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Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award

Dorothy V. Harris

The Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award acknowledges the distinguished contributions of Dr. Dot Harris (1931-1991) to sport psychology by recognizing the efforts of a current AASP scholar/practitioner in the early stage of their scientific and/or professional career. The recipient receives $200 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.

Dot 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.

She 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. Dot 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 7 years prior to nomination;
  • Made significant contributions to AASP through presentations, publications, and/or involvement on committees; and
  • Demonstrated a record of scholarship that clearly establishes the individual as a leading scholar/practitioner when compared to a group of people at similar stages in their careers.

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. Evidence for this distinction 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.

It is highly recommended that the applicant include in his/her application some reference to Dr. Dot Harris herself and refer to her work and/or legacy in the field in their application.

AASP members who believe they are qualified can nominate themselves and are encouraged to do so. In addition, AASP members are encouraged to nominate qualified individuals for this Award.

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 one-two (1-2) page summary of the nominee’s work emphasizing the basic/applied importance of that work;
  • Include reprints of five publications;
  • Include two (2) letters of recommendation for the nominee;
  • Include names of two additional individuals who would write letters of recommendation for the nominee if called upon to do so.

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

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