GSG Excellence Awards

The GSG Excellence Award is a competitive award designed to recognize the achievements of outstanding Graduate Students in their academic pursuits. A diverse panel of judges including UC faculty, and administration vote and decide on the winners. All awards carry a monetary prize, a plaque, and a certificate.

Listed below are the award categories and descriptions, nomination procedures, and post-submission instructions.

GSG Excellence Award Application Deadline (Extended): Feb 11th, 2022 at 5pm

For any questions or concerns regarding the Excellence Awards, please contact either the GSG Treasurer or the GSG Vice President.

GSG Excellence Award categories

Graduate Student Association of the Year 

Any current graduate student or advisor may nominate a GSG-registered graduate group for GSA of the Year. The winning GSA will have $300 added to their Group Budget. Included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the group has made to the quality of graduate student life within its department/college and the larger UC community. 

The statement should also clearly identify how the nominated GSA’s actions reflect any/all of the nine UC Operational Principles:

  • Learning 
  • Discovery 
  • Community 
  • Economy 
  • Sustainability 
  • Global engagement 
  • Diversity
  • Health care 
  • Collaboration 

The same group cannot win this award for two consecutive years.

Graduate Student Award for Exemplary Service 

Any current graduate student or advisor may nominate a graduate student for the Graduate Student Awards for Exemplary Service. The award prize is $300. Included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the graduate student has made to improve graduate student quality of life and education within his/her department and within the University. 

The statement should also clearly identify how the nominated graduate student’s actions reflect the nine UC Operational Principals:

  • Learning
  • Discovery
  • Community
  • Economy
  • Sustainability
  • Global engagement
  • Diversity
  • Health care
  • Collaboration

Graduate Student Award for Exemplary Scholarship  

Any current graduate student or advisor may nominate a graduate student for this award. The award prize is $300.

This award is bestowed upon those students that exhibit in their respective fields of study the highest degree of scholarship as defined by the UC2019 Academic Master Plan, “Through experiential education and research, we will build rigorous learning experiences that will integrate theory and practice, produce a sense of contextual complexity and community engagement, and create learning that is exceptionally self-directed, integrative and transformational."

Included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the graduate student has made toward the above principles. There are three awards in this category for students in different disciplines:

  1. STEM
  2. Humanities, Social Sciences, and Human Services
  3. Fine and Performing Arts

 If you are not certain under which category your field falls, please contact the GSG Vice President.

Graduate Student Award for Exemplary Initiative

Any current graduate student or advisor may nominate a graduate student for this award. The prize for this award is $300.

This award is bestowed upon the student that best exhibits the principles of leadership, citizenship, and partnership, and included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the graduate student has made toward the following principles:

Motivating others to take actions that would not otherwise have been taken. Leadership is measured by the extent to which an individual can influence and energize the ideas, actions, and capabilities of others toward the betterment of their department and the UC campus community.

The ability to apply knowledge and skills towards responsible civic life and action within their departments, the UC campus, or Greater Cincinnati as a whole. UC’s emphasis for this award is on public engagement and ethical purpose.

Working collaboratively to address complex issues and problems, both within and beyond the boundaries of UC. A university cannot solve problems by working in isolation. Rather, it must interact with others. By working in partnership, we gain an understanding and appreciation of what can be accomplished as a team that could not have been accomplished alone. We also affirm the importance of diversity, since constructive change often occurs when individuals and groups with different identities and various priorities come together.

Outstanding International Graduate Student Award 

The Outstanding International Graduate Student Award has been developed by UC International and the Graduate Student Government to recognize and honor international graduate students who show promise of exceptional academic and leadership abilities.  The award is sponsored by UC International and carries a cash prize of $400.

This award uniquely symbolizes the synthesis of the spirit of global competence along with the UC2 core value of Global Engagement, which is defined as follows:

The creation and application of knowledge, with an emphasis on scholarly inquiry, research, experimentation, investigation and creative production.

The ability to apply knowledge and skills for responsible civic life and action. UC’s emphasis is on public engagement and ethical purpose.

The responsibility of the university to carry out its unique place in society, which is to conserve intellectual inquiry. Members of the university community are stewards of knowledge and instill in students an appreciation for the responsibilities that accompany education.

 Motivating others to take actions that would not otherwise have been taken. Leadership is measured by the extent to which an individual or groups of individuals can influence and energize the ideas, actions and capabilities of others toward the betterment of society.

