Awards recognize exemplary employee, graduate student efforts in a pandemic

Get writing, Iowa Staters. Here's your chance to recognize and thank that person or team whose pandemic response you've so admired. In an Oct. 30 memo to the university community, President Wendy Wintersteen announced a set of COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards to recognize the innovative ways employees, including graduate students, "have strived to overcome the challenges of the pandemic."

Simple nominations of up to 500 words -- and absent supplementary documents -- are due by the last day of fall classes, Friday, Nov. 20. Nominators should use the form on the awards website. Recipients will be notified by Dec. 16.

Individual recipients will receive a certificate, campus recognition and a $500 stipend. Units or teams selected for an award will receive a certificate, campus recognition and a monetary award to support a unit or team's priority need. The award stipends are made possible by private donations in support of the university.

A dozen options

Wintersteen said the 12 award categories intentionally are broad so that individuals, teams, entire units or inter-unit collaborations qualify for them. Short descriptions are on the awards website. Up to three winners may be selected in most categories, with the exception of exemplary team or unit effort, which is capped at five awards. Awards will recognize:

  • Excellence in face-to-face instruction
  • Excellence in remote instruction
  • Graduate student teaching impact
  • Excellence in instructional support
  • Research impact
  • Graduate student research impact
  • Extension impact
  • Principles of Community champion
  • Exemplary team or unit effort
  • Exemplary operational support
  • Exemplary student support
  • University Hero

Nominating, nominees

All faculty, staff and graduate students are both eligible for an award and may submit a nomination. "All" includes those with part-time appointments, employees in emergency or temporary status and faculty at any rank. Wintersteen said the goal is that the university's four divisions all receive recognition through this program, and a central committee that reviews nominations will strive for that balance.

Questions about the nomination process may be directed to Megan Peterson in the provost's office, 294-6410.