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The Vicki Ruiz Award is a $500 prize that recognizes the best article on race in the North American West. The Vicki L. Ruiz Award was funded by the WHA membership along with a generous contribution from the Latinx Studies Program and the Department of History at Penn State University. 

Any WHA member, publisher, or author of a peer-reviewed article, may nominate work that was published in 2023. Book chapters are not eligible. Journal editors and authors may submit nominations electronically through the email addresses provided below. Submissions must be one pdf file and include the:

  1. Brief cover page (author contact information and title of submission) 
  2. Cover page of journal and copyright page
  3. Table of contents of the journal 
  4. Journal article

-2024 Awards Cycle opens January 15, 2024

-2024 Award Submission (Postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2024

The WHA office sends notifications to selected award recipients at the end of August. 


Alaina E. Roberts, Chair
University of Pittsburgh

Trinidad Gonzales

South Texas College

Casey Nichols

Texas State University



2023 | Holly Miowak Guise, “‘Who is Doctor Bauer?’: Rematriating a Censored Story on Internment, Wardship, and Sexual Violence in Wartime Alaska, 1941-1944” Western Historical Quarterly (Summer 2022)

2022 | Adria L. Imada, "Family History as Disability History: Native Hawaiians Surviving Medical Incarceration," Disability Studies Quarterly (Fall 2021)

2021 | Alaina E. Roberts, "A Different Forty Acres: Land, Kin, and Migration in the Late Nineteenth-Century West," Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2020)

2021 | Allyson P. Brantley, "'Hardhats May Be Misunderstood': The Boycott of Coors Beer and the Making of Gay-Labor-Chicana/o Alliances," Pacific Historical Review (April 2020)

2020 Uzma Quraishi, “Racial Calculations: Indian and Pakistani Immigrants in Houston, 1960-1980” Journal of Ethnic American History (Summer 2019)

2019 William Gow, “A Night in Old Chinatown: American Orientalism, China Relief Fundraising, and the 1938 Moon Festival in Los Angeles” Pacific Historical Review (Summer 2018)

2019 Mary E. Mendoza, “Treacherous Terrain: Racial Exclusion and Environmental Control at the U.S.-Mexico Border,” Environmental History (November 2018)

2018 | Beth Lew-Williams for "'Chinamen' and 'Delinquent Girls': Intimacy, Exclusion and a Search for California's Color Line," Journal of American History (December 2017)

2018 | Mireya Loza for "Japanese Agricultural Worker's Program: Race, Labor and Cold War Diplomacy in the Fields, 1956-1965," Pacific Historical Review (November 2017)



Vicki L. Ruiz is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. A first generation college-bound student, she received her PhD in History from Stanford University in 1982. An award-winning scholar and educator, she is the author of Cannery Women, Cannery Lives and From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth- Century America and co-author of Created Equal: A History of the United States.She and Virginia S├ínchez Korrol co-edited the three-volume Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, which received a 2007 “Best in Reference” Award from the New York Public Library.Over the course of her career, Ruiz has participated in numerous public history and community engagement programs, including Arizona State’s Hispanic-Mother Daughter Program. From 2007-2012, she served as Dean of the School of Humanities at UC Irvine. In 2012 Professor Ruiz was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Directing twenty-six dissertations, she has mentored four generations of graduate students from UC Davis, Claremont Graduate School, Arizona State, and UC Irvine. The National Women’s History Project named her a 2015 Honoree in recognition of her scholarship. Ruiz has also received a lifetime achievement award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Association. She is past president of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association. On September 10, 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Vicki L. Ruiz the National Humanities Medal, the eighth UC faculty member and first Latina so honored

Over the past several decades, Vicki Ruiz has made tremendous contributions to the field of Western History. In 2017 the Western History Association approved the platform for a new award for the best article on race in the North American West to honor her work. In 2018, the Committee on Race in the American West (CRAW) created the Vicki L. Ruiz Award for the best article in a peer-reviewed journal on race in the American West to honor Dr. Ruiz’s significant contributions to the field of Western History. Please donate to this fund.

Western History Association

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The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!