Award Descriptions

The Student Life Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate the outstanding students, organizations, and faculty/staff that represent the best this University has to offer. The awards fall into two categories: individual or organizational.

Individual awards recognize the contribution of a single individual (undergraduate, graduate or faculty/staff).

Organizational awards recognize the contribution of a group of people (student organization, university program, or event).

The twenty-six Student Life Awards that are given out each year are sponsored by alumni, former faculty and staff, family members, and departments and divisions across campus. Sponsors of each specific award are noted along with the award description and monetary award amount.

Individual Awards

Andrea Dennis LaVigne Scholarship for Advancing Diversity

Award Sponsor: The Andrea Dennis LaVigne Scholarship Fund

Award Background/History: This scholarship was established in 2011, in honor of Trustee Andrea Dennis LaVigne through the gifts of many alumni, trustees and friends.

Award Description: This scholarship recognizes a student(s) who demonstrates a commitment to encouraging and enhancing diversity at the University of Connecticut. Recipient(s) possess and demonstrate the ideals of diversity and multiculturalism and the vital role they play in a college campus. Such contributions must be demonstrated through a significant action directed towards the University community.

Eligible Nominees: Full-time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Building Community Award

Award Sponsor:

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2005 by the UConn Coop.

Award Description: This award honors a student(s) that has initiated and/or actively engaged in an activity that has significantly contributed to the sense of community on campus. This project may be a single event or series of activities. The project should also have been significantly advanced during the past academic year and it should directly enhance the sense of community among various members of the campus community.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Award Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.
Monetary Award: TBD

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Donald L. McCullough Leadership Award

Award Sponsor: Leadership and Organizational Development

Award Background/History: Established in 1979, in remembrance of the former Director of Student Activities, Don McCullough, the McCullough Leadership award is the University’s highest student leadership award.

Award Description: This award recognizes individual student(s) who have made significant contributions to the University community through leadership of, and/or involvement in an initiative(s) that has had University-wide impact and is representative of the highest level of student leadership and involvement.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Edward Victor Gant Scholarship (Graduate Students)

Award Sponsor: The Edward Victor Gant Scholarship Fund

Award Background/History: Established in 1979 and first given in 1987, the scholarship is a gift of the University Of Connecticut Board Of Trustees and the family and friends of Edward V. Gant, former Provost and Professor of Civil Engineering.

The late Edward V. Gant, a former provost who served as the University's acting president for brief periods in the 1960s and '70s, was once described as smart, kind and considerate. Gant has been recognized as someone who wore many hats in his tenure at UConn. In addition to serving as acting president 3 times, Gant was acting dean and then assistant dean of the School of Engineering, but he is perhaps most remembered as UConn's provost and a professor of civil engineering, a role he enjoyed during his 43 years with the University. Edward Gant passed away in 1985.

Award Description: The scholarship is granted on the basis of academic excellence, professional potential, dedicated service, and exemplary integrity. The scholarship is awarded to a graduate student(s) who will be continuing their studies at the University of Connecticut next fall. Priority consideration is given to those graduate students who have more than two semesters of enrollment at UConn.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Graduate Students from all University schools and colleges.

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1.) Students may not directly apply. They must be nominated by faculty or staff. 2.) Nominees must be registered as full-time students at UConn and must be continuing their students at UConn in the Fall semester. 3) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 4) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $750.00

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Edward Victor Gant Scholarship (Undergraduate Students)

Award Sponsor: The Edward Victor Gant Scholarship Fund

Award Background/History: Established in 1979 and first given in 1987, the scholarship is a gift of the University Of Connecticut Board Of Trustees and the family and friends of Edward V. Gant, former Provost and Professor of Civil Engineering.

The late Edward V. Gant, a former provost who served as the University's acting president for brief periods in the 1960s and '70s, was once described as smart, kind and considerate. Gant has been recognized as someone who wore many hats in his tenure at UConn. In addition to serving as acting president 3 times, Gant was acting dean and then assistant dean of the School of Engineering, but he is perhaps most remembered as UConn's provost and a professor of civil engineering, a role he enjoyed during his 43 years with the University. Edward Gant passed away in 1985.

Award Description: The scholarship is granted on the basis of academic excellence, professional potential, dedicated service, and exemplary integrity. The scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student(s) who will be continuing their studies at the University of Connecticut next fall. Priority consideration is given to those undergraduate students who have more than four semesters of enrollment at UConn.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students from all University schools and colleges.

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1.) Students may not directly apply. They must be nominated by faculty or staff. 2.) Nominees must be registered as full-time students at UConn and must be continuing their students at UConn in the Fall semester. 3) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 4) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Emerging Leaders Award

Award Sponsor: 

Award Background/History:  This award was established in 2005 by the UConn Coop.

