Our annual Recognition Event has always been a festive celebration of all things SEFS, but the event’s name itself has sounded a bit stuffy. So this year we’re updating the name to the SEFS Year-End Celebration to reflect its proper role as a culminating party featuring a short awards program, wine and beer, catered snacks and the long-running silent auction!
We’ve set the date for this year’s celebration on Wednesday, May 25, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Forest Club Room. For those who haven’t been before, it’s a wonderful occasion to recognize students and colleagues—including retiring faculty—who have made exemplary contributions to the school and academic community, and also just a great time to relax and chat with friends and colleagues.
We always kick off the event with the awards, and we’ll be presenting a range of student, staff and faculty honors. For students, the awards include the John A. Wott Fellowship in Plant Collection and Curatorship, and the Richard D. Taber Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Student Award. We will also present two Director’s Awards, one each for staff and faculty service.
After that, we depend on all of you to determine the final four awards, which are based entirely on nominations: Faculty Member of the Year, Staff Member of the Year, Graduate Student of the Year, and Undergraduate Student of the Year. We launched these awards two years ago to recognize the highest honor for a year of achievement and service, and they are open to nominations from all faculty, staff and students. Honorees will have their names engraved on a plaque in the Anderson Hall display case, so help us recognize the achievements of your students and colleagues.
Submitting a Nomination
Nomination letters do not need to be long—a good paragraph or two will suffice—but they should be specific and clearly demonstrate the qualities your candidate exemplifies. Nominations can recognize a wide range of qualities and accomplishments, whether in one area or across many, in one instance or sustained throughout the year. You may nominate more than one individual for each category, and all nominations will be reviewed by a panel of students, staff and faculty. You are not expected to know grant totals or grades or precise figures, though the selection committee may use these metrics as part of the selection process. Most important, all nominations must be sent to Sarah Thomas no later than Monday, May 2!
Below are some criteria and characteristics to consider:
1. Faculty Member of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Quality of teaching, advising and mentoring; student success in the field; new research grants and programs; recent publications, books, patents and invited lectures; contributions to the SEFS community and administration; preeminence in his/her field of study; etc. (Previous winners are Professors Sharon Doty and Jon Bakker.)
2. Staff Member of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Outstanding commitment to the school and supporting students, faculty and other staff; contributing to the positive spirit and cohesiveness of the school; outstanding, creative and/or innovative performance of duties; community participation and outreach; commitment to professional growth and development; etc. (Previous winners are Amanda Davis and Sarah Geurkink.)
3. Graduate Student of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Academic excellence and accolades; teaching; outstanding thesis/dissertation research and progress; extracurricular projects, collaborations and activities; conference presentations and other professional engagements; community participation and outreach; outstanding promise in his/her field of study; etc. (Previous winners are Hyungmin “Tony” Rho and Samantha Zwicker.)
4. Undergraduate Student of the Year
Exemplary attributes can include, but are not limited to: Academic excellence and accolades; outstanding research projects; conference presentations and other professional engagements; extracurricular projects, collaborations and activities; community participation and outreach; outstanding promise in his/her field of study; etc. (Last year’s winner was Alison Sienkiewicz.)
Remember, nominations are due by Friday, April 29, so send them to Sarah as soon as possible!