Excellence in Student Life Awards

33rd Annual Excellence in Student Life Awards

The mission of the George Washington University emphasizes a dynamic, student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of integrity, creativity, and openness to the exploration of new ideas. The mission also compels the GW community to apply its talent and knowledge to improve the quality of life in metropolitan Washington, DC.  Although ranging in nature, each of the more than 20 awards in the Excellence in Student Life Awards program honors an individual or group that exemplifies this institutional mission.

The Excellence in Student Life Awards is GW’s largest celebration of student life and a beloved campus tradition, honoring the individuals and groups that work tirelessly to enhance student life at the George Washington University and improve our surrounding community. This awards program offers the campus community the opportunity to recognize the passion and dedication of our most outstanding students, student organizations, faculty, and staff.

The Center for Student Engagement is currently seeking student, staff, alumni, and faculty volunteers for a special opportunity to serve on the Excellence Awards Selection Committee. Diverse perspectives from across our campus community are very important to us as we work to select the most deserving award recipients. We would value your insight during the process and hope you will join us as a member of the selection committee. Click here to join the selection committee!

Questions? Contact Victoria Heithaus, Program Coordinator for Student Involvement, at 202-242-6677 or [email protected].


NEW - Day of Excellence

At their core, the Excellence in Student Life Awards serve to honor successes in enhancing the student experience at GW. Following a process of seeking student feedback and examining trends across other institutions, we acknowledge that recognition can take many different forms and that our entire community should be engaged in practice of expressing gratitude, appreciation, and commendation.

Beginning this spring, we will continue to extend recognition and commendation through the traditional Excellence in Student Life Awards program, but we will no longer host the accompanying formal awards show, The GW community can submit nomintaions for more than 20 awards between February 8 and March 8. Following two rounds of review, the selected winners will attend a private Excellence Awards reception in late April. 

As a complement to the Excellence in Student Life Awards, we will host Day of Excellence, a community-wide celebration of appreciation and acclamation. Held on Kogan Plaza, this programmatic shift provides members of the community the opportunity to engage directly with an act of recognition that is meaningful to them, from making "paper plate awards" for a student organization to sending a note of appreciation to an impactful professor or staff member.

The inaugural GW Day of Excellence will take place on April 8, 2019 from 12-pm-4pm in Kogan Plaza. We hope you will join us there, all are welcome! In the meantime, we invite you to give back to the GW community by joining the Excellence in Student Life Awards selection committee or submitting a nomination for the awards listed below.

Campus Partners interested in being a part of Day of Excellence can click here to get involved!

 

Congratulations Award Winners!

After 2 rounds of review, the Selection Committee, comprised of more than 60 students, faculty, staff and alumni, determined the winners of the 34th annual Excellence in Student Life Awards.

 


Congratulations Nominees!

This year more than 250 nominations were submitted, and we couldn't be more excited to share with you the list of award nominees! 

As an award nominee, you can pick up your commemorative Excellence in Student Life Awards certificate and nomination packet anytime during the Day of Excellence event. Just look for our nominee stand on Kogan Plaza! 

The nominations received are truly inspirational and highlight the incredible things that you are doing in our community. Day of Excellence celebrates these successes and allows us to continue to build a culture of recognition through simple acts. We encourage everyone to participate and look forward to seeing you there!

 


The Awards

Click the award name to learn more, view the nominees, submit a nomination, or preview the nomination form. 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS GROUP AWARDS
Baer Award for Individual Excellence Excellence in Diversity Award
Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship ($) Learning Through Action Award 
Class of 2009 University Pride Award ($) Pyramid Award for Student Organization of the Year
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Outstanding Service Award - Group
Graduate Award for Individual Excellence Student-Alumni Program Award ($)
Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for
Faculty Member of the Year
 
Joint Committee of Faculty & Students Scholarships
for Undergraduate Student Leadership Development
($)
 
Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize ($)  
Marc. A Zambetti Award  
Mount Vernon Award  
Outstanding Service Award - Individual  
Resident Advisor of the Year  
Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff
Member of the Year
 
Student Organization Advisor of the Year  
Student Organization Officer of the Year  
Wall of Fame Award  

Individual Awards


Baer Award for Individual Excellence 
Awarded to graduate or undergraduate student(s) with a minimum 3.0 GPA who have enhanced student life and demonstrated themselves as a positive member of the GW community.

