Carnegie Mellon University

Academic Advising Award Nomination Information

The Academic Advising Award was established to recognize members of the Carnegie Mellon community who have achieved excellence in advising undergraduate students. The award is intended to honor outstanding contributions in helping students to define and achieve their academic goals.

Examples of activities to be considered include but are not limited to:

  • advising on course selection
  • research focus and management
  • choice of major/minor
  • long-term career goals
  • personal development

All full-time current employees of the university who advise undergraduate students are eligible to be nominated for the award. This includes tenure track and non-tenure track faculty members, assistant and associate department heads, assistant and associate deans, academic department staff members and staff members employed by on-campus student service organizations. The award is intended to recognize service both within and beyond normal job responsibilities. No one person may win the award more than once or simultaneously with the Ryan Award or Doherty Award.

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

The award selection committee consists of:

  • the three most recent recipients of the Academic Advising Award
  • two undergraduate students and one graduate student selected through a process developed by the dean of Student Affairs
  • three faculty and administrative staff members appointed by the provost
  • the chairperson of the committee (a representative of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation, a non-voting member). If this person is unavailable, the provost will appoint another faculty member or administrator to serve in this capacity.

The selection committee adopts its own rules of procedure.

Nominations consist of two phases and may be made by any group of at least three or more people, each of whom is either:

  • a current or retired faculty member or administrator
  • a current or former full-time undergraduate or graduate student

Phase One of Nomination

Nominations consist of a letter (maximum two single-spaced pages) that explains why the individual is worthy of the award. Because the decision to advance the nomination to the second phase is based on this letter alone, it should be descriptive, convincing and specifically focused on the purpose of the award stated at the top of the page.

Phase One Submission Deadline

The letter must be submitted on or before the first Monday in November* to be considered for that academic year.

The committee will select two to five people to be considered for phase two of the nomination process.

In 2021, the nomination deadline is the third Monday in November: Monday, November 15.

Phase Two of Nomination

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

Nomination packages often include items that concretely help the committee to understand the candidate's broad impact on the university community, such as:

  • a nomination letter that provides descriptions of the advisor’s outstanding techniques, resources, etc.
  • samples of the advisor's feedback to students
  • letters from alumni who can 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 non-majors, if appropriate, are always compelling. Letters from graduate students should focus on the nominee’s teaching and/or advising.
  • letters from colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of the candidate's advising 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 curriculum changes/conversations, situating the candidate in a larger educational context, if possible
  • brief C.V. (two to four pages)

The maximum number of recommendation letters that can be submitted is 30. Please note that selected quotes from the winner's nomination packet may be used for publicity purposes.

Phase Two Submission Deadline

A single PDF of the complete nomination packet must be submitted on or before the first Monday in February to the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation. Questions should be directed to Marsha Lovett.

The committee will choose one person to be recommended to the provost as the year's recipient of the award. Upon the provost's approval, the recipient will be notified and the award will be presented at the Celebration of Education event in the spring.