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Awards and Honors

Attention please! Honors and Awards Guidelines for 2020-2021 are now available on this page!

Awards Recipients

2017-2018 | 2018-2019 | 2019-2020 | 2020-2021

About Awards and Honors

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Awards and Honors Committee invites nominations of faculty, staff, and graduate students for college recognition.  This document includes all the necessary information related to the College’s awards. Please note that there is no limit on the number of award nominations that can be forwarded to the committee. For all faculty awards, winners are not eligible for re-nomination for the same award for a period of three years. We encourage all faculty, as well as staff and students, as appropriate, to nominate themselves or to nominate their colleagues.

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Awards:

Nominations must be submitted as a single pdf document to Randa Freeborn (randaf@vt.edu). 

 TIME LINE FOR 2020-2021

Deadlines for submitting nominations in 2020-2021

January 21, 2021: Deadline for submission of teaching & graduate nominations, 4 pm

February 4, 2021: Deadline for submission of all other award nominations, 4 pm

Contact Us

Questions pertaining to the College honors and awards should be directed to Professor Carmen Smith, Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, or to Associate Dean Tom Ewing. 

 Download Guidelines 2021

Certificate of Teaching Excellence

To recognize outstanding faculty members in teaching of undergraduate and graduate students.  Up to six awards will be given.    

Recipient must be a full-time faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences for whom the teaching of undergraduate and graduate students is and has been an assigned responsibility.  All nominations for the College Certificates of Teaching Excellence must follow the Academy of Teaching Excellence dossier guidelines

Faculty who have been Certificate of Teaching Excellence award winners in the previous two years are encouraged to update and submit their dossiers for consideration for the Alumni Teaching Awards. The deadline for submitting CTE dossiers for ATA is February 4, 2021. Winners of Certificates of Teaching Excellence will be notified in time to submit dossiers to be considered for the Alumni Teaching Award. 

A complete dossier will contain the following items (see guidelines for details / templates):

  • Cover Page 
  • Distinctive Contributions and Achievements
  • Nomination Letter
  • Teaching Statement
  • Student Perception of Teaching/Instruction
  • Letters of Recommendation and / or Peer Evaluations of Teaching
  • Additional Documentation
  • Appendix: Student Perceptions of Teaching form

The dossier is limited to 15 pages, excluding the cover page and SPOT form appendix. 

Recognition: Certificate and $500 for professional development. 

Staff Employee of the Year Award

Recipient must be a CLAHS full or part time salary or wage staff member, and must have been in their position for at least twelve months and employed by Virginia Tech for at least two years. Student wage and emergency hires are not eligible for this award. The employee who receives this award will not be eligible for consideration again for another five years.

Criteria for the Award:

  • Promotes a team environment and positive morale through a congenial, supportive attitude.
  • Exhibits innovation and creativity resulting in an improved operating efficiency of the department, college, and/or university.
  • Enhances the image of the department, college, and/or university.
  • Accepts responsibilities and performs duties above and beyond what is normally expected.

Application:

  • Nomination letter from faculty or staff member highlighting nominee's accomplishments and/or activities.

Recognition: Plaque, $1000 award.

Diversity Award

The Diversity Award honors faculty, staff and graduate students who have made a significant contribution to improve campus climate with regards to issues of inclusiveness at Virginia Tech.  Up to two awards will be given for Diversity contributions. 

Recipient(s) must be College full-time faculty members, staff member, or graduate students, and must have been at Virginia Tech for at least three years. The award may be granted jointly to two or more persons when the diversity contributions were led by the College faculty members, staff, or graduate students.  A measure of preference will be given to nominees whose work on diversity may not have been previously recognized through this or similar awards. Nominations for the Diversity Award will be reviewed by the College Diversity Committee. 

Criteria for the Award:

Evidence of a leadership role beyond the expectations of their positions and that has resulted in accomplishment of one or more of the following objectives:

  • Improve the quality of life for diverse groups at Virginia Tech; 
  • Plan and implement institutional change related to issues of diversity; or 
  • Educate members of the campus community to appreciate an increasingly diverse society.

Application materials: 

  • A nomination letter (from self or others) describing the nominee’s qualifications and contributions to diversity at Virginia Tech and clearly indicating how these contributions and efforts to promote diversity go beyond normal job expectations. Information regarding previous awards should be included in the nomination letter (2 pages maximum).
  • A summary of the nominee’s activities (2 pages maximum).
  • One or two letters of support from individuals familiar with the nominee’s contributions (1 page maximum each). 


Recognition:
Plaque and $1,500 for professional development.

Excellence in Advising Award

To recognize outstanding faculty members in the advising of students. Up to two awards will be given for Excellence in Advising.  

Recipient must be a College full-time faculty member or staff member for whom advising of undergraduate or graduate students is and has been an assigned responsibility.

Criteria for the Award:

  • Evidence of excellence in orienting students to the academic field and facilitating students’ academic and professional success;
  • Evidence of excellence in explaining policies and procedures that govern academic matters;
  • Evidence of excellence in mentoring students in their program and profession;
  • Evidence of mentoring students in externally directed and evaluated activities appropriate to the field, such as preparation for conference presentations, research publications, or application for competitive grants; 
  • Evidence of excellence in assisting students with career guidance and placement.

Application materials:

  • Letter of Nomination from self or others highlighting nominee’s advising expertise and success, such as the number of advisees, advisees’ awards, career mentoring, orientation and other advisee development activities and/or products (1 page maximum).
  • Nominee’s statement of advising philosophy or description of advising responsibilities and contributions (1 page maximum).
  • Letters of support from students (current or alumni) whole or excerpted (2 pages maximum).

