Scholarships and Awards

The College of Liberal & Creative Arts has a list of scholarships available to students in the College. To apply for these scholarships, and to find more scholarships for which you may be eligible, go to the Academic Works Portal.

We have two departmental awards that support student research and extracurricular professional development: the Jay P. Young Excellence in Anthropology Award and the Kiana Dressendorfer Award in Archaeology. The call for applications for both of the awards are sent out to students in the relevant departments in late January/early February. Award inquiries and completed applications should be emailed to

Kenneth R. McCormick earned his B.A. in Anthropology from San Francisco State University. He went on to a rewarding career as a teacher in Daly City, California. While attending San Francisco State University, Kenneth R. McCormick received support that enabled him to pursue his dream of a higher education.

In appreciation for the education he received at San Francisco State University and in gratitude for the support he received to pursue his academic dreams, Mr. McCormick has established a gift in his estate plan that will support promising students with need at San Francisco State University with the cost of attendance by providing an annual scholarship award of up to fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

The Kiana Dressendorfer Award in Archaeology is given out annually to a continuing SF State undergraduate or graduate student to pursues his or her interests and education in the archaeology of any region of the world. The award is open to anthropology, history, and classics students or in other related departments whose relevance is evaluated at the discretion of the anthropology department.

The scholarship fund was set up in memory of SF State student Kiana Dressendorfer by her family. Kiana passed away in December 1997 just after she completed her B.A. in history at SF State. Beloved by students and faculty alike, Kiana's exuberance and intelligence are being honored by her family in this endowed award so that other students may follow the path that interested Kiana so deeply – archaeology.

Archaeology, for the purpose of this award, is broadly conceived as the study of the material culture of peoples worldwide, past and present, conducted through a variety of textual, theoretical and methodological analyses, including excavation, ethnohistorical/documentary research, research of previously excavated materials housed in museums and special collections and so on. Archeology includes aspects of study from humanities, social sciences and sciences.

In addition to scholarly research, archaeology may also include innovative approaches for teaching the subject at any level of education, including but not limited to developing teaching kits, field schools for young people, websites for curriculum and virtual museums. The goal of archaeology is to add to our understanding of the worldwide, daily life, technology, society, politics, economy and artistry of peoples worldwide through research and education. 

Previous Award Holders

  • 2024 Camille Henderson
  • 2022 Michael Brown, Margot Serra
  • 2021 Jesse Valdez
  • 2020 Talya K. Brass
  • 2019 Sonia Kominek-Adachi
  • 2018 Alycia Davis
  • 2017 Karissa Hurzeler, Hamed Eghbal
  • 2016 Shane Kennedy Davis, Devan Glensor
  • 2015 Kevin Hunter
  • 2014 Koji Ozawa
  • 2013 Christy Schirmer
  • 2012 Megan Watson
  • 2011 Amandine Castex
  • 2010 Deborah Morgan
  • 2009 Christopher Wood
  • 2008 Priscilla Mollard
  • 2007 Caitlin Schloss
  • 2006 Lisa Pesnichak
  • 2005 Amy McCarthy
  • 2004 Douglas Worley & Linn Gassaway
  • 2003 Tara Keyser
  • 2002 Ethan Spanier
  • 2001 Andrea Yankowski & Megan Wilkinson
  • 2000 Brian Daniels & Brett Rushing

The Jay P. Young Excellence in Anthropology award is an annual award available to the Department of Anthropology thanks to a generous gift by Jay P. Young of San Francisco, who graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1981. The student award supports deserving research projects and professional activities that advance graduate and undergraduate scholarship in Anthropology.

Previous Faculty Award Holders

  • 2022 Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Jeff Schonberg
  • 2021 Martha Lincoln
  • 2020 Katharine Young
  • 2019 Peter Biella
  • 2018 Martha Lincoln
  • 2017 Sarah Bakker Kellog
  • 2016 Katrinka Reinhardt
  • 2014 Robert Homsher, Aviva Sinervo

Previous Award Holders

  • 2024 Camille Henderson
  • 2022 Sasha Kramer, Margo Serra
  • 2021 Emma Abell-Selby
  • 2020 Misty Laine Mikulis Alloy, Benjamin Dean Holt
  • 2019 Emma Abell-Selby
  • 2018 Adreanna Rodriguez, Jessica Dailey
  • 2017 Lori Pirinjian
  • 2016 Devan Glensor, Ellie Lobovits
  • 2015 Lucilla Carballo
  • 2014 Chelsea Jordan, Elmer McDonald
  • 2013 Lauren Bjelde
  • 2012 Jessica Beltman
  • 2011 Vanessa Avery
  • 2009 Mika Kadono

Spotlight on a Jay P. Young Awardee

Jessica Dailey’s supported M.A. thesis (2019) titled, “Choosing Resistance: Social Power and Alternative Birth Care in Sonoma County, California”, focused on alternative forms of prenatal and birth care. She conducted original ethnographic fieldwork among a small community who actively sought out nonallopathic forms of medical care, including midwife-attended homebirth. The results of this research led to a series of interesting considerations about how medical decision-making that favors non-dominant forms of care can express resistance to medical power and authority, convey one’s class position, and also demonstrate one’s belonging to a group.

Jessica is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame. Her proposed dissertation research will examine the social resurgence of traditional midwifery among the Māori people of Aotearoa/New Zealand.