Carnegie Mellon University

Barbara Lazarus Award Nomination Information

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

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 CMU community from 1984 to 2003. A nationally and internationally known scholar and activist, Barbara worked tirelessly for the equality 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.

All full-time current employees of the university are eligible to be nominated for the 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 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 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 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 should focus on the nominee’s teaching and/or 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. (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.