this award: March 1 of each year.

View a list of past Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award recipients