Nomination Process-Celebration of Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Award Guidelines:
The Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring


Carnegie Mellon created the Barbara Lazarus Award in 2004 to celebrate the spirit and legacy of Barbara Lazarus. Associate provost for academic affairs, teacher, scholar and mentor to many, Barbara was a beloved member of the Carnegie Mellon community from 1984 to 2003. A nationally and internationally known scholar and activist, Barbara worked tirelessly for the equity of women in the workplace, and the well-being and flourishing of graduate students and junior faculty at Carnegie Mellon. Barbara educated many on transforming the institutional environment, by her words and by her example. An innovator in education, Barbara also founded Carnegie Mellon’s outstanding Undergraduate Research Program. Equity, justice, and fostering both a climate of welcome and the flourishing of all the people with whom she worked were hallmarks of Barbara’s work and life. She was especially an advocate for graduate students and young faculty.

The Barbara Lazarus Award recognizes exemplary contributions to fostering a welcoming and nurturing environment for graduate students and young faculty at Carnegie Mellon.


All full-time current employees of the university are eligible for the Barbara Lazarus Award. Nominees may be an individual or a group. They must have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in making significant and far-reaching contributions to mentoring graduate students and junior faculty at Carnegie Mellon. 


The provost is responsible for the administration of the nomination and selection process, including calling for proposals and convening the Barbara Lazarus Award selection committee.


Phase One of Nomination:

Nominations consist of a letter [maximum two single-spaced pages] that explains why the individual is worthy of the award. Specific examples of impact should be cited and letters can include quotes of support from students, staff or faculty. Because the decision to advance the nomination to the second phase of the nomination process is based on this letter alone, it should be descriptive, convincing, and specifically focused on the purpose of the award (stated at the beginning of these guidelines). The letter must be submitted on or before the first Monday in November to be considered for that academic year.

The committee will select at least two and at most five persons each year to be considered for phase two of the nomination.

Phase Two of Nomination:

The nominators of each person selected are then responsible, together with the relevant dean/department head (or his or her designee) for preparing the full case for that nomination. It should include a curriculum vitae/resume, cover letter and individual letters of recommendation from appropriate parties, including Carnegie Mellon faculty or administrators and present and former students. In the case of a department head nominee, the relevant dean should be included in the preparation of the full package.

To Nominators Assembling Barbara Lazarus Award Packages for Phase Two:

“Winning” nominations often include items that concretely help the committee to understand the candidate’s broad impact as an advisor, such as:
  • a nomination letter that provides descriptions of the mentor’s outstanding techniques, resources, etc.
  • samples of the mentor’s feedback to students
  • letters from alumni who attest to and describe the long-term impact the nominee has had on them
  • letters from current students who can discuss how and why the nominee impacted them:
    • letters from junior faculty are always compelling
    • letters from graduate students that focus on the nominee’s mentoring
  • letters from colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of the candidate's mentoring and/or interactions with students, including colleagues' perceptions of the candidate based on their interaction with the candidate's students (simultaneously or subsequently) and/or from colleagues who can comment on the candidate's role in departmental or college changes/conversations, situating the candidate in a larger educational context, if possible
  • brief C.V. (2-4 pages).

PLEASE NOTE that the maximum number of letters allowed is 30.

One USB stick containing a single PDF of the complete nomination packet, must be submitted on or before the second Monday in February to Everett Tademy, assistant vice president for diversity and equal opportunity services, at Whitfield Hall 200.


The committee will choose one person to be recommended to the provost as the year’s recipient of the Barbara Lazarus Award. Upon the provost's approval, the award recipient will be notified in late February, and the award presented at a public ceremony open to the entire university community in late spring.