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About University Staff Awards

The Staff Performance Awards Program is designed to promote and reward outstanding performance by staff at the university. The awards will be presented during Staff Appreciation Week.

Nominations for 2018 Staff Awards open in January. Nomination deadline is in March.

Nominations may come from supervisors, subordinates, peers, faculty, and students. The Staff Performance Awards Program Project Team, a cross-functional team appointed by the President, Provost, and vice presidents, reviews nominations and selects winners. An award may not be given in all categories if the nominations do not provide sufficient justification of meritorious performance. You may nominate an individual, group, or team, depending on the award. View the Staff Awards Brochure and the award criteria below.

To nominate a staff member, go to the myAU portal ( https://myAU.american.edu). "HR Staff Awards Nomination" appears under Work@AU in your personalized links.


All award winners will receive:

  • Award certificate
  • Invitation to the Years of Service and Staff Performance Awards Luncheon
  • Day off from work
  • Monetary award. Note: Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.
  • Photograph with the AU President and their division vice president

In 2015, American University introduced the Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its annual Staff Performance Awards Program. The award's namesake served AU for 45 years and is recognized for her exemplary service and dedication to the advancement of the university. This award serves as both a legacy of her achievements and as an inspiration to others who work diligently behind the scenes to make the university thrive.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to long-serving staff members who dedicate the vast majority of their professional career to providing exemplary support or service to the AU community and make it a better institution. Awardees will be individuals who are not in a senior staff position, but who provide, or have provided, direct support or service in an administrative, front line, or service position.

Often these vital individuals, while praised for their performance, are in positions that afford little official recognition or visibility, yet are dedicated, loyal, conscientious, and trustworthy over the span of many years and whose contributions have exceeded their formal title and stated duties.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the AU Annual Staff Awards Program only when a candidate merits such distinction. Therefore, this award may not be bestowed annually.

Criteria

  • The individual currently is in an administrative support, front line, or service position (non-senior staff) and has been in similar staff positions for 25 or more years at AU.
  • Provided outstanding service to his/her supervisors and the broader AU community for many years.

A letter of nomination is required from a member of the university community and at least two additional supporting letters, one from a current or former supervisor. The nomination and supporting letters must attest to the quality of the awardee's performance over many years and provide examples of how the awardee has exceeded the expectations of his/her specific job duties.

Monetary Award

$1,000 for individual recipients. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who contributed to team performance by providing encouragement and support, helped others overcome obstacles, and successfully accomplished goals; was an honest and dependable team player who contributed to group collaboration and consensual decision making and showed empathy and respect for others, and who built and maintained good working relationships.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Adjusted his/her work approach to accommodate needs and preferences of others; considered how his/her actions would affect others; listened and acted on suggestions made by others
  • Looked for ways to help his/her coworkers; responded positively to requests for assistance; shared information and ideas to help others achieve their goals
  • Showed appreciation towards other people in the organization; thanked people for their contributions; welcomed new members to the organization
  • Volunteered to assist with group activities and needs; looked for ways to contribute to the team
  • Actively participated in team meetings and activities; involved others in decisions and projects; leveraged the skills and interests of coworkers to achieve goals and solve problems
  • Encouraged people to think of themselves as a team; talked about projects and goals in terms of group accomplishments and efforts; focused on shared interests and goals
  • Showed enthusiasm towards being a member of the group; conveyed respect and appreciation toward the talents and contributions of fellow team members; took pride in being part of the team
  • Supported team decisions; and supported projects; actively contributed time and effort to help the team achieve its shared goals

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who provided timely and professional service to both internal and external customers (students, faculty, staff, and other constituents); was responsive to customer needs and requests; was courteous and considered the needs of the customer when making decisions.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Built strong relationships with customers; proactively reached out to learn about customer goals and interests; stayed aware of customer needs, concerns, and satisfaction
  • Effectively managed customer expectations; did not promise things that he/she cannot deliver
  • Resolved customer concerns in a calm, positive, and sensitive manner; made customers feel valued and appreciated
  • Responded promptly to customer questions and requests; took responsibility for meeting customer needs
  • Actively gathered and monitored information on customer satisfaction; informed people regarding customer service levels and trends related to customer satisfaction
  • Defended customer interests and goals; acted as an advocate for the customer during internal conversations within the organization
  • Encouraged people to think about customers when making decisions; reminded people that customer service is everyone's responsibility
  • Placed high priority on customer needs and concerns; called attention to issues that affect customer satisfaction; viewed issues from the perspective of customers

