The Kontak Prize in Political Science

An Essay Competition for Political Science Students

Prize Value: $1000
See the winners

The Kontak Prize is an award of distinction for the best Political Science essay [at a 300 or 400 level] by a senior (graduating) student. It is awarded annually and commemorates the distinguished academic career of Professor Walter Kontak who for many years served as Head of the Department of Political Science.

Papers may be nominated by any Professor or by a student who is enrolled in the Major, Advanced Major or Honours programme in Political Science. Papers should be of a First Class ("A") Standard.

A clean copy (i.e. original printing) of the paper should be submitted. In length, papers should fall in the 10-15, double-spaced page range.

The papers will be judged by a panel of two Faculty members, to be nominated by the Chairs of the Department.

Submit Papers to:

Chair, Department of Political Science

St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, Nova Scotia B2G 2W5

Previous winners:

Alexandra Keelan Daly
Anastasia (Annie) Lawless MacKinnon
MacKenzie Thomas
David Barry
Jack Bowness
Lyndsay Scovil
Alex Miller
Harlan Steele
Alex Warshick
Mary Anne MacDonald
Thomas Orr
Stephen MacDonald
James Bridger
Pat Connors
Jon Adams
Erica Traversy
David MacDonald
Christoher Kucera
Ian Yap
Clark Banack
Mary Fisher
Diana Doyle
Adam Slade
Nathan Gorham
Christopher Lucan
Christopher Quigley
Kellie Frances Walsh
Catherine Elizabeth Anne MacNeil

Some previous winners (in picture)...

Mr. Harlan Steele

Mr. Harlan Steele is the 2015 winner of the Walter Kontak Prize in Political Science. Pictured with Mr. Steele (centre) are Dr. Doug Brown, Chair (right) and Dr. Yvon Grenier.





Mr. Cameron Alexander


Mr. Cameron Alexander Warshick 2014.. Mr. Warshick won for his Canadian Foreign Policy paper "The Power of Image." Pictured with his mother Cathy and Dr. Doug Brown, Chair.







Ms. Mary Anne Gillies MacDonald, 2013.






Mr. Thomas John Orr, 2012.

Mr. Steven MacDonald, 2011



Mr. James Bridger, 2009.






Pat Connors


Pat Connors (centre) was the winner of the 2008 Kontak Prize in Political Science for his paper "Finding a Compromise: The History and Politics of Multilateral Agreements on Investment Negotiations." Pictured with Pat are Drs. Jim Bickerton (left) and Peter Clancy (right).





Mr. David MacDonald


The 2006 winner of the Kontak Prize in Political Science was Mr. David MacDonald (left) for his paper "Citizenship and the Political Participation of the Underrepresented: Strengthening our Representative Institutions through Electoral Reform." Presenting Mr. MacDonald his prize is department chair, Dr. Yvon Grenier.








Winner of the 2005 Kontak Prize in Political Science is Mr. Christopher Kucera (left) for his paper "Aboriginal Electoral Participation: The Absent Voice". Pictured with Christopher is Dr. James Bickerton (right).

Mr. Christopher Kucera

Mr. Ian Yap


Winner of the 2004 Kontak Prize in Political Science is Mr. Ian Yap, B.A., pictured with another 2004 graduate and winner of the Dr. Marguerite Michaud Prize in Canadian Studies, Ms. Kelsey Sitar. Mr. Yap won the Kontak Prize for his paper " Aboriginal Rights and Forest Policy-Making in New Brunswick: The 'Punishing Recoil of Business'".


Mr. Clark Banack


Out-going Departmental Chair, Dr. James Bickerton (right), presents Mr. Clark Banack with the 2003 Kontak Prize in Political Science, after graduation in May 2003.

Mr. Banack won the 2003 Kontak Prize for his paper "Social Credit, Reform-Alliance and the End of Politics: The Contradictions of Right-Wing Populism in Canada."








Ms. Mary Alexis Fisher


Ms. Mary Alexis Fisher (centre), is seen here after the graduation ceremony with the 2002 Kontak Prize in Political Science. Beside Mary is her thesis advisor, Dr. Peter Clancy (left) and department chair, Dr. James Bickerton (right).

Ms. Fisher won the 2002 Kontak Prize for her paper "Abortion and the Law in Canada: The Morgentaler and Borowski Saga."




Ms. Diana Doyle


Ms. Diana Doyle is seen here with the 2001 Kontak Prize in Public Policy. She was presented the award at the graduation ceremony by the Department of Political Science chair, Dr. James Bickerton (right) and her thesis supervisior, Dr. Rod Haddow (left).

Ms. Doyle won the 2001 Kontak Prize for her paper "An Exploration of a Trade Adjustment Mechanism in Canada."