Excellence Award for Graduate Coordinators

The graduate coordinator (in some departments this person may have a different title, such as graduate secretary or graduate program manager) provides support to the director of graduate studies, department head, and other faculty in the coordination of all graduate student related activities in the program - including recruitment, admissions, GE appointment, the tracking of progress to degree, and fellowship nominations. The graduate coordinator plays a central role in communication between the graduate program, prospective and current students, and the Graduate School. The quality of support provided to students and the day-to-day operation of the graduate program depends in part on the graduate coordinator. The Graduate School seeks to recognize those staff members whose ability to organize, prioritize, and communicate exceeds expectations.

The Award: One award will be made. The award recipient will receive a prize value of $250 to be used toward professional development and a plaque commemorating the award and will be recognized at the spring DGS and Graduate Coordinator meetings.

Eligibility and Nomination Process: To be eligible, the graduate coordinator/ secretary must have been in their current position for at least one full academic year at the time of nomination. Office managers who have responsibilities for the graduate program (offices in which there is not a graduate coordinator) are eligible.

Nominations may come from graduate students, faculty members, department heads, school/college deans, or department/college staff members relevant to the graduate program. Nominations must be submitted as a single pdf by the deadline stated below and must include:

  • A letter of nomination that addresses the nominee’s years of service and specific examples of contributions/skills/organizational accomplishments that account for the nominee’s success in improving the operation of the graduate program and/or quality of the graduate student experience (2-page maximum). The letter of nomination should include the author’s full name, role/title, and email address and may be signed by one nominator or a group of nominators.


  • Letter(s) of support that provide specific examples of the nominee’s contributions/skills/organizational accomplishments. One of these letters must be authored by one or more students. Additional letters can come from graduate students, faculty, or staff members. These may be signed by one supporter or a group of supporters.  Up to three letters (other than the letter of nomination) will be reviewed by the committee. Please limit letters of support to one page each.


Selection Criteria and Process: Nominations will be evaluated by a committee including Graduate School staff, Graduate School deans, and a member of the Graduate School Student Advisory Board. Successful nominations will include examples that demonstrate the nominee’s strong organizational and communication skills as they relate to supporting the graduate program and its graduate students and will effectively convey how these contributions are important to the success of the graduate program. Selection results will be provided by email to those that nominated and to the nominees in late April.


Deadline: Complete nomination packets are due by noon on Monday, April 16, 2017

Click here to submit a nomination.

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