The University’s Student Life Awards, which take place in April, recognize outstanding leadership and service by individuals, student organizations, and faculty/staff. Those who are recognized as recipients of the awards and those who are finalists all represent the outstanding values and characteristics of our institution, and more importantly our UConn community:

Scholarship. Advocacy. Innovation. Service. Pride. Community. Leadership.

From personal and academic integrity to the spirit of inquiry, outreach and service, to the celebration of diversity and respect for all individuals, these values have been personified by the actions of students, student organizations, and staff across campus.

Recognition only works when it is authentic, meaningful, and earned. Honors and Awards must be honest expressions of appreciation for a commitment to values, to hard work and effort, or to the dedication of a group to cause. Public celebrations allow the community to recommit to shared values, to highlight the best of us, and to inspire the rest to meet that bar.

Taking the time to recognize outstanding contributions to the University Community is a central responsibility of leadership; one of the five practices of Exemplary Leadership (Kouzes & Posner) is to Encourage the Heart by celebrating our values and victories. We all must take on this practice and celebrate the contributions of our fellow Huskies.

Think about a significant accomplishment that your student organization achieved. What impact did your group have on the community? What cause did you champion? What program was a resounding success? Who led that effort? Who supported that cause? Who worked hard even when no one was watching?

Reflect on your learning community experience. Who impacted your time there? Who challenged you to grow and to develop?

Think about the mentors and role models you have here at UConn. Have you recognized them for the impact they’ve had on you? Have you thanked your advisor lately? Your Teaching Assistant? Your supervisor?

The nomination process for the Student Life Awards is open until February 26th. Encourage Someone’s Heart and nominate them today. The form can be found here.