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About University Student Awards

University Student Awards recognize graduating students for their achievements in service, scholarship and leadership. Students are eligible to be nominated for the 2020 awards if they will graduate in May 2020, or if they graduated in August 2019 or December 2019. All nominees must be in good academic and conduct standing.

Award recipients will be honored at a reception hosted by the AU President Sylvia Burwell at the start of Commencement Weekend. Recipients will also be recognized during their commencement ceremonies.

Nominations will open in January 2020 and be due in March 2020. View the specific criteria for each award type below.

This award goes to one graduating undergraduate student, who receives $1,000.

The President's Award is the highest award for undergraduate students and is presented to a graduating student whose accomplishments during the course of their undergraduate years are truly exceptional and reflect the highest ideals of American University.

Nominees will have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, integrity, selflessness, leadership, and service to the Washington, D.C., community. They will have contributed significantly to building community and promoting the understanding and acceptance of cultural and racial diversity on the AU campus.

In addition, the nominees must be eligible for Latin Honors:

  • Achievement of a minimum 3.67 cumulative grade point average and a semester GPA of 3.67 (for the most recent completed semester)
  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours required for the degree in residence at American University with no more than 15 credit hours taken pass-fail

This award is named in honor of Provost Emeritus Scott A. Bass to acknowledge his longstanding commitment to and support of academic excellence and high-quality, cutting edge research at the undergraduate level.  It is presented to two graduating undergraduate students, who receive $500 each.

This highly competitive award recognizes the nominee's sustained excellent academic record and exceptional academic success as exemplified by extraordinary publications, research, creative work, merit awards, or competitive selection for presentations at regional and national academic societies and conferences.

This award goes to two graduating master's, MFA, JD, LLM, SJD, or PhD students, who receive $500 each.

This highly competitive award recognizes the nominee's sustained excellent academic record and exceptional academic success as exemplified by extraordinary publications, research, creative work, merit awards, or competitive selection for presentations at regional and national academic societies and conferences.

This award goes to two graduating students (undergraduate, graduate or law), who receive $500 each.

Student must have been admitted to an undergraduate or graduate degree program as of September 2019. Requires demonstration of unique contributions and sustained service that will leave a lasting impact on the University community, whether through student government, public service, organizational leadership, or a combination of several categories.

Ten students receive Student Achievement Awards. Each of the recipients of these 10 named awards, who must be graduating undergraduate students, receive $250.

Student must have been admitted to an undergraduate degree program as of September 2019. These awards require demonstration of unique contributions as well as service benefiting the University community, whether through student government, public service, organizational leadership, or a combination of several categories.

Read more about the namesake of each award.

Stafford H. Cassell Award

A senior who best exemplifies the traits of Stafford Cassell - total, selfless dedication to the University, profound energy, reliability, intellectual curiosity, friendliness, and helpfulness.

Fletcher Scholar Award

A senior who best exemplifies integrity and selflessness in citizenship on and off campus, together with academic achievement.

Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award

A student who has contributed most to the University through the arts, while maintaining a high academic average.

Bruce Hughes Award

A senior who has performed outstanding service to the University community and demonstrated unusual depth and maturity in leadership abilities.

Harold Johnson Award

A student who has contributed most to promoting understanding and acceptance of cultural and racial diversity within the University community.

Kinsman-Hurst Award

A senior who has made significant contributions to the University while maintaining a high scholastic record and serving in Student Government or the Student Conduct system.

Carlton Savage Award

An international student who has contributed most to increase intercultural understanding at the University.

Catheryn Seckler-Hudson Award

A senior who best exemplifies qualities of character and achievement, while making significant contributions to Student Government.

Charles W. Van Way Award

A student who has contributed the most to building community at the University.

Charles C. Glover Award

A senior who has best combined citizenship and business leadership in service to the University community.

 

Nomination Process

Deadline for Nominations: TBD

Deadline for Supporting Material for Existing Nominations: TBD

  • Who can nominate. AU students, faculty and staff may nominate students for University Student Awards. We also accept and encourage self-nominations as long as recommendation letters are included.
  • The nominator's role. The nominator creates the nomination by filling out and submitting the Online Nomination Form. ("Submitting" creates the nomination and notifies the nominee they have a nomination in process; it doesn't finalize it.) 
  • What the nominator needs. As the nominator (the one filling out the form), you'll do two main things: provide basic information and write a nomination narrative. For the basic information, you'll need to know the student ID, school/college, major, approximate GPA and graduation date. (So be ready with that or ask the student to provide it to you.) For the nomination narrative, there is a space (text box) provided for it, so be ready to write or copy-and-paste your text into that box. Please do not simply write "see attached" and send an attachment. The narrative must be in the text box. 
  • More on the nomination narrative. This is where the nominator explains why they're nominating the student and makes a case for the nominee. This functions as the nominator's recommendation; the nominator does NOT submit an additional recommendation letterBy nominating, you are also assumed to be recommending. Recommendation letters are letters written by someone who is NOT nominating but is supporting the nomination.
  • The nominee's role. When the nominator hits "submit" on the nomination form, the system notifies the nominee (the student being nominated) by email of their nomination. It's then the turn of the nominee to upload supporting materials if they choose to do so.  
  • Supporting materials.  Supportings materials, such as recommendation letters (up to 5) and a resume, are optional but recommended. They are submitted by the student nominee and strengthen the nomination. They can be uploaded and attached to the nomination form until the deadline. 
  • More on recommendation letters. These are additional recommendations; the nomination form itself can be considered a recommendation from the nominator, but additional recommendation letters can also be written by faculty, staff or fellow students who know the nominee's work and impact. They can submitted in two ways: (1) you can give the recommendation letter (in PDF form) to the nominee to upload; (2) recommenders who prefer to keep their letters private may submit them (in PDF form) directly to the appropriate contact email listed in the sidebar at right. Please know that a recommendation letter does NOT create a nomination. It supports an existing nomination. 
  • Finalizing the nomination. There's no specific action you need to take to finalize the nomination or submit it for consideration; the deadline does that. 
  • Deadline. The deadline for supporting documents is TBA; it will be in March. Please note that no new submissions, only supporting documents, will be accepted after that date.
  • Tips.
    • Process. View it in more detail on the step-by-step guide.
    • Choice of award. Read carefully. Be intentional. Describe clearly in your nomination or recommendation letter why the student fits the criteria of this specific award. 
    • Asking for recommendation letters. Check out our Tips for Recommendation Letters. 
    • Document submission. Remember to upload all documents in PDF format with a file name that includes the student name and award name. 
    • Self-nominations and recommendations by a friend. These are accepted, but please know that additional recommendation letters are strongly recommended if you wish a self-nomination or a nomination by a friend to be competitive.

Contacts

For President's Award:
Office of the President
(202) 885-2143

For Outstanding Scholarship:
Sara Biggs, Office of the Provost
(202) 885-2128
sbiggs@american.edu

For Student Achievement Awards and Outstanding Service:
Sally Acharya,
Office of Campus Life
(202) 885-3499
campuslife@american.edu

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Achievements ·

Appetite for Knowledge: Annelise Straw is the 2019 President’s Award Winner

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2019 Student Award recipients

Achievements ·

Honoring Student Award Winners

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Past Winners

View past winners of the University Student Awards! These students have demonstrated excellence in service, leadership and academic scholarship.

View Past Recipients