John W. Boyer

The University of Chicago’s Department of Comparative Human Development (CHD) is pleased to announce the inaugural Bertram J. Cohler B.A. Thesis Prize for the best thesis investigating topics related to individuals in context in CHD. One prize will be awarded to an honors paper exemplifying the highest quality of scholarship expected of our students, and will include an award of $250. Begun in 2020, the inaugural winner was Sarah Eikenberry, for her thesis titled "Good Germans and Bad Nazis: The Holocaust and German Responsibility in Postwar West German History Textbooks".

This prize is named in honor of Professor Bert Cohler, who was the William Rainey Harper Professor in Comparative Human Development and The College (1972-2012). Professor Cohler’s primary appointment was in CHD, with joint appointments in Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and the College. He was dedicated to the Self, Culture and Society Core sequence, which he co-chaired for many years, and he served as a Resident Head in the housing system. Notably, Bert loved teaching in The College so much, he often taught more the required course load. It is no surprise that he twice won the University’s top prize for College teaching, the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, first in 1975 and again in 1999. In 2006 he won the Norman Maclean Faculty Award from the UChicago Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to teaching and student life on campus.

Deadline Information

Deadline: May 20, 2022

Application Process

Applicants should submit a pdf of their B.A. thesis to the Undergraduate Preceptor (, and should include their name, advisor's name, phone number, and e-mail address on the title page. This application requires one letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor, also due by the deadline.

The winner will receive a check for $250.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 

Student Affairs Administrator


Prize Winners


Eikenberry, Sarah, “Good Germans and Bad Nazis: The Holocause and German Responsibility in Postwar West German History Textbooks”


Shen, Elizabeth, “Swimming Through Ambivalence: Vigilant Coping in Female College Athletes”