Working collaboratively to address complex issues and problems, both within and beyond the boundaries of UC. A university cannot solve problems by working in isolation. It must do so by interacting with others. By working in partnerships, we gain an understanding and appreciation of what can be accomplished together that could not have been accomplished alone. We also affirm the importance of diversity, since constructive change often occurs when individuals and groups with different identities and various priorities come together.

To foster a student’s ability to appreciate, investigate and understand a cultural background different from his or her own. Cultural competency promotes tolerance, understanding and respect for a variety of cultures, domestic and international, and facilitates opportunity for interaction, communication and engagement.

Included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the graduate student has made toward the above principles. To be eligible for this award, the applicant must be a full-time, currently enrolled graduate student on a non-immigrant student visa, and in good standing at the University of Cincinnati. Graduate students finished with all required course work who are writing a thesis or dissertation, are also eligible. Special consideration is given to applicants who will graduate during this commencement. 

Award for Advancement of Diversity and Inclusion in Academia

Any current graduate student or advisor may nominate a graduate student for this award. The prize for this award is $300.

The University of Cincinnati’s diversity and inclusion efforts are guided by the following principles:

Challenging existing practices and paradigms and discovering the unknown.

Intentionally engaging all people and the contribution of diverse ideas

Positively transforming our community and society in measurable ways.

Included in the nomination should be a narrative explaining the outstanding contributions that the graduate student has made toward promoting the above principles of diversity and inclusion within their field of study, their departments or the campus community.

A risk-aware culture shares values or beliefs that tie to a common purpose of reducing or managing risk while still positively promoting opportunity and mission.

This Risk Managment Award recognizes graduate students at UC whose research or project demonstrates the student has excelled in taking a more holistic approach to managing the risk inherent in their work.

Graduate Student Risk Managament Awareness award is sponsored by the UC Department of Enterprise Risk Management, with $1000 for winner and $200 for runner up on submitting application as per the award guidelines which is slightly different from the guidelines of other excellence award categories above. To learn more about the award and specific guidelines, please visit the GSG Risk Managment Awareness Award webpage.

Nominations for Excellence Award Application

For any student excellence award, a graduate student currently enrolled in a degree program at the University of Cincinnati may self-nominate or be nominated by the nominee’s advisor or designee. Emphasis should be placed primarily on achievements made while the graduate student is present at the University of Cincinnati.

For group excellence awards, any faculty member or the group’s current officers or the group’s advisor can nominate. Groups must be in “active” status with the GSG.

Please fill out the Excellence Award nomination form to nominate an individual or a Graduate Student Association, by selecting the appropriate category of award within the nomination form. For more than one award nomination, use the same form but select a different category of award within the online nomination form. 

Here are some materials that are required to be submitted while filling the online nomination form.

This is found in the student’s Catalyst account. 

The most recently completed semester grade report (Official or Unofficial), showing overall GPA.

A narrative explaining the ways in which the nominee (individual or organization) exemplifies the characteristics of the award category for which they are being nominated.

For the Risk Management award, one does not need a narrative as they will submit a single "application page" as described under the Risk Management Awarness award category and will address questions within the application form.

For a group, submit a list of activities with descriptions and impact. CV's must be the most current one.

Two (2) letters of recommendation must be from people other than the nominator/nominee. These letters should highlight the student’s (or group’s) achievements and may come from students, faculty, or administrators from any level within UC. Letters of recommendation should address:

  • The nominee’s relationship to the author,
  • The impact that the group or graduate student’s actions have had on the author or that the author has first-hand knowledge of, and
  • Any other information that the author believes is pertinent.
  • These letters should detail how the graduate student or group has demonstrated the qualities of the category for which they are being nominated during the course of their graduate studies while at the University.

For the Outstanding International Graduate Student Award, of the two letters of reference, at least one from a faculty member at UC who is familiar with the applicant’s professional and personal achievements. The other may be from a departmental staff member, another faculty member or a fellow graduate student. If volunteer or community building efforts constitute the basis for the application, a letter of reference from the head of the organization concerned is required as one of the two letters of recommendation.

Letters of Recommendation is NOT required for Graduate Student Risk Management Awareness Award.

Once your nomination is received, you will receive a confirmation email. Please look for this email in spam/other folder as well. . If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the GSG Treasurer or the GSG Vice President.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. The winners are chosen by independent and representative judging panels. All applicants/nominators must agree to abide by the rules and regulations that the GACC deems appropriate. Decisions by the judging panels will be made about three weeks after the submission deadline and winning nominees will be notified of the results by the end of March

Past winners of awards are ineligible for an award in the same category as their previous win.