Award Descriptions

Submit a Nomination

Outstanding New Student Affairs Employee/Staff Member

This award recognizes an individual that has been in the Division under 2 years, and within that time has excelled at their job responsibilities.  This person will have made impactful outcomes during their tenure, while furthering success within their department.

Provide a specific example(s):
  • Dedication: How has this individual connected with the current staff and students?
  • Creativity: How has this individual redeveloped an existing or created a new initiative/program/project and assessed its success?
  • Relationships: How has this individual begun to develop relationships outside of their department/area?
  • Care: How has this individual shown care for fellow ‘Canes and contributed to the Culture of Belonging?
  • Integration: How has this individual embraced the University of Miami’s common purpose, values, and behaviors, as well as the Division of Student Affairs Standards of Excellence?

Outstanding Job Performance

This award recognizes an individual that exemplifies high quality work and has made a significant impact in their position.  This person has developed outstanding relationships with students, staff, and departments in addition to displaying instances of innovation and/or creativity.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Relationships: How has this individual demonstrated commitment to interactions with colleagues, peers, and students?
  • Student Engagement: How has this person been able to engage with students, be that through programming, relationship building, or support?
  • Work Ethic: How has this individual shown initiative and follow through in a timely, responsive, and professional manner?
  • Collaboration: How has this person collaborated with others to develop or improve a program or service for the betterment of the university community?

Note: Undergraduate and Graduate students can be nominated for this award. 


Exceptional Work with Students

This award recognizes an individual that is dedicated to our students.  This person is a positive role model and mentor and supports students holistically in their personal, professional, and academic pursuits.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Role Model: How has this individual modeled professional behavior among fellow staff and students? (Ex. Culture Transformation DIRECCT Values: Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity, Teamwork)
  • Collaborator: How has this individual contributed to the betterment of the student experience? (Ex. advocate for student concerns, resources)
  • Mentor: How has this individual engaged and provided opportunities for students looking to gain practical experience and professional skills beyond the classroom?
  • Character: How did this individual demonstrate genuine and supportive relationships with students?

Outstanding Departmental Initiative

This award recognizes a new or enhanced initiative that fulfills the needs and aligns with the visions of the Division of Student Affairs. This initiative provided exceptional programming and engagement to impact the student experience.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Program: Describe the initiative. What existing needs did this address?
  • Impact: What is the impact of this initiative on students?  What were the data and assessment practices and outcomes?
  • Creativity: How does this initiative use innovative thinking in the development of this initiative?
  • Student Experience: How did students involved in the design/execution of the initiative contribute to their personal and professional development?

Outstanding Collaborative Departmental Initiative

This award recognizes at least two departments within or outside the Division of Student Affairs that took a collaborative impact the student experience through new or enhanced program.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Program: Describe the initiative. What existing needs did this address?
  • Impact: What is the impact of this initiative on students?  What were the data and assessment practices and outcomes?
  • Creativity: How does this initiative use innovative thinking from all departments involved in the coordination of this initiative?
  • Student Experience: How did students involved in the design/execution of the initiative contribute to their personal and professional development?

Patricia A. Whitely Student Affairs Enrichment Award

This award recognizes an individual that is an active professional throughout the university, regional, and nationally. This person has used their knowledge and experiences to contribute to their profession on behalf of the Division of Student Affairs and University of Miami.

Provide a specific example(s):

  • Professional Development: How has this individual made significant lifetime contributions upon the field of student affairs through regional or national involvement in presentations, professional organizations, committees and publications?
  • University Engagement: How has this person shown a strong commitment to student engagement, the Division of Student Affairs mission, and the University through their extraordinary service?
  • Innovative: How has this person demonstrated improvement and/or creativity in programs, services, and resources provided by the Division of Student Affairs?
  • Character: How has this person demonstrated characteristics of a model student affairs professional through their career?

The Laurel Awards committee is responsible for the nomination process and the selection of award recipients.