Student Recognition and Awards Committee Proposal
Background: Ove the past few years, additional awards have been added into the Student Recognition Awards Dinner to better recognize academic excellence across campus. The faculty senate Student Recognition and Awards Committee (SRAC) established the process and the number of students to be interviewed for the Waldo-Cummings Award (12 freshman/12 sophomores/ 20 juniors and 20 seniors). All these students are invited to the interview process and to the Awards Dinner. Half the recipients were selected for the award (“Awardees”) and the other half are named “Honorable Mentions.” Students do not learn until the Awards Dinner if they are an Awardee or Honorable Mention. All students are presented with a certificate and a brief bio is read for each student.
Issues: There is no documentation on why the 12/12/20/20 awardee numbers were arrived at nor why an honorable mentions status was added. The donor documents on file indicate an award is to be made to the women/men of highest standing registered as a regular student in one of the degree curricula in the Senior, Junior, Sophomore and First Year levels. There are funds in these accounts for a small monetary award to be given to the students.
In addition, the blind notification process often leaves recipients receiving the status of honorable mention in an awkward position. Additionally, the awardees names are not able to be listed in the program due to the surprise nature of notification.
The Drucilla Shepard Smith awardees are given a brief acknowledgement, name only, and no bios are read due to time constraints and the large number of students who achieve a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Proposal: Starting this year only students receiving the Waldo Cummings Award will be invited to the Student Recognition Awards Dinner. The awardees would have their bio read, be invited to the stage to be recognized, and they would receive a personalized certificate. The Awardees would have their names listed in the program. The Honorable Mentions would not be invited to the Awards Dinner, but they would receive a letter congratulating them on their achievement and accomplishments.
This proposed change would 1) place greater focus on the students selected as Waldo Cummings Awardees, 2) remove the surprise at the event because all students who interviewed would be notified prior to the event about their status as an Awardee or Honorable Mention, 3) reduce the number of students being announced at the Dinner by one-half, 4) reduce costs, and 5) free-up time to appropriately recognize other award recipients, as event coordinators deem appropriate.
Action Item: Please give this proposal your consideration and come prepared to discuss and vote on at our meeting. If you are not able to attend the meeting, please email JoAnne Bunnage, SRAC Chair, your thoughts and decision.