Nominations for outstanding student awards due March 10

Dierrica Smith

 For more than 30 years, faculty, staff and student groups have recognized student leaders with outstanding student awards, based on service, scholarship and involvement.

Debbie Coughran, assistant to associate vice president for student affairs said, students do not necessarily have to be in a lot of organizations, they simply must show some form of leadership.

The award began as a woman of the year award and evolved to all students. Students can be involved in church groups and organizations, or even working part-time as long as they show academic achievement and balance between classes and extracurricular activities.

One student from each major is chosen for the academic awards with nominations due March 10.

Coughran said she has been helping with the awards for the last 14 years and her department focuses more on the man and woman of the year awards.

The nominees for both the outstanding student and the man and woman of the year awards are brought before a committee. The committee consists of three  faculty and three staff ,and members are on the committee for two years. Newer members are assigned freshman, sophomore and junior awards, while more experienced members are assigned senior, graduate and man and woman of the year awards.

The committee members rate the students and tally up the numbers. After tallying up, the committee members meet again to go through the top  students for each award,” Coughran said.

Deb Schulte, assistant to provost said her department focuses more on the academic awards.

Schulte said, “In the past, students who win one academic award usually win from another category as well, because of the leadership aspect.”

Students are sent a letter notifying them that they are a finalist, along with complimentary banquet tickets, where the recipients are announced. Academic awards are announced ahead of time, but outstanding man and woman are announced for the first time.

Schulte said, “Academic awards are based on academic skills, grades and classroom participation.”