July 8, 2014

TO:
 
Dan Edge, President
OSU Faculty Senate
FROM:
 
Michelle Mahana, Co-Chair
JoAnne Bunnage, Co-Chair
SUBJECT:
Student Recognition and Awards Committee Annual Report 2013-2014

2013-2014 Committee Members
JoAnne Bunnage, Co-Chair ’16, Public Health & Human Sciences
Michelle Mahana, Co-Chair ’14, Public Health and Human Sciences
Nick Fleury (v. Allan) ’15, International Degree & Education Abroad
John Gambatese ’14, Civil & Construction Engineering
Adrian Gombart ’15, Linus Pauling Institute
Patricia Lacey ’15, ASOSU
Kari Miller ’15, Recreational Sports
Scott Akins ’16, Sociology
Ramesh Sagili ’16, Horticulture

Ex-Officio: Jessica Abblitt, Financial Aid & Scholarship

Student Members:
Alison Blazer
Victoria Redman

Student Recognition and Awards Committee Standing Rules:
The Student Recognition and Awards Committee coordinates awards that are all-university in nature and that are awarded by faculty to students. The Committee also plans and conducts, with the support of the ex-officio, an assembly or other appropriate program for the presentation of these awards to their recipients. The ex-officio works closely with the Committee and is responsible for the tasks associated with the all-university recognition and awards program. The Committee is responsible for selecting the recipients of the Drucilla Shepard Smith Scholastic Awards, the Clara H. Waldo and E.A. Cummings Outstanding Student Awards, and the AAUW Senior Woman of the Year Award. The committee consists of nine faculty, two students and a representative from Financial Aid & Scholarship

Student Recognition and Awards Committee Report:
As stated in the Standing Rules, the Student Recognition and Awards Committee (SRAC) is responsible for receiving applications and selecting recipients for the Clara H. Waldo and E.A. Cummings Outstanding Student Awards. Michelle Mahana, Committee Chair, met with Dan Edge (Faculty Senate President), Jessica Abblitt (Financial Aid and Scholarship), and Vickie Nunnemaker, Special Assistant to the Faculty Senate President, to review the Standing Rules. It was noted during the meeting that the AAUW Senior Woman of the Year Award had not been managed through the committee in recent years and was not on the award roster for AY 2013-2014. 
 
The Committee Co-Chairs met with the committee on March 10, 2014 to plan the committee’s work for the Clara H. Waldo and E.A. Cummings Outstanding Student Awards selection process. The committee reviewed the type of information requested of the students, the review of the applications and the selection and interview process of applicant finalists (honorable mentions and awardees). It was determined at that time that the type of information requested of the students is needed for a complete and thorough review. Committee and application materials are available at Appendix A.
 
Jessica Abblitt, Ex-Officio, supported the committee in providing the student data following winter term grade posting for the Waldo-Cummings Outstanding Student Award and Drucilla Shepard Smith Award. Jessica was on family leave the later part of spring term and Patti Brady-Glassman, Financial Aid & Scholarships, coordinated the All-University Student Recognition and Awards Dinner in partnership with University Events. Patti also provided the framed awards for Waldo-Cummings awardees and honorable mentions at the event. Recipients of the Drucilla Shepard Smith are not presented awards and are asked to stand at their tables for recognition.
 
The All-University Student Recognition and Awards dinner was held on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Memorial Union Ballroom. Award winners, their family, friends and academic mentors, as well as many university leaders, were present. Awardees and Honorable mentions are available at Appendix B.
 
Class Subcommittees for 2013-2014
First-Year Subcommittee Members:
JoAnne Bunnage, Public Health & Human Sciences
John Gambatese, Civil & Construction Engineering
 
Sophomore Subcommittee Members:
Adrian Gombart, Linus Pauling Institute
Michelle Mahana, Public Health & Human Sciences
 
Junior Subcommittee Members:
Nick Fleury, International Degree & Education Abroad
Kari Miller, Recreational Sports
Alison Blazer, Student Representative, Speech Communication
 
Senior Subcommittee Members:
Patricia Lacey, ASOSU
Ramesh Sagili, Horticulture
Victoria Redman, Student Representative, ASOSU/Political Science
 
The committee received and reviewed 248 Waldo-Cummings Outstanding Student Award applications. From the 248 applications, 64 students were advanced to the interview phase, including 12 first-year students, 12 sophomores, 20 juniors, and 20 seniors. The Drucilla Shepard-Smith Award received 188 eligible recipients including 21 first-year students, 58 sophomores, 45 juniors, and 64 seniors. 
 
Feedback & Recommendations for 2014-2015
In this section, we have provided committee feedback and recommendations for the 2014-2015 Committee Chair and Faculty Senate President.
 
Waldo-Cummings Student Application: The committee reviewed the application format and agreed to transition the application to Qualtrics. The transition was smooth and seamless and considered an improvement. A challenge remains with the student responses to the essay questions in the format received from the application. Answers are uploaded to Excel which is not easily managed for committee review.    

Student Representation: Representation of student peers on the committee continues to be an area of needed improvement. Language in the communication sent to qualified applicants states that they will be interviewed by faculty and student peers. However, some interviews did not include a student peer on the interview team. The Faculty Senate Office is diligent in their effort to fill the student seats on the committee while ASOSU is not as responsive to the requests. This year SRAC had two student representatives, one recruited by a committee member at the last hour.

Award Document: At the fall meeting with Faculty Senate and Financial Aid & Scholarships, it was asked if there was an official copy of the award criteria that could be provided to the committee and student applicants. The committee is provided the background of the named donor, but has not received a copy of the full document which includes the applicant criteria and rationale of selection for awardees and honorable mentions. This information would be very helpful given many students ask for details during interviews.

Application & Event Timeline: This year, the Awards Dinner, coordinated by University Events, was moved up one week. This small change shortens the application and review timeline. Financial Aid & Scholarships provides eligible student information to the committee chair following the posting of spring grades at the end of March which results in the process of student application and committee review being conducted in four weeks.

Summary of Recommendations:
    • Consider the design and implementation of a standardized application form that will result in more efficient data format for committee review. A downloadable format to Word vs Excel is preferred. 
    • Continue discussion with ASOSU in timely identification of  student representatives for service on the SRSC
    • Obtain official copy of award document for clarification of rationale in selection of awardee and honorable mention recipients.
    • Discussion with University Events on moving the awards dinner to the third week in May.