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Baer Prize

The Herbert L. Baer Prize is designed to recognize excellence and achievement in multi- or cross-disciplinary thinking. The $1000 prize is awarded yearly to one Ohio University undergraduate student, based on an essay submitted to the Honors Tutorial College. This year's deadline is Friday, April 18, 2014.

Essay Requirements

Any full-time undergraduate student at Ohio University is eligible for this award. An endorsement by a full-time faculty member at Ohio University must accompany the essay.


Essays must have a cross-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary approach. Creative, original ideas are encouraged. The essay should accomplish one of three things:

1. It should take the tools, methods and techniques of one discipline and apply them to a problem or challenge that is normally thought of as part of another discipline in order to produce new insights.

2. It should combine the tools, methods and techniques of two different disciplines to create a truly integrated approach to a problem, such as the fusion of music theory with developmental psychology, producing the field of music therapy.

3. It should use the perspectives, concepts and/or approaches typically used in one discipline to challenge a traditional way of thinking in another discipline, producing a new way of looking at a concept, belief, natural phenomena or social practice.


Successful essays will demonstrate a compelling thesis or point of view and will be grammatically sound with no misspellings. Successful essays will avoid jargon so as to be easily understood by all readers.


Essays must be in 12-point font, double spaced and not exceed 10 pages excluding the cover and faculty endorsement sheets.

For more information about the requirements, application and selection process, download the 2013-14 Baer Prize application here.

Herbert L. Baer, 1956-1995

Herbert Lou Baer was born January 17, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland. He began his studies at Ohio University in September, 1974. He was a student in the Economics Program of Study within the Honors Tutorial College. He was praised by his tutors as being "a hard and capable worker" and "a pleasure to work with." While at Ohio University, he studied abroad in France. Even as a student, he strongly believed that HTC students needed to have interests broader than their major field of study and was involved in an effort to start an HTC student-run seminar on current issues. His thesis was entitled "The Choice of Technique in Developing Countries."


Mr. Baer graduated from the Honors Tutorial College in 1977 with a 3.86 grade point average. He applied and was accepted to the following graduate schools: Cornell University, University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland Law School. He chose, however to attend Northwestern University and was offered the President's Fellow Award, which provided him with a stipend and full tuition.

After receiving his Ph.D. at Northwestern, he worked for the Federal Reserve Bank, first in Chicago and then in Washington D.C. He married Cheryl Richards, also an alumna of the Honors Tutorial College. He served as a member of the first HTC Board of Visitors and continued to have a strong voice for interdisciplinary learning and discussions.

On February 27, 1995, Mr. Baer was killed in a tragic accident, hit by a car while riding his bicycle home from work. At the time of his death, he was an economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Division of the Policy Research Department of the World Bank. He had conducted research to increase the Bank's understanding of the relevance of incentives and regulatory issues for banking in developing economies.

The Herbert L. Baer Prize was established in his memory by his friends in the Honors Tutorial College.

Past Award Winners

2013 — Keith Hawkins
"A Bayesian Approach for Measuring Stellar Parameters in Exoplanet Host Stars"

2012 — Eden Kinkaid
"An Accident Waiting to Happen: Applying the Panarcy Model to Agricultural Collapse"

2011 — Linda Remaker
"A Political and Economic Look at Charles Ives' 'Misogyny' "

2010 — Emily Grannis
"Hard Pressed: The Paraguayan Media and Democratic Transition, 1980s-1990s"

2009 — Jordan Pleasant
"Musical Notation for the Translator"

2008 — Lisa Howison
"Women's Offending during the Civil War: Criminology, History and Gender"

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