Description: This award recognizes a student(s) that, despite not holding a visible, established leadership position on campus, has actively demonstrated attributes of an emerging leader through his/her actions and character. The recipient(s) will demonstrate attributes of an emerging leader, poised for significant contribution and accomplishment through their future academic work, community service, organizational leadership, issue advocacy, and/or active participation in a campus-wide initiative. 

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time First or Second Year Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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First Year Excellence in Innovation Award

Award Sponsors: The Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities and the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2015 by the Office of First Year Programs and Learning Communities. First Year Excellence in Innovation Award stems from a university-wide initiative to cultivate talent among first year students. The Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities and the Werth Institute hope to engage creative thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in meaningful ways, to help provide students with the tools necessary to be successful in their endeavors.

Description: This award recognizes a current first year student(s) that has displayed a significant level of innovation and creativity. The recipient(s) should be currently working on an innovative idea, business, invention or other creative project. This recipient(s) should be a self-starter and have an impressive level of initiative and insight.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time First Year Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $1,000.00

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Individual Community Service Award

Award Sponsor:

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to 2005.

Award Description: This award honors a student(s) that has initiated and/or actively engaged in a community service project(s). The project may be a single event or a series of activities. This award is intended for those engaged in activities that offer direct service, as opposed to fundraising or lobbying activities. Such service(s) should directly benefit a community external to the University and have occurred in the past academic year. The project(s) should require: a) the delivery of service directly to the ultimate beneficiary and/or b) the development of a new service program/project designed to directly benefit an individual/organization.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.
Monetary Award: TBD

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Individual Husky Pride Award

Award Sponsor:

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to 2005.

Award Description: This award honors an individual for outstanding external representation of the pride and spirit associated with being a part of the University of Connecticut.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.
Monetary Award: TBD

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International Student Leadership Award

Award Sponsor: The Vice President for Global Affairs

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2010.

Award Description: This award recognizes a student(s) who has actively engaged in activities that foster the integration of international students and their experiences and cultures into the campus community in a visible and meaningful way. Contributions and activities encouraging integration of international students must be demonstrated through a significant action during the past academic year and must have been directed towards and benefited the University community.

Eligible Nominees: Full-time undergraduate and graduate students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $250.00

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Learning Community Leadership Award

Award Sponsor: Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities

Award Background/History:This award was established in 2015 by the Office of First Year Programs and Learning Communities to acknowledge a student(s) who has served as an exemplary leader and role model for Learning Communities.

Description:

This award recognizes a current student(s) involved in the Learning Community Program who has displayed a significant level of leadership, initiative and maturity to advance the Learning Community mission and give back to the Program. The recipient(s) will be an imaginative leader dedicated to supporting the overall objectives and promoting the values of the Learning Community Program, which prides itself on providing a holistic educational experience for students. The recipient(s) will understand and embody a student who has maximized their Learning Community opportunities and successfully combined academic, co-curricular, enrichment and social aspects of the UConn experience in their small, cohort-based activities and beyond. The recipient(s) will be a role model who has greatly contributed to the success of the Learning Community Program, their individual community as well as considerably impacted and enriched the experiences of their peers.

Eligible Nominees: Full-time Undergraduate Students currently active in a residential Learning Community, or serving in a leadership role in the Learning Community Program, supported by the Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities.

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $500.00

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Matthew B. Schechter Scholarship

Award Sponsor: The Matthew B. Schechter Scholarship Fund

Award Background/History: This scholarship is named after Matthew Benson Schechter, who earned a Bachelors of Art in English in 1962 and served as president of the Associated Student Government. It was established in 1969 to recognize students' contributions to causes of human rights, human dignity, civil liberties and freedom of thought.

Award Description: This scholarship recognizes a deserving student(s) on the basis of citizenship, need, scholarship, contribution to the University, and contributions to the causes of human rights and human dignity, civil liberties and freedom of thought. Said contributions must have occurred during the past academic year on a University campus.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Outstanding Graduate/Teaching Assistant Award

Award Sponsor: The Graduate School

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to 2002.

Award Description: This award recognizes a Graduate Assistant(s) who goes above and beyond their assigned responsibilities by contributing their time, energy, and talents to further the growth and development of undergraduate students on campus. Recipient(s) demonstrate significant contributions to the growth and development of undergraduate students beyond their typical graduate assistant responsibilities.

Eligible Nominees: Graduate/Teaching Assistants

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1.) Nominees must be registered as a graduate student at UConn. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 3) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Amount: Not Applicable

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President’s Award for Excellence in Dialogue and Civility (Individual)

Award Sponsor: Student Activities and The President's Office

Award Background/History: This award was established January 2019.

Award Description: This award recognizes the role of respectful dialogue and discourse as an essential component of learning at our university, both in and outside the classroom.  It is important to recognize the community members who are engaging in this important work, and to highlight their positive impacts on campus.

