Annual leadership awards cut many categories; add new awards for diversity and graduate students

Since 1986 the division of student affairs has awarded Dr. Dorothy Pijan Student Leadership Awards to grant recognition to exceptional undergraduate student leaders at Case Western Reserve University. This year the awards underwent a number of changes in response to student feedback.

“Student feedback indicated that we should work to create a ceremony that is celebratory and appreciative of all nominees with a lesser emphasis on winning an award,” said Melanie Scanlon, the associate director of Student Activities & Leadership.

Among the changes made to the leadership awards is the inclusion of more awards for diversity efforts, graduate student leaders, graduate student organizations and faculty advisors.

There will be 22 awards presented at the event this year, in comparison to last year’s 25 awards. They will no longer award past awards, such as outstanding member of the media, outstanding member of USG and outstanding orientation leader. New awards will make an appearance at this event.

To be honored at the awards ceremony, a peer, a faculty member or staff member must formally nominate a student within the nomination period, which ends on Feb. 22. Each nominee must then submit an award application, which will be presented to a selection committee, comprised of faculty and staff from various departments across the university. All student nominees who completed the award application are invited to attend the awards ceremony.

Scanlon said that they are no longer giving awards for specific organizations at the ceremony, although members of those organizations are still invited to celebrate. She hopes that the changes made to the awards will lead to a memorable experience for all students in attendance at the awards ceremony.

“These changes allow for a longer reception with university faculty, staff and administrators where all nominees can be celebrated,” Scanlon said.

The Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom will hold the ceremony and reception on Apr. 15. Only previous award winners and current nominees will be able to attend the event.

“We are always assessing the awards program to make sure that the award categories, nomination and application process and awards ceremony respond to the needs of our community,” Scanlon said. “We recognize our student leaders create a vibrant campus community, and we work very hard to highlight that through the leadership awards.”