GPSC Achievement Awards

GPSC Achievement Awards


Each year, during Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, the GPSC recognizes graduate and professional students, staff, and faculty that have made outstanding contributions to the campus and, in particular, to graduate education.  People took the time to nominate their friends, peers, mentors, colleagues, and students.  The awards are very competitive and there were many deserving individuals on campus.  

Last year, almost 50 individuals were nominated for an award and over 50 letters of nomination were submitted.  Winners and runners-up in each of the award categories were honored at GPSC's 2015 Achievement Awards event in the Student Union.  Each of the student winners received a certificate and $100 and the runners-up received a certificate and $50. 

Link to Daily Wildcat article (2013). 





The GPSC Appreciation Awards are designed to recognize outstanding achievement.  With this in mind, your letter should include specific examples of the nominee's excellence.  Judges will be looking for examples of activities that surpass those required of the nominee in his/her position.  Nominations should address all criteria listed below if appropriate and may include others. Judging is mostly based on the specific criteria listed below each of the awards.

All nominators and nominees are required to be active graduate or professional students, faculty, or staff members. 

Past awardees are eligible for this year's awards. 

Awards Available (Please see below for description and specific criteria for each award):

  • Outstanding Faculty for Graduate/Professional Students;
  • Outstanding Administrative Advocate for Graduate/Professional Students
  • Outstanding Research Assistant
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Leadership

General Criteria for Awards:

  • Makes special efforts to acknowledge excellence in others;
  • Improves awareness of, and respect for, underrepresented groups;
  • Takes positive steps to be inclusive and help diversify the campus community;
  • Makes efforts to "build community;"
  • Awards already received in this past academic year.


Individual Criteria for Awards:

Outstanding Faculty for Graduate/Professional Students: Nominee must be a faculty member who has made outstanding efforts to mentor and advise graduate or professional students in their college or department.  The GPSC requests evidence that the nominee creates opportunities for the students that they work with to achieve excellence. We seek nominations who:

  • Create opportunities for the graduate/professional students, faculty, and staff with whom they work to achieve excellence;
  • Demonstrate outstanding efforts of mentorship and develop mentees’ research and professional skills;
  • Mentor a wide diversity of students;
  • Assist students to present and publish their work, to find financial aid, and to provide career guidance;
  • Offer psychological support, encouragement, and essential strategies for life in the scholarly community;
  • Demonstrate continued interest in the individual's professional advancement.


Outstanding Admistrative Advocate for Graduate/Professional Students: Nominee must be a Staff Member who has made outstanding efforts in advocating for graduate and professional students. We seek nominations who:

  • Advocate for graduate and professional students;
  • Understand the needs of graduate and professional students;
  • Are available and accessible to graduate students;
  • Work as an effective liaison between graduate students and the graduate advisor;
  • Help students become aware of and follow regulations governing graduate degrees effectively;
  • Prevent and resolve student problems;
  • Carry out administrative functions effectively and efficiently.


Outstanding Research Assistant: Nominee must be a graduate research assistant in 2014-2015 who has made outstanding contributions in his or her position. We seek nominations who:

  • Demonstrate outstanding contributions to research;
  • Show continued professional growth as a researcher;
  • Demonstrate originality and imagination;
  • Offer research mentoring to peers and/or undergraduates;
  • Example(s) of scholarly achievements, publications, or programs.


Outstanding Teaching Assistant: Nominee must be a graduate teaching assistant in 2014-2015 who has made outstanding contributions in his or her position. Nominations may be submitted by undergraduate students. We seek nominations who:

  • Demonstrate outstanding teaching practice;
  • Facilitate and inspire student learning;
  • Show continued improvement of teaching practice;
  • Provide psychological support, encouragement, and essential strategies for life to students;
  • Instill the desire to learn in students;
  • Sustain a high level of dedication to students.


Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Leadership: Nominee must be a graduate or professional student in 2014-2015 who has made outstanding effort to advocate on behalf of Graduate and Professional Students at the University of Arizona. We seek nominations who:

  • Demonstrate leadership in a co-curricular endeavor
  • Make exemplary contributions to a program/organization
  • Help the program/organization grow through his/her leadership
  • Have positively influenced a program/organization from behind the scene
  • Demonstrate commitment to excellence in the completion of tasks and duties
  • Have a positive impact to the UA community
  • Have the ability to motivate self and others