Award Descriptions

Submit a Nomination

Outstanding New Student Affairs Employee

This award recognizes an individual that has been in the Division for under 2 years, and within that time has excelled at their job responsibilities.  This person will have made impactful outcomes during their tenure while furthering success within their department.

Provide a specific example(s):
  • Dedication: How has this individual shown dedication to staff, students, or their current role?
  • Creativity: How has this individual redeveloped an existing or created a new initiative/program/project?
  • Relationships: How has this individual begun to develop relationships within and outside of their department/area to contribute to the Culture of Belonging?
  • Integration: How has this individual begun to embrace the University of Miami’s mission, values, and behaviors, as well as the Division of Student Affairs Standards of Excellence?

Outstanding Job Performance (Staff)

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies high-quality work and has made a significant impact via their position. This person has developed outstanding relationships with students, staff, and departments in addition to displaying instances of innovation and/or creativity.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Care: How has this individual contributed to the Culture of Belonging through interactions with colleagues, peers, and students?
  • Student Engagement: How has this individual been able to engage with students, be that through programming, relationship building, or support?
  • Collaboration: How has this individual collaborated with others to develop or improve a program or service for the betterment of the university community?
  • Integration: How has this individual embraced the University of Miami’s mission, values, and behaviors, as well as the Division of Student Affairs Standards of Excellence?

Outstanding Job Performance (Undergraduate Student)

This award recognizes individuals who exemplified high-quality work and made a significant impact as undergraduate students. Award recipients have demonstrated collaboration, a sense of mentorship and care, and role-modeled being exemplary students through their work within the Division of Student Affairs.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Care: How has this individual contributed to the Culture of Belonging through interactions with peers and professional staff?
  • Role Model: How has this individual modeled behavior among fellow students?
  • Mentor: How has this individual engaged and provided opportunities for their peers looking to gain experiences and skills beyond the classroom?
  • Collaboration: How has this individual collaborated with others to develop or improve a program or service for the betterment of the university community?

Daniel J. Watt Community Contribution Award (Graduate Student)

This award recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated a strong commitment to enriching the University of Miami community through their involvement and advocacy for those who have been historically underserved. Named after former graduate assistant Daniel J. Watt, an alumnus who was highly involved in the University of Miami community and deeply committed to the advancement of racial and social justice, this award is to honor his legacy and to recognize others who share in the values of community, relationship building, and advocacy for others.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Community: How has this individual honored diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the University of Miami community?
  • Legacy: Describe the transformative effect on the University of Miami community this individual has had through relationship-building.
  • Advocacy: How has this individual dedicated their service and advocated for historically underserved communities?
  • Dedication: How has this individual demonstrated purposeful and meaningful involvement on campus and in the Division of Student Affairs?

Exceptional Work with Students

This award recognizes an individual that is dedicated to our students. This person is a positive role model and mentor and supports students holistically in their personal, professional, and academic pursuits.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Role Model: How has this individual modeled professional behavior among fellow staff and students? (Ex. Culture Transformation DIRECCT Values: Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity, Teamwork)
  • Advocate: How has this individual contributed to the betterment of the student experience? (Ex. advocate for student concerns, connect students to resources, etc.)
  • Mentor: How has this individual engaged and provided opportunities for students looking to gain practical experience and professional skills beyond the classroom?
  • Character: How has this individual developed genuine and supportive relationships with students?

Outstanding Departmental Initiative

This award recognizes a new or enhanced initiative that fulfills the needs of students and aligns with the priorities of the Division of Student Affairs. This initiative provided exceptional programming and engagement to impact the student experience.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Program: Describe the initiative. What existing needs did it address?
  • Impact: What was the impact of this initiative on students? What were the data and assessment practices and outcomes?
  • Creativity: How was innovative thinking used in the development of this initiative?
  • Student Experience: How did student involvement in the design/execution of the initiative contribute to their personal and professional development?

Outstanding Collaborative Departmental Initiative

This award recognizes at least two departments within or outside the Division of Student Affairs that took a collaborative approach to impact the student experience through a new or enhanced program.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Program: Describe the initiative. What existing needs did it address?
  • Impact: What was the impact of this initiative on students? What were the data and assessment practices and outcomes?
  • Collaboration: How did each department involved contribute to the initiative?
  • Student Experience: How did student involvement in the design/execution of the initiative contribute to their personal and professional development?

Patricia A. Whitely Student Affairs Enrichment Award

This award recognizes an individual that is an active professional throughout the university, region, and nation. This person has used their knowledge and experiences to contribute to their profession on behalf of the Division of Student Affairs and the University of Miami.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Professional Development: How has this individual made significant lifetime contributions to the field of student affairs through regional or national involvement in presentations, professional organizations, committees, and/or publications?
  • University Engagement: How has this individual shown a strong commitment to student engagement, the Division of Student Affairs mission, and the University through their extraordinary service?
  • Innovative: How has this individual demonstrated improvement and/or creativity in programs, services, and resources provided by the Division of Student Affairs?
  • Character: How has this individual demonstrated the characteristics of a model student affairs professional throughout their career?

The Laurel Awards committee is responsible for the nomination process and the selection of award recipients.