The Baer Award for Individual Excellence is a prestigious award developed in honor and memory of David A. Baer, a member of the class of 1910, for his involvement in and support for the University’s extra-curricular program. This award will honor those students who have demonstrated integrity and commitment in their overall conduct as members of the campus community. Recipients of the Baer Award have taken it upon themselves to make our community stronger and pledged to enhance student life through a variety of involvements. Additionally, these individuals exhibit competent scholarship (a minimum of a 3.0 GPA) in pursuit of their academic objectives. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a rising senior with demonstrated commitment to serving the public. Preference is given to first responders or military members.

The Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to one rising senior each spring to be applied to the cost of tuition in $2,500 in their senior year. Those seeking this scholarship should have a demonstrated commitment to serving the public good and helping others in their time of need. It is the desire of the Class of 2005 (but not a prerequisite) to give preference to candidates that have volunteered or worked as first responders, or have participated in some form of military service. All candidates must have two full, remaining semesters as a full time students. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Class of 2009 University Pride Award
Awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student who has contributed to a culture of philanthropy and voluntarism among GW students. Non-senior nominees preferred.

The Class of 2009 University Pride Award recognizes a civically and philanthropically engaged student. This individual demonstrates a genuine passion and affinity for The George Washington University and frequently engages in service and philanthropy at GW and beyond. A great nomination for this award shows that the nominee gives back to the GW community with their time and talent and contributes to the development of a culture of philanthropy and voluntarism among GW students. The winner will receive a textbook stipend for the GW bookstore. This award is funded by the Class of 2009 Senior Class Gift. A non-senior nominees preferred, so the winner can take full advantage of the textbook stipend. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty, or staff member.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award
Awarded to undergraduate student(s) who exemplify the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr through leadership, scholarship, and service.

The George Washington University (GW) honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by acknowledging outstanding members of the GW student community who exemplify the values embodied in Dr. King’s legacy -- scholarship, service, servant leadership, peace, non-violence, diversity, inclusion, integrity, spiritual growth, ethical reflection. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award is one of the most prestigious honors offered by the university.   Undergraduate students honoring Dr. King’s legacy through exceptional leadership, scholarship, service, research, actions, and deeds in service to the university and/or the greater Washington DC communities are eligible. This award is self-nomination only.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Graduate Award for Individual Excellence
Awarded to a graduate student who has strengthened the graduate student community through scholarship, work, involvement, or advocacy on campus or in the Washington, DC community.

The Graduate Award for Individual Excellence recognizes those students who embody the mission of the University and have contributed to the enhancement of the GW graduate student experience. This award recognizes graduate students who made outstanding contributions to the University community and beyond. Additionally, recipients of the Graduate Award for Individual Excellence have shown efforts to make the graduate student community stronger and more engaged in the GW and DC community, demonstrating a an ability to lead and motivate their peers. Recipients exhibit competent scholarship with a minimum GPA of 3.0. This award is only open to graduate students. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty, or staff member.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year
Awarded to a faculty member who has significantly impacted and inspired a student or student organization.

The Honey Nashman Spark A Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year will be granted to one faculty member who has significantly impacted the holistic development of a student or registered student organization, thus causing a “spark” of inspiration. Individuals eligible for this award are faculty members who have formed apositive mentoring relationship which has measurably impacted the development of the student or registered student organization and the contributions they make to the GW and/or Washington, DC communities. A great nomination includes a faculty member who has played a vital role in the success of a student or  a student organization. For example, they may have helped and supported a student or a student organization through crisis, or helped facilitate change within an organization that strengthened the organization, or they helped an organization reach a benchmark of success or achieve a sought-after goal. Candidates may be nominated by a student, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Joint Committee of Faculty and Students Scholarship for Undergraduate Student Leadership Development
Awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the GW community through involvement.

The Joint Committee of Faculty and Students, in conjunction with the Senior Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services, is pleased to announce the 2018 Undergraduate Scholarships for Student Leadership Development. The scholarships, of $3,000 each, are to be applied to University related costs, such as tuition, books, University housing, and food service. They are designed to recognize undergraduate students who have the potential to demonstrate exceptional leadership based on their contributions to date, particularly to student organizations and campus activities. This award is self-nomination only.  
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form

Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize
Awarded to a graduating senior who significantly challenged the social and intellectual conscience of the University while demonstrating leadership, integrity, and goodwill.

The Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize was established in 2004 by Ambassador Charles Manatt, Emeritus Trustee of the University and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President of The George Washington University from 1988 to 2007, to honor the graduating senior who most significantly challenged the social and intellectual conscience of The George Washington University while displaying leadership, competence, integrity, and goodwill in carrying out University responsibilities.  The prize will include a modest cash award. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Marc A. Zambetti Award
Awarded to a graduating senior who has contributed to the success of GW’s Intramural Sports Program through positive participation and good sportsmanship

The Marc A. Zambetti Award was created in honor of its namesake.  Marc was a member of the class of 1985 and an active participant in the Intramural Sports program while a student here at GW.  Marc was tragically killed when the freeway upon which he was traveling collapsed during the earthquake that rocked the San Francisco Bay area on October 17, 1989. The purpose of this award is to recognize a graduating senior participant (player/employee) in the Office of Campus Recreation's Intramural Sports Program. This senior is one that contributed to the success in the Intramural Sports Program at GW and represented good sportsmanship during his/her/their time in the Office of Campus Recreation's Intramural Sports Program. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Mount Vernon Award
Awarded to a student resident or former resident of the Mount Vernon Campus who has demonstrated a commitment to the Mount Vernon Campus community while maintaining a high level of academic achivement.

The Mount Vernon Award is presented to a current undergraduate student who demonstrates the spirit and legacy of the Mount Vernon Campus and that of its founder, Elizabeth Somers, through many facets of their involvement at The George Washington University.  These include (in order of importance): Pride in and appreciation for the Mount Vernon experience; Being a supportive, contributing member of the Mount Vernon Campus community through continued dedication to the Mount Vernon Campus; Involvement in current affairs of the Mount Vernon Campus, overall GW Community and the city, all while maintaining a high level of academic achievement. Students eligible for this award must be current or former Mount Vernon Campus residents.  Nominations by staff, faculty, and peers as well as self-nominations are encouraged and will be accepted.  Candidates must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 as of the Fall 2018 semester. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Outstanding Student Service Award (Individual)
Awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting the needs of our University community and beyond through service.

Recipients of the Outstanding Student Service Award – Individual will have exhibited exceptional commitment to supporting the needs and interests of our community locally, nationally, and/or globally through direct community service, as well as, share his/her/their passion with The George Washington campus community. To be eligible the individual must by a current undergraduate or graduate student at the George Washington University during the 2018-19 academic year and in good standing with the University (no academic or disciplinary probation). Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Resident Advisor of the Year Award

Awarded to a current Resident Advisor who has demonstrated excellence in their role and had a positive impact on the community they serve.

Every year Resident Advisors contribute to the experience of thousands of residential students. The Resident Advisor of the Year Award recognizes the best of that group for their skills and contributions throughout the year. The Resident Advisor of the Year is one who has created a strong community among their residents, supported their residents and fellow Resident Advisor team, and empowered residents to transform their choices into desired actions and outcomes.  Most importantly, the Resident Advisor must have made a positive impact on the community they serve. All current Resident Advisors are eligible. Nominations may be made by staff, faculty, and/or students of the GW community.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff Member of the Year

Awarded to a staff member who has significantly impacted and inspired a student or student organization.

The Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff Member of the Year will be granted to one staff member who has significantly impacted the holistic development of a student and/or registered student organization, thus causing a “spark” of inspiration. Individuals eligible for this award are staff members who have formed a positive mentoring relationship which has measurably impacted the development of the student and/or registered student organization and the contributions they make to the GW and/or Washington, DC communities. Candidates may be nominated by a student, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Student Organization Advisor of the Year

Awarded to an outstanding faculty or staff advisor of a registered student organization. 

This award recognizes an exceptional advisor who has displayed genuine concern and commitment to the organization and impacted the organization and its members in a meaningful way. The Advisor of the Year has contributed to the success, effectiveness, and productivity of the organization by serving as a superior resource on policy, process, and organizational management. As a trusted guide, the advisor has advanced organizaitonal growth as well as the development and its members and leaders. The recipient of this award has empowered the organization and fostered a sense of ownership and organizational pride among leaders and members by offering a balance of challenge and support, promoting autonomy and self-determination in organizational decision making. Nominees should be the official faculty or staff advisor, as listed in the organization's OrgSync porofile. Candidates may be nominated by a student, peer, staff, or faculty member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Student Organization Officer of the Year Award
Awarded to student organization officers who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on their organization and have a demonstrated affinity for the GW community.

