Lynch receives Paul Tappan Award

Mona Lynch

Western Society of Criminology honors Chancellor’s Professor

The Western Society of Criminology bestowed its Paul Tappan Award on Chancellor’s Professor Mona Lynch for her outstanding contributions to the field of criminology.

As one who employs her research, Dean Jon Gould said, “I know how compelling Dr. Lynch's scholarship is and what a significant impact she has had. This award is well-deserved. It is also the 11th time in 29 years that one of our faculty has won the top award from the Western Society of Criminology. We all take pride in this amazing accomplishment.”

In accepting the award Feb. 9 during the WSC’s 50th annual conference in Long Beach, Lynch joined past Tappan recipients from UCI such as Erwin ChemerinskyHenry PontellMichael GottfredsonC. Ronald HuffElliott Currie and Gilbert Geis. Last year’s award going to Cal State Fullerton’s Jill Rosenbaum broke a UCI Department of Criminology, Law & Society streak of recipients (Charis KubrinJohn Hipp and Dean Gould). 

Asked about being part of such company — and perhaps helping start a new UCI win streak — Lynch replied, “I think it is a testament to the strength of the Criminology, Law & Society’s faculty that we have had so many awardees over the years. What is even more impressive is the diversity of the intellectual contributions made by the CLS faculty who have received this award. I would love to be the first in a new streak, and can think of many CLS colleagues who would be amazing awardees.”

Paul Tappan, the award’s namesake, was a veteran scholar whose final post was professor of law and criminology at the UC Berkeley School of Law from 1962 until his death in 1964.

“It is both humbling and such an honor to get an award like this,” Lynch says. “It means so much to find out, through this recognition, that my body of research has been impactful on the field of criminology, and I really appreciate that I was nominated for such a prestigious award.”

Lynch was not the only CLS conference participant clearing mantle space. Distinguished Professor Valerie Jenness received the President’s Award for contributions to the field of criminology and positive influence on the current WSC president’s career. (She received the same award in 2014-15.) And Ph.D. candidate Justin Sola, who this fall assumes an assistant professorship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, won the WSC’s Miki Vohryzek-Bolden Student Paper Competition.