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who worked well with people of diverse personalities, learning styles, and life experiences, as well as group or social differences including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic, country of origin, cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations. The recipient(s) sought out, valued, and utilized the knowledge and experiences of the diverse community.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Called attention to comments, behaviors, or practices that may be perceived as unfair, biased, or critical toward people with certain backgrounds and beliefs; did not tolerate practices that promote biases or stereotyping
  • Encouraged and promoted practices that support all types of diversity; reviewed policies and practices to make sure they do not adversely affect people from different demographic or cultural groups
  • Enjoyed working with people who come from different backgrounds; showed appreciation for the values and histories of other people; strived to learn from people whose backgrounds and experiences are different from his/her own
  • Sensitive to cultural differences and beliefs; showed respect for the beliefs and traditions of others; avoided doing or saying things that might offend others

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

This award is given to a staff member or group who used creativity appropriately to develop new or improve processes, methods, systems, products, or services and encouraged others to do the same. This award is given to those who made innovation a priority among team members and encouraged reasonable and calculated risk taking and as a result improved the university and made AU a better place to live and work.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:
  • Considered situations and problems from novel and diverse perspectives; addressed challenges in an innovative manner
  • Developed imaginative ideas to drive the organization forward; came up with creative, new ways of doing things
  • Produced a wide range of suggestions when presented with a problem or challenge
  • Questioned existing assumptions and beliefs; encouraged people to think or alternative ways of doing things
  • Clearly defined requirements and resources needed to implement new ideas; approached innovation with a practical, task-oriented mindset
  • Considered constraints that limited innovation; worked within constraints to create novel approaches; found ways to make the most out of existing resources; separated critical requirements from nice-to-haves to create workable solutions
  • Converted ideas from general concepts into action plans; swiftly moved from ideas to implementation
  • Viewed ideas and suggestions from a pragmatic, user-oriented perspective; effectively determined if ideas would work in operation

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.


This award is given to a staff member or group who responded to an institutional priority, either planned or extraordinary, that transcended normal job responsibilities and who achieved outstanding results.

Criteria

Demonstrated a combination of the following:

  • Kept objectives that are related to organizational priorities at the top of his or her individual priorities and those of the work group or team
  • Identified and contributed to solutions that address the identified priority
  • Took action to call attention to and eliminate barriers to task achievement.
  • Sought out or accepted additional responsibility in the context of the task
  • Performed more than was minimally required to complete the task
  • Communicated regularly with stakeholders about progress and outcomes.
  • Persisted until the priority was addressed and the commitment was successfully met
  • Volunteered for service project(s) outside of his or her own unit

Monetary Award

$750 for individual recipients, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.

The Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award is designed to promote and reward outstanding collaborative efforts between faculty and staff at the university. This is a new award in addition to the existing staff awards sponsored by Human Resources which serves to recognize faculty and staff whose collaborative efforts break down barriers and make American University an exceptional place to live and work. There will be one award granted annually and the award will be presented during Staff Appreciation Week.

Criteria

  • Nominations must include a minimum of one faculty and one full-time staff member.
  • Collaborative efforts must exhibit a positive impact towards strengthening faculty/staff relationships.

Award winners will receive:

  • Award certificate
  • Invitation to a special luncheon during Staff Appreciation Week
  • Day off from work
  • $750 per person monetary award, not to exceed $5,000 for a group award. Monetary awards are considered taxable compensation to the recipient in accordance with the IRS code.
  • Photograph with the University President, Provost, and their division vice president

Past Recipients

View past recipients of the Student, Faculty, Staff and Alumni Awards as we continue to watch their great work and success on and off campus!

View Past Recipients