Student organizations depend on their officers to help define the missions of their groups, build plans to achieve their goals, and provide encouragement and motivation to members while also managing expectations and providing important oversight. From presidents and treasurers, to vice-presidents and membership chairs, all officers can have an incredible impact on their organization. In 2016, The George Washington University will recognize these individuals for the first time with the Student Organization Officer of the Year Award. Nominations can be for current or immediate past (term ended during this academic year) officers from any student organization registered with the Center for Student Engagement.  Nominees should be officers who have served in their role starting no earlier than January 2018 and no later than November 2018. Nominations should clearly outline how the officer being nominated had a direct impact on their student organization that is meaningful and lasting. Nominees should also have a strong affinity to their organization and the George Washington University in general. Finally, nominees should have proven leadership skills and qualities.  Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Wall of Fame Award
Awarded to student, staff, or faculty that have made a significant contribution to student life at GW.

The GW Wall of Fame is dedicated to the GW community members who have provided leadership and service to the George Washington University community. Any student (graduate and undergraduate), staff, or faculty member who has made a significant contribution to student life at GW may be nominated. A significant contribution is defined as a measurable, positive impact that benefits the student life experience at GW. A great nomination includes specific examples of the impact this individual has made to the GW community. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Group Awards


Excellence in Diversity Award
Awarded to two student organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion through programming and membership.

The Excellence in Diversity Award honors two registered student organizations who have demonstrated a significant commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence throughout the year. This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria: Programmatic partnerships with organizations whose membership reflects diversity; The organization membership and hierarchy of your organization that reflects diversity; Programs that teach, support, or practice a commitment to diversity, underrepresented communities, diversity training, and/or social justice; Support for national cultural heritage celebrations on campus; Procedural changes in the organization that mark newly discovered diversity opportunities or reflect an historical approach to honoring diversity within the organization; A demonstrated want to explore and appreciate the many cultures of GW through their actions, deeds, membership, and service choices in their contribution to GW.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Learning Through Action Award
Recognizes student organizations or university programs or initiatives that excel in the use of experiential education as a process to make a positive impact on the GW community and student experience.

The Learning Through Action Award has been created to registered student organizations and/or university programs that excel in the use of experiential education in their co-curricular events and/or organizations.  Experiential education is defined as a process through which a learner constructs knowledge, skill, and value from direct experience and reflection.  Great nominations will illustrate the application of experiential learning to a specific event, program, and/or involvement with a registered student organization.  Further, the nomination will highlight how this experience has made a measurable, positive impact on the GW community and student experience. Awarded to one student organization and one university program.
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Outstanding Student Service Award (Group)
Awarded to a student organization, academic residential community, service-learning course, or athletic team that has demonstrated a significant commitment to supporting the needs of our University community and beyond through service.

 Recipients of the Outstanding Student Service Award – Group will have exhibited exceptional commitment to supporting the needs and interests of our community locally, nationally, and/or globally through direct community service, as well as, share its passion with The George Washington campus community.  To be eligible the group must be a registered student organization, an academic residential community, a service-learning course, and/or an athletic team during the 2018-19 academic year and in good standing with the University. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Student-Alumni Program Award
Awarded to a student organization that has made a commitment to connecting with GW alumni through planned events and programs.

In its inaugural year, the Student-Alumni Program Award honors registered student organizations that have distinguished themselves in their commitment to connecting with GW alumni thought planned events and programs, both on and off campus. The Student-Alumni Award recipient will receive a programming grant from the Office of Alumni Relations for the following academic semester yo support their continued student-alumni programs. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form

Pyramid Winner for Student Organization of the Year
Awarded to a student organization that has made significant contributions to GW student life through programming, initiatives, or advocacy.

The Pyramid Award for Student Organization of the Year was named in recognition of the Pyramid Honor Society, which was created in the early 1900’s to form a group of students who represented the University by their activities and interests. This award honors registered student organizations and their distinguished level of contribution to the GW community through planned events and programs, both on and off campus.  Student organizations which receive this award are recognized by their exceptional success in motivating and organizing fellow students to enhance campus life; and by their collaborative efforts with other organizations or departments to achieve objectives to improve student life.   Please note that social Greek organizations are not eligible. 
Submit a Nomination | Preview the Nomination Form


Greek Life Awards

Greek Member of the Year 


Greek Chapter of the Year 


Excellence in Student Life Through the Years

Check out the previous winners from the Excellence in Student Life Awards on our Wall of Excellence on the B1 level of District House and the Wall of Fame on the fifth floor of Marvin Center

Photos from our 2018 Celebration of Excellence in Student Life (photos by Ashley Le, Class of 2020)

Photos from our 2017 Celebration of Excellence in Student Life (photos by Ashley Le, Class of 2020)

Photos from our 2016 Celebration of Excellence in Student Life (photos by Aaron Hedquist, Class of 2016):