Recognition: Plaque and $500 for professional development

Excellence in Outreach & International Initiatives Award

To recognize outstanding accomplishments and contributions in outreach and/or international initiatives.  Up to two awards will be given for Excellence in Outreach and International Initiatives.

Recipient(s) must be College full-time faculty members or team of faculty led by a College faculty member.  Nominations may be for individuals or teams. 

Criteria for the Award for Outreach Activities:

  • Evidence of outstanding, focused, and innovative outreach program(s) geared to solve current problems or recognized needs of people or organizations; subject matter expertise; work with other organizations, group or individuals; communication methods utilized in the outreach program; creative methods or ideas used to solve the problems or meet the needs.
  • Evidence of dissemination of results through various means including, but not limited to, consulting activities, leadership recognition, books, major publications, professional awards or recognition, Cooperative Extension, Center sponsored programs, web information sites, continuing education programs, education programs, or other activities within the college or university.

 

Criteria for the Award for International Initiatives:

  • Evidence of outstanding accomplishments and/or activities in international education, outreach, and/or research, such as, but not limited to:
  • The impact, significance, and sustainability of the accomplishments and/or activities will be considered by the review committee.
    • Development and leadership of academic programs abroad;
    • Development of faculty or student exchange opportunities;
    • Curricular developments involving an international component;
    • Engagement in international scholarly or creative collaborations;
    • Engagement in international outreach.

Application:

  • Nomination letter (from self or others) highlighting contributions to outreach and/or international initiatives (1 page maximum).
  • Description of outreach and/or international initiative program that addresses the selection criteria and list of outcomes or products, as applicable (1 page maximum).
  • One letter of support describing constituents served by the nominee’s activities (1 page maximum).


Recognition: Plaque and $500 for professional development.

Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award

To recognize outstanding achievements by a faculty member or members in research and creative scholarship. Up to three awards will be given for Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship.

Recipient(s) must be College full-time faculty members, and have demonstrated exemplary research and creative scholarship at Virginia Tech. The award may be granted jointly to two or more persons when the research was done jointly and was led by the College faculty member.  

Criteria for the Award:

  • Evidence of sustained effort and achievement in the generation of new knowledge in a discipline represented within the College with a broad interpretation of research or creative design;
  • Evidence that the research and/or scholarly creative endeavors occurred while a member of the Virginia Tech faculty although the work may be a continuation of research started before joining Virginia Tech;
  • Evidence of each participant’s specific role and contributions when work was done jointly.

Application materials:

  • Nomination letter (from self or others) highlighting nominee’s research expertise and success (1 page maximum).
  • Summary of nominee’s research or scholarly creative activities (1 page maximum)
  • A curriculum vitae (5 pages maximum)
  • One letter of support, either internal or external, documenting the significance of the research or creative scholarship (1 page maximum). 

Recognition: Plaque and $500 for professional development.

 

Land Grant Scholar Award

To support excellence in faculty scholarship within the college that reflects the engagement mission of the university. This award was made possible by the Niles family, alumni, faculty, and friends through the Dean Jerry A. and Ruth Anne Niles Fund for Faculty Excellence.  Its purpose is to honor the vision and tireless work of Dean Niles to the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and to the field of education, and to recognize in particular his commitment to the university’s land-grant mission. In addition, the award honors Ruth Anne Niles, his wife, for her support of his work and the college. Jerry and Ruth Anne Niles will be invited to participate in the presentation of this award. One land grant scholar award will be given.

Recipient(s) must be College full-time faculty members who have been at Virginia Tech who have demonstrated exemplary scholarship of engagement. The award may be granted to two or more persons when the work was done jointly and was led by a College faculty member. 

Criteria for the Award:

  • The scholarship enhances the lives of individuals, families, communities or society beyond the walls of the university;
  • The scholarship is founded on a principle of mutual collaboration between the scholar and the public;
  • The scholar recognizes and articulates the reciprocal benefits of the collaborative and participatory nature of this work;  
  • The scholarship is shared publicly in presentations or publications (ideally in partnership with  community collaborators); and 
  • The scholarship engages students (when appropriate).  

Application:

  • Nomination letter (from self or others) highlighting nominee’s scholarship of engagement and its impact (1 page maximum).
  • Summary of nominee’s scholarship of engagement, with focus on how this scholarship addresses the evaluation criteria listed above (1 page maximum).
  • One letter of support documenting significance of this scholarship of engagement (1 page maximum).

Recognition: Plaque and $1,500 for professional development.  

Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Graduate School each year acknowledges the outstanding graduate student in each college. One award will be given to a masters student and one award to a doctoral student in the College. Winners will receive $500 and a certificate at the Graduate Awards Banquet.

Any graduate student enrolled during the current academic year is eligible. Submission of a nomination is open to anyone who wishes to nominate self or other. More information about the Outstanding Graduate Student awards is available from the Graduate School website.

Criteria for the Award

The committee will look for evidence for outstanding performance in two or more of the following areas:

  • Teaching could include mentoring of undergraduate or graduate students, advising, graduate teaching assistantships, assistance with classes, and other aspects of teaching and advising.
  • Research could include course work, seminar projects, theses, publications, presentations, and performances.
  • Outreach or Professional Development could include work with audiences outside of Virginia Tech in local, regional, national or international communities, or contributions to collaborative projects, workshops, training sessions, and other forms of professional service.

Application materials:

  • A statement by the nominee identifying contributions and achievements in teaching, research, and outreach or professional development (1 page maximum);
  • A curriculum vitae (1 page maximum);
  • Two letters of support from College faculty members that speak to the nominee’s accomplishments (1 page maximum each).