Presidential Excellence Awards

Valdosta State University continues its tradition of honoring faculty excellence with five awards recognizing the diverse talents and contributions of our innovative and active faculty.  Recipients of these awards will be publicly recognized at the spring convocation and receive a monetary prize of approximately $1000.

These awards are as follows:

  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching*
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Research
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Service
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Online Teaching*
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning*

*Corresponds with awards offered by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, and university winners will be VSU’s nominees for these awards.  For more information, see Regents’ Teaching Excellence and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards.

Eligibility

To be eligible for any of the Excellence Awards, nominees must meet or exceed the following requirements:

  • Must currently be a full-time faculty member for both semesters of the academic year for which these awards are given. Department Heads, Deans, and Directors are not eligible for this award.
  • Must have completed at least three years of full-time teaching at VSU.
  • Must not have received the same award more than once in any five consecutive years.
  • May not be nominated for more than one Presidential Excellence Award during any academic year.

Nominations

The nomination process for all awards will be on the same calendar:

  • Nominations must be turned in to the applicant’s Dean’s Office by 5:30 PM on the Tuesday after the Martin Luther King holiday.
  • College decisions for each Presidential Award must be made by the Friday of the first full week in February.
  • The nominee’s materials and Dean’s letter of support must be submitted electronically by Friday of the 2nd full week in February.
  • Each Screening Committee will make its decision by the last working day in  February.
  • Presidential Excellence Award winners will receive their awards at the spring convocation.
  • The recipients of the Teaching, Online Teaching, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning awards should prepare the appropriate packet for the system-wide awards by the following December.

Application Materials

Nominees for each Excellence Award must prepare the following materials:

  1. A letter of nomination from department head or faculty colleague.
  2. A combined PDF with the following:
    (a) A reflective statement illustrating how the nominee’s philosophy and practice meets the awards criteria (2-4 pages, using 1 inch margins and 12 point font).
    (b) An abbreviated CV which focuses on appropriate content of the award (no more than 3 pages in length, using 1 inch margins and 12 point font).

Criteria 

The criteria for those awards are as follows:

Excellence in Teaching Criteria

The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees display the following:

    • A strong and consistent commitment to teaching and learning. This commitment might be demonstrated through activities designed to advance the quality and practice of teaching and learning, to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and/or global and multicultural understanding.
    • Effective teaching strategies to enhance student learning, including, but not limited to innovative uses of technology, active learning, learning communities, student portfolios, and assessment.
    • A strong commitment to fostering the academic success of VSU students through interaction with students outside of the classroom (e.g., advising, mentoring, recruiting, etc.).

The award for Excellence in Teaching asks applicants to demonstrate innovative ways to teach theories/concepts/skills in their discipline. Applicants will need to discuss their teaching philosophy and pedagogy, and show evidence of student learning to support their claims of being an innovative teacher. That evidence might be in a variety of forms, but does not have include peer-reviewed publications. The award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is different. Applicants need to show that they have used their classroom as a research site, where they have conducted studies which then were peer reviewed and published which show the efficacy of the innovations used. Applicants who have not published on their teaching and how it has impacted their students' learning are not likely to be successful in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning category.

The university recipient of this award will serve as VSU’s nominee for the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award.

Excellence in Research Criteria

The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees display the following:

    • A strong and consistent record of publication/presentation/research/creative-artistic work.
    • An engagement in scholarship that is public, peer-reviewed, and critiqued.

Excellence in Service Criteria

The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees display the following:

    • A strong and consistent commitment to service, either on the university campus (at the department, college, university, or university system), in the community (whether local, regional, national, or international), and/or in the nominee’s professional discipline.

Excellence in Online Teaching Criteria

The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees display the following:

    • A strong and consistent commitment to quality online teaching and learning, as evidenced by teaching and scholarly activities designed to advance the quality of online teaching and learning.
    • Effective and innovative online teaching practices that result in student engagement, student satisfaction, and effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes.
    • An extraordinary commitment to fostering the academic success of online students through the development of rapport with individual learners in and beyond the virtual classroom.

The university recipient of this award will serve as VSU’s nominee for the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching.

Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Criteria

The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees display the following:

    • Engagement in the systematic examination of issues about student learning and instructional conditions which promote learning, building on previous scholarship.
    • Documentation of the use of strategies for investigating and evaluating the impact of teaching practice on student learning, anchored in the research literature.
    • Engagement in scholarship that is public, peer reviewed, and critiqued.
    • Production of scholarly work which contributes new questions and knowledge about teaching and learning.
    • Development of a well-articulated teaching philosophy that drives research questions.
    • Documentation of the dissemination of their scholarship results.

The award for Excellence in Teaching asks applicants to demonstrate innovative ways to teach theories/concepts/skills in their discipline. Applicants will need to discuss their teaching philosophy and pedagogy, and show evidence of student learning to support their claims of being an innovative teacher. That evidence might be in a variety of forms, but does not have include peer-reviewed publications. The award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is different. Applicants need to show that they have used their classroom as a research site, where they have conducted studies which then were peer reviewed and published which show the efficacy of the innovations used. Applicants who have not published on their teaching and how it has impacted their students' learning are not likely to be successful in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning category.

The university recipient of this award will serve as VSU’s nominee for the Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

Nominations and Selection Process in Academic Colleges/Divisions

Each academic college/division will develop its own nomination and selection process that will ensure a fair and consistent evaluation of all nominees. That selection process should be clearly delineated on the college/division website and should result in the selection of a nominee to receive the college/division award. Once the college has its nomination for each Presidential Excellence award, the dean (or the dean’s designee) will write a letter which further discusses the nominee’s criteria for meeting guidelines for the specified award.

Nominations and Selection Process at the University Level

Deans will submit electronic nomination packets for these awards using the following links.

PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS SCREENING COMMITTEE:

Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching

Presidential Award for Excellence in Research Presidential Award for Excellence in Service 

eLEARNING AWARDS SCREENING COMMITTEE:

Presidential Award for Excellence in Online Teaching*

IDEA CENTER SCHOLARS:

Presidential Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning*

University-level screening committee members will use a rating form to evaluate each nomination packet.

Questions

For additional questions about the Presidential Excellence Awards, contact awardscommitteeatvaldosta.edu.