Celebration of Academic Excellence Award Categories and Nomination Process

Academic Excellence Awards are given to full-time students at University Campus who have a record of outstanding achievement in their areas of study and a demonstrated a commitment and passion for their work. Awards are given in four categories:

1. Dean’s Award for Excellence

Given to a graduating senior in an academic school with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 for overall academic accomplishments including,

  • academic excellence
  • academic leadership
  • scholarship (research and/or creative work or multi-media)
  • experiential learning
  • community service

One award is given per school.

2. Excellence in Academic Leadership Award

Given to a student with junior or senior standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.25 who has demonstrated leadership that has had a positive impact on academic life and other students. May have demonstrated leadership in a number of areas including,

  • leading in group work
  • mentoring their peers
  • tutoring their peers (such as serving as an SI tutor)
  • building academic community among students
  • serving in leadership roles in academic clubs or honors organizations
  • demonstrating a positive outlook for the future

One award is given per school.

3. Excellence in Scholarship Award (research or creative work)

Given to a student with junior or senior standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.25 who has achieved excellence in scholarship. Nominations must include evidence of excellence, including a brief description of the research project and findings (250 words) as well as evidence of the student’s ability to engage in original research. Nominations for excellence in original creative work must include an excerpt from the creative work (creative writing, artwork, multi-media project) of approx. 250-500 words (or less for poetry) and 2-5 minute for multi-media; and positive reviews from faculty or external reviewers attesting to the work’s value, originality, and creativity.

One award given per school.

4. Excellence in Experiential Learning Award

Given to a student with junior or senior standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.25 who has exceeded the standard expectations of performance within an internship or field placement. Nominations must include a letter from the department chair or field supervisor providing evidence of

  • demonstrated initiative
  • application of classroom learning to the internship or field
  • professionalism and integrity

One award given per school.


Although the nomination process begins at the department level, please note: the awards represent areas of excellence in various categories but are not tied to a specific program or major. Faculty will meet in their departments to discuss nominations for the four award categories. Each department will submit one nomination for each of the four awards, which will be submitted by the department chair to the respective school dean’s office, addressed to the executive coordinator:

Arts and Sciences: tamra.hunt@saintleo.edu

Donald R. Tapia School of Business: jospehine.passaro@saintleo.edu

School of Education and Social Services: toni.winn@saintleo.edu

If a department does not have a nominee for a particular category, please inform the school coordinator.

Final nominations submitted to each school must address the criteria for each award and must include a short biographical sketch, not to exceed 200 words, suitable for reading at the awards ceremony should the student be selected.

The deans will send out the final nominations to the full-time faculty in each school, who will then review the nominations and vote, awarding one award to one student per category.

In the event of a tie vote, the school dean will make the final selection.

The dean’s offices will submit all final awardees for each category to Penny Freeman at penny.freeman@saintleo.edu with the biographical sketch and full and complete spelling of the awardee’s name no later than Friday, March 4th, by 5pm.