Service Nomination Process-Celebration of Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Award Guidelines:
Graduate Student Service Award


Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate Student Service Award is given annually to encourage and recognize a graduate student who has advanced the interests of CMU graduate students, improved the quality of life for graduate students on campus and/or contributed to the larger academic community. (NOTE: Current GSA Executive Committee members are ineligible for nomination.)

Examples of service commitment can include but are not limited to:

  • evidence of leadership on university, department or graduate student committees
  • leadership in student organizations or activities supporting current graduate student interests on campus or in the community
  • support of current graduate student interests on campus or in the community
  • development and/or activity with outreach service programs
  • service with local or national organizations representing Carnegie Mellon graduate students
  • service with local or national organizations advancing graduate student interests

Note that students who excel in their service related to teaching should be nominated for the Graduate Student Teaching Award.


All current graduate students at the university who have demonstrated outstanding service in their department, college or the broader academic community are eligible to be nominated for the Graduate Student Service Award. Students who have been nominated in the past or received honorable mentions can be nominated again. However, previous winners of the award are ineligible for nomination. 

The Graduate Student Service Award Committee

The Graduate Student Service Award selection committee consists of:

  • faculty
  • staff
  • graduate students (the current GSA President and one past recipient of the Graduate Student Service Award, if available)
  • undergraduate students
  • the chairperson of the committee (the assistant vice provost for graduate education, a non-voting member).

The Graduate Student Service Award selection committee adopts its own rules of procedure.


Nomination packages may be submitted by any member of the CMU community and should describe the qualities and activities of the nominee that make him or her an excellent candidate for the award.

Nomination packages must include:

  • a nomination letter addressed to the Graduate Student Service Award Committee summarizing the individual’s accomplishments and impact in the community, not to exceed three pages
  • additional letters of recommendation from faculty, staff, current and former students, or other colleagues who have substantive knowledge of the nominee’s service activities. Up to five letters will be accepted, in either hard copy or e-mail. A supporting letter compiling comments from various sources (such as 5-10 faculty or students in a department) will also be accepted and counted as a single letter of recommendation
  • additional supporting materials which should represent the quality of the nominee’s service accomplishments and information about the direct service. This might include executive summaries, program/service information of activities initiated by the nominee, promotional materials, brochures and/or other materials which represent the services identified in the nomination or supporting letters

It is recommended that the nominator discuss the nomination with the student so they can get a robust picture of all the areas the student engages in service and the motivation behind their activities. This information can greatly enhance a nomination letter. If the student has a list of service activities in their resume/CV this can be submitted as part of the additional supporting materials.

A complete nomination packet must be submitted on or before Friday, February 10, 2017. It can be mailed to Suzie Laurich-McIntyre, assistant vice provost for graduate education and chair of the selection committee. It can also be emailed to or delivered to 533 Warner Hall by 5 p.m. Questions can be directed to Suzie Laurich-McIntyre.

The Graduate Student Teaching and Service Awards will be given out on the afternoon of Thursday, April 6, 2017 during Innovation with Impact: Celebration of Graduate Students, as part of Graduate Student Appreciation Week, April 2 – 8, 2017. The award recipients will receive an engraved tray and monetary award, and have their names added to the plaque in the Cohon University Center. The awardees will also be recognized at the Celebration of Education event in the spring.