The dissertation award was renamed in honour of George Geis, a respected colleague, scholar, and long-standing member of the CSSHE who passed away in October 1998. A fund has since been created in his name with donations from friends and colleagues for the purpose of supporting the recipient of this award to travel to the annual meeting of the CSSHE.

To make a tax deductible contribution, please send your cheque to:

The Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education
260 Dalhousie Street
Suite 204

CSSHE is sponsoring an award for the outstanding dissertation or thesis in Canadian universities that examines higher topics. Dissertations and theses should focus on topics in higher education, including the sociopolitical context, access, governance, teaching and learning, institutional studies, and education and employment.

CriteriaThe overall criterion for selection is research excellence. We are looking for dissertations or theses of clear distinction. Specifically, the submissions will be examined for significance, substance, and distinctiveness.
EligibilityDissertations and theses must have been completed in fullfilment of a Ph.D. or Ed.D. requirement at a Canadian university during the calendar year January 1 to December 31 of the prior year of the award. The candidate must have passed the final examination and the dissertation or thesis must have been accepted by the supervisory committee by December 31.
Nature of the AwardThe recipient will be invited, as a guest of the Society, to present a paper on the dissertation or thesis during the annual conference and will be presented with a Certificate of Merit as well as a complimentary CSSHE membership for one year.
SubmissionsFaculty members who are advisors are invited to submit a maximum of two nominations. Each submission must include a nomination form, and an expanded abstract of not less than 1,000 and not more than 1,500 words (including references, if any). The expanded abstract should contain the problem statement, a research question(s), remarks on the significance of the study, methodology, major findings and recommendations. A separate file with the full text of the dissertation should be submitted. The submission should be made electronically only.
DeadlineE-mail the submissions no later than 31 January of each year to:

Tim Howard
George L. Geis Award
Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education

Past Recipients

2021Diane Barbarič, OISE of the University of TorontoThe politics behind and the value of outbound student mobility: Is Canada missing the boat?
2020Amira El Masri,
York University
International education as policy: A discourse coalition framework analysis of the construction, context, and empowerment of Ontario’s international education storylines
2019Kimberly Browning,
University of Manitoba
Faculty perceptions of prior learning assessment and recognition: A university case study
2018Jennifer Brant,
Brock University
Journeying toward a praxis of Indigenous maternal pedagogy: Lessons from our sweetgrass baskets
2017Olivier Bégin-Caouette,
University of Toronto
Small mighty centers in the global academic capitalist race: A study of systemic factors contributing to scientific capital accumulation in Nordic higher education systems
2016Christine Arnold,
University of Toronto
Transfer literacy: Assessing informational symmetries and asymmetries
2015Leslie Wardley,
Laurentian University
The current university focus: An emphasis on providing customer services over engagement
2015Deanna Rexe,
Simon Fraser University
The political economy of tuition policy formation in Canada
2014Kyra Garson,
Simon Fraser University
Are we graduating global citizens? A mixed method study investigating students’ intercultural development and perceptions of intercultural and global learning in academic settings
2013Isabeau Iqbal,
University of British Columbia
Faculty Members’ Professional Growth in Teaching Through the Summative Peer Review of Teaching and other Departmental Practices
2012Catherine Larouche,
Université Laval
La validation d’une typologie des conceptions des universités en vue d’évaluer leur performance
2011Mia Quint-Rapoport,
University of Toronto
Open Source in Higher Education: A Situational Analysis of the Open Journal System
2010Lydia Boyko,
University of Toronto
An Examination of Academic Department Chairs in Canadian Universities
2009Valerie Lopes,
University of Toronto
The efficacy of a course management system in learning
2008Not Awarded
2007Pierre Canisius Kamanzi,
Université Laval
Influence du capital humain et du capital social sur les caractéristiques de l’emploi chez les diplômés postsecondaires au Canada
2006Théophile Maganga,
Université Laval
Management et gouvernance des universités en Afrique : points de vue des acteurs à propos des modes de fonctionnement de l’Université Omar Bongo et de l’Université des sciences de la santé au Gabon
2005Rachel Langford,
University of Toronto
Discourse of the good early childhood educator in professional training: Reproducing marginality or working toward social change.
2004Veryl Tipliski,
University of Manitoba
Parting at the crossroads: The development of education for psychiatric nursing in three Canadian provinces, 1909-1955.
2003Cindy Ives,
Concordia University
Designing and developing an educational systems design model for technology integration in universities.
2002Garnet Grosjean,
University of British Columbia
“Doing co-op”: Student preceptions of learning and working.
2001Arshad Ahmad,
Concordia University
The Integrated Learning Model: A design experiment in web-based instruction.
2000Not awarded
1999David Sheridan,
OISE/University of Toronto
An analysis of strategic planning practices at Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology.
1998Diana M. Royce,
University of Toronto
University system coordination and planning in Ontario: 1945 to 1996.
1997Emily Etcheverry,
University of Manitoba
Social capital: A resource for the human capital development of university students.
1996Frank Hechter,
University of Manitoba
Influences on the academic achievement of undergraduate dental students
1995David Mandzuk,
University of Manitoba
Institutional, individual and social psychological influences on the development of student teachers’ professional identities: A status attainment approach.
1994Nancy Marie Arthur,
University of Calgary
Demands and coping strategies of post-secondary students.
1993Lesley Andres,
University of British Columbia
Paths of life’s way: Destinations, determinants, and decisions in the transition from high school.
1992Barbara L. Paterson,
University of Manitoba
The juggling act: An ethnographic analysis of clinical teaching in nursing.
1991Dianne Bateman,
McGill University
A longitudinal study of the cognitive and affective development of CEGEP students.
1990Jamie-Lynn Magnusson,
University of Manitoba
Person-behaviour beliefs, behaviour-outcome beliefs, and students’ use of academic resources: The effects of teaching in the university setting.
1989Don Tunstall,
University of Alberta
Emerging programme issues in BC colleges.
1988Real Samson,
Dalhousie University
The efficiency, effectiveness and job satisfaction of selected university presidents as perceived by the university community.
1987 (tied)Paula Brook,
University of British Columbia
Occupational socialization for women in postsecondary career preparation programs.
1987 (tied)William Glanville,
University of Alberta
A comparative analysis of the relationship between governance structure and policy setting in technical institutes.
1986/85Gisèle Thibault,
Dalhousie University
The dissenting feminist academy: A history of the barriers to feminist scholarship.
1984Jenniece Larsen,
University of Alberta
A psychological study of the career development of selected nurses with earned doctoral degrees.