Examples may include excellence in facilitating conversation and problem solving, facilitating educational or community development opportunities, providing training and resources, being an example to others, or developing innovative pedagogical approaches.

Award recipients will be chosen based on  successful demonstration of responsible utilization of dialogue as a means of welcoming divergent opinions and creating new knowledge.

Eligible Nominees: All members of the UConn community-Students, Faculty, and Staff

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 

Monetary Amount: Not Applicable

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Protect Our Pack Award

Award Sponsor: Dean of Students Office

Award Background/History:  This award was established in 2017 by the Dean of Students Office to recognize students who exhibit actions which clearly help protect our community members.

Description: This award recognizes a student(s) whose actions exemplify the bystander intervention concept of Protect Our Pack. By stepping in, either directly or indirectly the student(s) has aided a member of our community who was in a problematic situation which could involve sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, hazing, harassment, a bias related incident, alcohol or other drugs, depression and/or suicide, or many other dangerous or difficult issues.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Spirer/Dueker Student Humanitarian Achievement Award

Award Sponsor: The Spirer/Dueker Student Humanitarian Achievement Award Fund

Award Background/History: The award was first given in 1994 and was established by Louise and Herbert Spirer and Marilyn Dueker, retired faculty members from the University of Connecticut-Stamford campus.

Herbert F. Spirer was a professor emeritus of information management and former director of the MBA program in Stamford. Marilyn Dueker, was a professor emeritus of statistics also from the Stamford Campus.

Spirer, whose academic career focused on statistics and information systems, says he came to the field of human rights late in life. In 1985 he began to apply statistical analysis of data to human rights issues; a novel approach at the time

Spirer and his wife Louise, a UConn alumna, then devoted themselves to the cause. Together with Dueker, they established the Spirer-Dueker Humanitarian Award, given annually to recognize a UConn undergraduate who has performed innovative humanitarian services outside their regular classes.

Award Description: This award honors an undergraduate student(s) for outstanding contributions to public service. Recipient(s) will have demonstrated a concern for others that benefits society and impacts positively on his/her personal and professional life. Recipient(s) will have accomplished/engaged in a valuable public service objective or developed and implemented a useful or original approach to solving a social, governmental or legal problem within the past academic year.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses
Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: TBD

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Student Employee of the Year

Award Sponsor: Student Financial Aid Services

Award Background/History: This award was established in 1998.

Award Description: This award honors the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who work on-campus or earn their work-study off-campus in community service positions at agencies with an established Federal Work-Study contract with the University.

Eligible Nominees: All students employed on the Student Labor or Work-Study Payroll

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must be currently employed. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 3) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $250.00

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Student Employee Supervisor of the Year (Non-UConn Staff)

Award Sponsor: Student Financial Aid Services

Award Background/History: Established in 2016. This award was established to recognize Off Campus Community Service Employers who supervise UConn student employees and to acknowledge these individuals and the work they do.

Award Description: This award honors the outstanding contributions and leadership of off campus community service employers/supervisors.

Eligible Nominees: Any permanent staff member of an off-campus community service organization that supervises UConn student employees.

Eligible Campuses: All off campus community service employers.

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must have direct supervisory responsibilities of a UConn student(s). Has positive leadership style and empowers others.

Monetary Award: Not Applicable

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Student Employee Supervisor of the Year (UConn Staff)

Award Sponsor: Student Financial Aid Services

Award Background/History: Established in 2016. This award was established to recognize permanent staff members of UCONN who supervise student employees and to acknowledge these staff members and the work they do.

Award Description: This award honors the outstanding contributions and leadership of student employee supervisors at UConn.

Eligible Nominees: Any permanent staff member at UConn that supervises student employees.

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses .

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must have direct supervisory responsibilities of a UConn student(s). Has positive leadership style and empowers others.

Monetary Award: Not Applicable

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Student Leader of Character Award

Award Sponsor: J. Peter & Jennifer Natale Student Leader Scholarship

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2017 to provide scholarship support to University students.

Award Description: This award recognizes individual student(s) who have demonstrated exceptional character in the course of holding a leadership position within the Division of Student Affairs.

Eligible Nominees: Full-Time Undergraduate Students

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters. 3) Nominees' leadership role/position must have been within the Division of Student Affairs during the past academic year.
Monetary Award: TBD

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Student Organization Advisor Award

Award Sponsor: The Office of Student Organization Support

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to 2002.

Award Description: This award honors an advisor(s) of a student organization who has provided outstanding service and advisement to an organization. Recipient(s) will have demonstrated outstanding support for and advisement of a student organization in pursuit of its goals.

Eligible Nominees: Advisors to Registered Student Organizations

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1.) Student Organization must have been properly registered with the Department of Student Activities during the year. 2.) Individual nominees must have met the criteria to be a student organization advisor. 3.) Individual must be an employee of the University in good standing.

Monetary Amount: Not Applicable

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Willis N. Hawley Service and Leadership Award

Award Sponsor: Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2010.

Willis N. Hawley, (1875-1898), attended Storrs Agricultural College, beginning in the fall of 1895. He was a right end on the football team, said to be "a hard tackler and dependable at all times," and also was a member of the Shakespearean Club. His aptitude for military training resulted in his becoming a first lieutenant of the cadet company and soon after graduating in 1898, he joined the U.S. Army, Company H, Third Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.

Award Description: This award recognizes a student veteran(s) who has made significant contributions to the University community through leadership and service during their tenure as a student. Recipient(s) will have demonstrated a commitment to raising awareness and actively advocating for veteran’s issues at the University.

Eligible Nominees: Full-time undergraduate or graduate student veterans

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1.) Recipient(s) will have student veteran or reserve status as verified through the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. 2) Nominees must not have been on any form of academic probation during the past two semesters. 3) Nominees must not have been on any form of conduct-related probation during the past two semesters.

Monetary Award: $1000.00

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Organizational Awards

Husky Pride Award Award

Award Sponsor: Department of Student Activities

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to  2002.

Award Description: This award honors an organization for outstanding external representation of the pride and spirit associated with being a part of the University of Connecticut.

Eligible Nominees: Registered Student Organizations or Student-Led University Programs

Eligible Campuses: Storrs Campus

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) Any related event/program must have been held during the past academic year. 2) Undergraduate or graduate students at the University of Connecticut-Storrs campus must comprise at least 51% of the organization’s membership. 3) The organization cannot have been found in serious violation of any University policy during the period under consideration.

Monetary Award: $500.00

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Organization Community Service Award

Award Sponsor: Office of Community Outreach

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2002.

Award Description: This award honors a Registered Student Organization that has initiated and/or actively engaged in a community service project that offered direct service, as opposed to fundraising or lobbying activities, to a community external to the University. The project may be a single event or a series of activities and should have required: a) the delivery of service directly to the ultimate beneficiary and/or b) the development of a new service program/project designed to directly benefit an individual/organization.

Eligible Nominees: Registered Student Organizations

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria:  1) This project should have been significantly advanced during the past academic year. 2) Undergraduate or graduate students at the University of Connecticut must comprise at least 51% of the organization’s membership.. 3) The student organization cannot have been found in serious violation of any University policy during the period under consideration.

Monetary Award: $500.00

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President’s Award for Excellence in Dialogue and Civility (Groups)

Award Sponsor: Student Activities and The President's Office

Award Background/History: This award was established January 2019.

Award Description: This award recognizes the role of respectful dialogue and discourse as an essential component of learning at our university, both in and outside the classroom.  It is important to recognize the community members who are engaging in this important work, and to highlight their positive impacts on campus.

Examples may include excellence in facilitating conversation and problem solving, facilitating educational or community development opportunities, providing training and resources, being an example to others, or developing innovative pedagogical approaches.

Award recipients will be chosen based on  successful demonstration of responsible utilization of dialogue as a means of welcoming divergent opinions and creating new knowledge.

Eligible Nominees: All UConn Groups - including student organizations, faculty/staff group, or any combination, formal or informal

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 

Monetary Amount: Not Applicable

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Program of the Year Award

Award Sponsor: SUBOG (Student Union Board of Governors)

Award Background/History: This award was established prior to 2002.

Award Description: Recognizes the development and/or execution of an event/program that significantly enhanced the social, recreational, educational, and/or cultural life of students and the general community at this institution.

Eligible Nominees: Any Program or Event Hosted by a Registered Student Organization, University Department/Office, or student of the University of Connecticut

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria:  1) Event/Program must have been held during the past academic year. 2) The event/program must have been open to all students on campus. 3) The sponsoring organization/individual must not have been found in violation of any University policy during the period under consideration.

Monetary Award: $500.00

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Student Organization Advocacy Award

Award Sponsor: Leadership and Organizational Development

Award Background/History: This award was established in 2005.

Award Description: This award honors a Registered Student Organization for the achievement of a remarkable goal or completion of a major project that significantly impacted students through advocacy or awareness initiatives during the past academic year. This can include, but not be limited, to increasing awareness about a particular issue across campus or taking a leadership role in the advancement of an issue or cause on campus.

Eligible Nominees: Registered Student Organizations

Eligible Campuses: All Campuses

Additional Eligibility Criteria: 1) The event/program/initiative must have been open to all undergraduate students on campus. 2) The organization must not have been found in violation of any University policy during the period under consideration.

Monetary Award: TBD

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